Monday, 20 September 2021

More Than 1000 Workers Currently at Peljesac Bridge and Access Roads

September the 20th, 2021 - Works at the Peljesac bridge site, Croatia's most important stragetic project, are going at full speed as 1000 workers are busy finishing things off and dealing with the access roads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Peljesac bridge and access road construction site is as busy as ever. More than 1,000 workers are currently employed on this largest construction site in the Republic of Croatia. More precisely, according to Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads), Peljesac bridge and its access roads are being built by a total of 1,098 workers at this moment in time, and when technical and support staff are added, there will be a total of 1,277 people on the ground on site and in the nearby Mali Ston Bay, as reported by Vecernji list.

On the access roads themselves, (more precisely on the Duboka - Sparagovici section) work was being carried out on the wide excavation of the route all the way to the Kamenica tunnel. Between the Dumanja Jaruga bridges (I and II) and the Debeli brijeg tunnel, work is currently being done on the construction of an external drainage system, and on the Dumanja Jaruga I bridge, the construction of columns as well as the first segment of the span structure on pillar S1 has now been completed.

On the Dumanja Jaruga II bridge, two segments of the span structure were constructed with the help of a cage, and the foundation was concreted on the S1 pillar. At the Zaradeza junction, excavation works are underway for the future Zaradeza traffic control centre, where walls, horizontal and vertical circles are currently being built. In the Debeli Brijeg tunnel (1424 metres in length), which was breached back in December, works on the construction of waterproofing, reprofiling and sub-concrete are continuing. A total of 296 workers are engaged on this section of the access roads, of which 61 are technical staff.

On the Ston bypass and the Sparagovici - Papratno - Doli road section, among other things, all segments have been drawn up on the Prapratno viaduct. Works on the steel structure and AKZ are also now in progress. The excavation of the Polakovica tunnel (1242 metres) has been completed, and a wide full profile excavation is now being carried out. The Supava tunnel (1290 metres) also now breaks through on two sides (and entrance and an exit).

On the Ston bridge (485 metres), reinforced concrete works on the head of the S5 pillar have now been completed. Reinforced concrete works on the construction of the pillar of the S3 pillar are in progress. The reinforced concrete foundation of the S4 staircase has been completed and reinforced concrete works on the construction of the pillar of the S4 staircase are in progress. Works on the head of the pillar of the S2 pillar and reinforced concrete works on the abutments of the Ston U1 and U7 bridges are in progress and the second phase of the wall and wings of the U7 abutment has been completed. A total of 330 workers are engaged in various jobs on the Peljesac bridge construction site, along with 33 members of the technical and administrative staff.

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

Monday, 20 September 2021

Dubrovnik, Varazdin the Winners at Zagreb Burger Festival 2021

September 20, 2021 - 10 days of burger heaven comes to an end with the top prizes at the Zagreb Burger Festival 2021 taken by visiting chefs from other parts of Croatia.

Now in its sixth year, the Zagreb Burger Festival 2021 sported a new location and several new participants, in addition to old friends, as the Croatian capital showcased the diversity and excellence of the Croatian burger scene. What was once a fairly standard product has expanded considerably in recent years, with all kinds of innovation to the traditional burger concept. 

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This year's event was a considerable sales success for the participants, some of whom reported record sales over the 10 days, as the event took place in a new and very relaxed location in Franje Tudjman Park, a short walk west of the centre. 

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In addition to the excellent burgers and live music, one of the most eagerly-awaited moments of the festival is the award ceremony for the best burger. This has become a prestigious award over the years, as more attention is paid to quality burgers. The Zagreb Burger Festival is the leading burger festival in the region, but there are several others which have debuted since its inception. 

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This year's winner travelled the furthest to be in Zagreb. Marko Bautovic of Guloso in Dubrovnik, was a first-time participant, and he walked away with the Zagreb Burger Festival 2021 gold.  

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Silver went to the impressive Reshetka International from Varazdin, one of the stars in recent years. The 2021 silver medal hangs next to bronze (2018), silver (2020), and gold (2019). It has been an award-winning year for the Reshetka burgers, which also took silver at the recent Belgrade Burger Festival, followed by gold in Siroki Brijeg in Hercegovina. 

