Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Croatia Logs 1,197 New Coronavirus Cases, 1 Death

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - Croatia has registered 1,197 new coronavirus cases and one related death in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Wednesday.

The number of active cases now stands at 4,647, including 243 infected persons who are being treated in hospital, of whom five are placed on ventilators, while 2,082 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Croatia, 1,147,380 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 16,060 have died and 1,126,673 have recovered, including 252 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 4,936,808 persons have tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, including 3,516 in the last 24 hours. A total of 5,257,861 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, and 59.55 per cent of the total population, or 70.82 per cent of adults, have been vaccinated. 2,315,438 persons have received at least one dose and 2,245,066 of them have been fully vaccinated, which is 68.77 per cent of the adult population.

For everything you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

EU Formally Begins Process of Croatia's Admission to Schengen Area

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - The Council of the European Union has initiated the procedure for decision making on the admission of Croatia to the Schengen passport-free travel area, requesting an opinion from the European Parliament which is required for a final decision, Hina learned from diplomatic sources on Wednesday.

The opinion of the European Parliament is not binding on the Council, but constitutes a procedural step that cannot be avoided.

The decision to initiate the procedure was made on Wednesday at a meeting of the Committee of Representatives, which consists of the ambassadors of the EU member states.

The draft Council Decision "on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia" was sent to the European Parliament together with a letter to Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

"It is my pleasure to inform you that the Council has decided on 29 June 2022 to consult the European Parliament on a draft Council Decision on the full application of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia. The Council would be grateful if the European Parliament could kindly submit its opinion as soon as possible," says the letter, seen by Hina.

After the European Parliament receives the letter, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will appoint a rapporteur to prepare a draft opinion, which will first be discussed by the Committee. After it is adopted by the Committee, it will be sent for further adoption at a plenary session of Parliament.

It is expected that the European Parliament will vote on a final opinion at one of the two plenary sessions scheduled for October. That will pave the way for a final decision that requires the consensus of 22 EU members of the Schengen area.

The Schengen area currently consists of 26 European countries, four of which are not EU members and have no voting rights - Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Council decision might also be adopted in October.

Should there be no unforeseen obstacles, in the tenth year of its EU membership Croatia would simultaneously join the Schengen area and the euro area, the two closest integration associations at the core of the European Union.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

PM Dismisses Media Speculation About Early Parliamentary Election

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday dismissed the media speculation about an early parliamentary election.

"I don't understand how some people still haven't figured out my way of thinking. If political stability is my main anchor, if we have a stable parliamentary majority, if we have achieved everything we have set out to do, if we are facing so many challenges, why would I go to elections?  (...) We have been given trust to run this country responsibly," Plenković said in an interview with Croatian Radio.

He noted that his government has secured growth, accession to the euro and Schengen areas, an investment grade rating from three leading international rating agencies, an excellent tourist season, the opening of Pelješac Bridge on 26 July, the delivery of military aircraft in slightly more than a year, the use of EU funding, more balanced regional development of the country, and aid to vulnerable social groups, pensioners, farmers, fishermen, businesses and households.

Plenković also said that the government is not considering reimposing COVID-19 restrictions given that there has been no considerable increase in the number of hospitalised cases, but is most likely to recommend further vaccination so that people can be protected in the autumn.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Božinović: Croatia Becomes Model for Future Functioning of US Visa Waiver Program

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - By fulfilling the conditions for entry into the US Visa Waiver Program, Croatia has become a model for its functioning in the future, Croatia's Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said in Washington after meeting with US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

"Acceding to the Visa Waiver Program was a challenging process for us, during which we concluded 14 international legal acts on cooperation and exchange of information. We have technically implemented all of them through databases and thus largely increased the capacity of our security services in detecting and reducing risk and ensuring even more effective checks of all persons crossing the border," Božinović said.

He pointed out that in the course of intensive cooperation to fulfil all the requirements for accession to the program, Croatia had become fully connected with all air carriers flying to or out of Croatia.

