Thursday, 12 May 2022

Hundreds Protest In Zagreb For Pregnancy Termination To Be Available

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - Hundreds of citizens, mostly women, rallied in Zagreb's main square on Thursday to protest against the "destruction of public health and neglecting women's health," and to demand that legal, available and safe pregnancy termination be guaranteed.

Protesters carried banners which read "A woman is not an incubator", "Mistress of my own body", "A woman's toughest decision is not yours", "No more denying medical procedures", "No more clericalism in gynecology clinics", "No more women-hating gynecologists" and "No more unavailable health".

The protest was held in solidarity with Mirela Čavajda, whom a Zagreb hospital's second-instance commission allowed to terminate her pregnancy for medical reasons only after she went public with her case.

It was organised by several NGOs which demand that the government and the Health Ministry make sure that pregnancy termination is available in public health.

According to a survey by the gender equality ombudsman, 59% of Croatian doctors are conscientious objectors.

The NGOs demand the urgent adoption of protocols that will guarantee the availability of pregnancy termination and the publication of the names of doctors who are conscientious objectors as well as information on which hospitals in Croatia perform the procedure.

The demands have been signed by more than 100 civil society organisations.

Deputy Prime Minister Anja Šimpraga attended the protest, telling the press that she came first of all as a woman, but also as a politician who wanted to take responsibility so that everyone in society would act responsibly and apply the law.

The 1978 abortion law which is in force is not the most liberal one nor the most rigid, but it should be updated so that cases like Čavajda's do not happen again, she said, adding that the premier and the ministers have said a lot on this issue. "Therefore, let us do our part."

Asked if the incumbent government, too, was responsible for the fact that hospitals do not provide the services they should, Šimpraga did not say, adding that it is necessary to insist on making healthcare equally available in Zagreb and undeveloped parts of the country. "And we will work on that."

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Marić: HRK 75 Million In Budget Revision To Procure Gas

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Thursday that the budget revision proposal for this year envisages HRK 75 million for gas supplies, but that that item is "open," adding that the revision should be sufficient until the technical revision usually done at the end of the year.

Answering reporters' questions, Marić said that "HRK 75 million has been secured for gas procurement, which isn't a big amount but that item is still open and a redistribution of funds is still possible."

When it comes to guarantees, the total amount is about HRK 1 billion, said Marić, adding that the model for securing gas supplies for next season will be presented when it is finalised.

He said that the objective is to find a model that will secure adequate filling of storage capacity and ensure everything that is necessary for the next heating season and that the relevant ministries, Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as representatives of gas suppliers are working out the model.

Asked if that meant that the state would be involved in supplying gas and filling storage facilities, Marić answered affirmatively, confirming that that implied cooperation between the state and the HEP state-owned electricity provider.

On Saturday, Marić said that in normal circumstances the period between two heating seasons is used to fill gas storage facilities. However, in the current disrupted circumstances and given the exceptionally high price of gas, small gas suppliers can hardly cope with it financially, he said then.

Budget revision will be sufficient until technical review at the end of the year

Marić said that the current budget revision should be sufficient until the end of the year.

"At the end of the year... we have a technical budget revision which in fact just states the situation with budget revenue and expenditure. If in the meantime... some significant deviation occurs, we will have to be prepared for it, however, this revision should be sufficient until the end of the year, until the technical review," he said.

Presenting the budget revision at the cabinet meeting on Thursday, Marić said that the guarantee reserve had been increased as one guarantee had been protested. Asked which guarantee it was, he said that VTB Bank had protested a guarantee for Brodosplit amounting to €32 million.

For more, check out our politics section.

 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

KBC Zagreb Says Has Informed Čavajda Of Available Pregnancy Termination Procedure

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - The KBC Zagreb hospital said on Thursday that it informed Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old woman whose pregnancy termination request was approved on Wednesday, about the pregnancy termination procedure available at the city's Women's Diseases and Maternity Hospital, but that she refused it.

"Doctors - a gynaecologist and a pediatrician specialising in neonatology - have provided Mrs Čavajda with information regarding the method of pregnancy termination that is available at the Women's Diseases and Maternity Hospital (induction of premature labour), which she refused," KBC Zagreb said in response to a query from Hina.

A second-instance commission at KBC Zagreb on Wednesday approved pregnancy termination for Čavajda based on medical indications and her attorney Vanja Jurić said that Mirela and her family had decided to go to a hospital in Ljubljana to have the procedure.

Jurić stressed that the Zagreb hospital could not provide Čavajda with care pursuant to the decision of the second-instance commission and provisions of the law on abortion.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

PM: Problem With Energy Crisis is Nobody Knows How Long it Will Last

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - Croatia has so far taken in 18,000 Ukrainian refugees and the problem with the current energy crisis caused by the Russian aggression is that it is not known how long it will last, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday addressing a conference of young European leaders.

"The problem with this crisis is that nobody knows how long it will last and instruments of control of energy product prices are weak," the PM said in his address at the European Young Leaders (EYL40) conference, speaking about the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"In fact, we do not have global mechanisms to control prices of energy products," he said, stressing that a common European solution to the crisis was necessary.

Unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected only a fragment of the population, elderly and at-risk groups, the energy crisis is affecting everyone because "99% of human activities" are connected to energy products, he said.

The Zagreb conference was attended by some 40 successful individuals from all around Europe - parliament members, business people, astrophysicists, athletes and artists, among others, including Sarajevo Mayor Benjamina Karić.

Speaking of the Russian aggression, Plenković said few people had expected it to happen and that it was interesting that intelligence data from Western allies had proven "completely precise."

The Russian attack has caused a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, with close to six million having left the country and 13 million having been internally displaced, and, together with the energy crisis, it has caused wider political instability, Plenković said.

"We do not know if the aggression on Ukraine will be the only or the last aggression," he warned, mentioning in that context developments so far in the east of Europe, notably Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus.

He said that Zagreb's official position is one of full solidarity with Ukraine and that so far 18,000 Ukrainians had arrived in Croatia.  

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Croatia's Eurozone Accession Going As Planned, Lagarde Says

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde has said that Croatia's accession to the eurozone is going as planned.

Asked by a Slovenian Television reporter if the rising inflation in Europe, the war in Ukraine, and the general crisis could delay Croatia's accession, Lagarde said Croatia remained very committed to that goal.

If we have learnt anything by now, it is that such dedication and adaptability are the main principles leading to progress. Slovenia abided by that, too, constantly confirming it, and I think Croatia is working very hard to introduce the euro, she said.

It's wonderful that very soon probably, we will welcome Croatia as the 20th member state. In doing that, we will have to calculate data and facts and review everything. We will do that together with the European Commission, and the ECB will participate in that. For now, we see that everything is going as planned, said Lagarde.

She visited Slovenia for the 20th anniversary of the country's central bank as an independent monetary institution.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Foreign Ministry Says Ambassador Will Obey It As To NATO Entry Of Finland, Sweden

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Croatia's ambassador to NATO would obey its instructions in deciding on the admission of Finland and Sweden.

The ministry issued a statement after Minister Gordan Grlić Radman earlier today did not answer explicitly when asked by the press if the ambassador must obey the president or the ministry.

President Zoran Milanović wants Croatia to make the two countries' NATO accession conditional on changing the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the equality of Croats. Yesterday he said he would order Croatian Ambassador to NATO Mario Nobilo to veto enlargement if his condition was not met.

The government, on the other hand, supports the accession of Finland and Sweden unconditionally.

The permanent representative to NATO receives his instructions from the ministry, which is the usual procedure and will be so in this case also, the ministry said, adding that in the case of the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden, Nobilo will act in line with the ministry's instructions.

"He is in the service of protecting national interests, which are clear in this case. By enlarging NATO, we are strengthening our own security," the statement said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Croatia Registers 637 New COVID Cases, Seven Deaths

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - Croatia has recorded 637 new coronavirus cases and seven COVID-related deaths in the past 24 hours, and currently there are 4,781 active cases in the country, the national coronavirus response team reported on Thursday. 

There are 386 hospitalised patients, 17 of whom are on ventilators, and 2,348 people are self-isolating.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Croatia, a total of 1,129,836 COVID cases have been registered and 15,912 people have died as a consequence.

To date, a total of 4,828,304 tests have been conducted, including 4,231 in the past 24 hours.

As of 11 May, a total of 5,248,022 doses of a COVID vaccine have been administered and 59.50% of the total population has been inoculated or 70.77% of the adult population, including 68.71% of the adult population fully vaccinated. 

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

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Sponza Palace, Spectacular Setting to Open Dubrovnik's Work. Place. Culture.

May 12, 2022 - Last week's Work. Place. Culture. conference combined animated discussions on the remote work revolution with Dubrovnik's stylish and versatile conference settings. The first in a 4-part series looking at 4 incredible and very productive days - the opening night at Sponza Palace.  

There are few cities that do it better than Dubrovnik when it comes to putting on a how of heritage, beauty and hospitality, and so it proved again last week for the latest step the Pearl of the Adriatic is taking in its digital nomad story. 

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Having hosted the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia back in October 2020, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads, followed by the award-winning Digital Nomads-in-Residence program in April last year, the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, continued its cooperation with Saltwater Nomads and Total Croatia News, with additional support from the Croatian National Tourist Board, Digital Nomad Association Croatia, and Dubrovnik Heritage, with the Work. Place. Culture. conference. 

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(Sponza Palace, which hosted the opening night, sponsored by the Croatian National Tourist Board)

The 3-day event, which attracted a high-quality lineup of global speakers, including three of the top 10 LinkedIn voices on remote work, was chiefly held at Lazareti, but with other components dotted around the city, showcasing the beauty and magic of Croatia's most famous tourist destination, and allowing stimulating conversations to take place in relaxed environments. 

Having attended each day and watched attendees marvel at each setting, I thought an in-depth look not only at the conference but how the city's various locations and treasures can add to a conference appeal, was a topic worth exploring in depth. 