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There was also a local presence on the podium, as The Burger Bar in Zagreb took the bronze. 

The new location at Franje Tudjman Square worked well, with plenty of space in the park for the kids to run around, as well as various play facilties, while the adults chatted with friends over a beer and burger. A great event, and one which is a strong addition to Zagreb's growing culinary reputation and calendar. 

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Want to learn more about the Croatian capital? Check out the TC Zagreb in a Page guide.  

Monday, 20 September 2021

Luka Modrić Returns for Croatia's October World Cup Qualifiers

September 20, 2021 - Captain Luka Modrić returns for Croatia's October World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia.

The Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić invited 24 players, with six call-ups, to the qualifying matches against Cyprus and Slovakia in October, reports HNS.

After a very successful September, sitting at the top of the group with seven points in three games, the Croatia national team awaits the continuation of the European qualifications for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Croatia will play in Larnaca near Cyprus on October 8, and then they will host Slovakia on October 11 in Osijek.

The national team will gather on October 4 in Zagreb, where they will train until October 7 and then travel to Larnaca. They will travel to Osijek immediately after the match against Cyprus.

After missing the September qualifying campaign due to injury, Dalić's player list is again led by captain Luka Modrić.

"After a successful September, of course, we now welcome the new gathering with a lot of optimism, positive energy, and confidence. However, we must be aware that all the good we have done must now be confirmed with six more points and that we can only do so with the full concentration, approach, and togetherness we had at the last gathering. We have already beaten Cyprus and Slovakia in this cycle, and we accept the role of favorites in both games, but I repeat - we must be at our maximum. I am convinced that the invited players will successfully respond to this challenge, and of course, we are especially pleased with the return of Luka Modrić, who as a player and leader is of inestimable importance to us," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

List of players for Cyprus and Slovakia:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Ivušić (Osijek), Ivo Grbić (Lille).

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Borna Barišić (Glasgow Rangers), Josip Juranović (Celtic), Mile Škorić (Osijek), Filip Uremović (Rubin Kazan), Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Josip Stanišić (Bayern).

Midfielders : Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta), Nikola Vlašić (West Ham), Luka Ivanušec (Dinamo Zagreb), Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Josip Brekalo (Torino), Mislav Oršić (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (Hajduk).

Callups: Duje Ćaleta-Car (Olimpique de Marseille), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Antonio Mirko Čolak (Malmö), Simon Sluga (Luton Town), Kristijan Lovrić (Gorica), Nikola Moro (Dinamo Moskva).

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Stari Grad Through the Lens of a Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Holder

September 6, 2021 - Digital nomads give back to communities in various ways. The sixth in a new series on TCN, following the lens of Steve Tsentserensky, one of the early recipients of the Croatian digital nomad permit. Where better to continue than gorgeous Stari Grad on Hvar?

One of the discussions in Croatia these days surrounds digital nomads. What EXACTLY does Croatia get from digital nomads, especially if they do not have to pay income tax locally with the 12-month permit?

It is a classic Croatian tourism short-term mindset, which has become sadly familiar over the decade I have been writing about the subject. 

For me, there are three key wins for Croatia - and they all cost nothing.

1. Permit holders may not pay tax, but they are spending on rent, food, drink, entertainment once they leave their virtual office. Think of them as long-stay tourists if you will. I never heard of anyone here complaining about tourists spending here.

2. The mindset. This, to me, is one of the most exciting aspects of the digital nomad era. People with fresh ideas, different experiences, stimulating lifestyles. If they are moving to Croatia because it is so great, perhaps Croatia has something to offer, rather than the sad path of emigration. 

3. The fabulous free promo from digital nomads, clearly in love with this beautiful country. They decided to come, love what they find, and want to tell the world how amazing Croatia is - through blogs, Instagram posts and various other forms of social media. Kind of like the national tourist board's job if you like. Only better. 