Commitment to meeting criteria for accession to Global Entry program

Božinović added that Croatia was equally committed to meeting the criteria for accession to the Global Entry program, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved travellers entering the United States and which so far includes only three European Union countries.

Inclusion in both programs is a clear confirmation of the high standards that Croatia has implemented in the last few years in combating terrorism, exchanging operational information, border management, and increasing the security of identity and travel documents, as well as trust between our two countries, he said.

"We have agreed on the final harmonisation of forms for acquiring the status of trusted traveller, the completion of establishment of special information links and the conclusion of Addendum C to the joint statement I signed with Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar in Zagreb this April," Božinović said.

He noted that all this is an expression of trust on part of the US in Croatia and their partnership in efforts to encourage necessary reforms in southeastern Europe in order to promote democracy and rule of law.

Meetings at the State Department, Customs agency and Coast Guard

The meeting with Julieta Valls Noyes, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, focused on Croatian efforts in curbing illegal migration, land border control, combating smuggling, and accepting Ukrainian refugees.

During talks with Chris Magnus, Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Božinović thanked the team who are working with Croatian colleagues to help Croatia join the Trusted Traveler and Global Entry program.

He said that they discussed the work of Croatian police and customs and the systems they use in managing the EU's longest external land border. He noted that Croatia was the best among all Interpol members in terms of the number of checks and hits in the Schengen Information System.

The meeting with Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Deputy Commander of the US Coast Guard, which is part of the Department of Home Security, focused on cooperation with the Croatian maritime police, port authorities, Customs Administration and the Fisheries Inspectorate.

"Croatia has a long maritime tradition and in this area we have opened up the possibility of cooperation in training and exchange of experience with the US," Božinović said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

PM, Reps of Aquaculture and Fisheries Businesses Discuss Developments on Market

ZAGREB, 28 June 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković on Tuesday met with representatives of aquaculture and fisheries businesses for talks on developments on the market and difficulties caused by rising costs as well as the government schemes to help this sector.

Plenković spoke about the importance of the aquaculture and fisheries sector and its positive performance despite the challenging circumstances.

In 2021, the value of Croatian exports of fisheries and aquaculture products rose by more than 30%. Over the period from 2016 to 2021, the value of aquaculture production increased by 45%.

The sector's representatives thanked the government for the prompt reaction in addressing the recent crises, according to a government press release.

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Split-Dalmatia County Summer Events to Look Forward to

June 29, 2022 - While the City of Split and the seaside towns remain the main attractions in the summer, some major events are about to take place a bit further away from the sea. A look at Split-Dalmatia County summer events to look forward to this year...

It's not too late to make some changes to your Split travel itinerary, even if we're now welcoming the high season, and therefore the high temperatures as well. At the time this article was written, weather reports indicate that the temperature is 36 degrees in Split. It 'sdifficult for us to come up with a better plan that doesn't include being near or even in the sea. Even if someone went out of their way to convince you how much there is to see or do beyond the sea in Split-Dalmatia county, your answer would surely be, ''not in these temperatures!"

What if that someone was me? What if I made an effort to convince you? What if I told you that there are three unmissable Split-Dalmatia County summer events beyond the mountains of Mosor and Kozjak worth seeing? Trust me, there are. Not only will you have a great time, you'll also be able to discover destinations that you might not have thought of before, and get closer to the culture and heritage of other places across Split-Dalmatia County.

5th Thrill Blues Festival (July 1-3, 2022)

Trilj is a municipality and town located 40 km northeast of the centre of Split, and the drive there via the D1 and E65 highways takes between 35 and 40 minutes. Trilj is a very popular destination for those who love adventure sports and outdoor activities, due to its proximity to the Dinaric Alps and the Cetina River. But in addition, Trilj boasts a great history that goes all the way back to Mesolithic times.

This Friday, Trilj will hold its 5th edition of the Thrill Blues Festival (get the pun?). The Thrill Blues Festival is part of the ''Summer in Trilj'' programme, which seeks to bring visitors closer to Trilj's tourist offer. From the 1st of July, Trilj will become the capital of blues music and will have not only an elite lineup on its stage but also a great gastronomic offer. If you're in Split and looking for a different experience, then this is for you.