This series will focus on the last point, the fantastic free promotion of Croatia by these longer term visitors. TCN is thoroughly enjoying our working partnership with one of the early recipients of the digital nomad permit. Steve Tsentserensky from Ohio. Steve first came to my attention with this fabulous video of Zagreb.

We are big fans of Steve's work, and we met recently over a beer or three in Zagreb. Steve will be travelling around the country over the next 12 months (actually, we think a little longer) documenting Croatia through his lens. We thought it would make a nice feature on the site, as well as showing how just one nomad with the permit is spreading the word about this beautiful country, so that others may see and come. 

And so continues our new series - Croatia through the lens of a Croatian digital nomad permit holder, this time in Stari Grad on Hvar.

You can follow Steve on Instagram, where he picked up over 2,000 new followers recently, after his CNBC News video about the Croatian digital nomad lifestyle went viral. Check it out above..

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Monday, 20 September 2021

Boranka is Back: Europe's Largest Volunteer Afforestation Action Tackles 2017 Split Fire Area

September 20, 2021 - Boranka is back! Europe's largest afforestation action launched its fourth season last weekend by tackling the 2017 Split fire area, particularly Korešnica.

The largest European volunteer afforestation action, the popular 'Boranka,' started its fourth season on Saturday in Split's Korešnica area, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The Croatian Scout Association, Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, and the Split Scout Association, as the main organizers of the 'Boranka' campaign, kicked off new afforestation actions in Dalmatia. Hundreds of volunteers afforested the area that was destroyed in the 2017 fire.

The scouts of the Split Scout Association and the Spinut Seafarers' Scout Detachment, along with other citizens, were joined in the first afforestation this year by students and teachers of the School of Crafts and the School of Science in Split.

The organizers provided all volunteers with free transportation to and from the afforestation site, seedlings, protective equipment, planting tools, drinking water, sandwiches, and fruit.

 

Afforestation actions will be held every Saturday for the next five Saturdays, ending on Saturday, October 16, in the settlements of Donje Sitno and Žrnovnica.

In the following actions, mountaineers, athletes, HGSS volunteers, students and professors of Split faculties, members of the Croatian Navy, employees of sponsoring companies, and many other citizens will attend the afforestation actions.

The scouts, who initiated the 'Boranka' campaign in 2018 and gathered more than 7,300 volunteers, announced the continuation of 'Boranka' through educational actions through schools and other nature protection activities that will follow soon.

"We are sincerely grateful to every volunteer who joined us and helped return the forests after the Dalmatian fires. With the help of all of them, 'Boranka' is today the largest afforestation action for fires in the whole of Europe and one of the most recognized examples of good practice in caring for nature.

In addition to afforestation actions, our volunteers will irrigate the planted seedlings organized from next week to survive the dry period and heat, which in Split usually lasts until the end of October.

We started watering the seedlings with the help of the European Solidarity Forces and Croatian Forests last year. It turned out that the probability of seedling survival rises to as much as 90 percent, which is phenomenal.

In addition, we will soon start educational workshops in schools to teach children and young people about the importance of forests and the effects of climate change," announced Dan Špicer, business director of the Croatian Scout Association and the primary campaign coordinator of Boranka.

Croatian Forests, which provide seedlings and other planting material, greatly help scouts and other volunteers, and their experts educate volunteers and supervise the planting itself. HGSS volunteers are the primary logistical support in the afforestation.

The Directorate of Civil Protection provides tools and equipment for planting and other logistics. In addition, the City of Split provides free transportation by bus, and Red Cross volunteers are available in case of an accident.

Boranka has been supported for years by the European Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of Canada, UHDDR, the IMAGO agency, and the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

This year, the main sponsors, symbolically called the Main WINNERS, are Raiffeisen Bank, Radenska Adriatic, and Henkel.

A new afforestation action will take place next Saturday, September 25, in the Split settlement of Donje Sitno, above the Church of the Holy Trinity.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 September 2021

HNL Round 9 Recap: Hajduk-Dinamo Postponed, Osijek Tops Gorica in Dramatic Finish

September 20, 2021 - The 9th round of the Croatian First League was held from September 17 to 19, 2021. The 'Eternal Derby' between Hajduk and Dinamo at Poljud was postponed due to Dinamo's Europa League schedule, while Osijek's late-winner against Gorica saw the match end 3:2 at City Garden. Here is our HNL Round 9 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Rijeka (2:2)

Dragovoljac and Rijeka opened the 9th round in Zagreb on Friday, September 17, 2021, in front of 420 spectators. 

Petković and Majstorović shocked Rijeka with a 2:0 lead by the 36th minute. Ampem got a goal back for Rijeka in the 57th minute for 2:1, and Pavičić equalized 3 minutes later for 2:2. Vuckic's goal was called offside in the final minute of regulation time, so the match ended in a draw. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in last place with 5 points, while Rijeka is in 1st with 17 points (and one game less).

Slaven Belupo v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Belupo and Istra met in Koprivnica on Saturday, September 18, 2021. 

The first half went without goals but saw Navarro receive a red card, forcing Istra to play with a man down from the 41st minute. Krstanovic scored a penalty at the start of the second half for the Belupo lead, but Perkovic equalized in the 5th minute of injury time for 1:1. 

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 6 points, while Istra is in 8th with 7 (and one game less). 

Šibenik v. Lokomotiva (2:1)

Šibenik and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, September 18, 2021, in Šibenik. 

Marin scored in the 5th minute for the early Šibenik lead, though Dabro scored a penalty in the 28th minute for 1:1 at the half. Marin scored his second goal of the match in the 77th minute for the 2:1 Šibenik win. 

 

Šibenik is currently in 7th place with 10 points, while Lokomotiva is in 6th with 11 (and one game less).

Osijek v. Gorica (3:2)

Osijek and Gorica closed out the 9th round at City Garden Stadium on Sunday, September 19, 2021. 

Kalik gave Gorica the lead in the 29th minute. Daku didn't equalize for Osijek until the 75th. Brodic put Gorica back in the lead 6 minutes later, and Daku equalized again for 2:2 in the 84th minute. Loncar gave Osijek the late-game winner in the 3rd minute of injury time for a final score of 3:2. 

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 17 points, while Gorica is in 5th with 13. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 20 September 2021

VetHealth is Croatian Dermocosmetic Product for Animals Without THC

September the 20th, 2021 - Back during the very warm final days of August this year, oil with CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) intended for the treatment of animals was presented. Meet an interesting Croatian dermocosmetic product - VetHealth.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the producers are the Istrian veterinarian Igor Bencic and the company Canna Trade from Porec, led by Karlo Kovacic. This oil is a registered Croatian dermocosmetic product, is vegan, laboratory tested, free of gluten and other allergens, and it's even free of THC (psychoactive substance from hemp).

"Given that we've been following research in the field of cannabis and cannabinoids for years now, and we cooperate with companies that engage in that research, it wasn't difficult to determine the direction in which we wanted to go in,'' said project manager Andrea Gudac.

While all are concentrated on the so-called ''full spectrum oil'' whose products contain a hemp extract which then dissolves in the base of another oil (such as that from olives), they opted for what's known as broad spectrum.

“VetHealth is broad spectrum where the exact amount of certain cannabinoids is put into the base to make the composition of the product as reliable as possible. While full spectrum contains up to 0.2 percent THC, vroad spectrum lacks it, meaning that it's actually THC free. VetHealth is currently the only broad spectrum in Croatia, with 8, 16 and 24 percent cannabidiol and cannabigerol.

Igor Bencic participated in the formulation of the product, and he has also participated in the VetHealth project from the very beginning and understood the benefits of cannabinoids properly. Thus, he is the first veterinarian in all of Croatia to introduce broad spectrum into complete therapy in animals,'' explained Gudac.

VetHealth as a product in the distribution part was taken over by Phoenix Pharmacy, one of the largest veterinary wholesalers, and in cooperation with them, they're also educating veterinarians on how best to determine therapies.

Oil n More is a cosmetic part of the story of the manufacturer Canna Trade, more precisely oil with CBD intended for the beauty world. After several well-known brands introduced creams, lotions, toothpastes with hemp, they realised that something that really contains CBD is missing.