46th Imotska Sila (July 3 - August 17, 2022)

Imotski may already be familiar destination to many. It's located on the other side of the Biokovo mountain range, 85 kilometres southeast of the center of Split, a journey that takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes by car if you go via the E65 highway. While Imotski is widely known for its medieval castle, as well as the popular Blue Lake and Red Lake, Imotski is also a place in Croatia that has been inhabited since Neolithic times, and thus has a lot of history. One of the longest-running cultural events in the region will be held in this town, Imotska Sila, which will celebrate its 46th edition from July 3 to August 17. Get ready to enjoy an event with a rich programme lasting more than a month, which will include numerous concerts of different genres, magic shows, poetry recitals, film screenings, and much more.


307th Sinjska Alka (August 7, 2022)

Perhaps one of the most important and anticipated Split-Dalmatia County summer events, the Sinjska Alka event is an equestrian competition and is classed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Sinjska Alka event takes place in the historic town of Sinj, 34 kilometres northeast of the centre of Split, and you have to take the D1 motorway and embark on a journey that takes 35 minutes by car to get there. 

The Sinjska Alka event commemorates the Croatian-Venetian victory on August 14, 1715, in which a Christian population of no more than 700 managed to resist 60,000 marauding Ottomans. In addition to this military prowess, the inhabitants also celebrate the Lady of Sinj, who is believed to have interceded for them. In addition to the famous equestrian competition, in which the participants ride horses and try to aim their spears at a hanging metal ring (the alka), the people of Sinj also celebrate the procession of the Lady of Sinj on those days. Sinj definitely becomes the focus of attention throughout the country, and it is absolutely worth it if you get away from the sea for a few days to enjoy a great cultural experience.


Image: PJL/Wikimedia Commons

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Ivica Zubac Clippers Contract Extended for Another 3 Years

June 29, 2022 - The latest news about Croats in the NBA - Ivica Zubac Clippers contract has been extended until the end of the 2024/25 season. 

Croatia national team player Ivica Zubac has agreed to extend his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers for another three years, for which he will receive $33 million, reports ESPN and basketball agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman from Excel Sports.

In order for him to get $33 million in the next three seasons, the Clippers will not activate the club option for the last season of the current contract, which Zubac signed in 2019 and which would bring him $7.5 million, and then sign a new contract that will tie him to the LA team until the end of the 2024/25 season. Zubac already has the longest tenure in the Clippers of all the players from the current roster, and if he stays at the club until the end of the new contract, he will have six and a half seasons as a Clippers player.

With this deal, the Clippers prevented the possibility of Zubac becoming a free agent next summer (after his old contract expires) and signing wherever he wants, and at the same time, they solved the issue of the first center for the near future for a solid price. Zubac, on the other hand, also received security for the next period in his career, and at the same time, he was rewarded with approximately a $4 million increase compared to his previous annual salary.

Zubac joined the team in February 2019, in an exchange with the LA Lakers, where he was drafted in 2016 as the 32nd pick. Zubac, who is only 25, has mostly played in the starting lineup since coming to the Clippers from the LA Lakers in 2019. In four seasons with the Clippers, Zubac played in the first team in 204 of 246 games.

Behind him is the most productive season in the NBA in which he scored 10.3 points per game with an average of 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1 block. He also had a shooting percentage above 61 percent for the third year in a row. This season is the seventh in the NBA for Zubac.

Zubac is the second Clippers player to sign an extension thus joining Robert Covington. The LA team hopes to keep veteran Nicolas Batum and reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein, but both are free agents this summer. Clearly, the biggest win for the team will be healthy Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell because with them they can attack the title.

Source: Sportske Novosti

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section


Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Croatian Winemakers Shine at TEXSOM Awards 2022

June 29, 2022 - Yesterday, the Croatian Wine Alliance, a group of global and US-based teams promoting Croatian wines, was pleased to share the news that Croatian winemakers received multiple awards at TEXSOM Awards in Boston, judging for which took place in May of this year. While only nine Croatian wineries submitted wines, there were a total of nine awards, showcasing the consistent quality of Croatian winemaking.