“If we need something for an animal's claws, and we need to prevent a problem, then we'll put something out onto the market which does actually help, and not just nurture. In addition to nourishing the claws, it's great for massaging the paws and is effective in combating fungus. Our oil contains exclusively organic and raw materials, and it is produced according to the GMP standard, which means that it is completely safe for human use as well,'' explained Gudac.

They are present here on the Croatian market, and are in negotiations to expand further to Europe - Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. Both products are made in Croatia, and the raw material is procured exclusively organic and certified by an authorised distributor.

"So far, we aren't able to buy raw materials in Croatia, but we hope that the new regulations will soon allow us to do something like that. The VetHealth project already required a large investment, and the process itself took a year and a half. Oil n More is a newer project and has just seen the light of day, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have big plans for it. That's followed by additional facial care products after eyebrow and eyelash treatment, followed by a nourishing cream.

Work on the new line is an investment that will run through 2021 and 2022, and in addition to product placement, we want to focus on education, and this includes lectures, but also congresses for the veterinary profession,'' stated Andrea Gudac.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Pekara Dubravica Boasts 35 Bakeries, Not Considering Exports

September the 20th, 2021 - The popular Pekara Dubravica bakery chain, which came from very humble beginnings, has done excellently despite the coronavirus pandemic and the dire economic consequences it has had on the domestic and global economy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, over the past several months, we've witnessed a great growth of the bakery/baked goods market across the Republic of Croatia, which has generally been accompanied by a large number of newly opened bakeries from both small businesses and larger bakery chains.

One of the serious players on the market, at least in the area of ​​the City of Zagreb and its surroundings, is Pekara Dubravica, which has a chain of 35 bakeries in Zagreb, Zapresic and Zabok and employs as many as 429 people.

Over more recent days, this family company, headed by Damir, Franjo and Krunoslav Mikelec, has been celebrating its 60th anniversary. From a small business much like any other, the Pekara Dubravica bakery company has become a very well known Croatia brand that annually earns a massive 156 million kuna, which is much as they had in the record 2019, while last year, due to the pandemic, their income dropped significantly.

They state from Pekara Dubravica that large stores have definitely become significant competition due to the very low prices of their baked products that they struggle to compete with.

"Most of these products are frozen and are imported. When we talk about the bread we bake every day and use large amounts of sourdough for it, the quality of our bread is incomparably higher. We don't import any of our baked products that we place in our bakeries, all our products are from our own production. Twenty years ago, we opened our first branches on the market, and at that time there were no retail chains like we have today, nor were there shopping centres like the ones we have today. Markets the place to get together and to shop. Today, that trend has changed drastically and it's very important for retail chains to attract everyday customers, and they do so in part through the very low prices of bread and other baked products,'' they explained from Pekara Dubravica.

Although in the past, some players from this demanding market have embarked on a large export or franchise expansion, Pekara Dubravica says that they are focused on their own branches, they don't have that in mind, and wholesale makes them a very small share of their overall revenue.

“Logistics and operations are very different whether we do retail or wholesale. We've arranged our business in such a way that we don't have large storage capacities and we don't have any plans to export, nor to open franchises or our own branches abroad.

Our production is specific, we have a lot of manual work which takes place in production, as well as finishing in the offices where a large part of our products are baked. Basically only bread and some small pastries are actually baked in production.

We'll continue to keep going in the same direction and we've got no plans to expand to foreign markets,'' they pointed out from this well known Zagreb company. As their main customers are people going to work, school or tourists, the pandemic has dealt them a considerable blow and they admit that 2020 was especially difficult for them.

"In that year, we had a drop in turnover of 21.1 percent and a drop in the number of customers of 28.5 percent. Our number of customers decreased because people worked en masse from home or didn't go to work at all, the schools were closed, there were no tourists and all of this affected our business. At the same time, the earthquake led to a large number of people from the city centre leaving, and this also affected our business. We managed to save jobs, and that was the most important thing for us at that moment,'' they stated from Pekara Dubravica.

They announced that their plan in the upcoming period is to maintain their good level of recognition and insist on product quality, innovation and freshness. For now, they explained, they're going to remain in the wider Zagreb area and are working on opening new bakeries with planned dynamics of 1-2 new ones per year.