“We are thrilled that the judges at TEXSOM are recognizing the quality of Croatian winemaking and we look forward to showcasing these indigenous varieties at TEXSOM Expo in August,” said Mirena Bagur, founder of Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., an importer and online retailer with 70+ Croatian wines shipped to most US states, and leader of the Croatian Wine Alliance. “The Croatian Wine Alliance of importers, distributors and winemakers works together to spread knowledge about Croatian indigenous varieties, many of which were represented at TEXSOM, and are obviously being well-received by the American judges. In addition, Americans while travelling to Croatia taste the local wines, so naturally there is an increased interest in continuing to sip them at home.”


The wineries and the awards are:

Judges’ Selection: Fakin Winery, Istria for Malvasia Istriana 2020
Rizman Winery, Komarna for Tribidrag 2017 (aka Zinfandel)
Saints Hills, Komarna for Black Plavac Mali 2017 and Posh Pošip Sv. Ante 2019
Terra Madre Winery, Komarna for Plavac Mali Barrique 2016
Black Island Winery, Korčula for Merga Victa Pošip 2019
Saints Hills, Komarna for St. Roko Plavac Mali 2016 & Mala Nevina 2021
Testament Winery, Šibenik for the Dalmatian Dog Babić 2017

“We are honored that our Malvasia Istriana is awarded The Judges’ Selection at TEXSOM, and it is a great confirmation that our work with this local variety, with already high reputation in Europe, has finally crossed the ocean and affirmed its standing in the United States,” said Marko Fakin, owner, and winemaker of Fakin Winery, Motovun, Istria. “Croatian winemaking is at its best, and we invite American judges and sommeliers to get familiar with many indigenous varieties from all Croatian wine regions.”

TEXSOM Awards is applauded for its ability to differentiate quality and offer judging consistency year on year and as being the most selective, by The Journal of Wine Economics. The summation is that the high level of judges, their broad experience and global perspective, leads to a more selective, and more meaningful, medal distribution. Details on results:

About 2022 TEXSOM Awards

TEXSOM Awards and TEXSOM Retreat are a community making the event -- with 40 judges, 29 TEXSOM Retreat members, 75 production team members, and 2,036 total entries, the 2022 Awards became one of the most dynamic in the history of the competition. TEXSOM Awards arranges award entries by category of beverage, place of origin, and type. Medals are awarded on a merit basis as bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and Judges’ Selection. Of the entries judged, the judges awarded 1,541 medals: 70 Judges’ Selection medals, 70 Platinum medals, 91 Gold medals, 608 Silver medals, and 702 Bronze medals.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

KLM Croatia Capacity Boosted in July, Norwegian Zagreb Route Resumes, Trade Air Delayed

July 29, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as KLM Croatia capacity has been boosted to Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, Norwegian resumes its Zagreb route, and Trade Air pushes back operations until July 18. 

Dutch national airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has significantly increased its capacity to three Croatian airports in July - Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, reports Croatian Aviation

KLM will continue to operate twice a day between Zagreb and Amsterdam in July, but there will be a significant increase in capacity. Namely, until now, E190 aircraft operated between the two cities, but now B737-700 and B737-800 aircraft will operate on two daily flights. Namely, E190 aircraft has a capacity of 100 seats, while Boeing family aircraft have 132 and 186 seats, respectively.

While the number of weekly operations between Zagreb and Amsterdam will remain the same, the number of weekly flights will increase to Dubrovnik Airport.

Namely, until now, KLM has operated on this route only on Saturdays and Sundays since the beginning of the summer flight schedule, but from the beginning of July, this line will be in daily traffic, also with B737-800 aircraft.

KLM already operates to Split on a daily basis, but on weekdays mainly with the Embraer fleet. From the beginning of July, B737-800 and B737-700 aircraft will operate between the two cities, and the number of daily flights will increase from one to two or even three daily flights.