For more, follow our business section.

Monday, 20 September 2021

More Than 1.2 Million Rubbish Containers Placed in Croatian Locations

September the 20th, 2021 - 407 Croatian locations (cities and municipalities) received containers for separate waste collection from households that were procured and distributed through the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency recently.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/PD and VL native tim writes, to be more precise, Croatian locations received 1,230,695 various bins and containers of various volumes for the separate collection of paper, plastic, biowaste and other recyclable waste.

The containers were procured as part of a project with a total investment of around 370 million kuna, and the vast majority of this amount was provided through EU funds through the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

“Logistically speaking, this was a very demanding project. After the public procurement procedure was carried out and contracts were signed with the selected bidders, a schedule of activities was made and deadlines for their execution were agreed.

In the Environmental Protection Sector, several teams have been formed that have been on the ground almost every day for the past six months and in constant communication with representatives of local governments, utilities and suppliers,'' explained Aleksandra Cilic, pointing out that despite all of the unprecedented challenges the coronavirus pandemic and the earthquake presented, this project has been successfully implemented on time.

She added that they also had the professional support of other sectors and services from within the same fund, which took on a lot of work and without whose help this project couldn't have been successfully implemented.

"Now that almost every household will have the proper containers for separate waste collection, no one will have an alibi or an excuse not to do so," said Cilic.

The rate of separate waste collection from Croatia is encouragingly growing from year to year. According to the data for last year, it amounted to 41 percent, and it is to be expected that the result for this year will be even better with this newly purchased and distributed communal infrastructure.

According to Cilic, the number of Croatian household properly separating their household waste will certainly grow, but education at all levels is crucial - from utility companies engaged in the processes involved to regular citizens.

"This summer, a video of an Italian tourist who wanted to throw his plastic packaging in the designated waste container spread across social media, but after he lifted the lid, he was unpleasantly surprised when he saw that all the waste had ended up being placed in the same bag. Unfortunately, such a reckless practice of some utility companies puts a dampener on all the efforts made to establish a waste management system and it undermines public confidence in the same system,'' stated Cilic.

Regardless of such isolated cases, it is crucial that people collect and dispose of their waste separately because all useful components, especially paper, plastic, glass and bio-waste are all properly recycled or composted. It is therefore necessary to transform a take-use-discard linear economy into a true circular economy, which is why thinking about sustainable circular systems needs to be implemented across all activities and sectors, including policies, products, production processes and business models. Education and public information play a key role in all this, and many Croatian locations now having the proper means should mean there can be no more excuses.

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

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Associations Say National COVID Team Unjust Towards Night Clubs, Bars

ZAGREB, 19 Sept, 2021 - The Voice of Entrepreneurs and the Night Clubs and Bars Association say it is pointless that night clubs and bars are not allowed to stay open after midnight and that this decision by the national COVID-19 crisis management team is unjust, notably now that almost all of the EU has lifted restrictions on them.

Night clubs and bars have paid the highest price of the pandemic, the two associations said in a press release on Sunday.

The national team is not considering allowing night clubs to stay open without restrictions, provided that COVID rules are complied with, as though they are the only ones to blame for the insufficient vaccination rate in Croatia and rise in infections, the statement said.

The associations said that if night clubs were allowed to operate indoors without restrictions, with the use of COVID certificates, that might encourage young people to get vaccinated.

By ignoring the constitutional right to work, the activity of night clubs and the hundreds of night club owners and their families are being marginalised, the press release said.

Despite the government's job-retention aid and compensation for fixed costs, night club and bar owners cannot avoid closures and bankruptcies, it added.

Every individual must take responsibility for their health, the associations said, adding that by not allowing night clubs and bars to work in order to protect people who refused to get vaccinated, the national COVID team was bringing into question the purpose of vaccination.

They said they had not worked for 18 months and asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to try and live nine months without pay.

They told the national team to immediately open night clubs and bars, provided that COVID rules were complied with, or take responsibility for the ruin of the entertainment industry.

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