The Dutch carrier will have six daily flights to three Croatian airports in July, offering a wide network of connections through its hub in Amsterdam.

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that well-known low-cost airline Norwegian resumed traffic on the regular seasonal route between Copenhagen and Zagreb on June 25, which had been suspended since the 2019 summer flight schedule.

On this seasonal line, the only one on which Norwegian currently operates to Zagreb, two flights a week are available, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, until mid-August.

Namely, the last flight is planned for Saturday, August 13, so this airline will offer a total of 18 return flights between the two cities this summer, ie 6,048 seats in both directions on its B737-800 aircraft.

Interestingly, one A320 aircraft of the Croatian private airline, Trade Air, is currently leased for this well-known low-cost carrier, but it is based in Stockholm, so it is unlikely that it will fly to Zagreb Airport this summer under the Norwegian flight number.

On the regular route between Copenhagen and Zagreb, the Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines, operates throughout the year, and in the summer flight schedule, Croatia also operates on the regular route between Copenhagen and Split, three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Although the competent Ministry announced that Croatia Airlines and Trade Air will operate on domestic PSO routes in the next four years, with operations on domestic routes at the beginning of July, this will not happen, reports Croatian Aviation

Trade Air announced on its official website that domestic PSO flights will not be established until July 18 this year. Namely, earlier on the carrier's website, there was information that flights are expected from this Friday, July 1, but that will not happen.

The new information states that Trade Air will re-establish PSO routes from July 18 this year, with sales open only from July 8, and that further information will be published on the official website and social networks of the airline.

As a reminder, this summer Trade Air should operate on the following routes:

Osijek - Zagreb - Osijek,

Osijek - Pula - Split - Pula - Osijek,

Osijek - Rijeka - Osijek,

Rijeka - Split - Dubrovnik - Split - Rijeka,

Osijek - Zadar - Osijek, and

Rijeka - Zadar - Rijeka.

The number of weekly frequencies remains the same as in the previous four-year period, except for the lines between Osijek and Zadar and Rijeka and Zadar, which will be in traffic once a week.

Although the number of weekly flights will remain the same, the capacity will increase significantly as the Saab340 aircraft with a capacity of 34 seats will operate on the routes instead of the Turbolet L410 (19-seat capacity).

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Architect Igor Ekstajn Proposes Idea for Zagreb Waste Based on US City

June the 29th, 2022 - Respected architect Igor Ekstajn has come up with an innovative idea with which we might solve the City of Zagreb's continuing issues with waste removal and disposal - all based on an American city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, architect Igor Ekstajn recently spoke about the continuing waste problems being faced by the the City of Zagreb during an episode of N1 Newsnight. He commented on how the problem of waste disposal in Zagreb could be solved based on the American city of Boston's model.

“The most elegant solution is for us not to simply let this rubbish pile up in public spaces: many of the City of Zagreb's buildings have been designed to have waste disposal rooms on the ground floor (in the basement). Family houses have gardens attached to them where rubbish containers can be stored. The principle is that this rubbish is then sorted and separated on the plot of a residential building or house, and then is collected at a certain time when Cistoca (the communal service company responsible for waste removal) will come and pick up the rubbish to take it away, I think that is the most elegant way to deal with this. That way, there's no presence of these containers and as such, rubbish, in the city's public spaces,'' architect Igor Ekstajn explained.

The local Zagreb Government has postponed the implementation of a new waste separation model, and Ekstajn commented that waste collection is regulated in Boston.

“In Boston, buildings have rooms on the ground floor/basement where the rubbish is separated. The manager of the building is obliged to take the containers out onto the street once a week and then the binmen come and pick up the containers,'' said the architect.

He also commented on the possible construction of social housing in the City of Zagreb, stating that these residential buildings should not simply be built in the cheapest locations possible.

"This should be thought of as point construction in several different locations and thus the stigmatisation of people living in such apartments will be gradually eliminated. Secondly, the city will have a more even and better population structure,'' the architect explained, adding that Gredelj should be considered as a space with great potential.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Page 1 of 3604