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(From left to right: Lucijana Jerkovic, Tanja Polegubic, Ana Hrnic, and Jelka Tepsic)

And how better to start than with a stroll down Stradun to be greeted by traditional guards at the entrance to Sponza Palace? Built in the 16th century in a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles, the inner courtyard is one of the city's most picturesque meeting points. 

The Croatian National Tourist Board sponsored the welcome party, with Head of Global PR, Lucijana Jerkovic, joining Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic, Dubrovnik Tourist Board director, Ana Hrnic, Digital Nomad Association Croatia President, Jan de Jong, and Saltwater Nomads CEO, Tanja Polegubic, welcoming delegates to the conference to the soothing tunes of an accompanying saxophone. Check out the atmosphere in the opening night video by Hashtag Content Agency. 

Some photos from the opening night:

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(Sally Bunnell, CEO of NaviSavi, who flew in from Nebraska, flanked by the marketing team from Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. NaviSavi won the 7-day Win a Workation competition at the luxury 5-star resort)

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(Part of the sizable team from Albania, who came to learn and network, ahead of the inaugural Tirana Nomad Festival in September. The Estonian Tourist Board, considered European leaders in the digital nomad story, are behind to the right.)

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(Dean Kuchel, self-proclaimed King of Digital Nomads, and a previous Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador, together with current Dubrovnik Digital Nomad Ambassadors, Yvette Pelgrom and Mandy Fransz)

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(When NaviSavi met Saltwater Nomads)

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A look at the first day of the conference, as well as more of Dubrovnik's picturesque conference settings, tomorrow. 

To learn more about the Work. Place. Culture. conference, visit the official website

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Green Future Conference Presented: Split to be Hub of Today's Most Important Topics in June

May 12, 2022 - In the atrium of the Croatian National Theater in Split, the Green Future Conference was officially presented, an international event held on June 8 and 9 at the Croatian National Theater in Split.

The Green Future conference will address the topic of green transition, one of the most attractive topics in the world of business, public policy, mobility, sustainability, finance, and every other sector and business. Over 40 foreign and domestic experts will attend the conference, who will try to bring this topic closer to those who will mark the coming years and explain how to adapt certain activities to the green transition quickly.

"Instead of going elsewhere to learn about some of today's most important topics, why not bring the best to our city? As a result, the idea was recognized not only by those living and doing business in Split but by large domestic and foreign tech companies. In addition, the idea was recognized by the European Commission, which is sending an ambassador for innovation, and Hajduk!

Incompatible? Absolutely compatible when so many great people and organizations come together with a good goal. I thank everyone who invested trust, knowledge, work, and energy in making the Green Future Conference happen in Split, and I invite you to be a part," said Antonija Eremut Erceg from the Organizing Committee of the Conference, whose importance is recognized by many stakeholders, sponsors, and partners who got involved.

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The Green Future conference, among others, is supported by the two largest Croatian tech companies, Rimac Group and Infobip.

"I am thrilled that the organizers recognized us as a strategic partner in this project. It is essential to emphasize such topics in the public and media space because a green future is what we all strive for. Apart from the fact that Rimac Technology is a partner of the Green Future conference, it is a special pleasure that Croatia will be presented in a modern and advanced light, and this conference will certainly occupy an important place on the world map of business events. As we are an active participant in the conference, in addition to other big names from the world of business globally, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a lecture by Roger Moorhouse, Powertrain Research Manager from Rimac Technology, who works with his team of experts to develop technological innovations in electric motors, for which the Rimac Group is known all over the world today. I believe that visitors will be delighted with the unique content in Split," said Miljenko Baković, product manager from Rimac Technology.

Although the process of green transition is a challenge for most, some companies have already recognized its importance and started implementation with the aim of a faster, more successful, and more profitable business.

"OTP banka has recognized the importance of sustainable financing and the challenges it poses to banks and non-financial companies. To this end, we are integrating ESG criteria into our strategy, and we have established a special department in the bank in charge of sustainable development. To soon feel the progress in sustainability and meet the requirements of the Green Plan, cooperation with all stakeholders is essential. The role of banks is to accelerate sustainable financing, for which we especially value data on company plans and insight into sustainability trends. The Green Future conference allows us to exchange practices and experiences and ask questions to which we do not yet have answers. Our President of the Management Board, Balázs Békeffy, will actively participate in the conference as a keynote speaker and member of the Management Board Zvonimir Akrap in the panel on sustainable financing. In addition, the Green Future conference will host several speakers with experience in policymaking, emphasizing mobility, and many other solutions used iin smart cities" said Silvija Bareša, Director of Corporate Communications of OTP banka d.d., the gold sponsor of the conference.

The City of Split is on the way to becoming a smart city in the complete sense of the word, which has already stepped in the direction of sustainability through the implementation of specific digital solutions.

"I am glad that we will have an international event in Split on a topic that changes our development and business strategies and daily choices for the better. The City of Split supports the Green Future Conference, and RaST will actively participate in the panel on smart cities. Oslo was the Green Capital of Europe in 2019. We want to know how they became it and what they learned from it. We brought Oslo to Split three years ago, to the conference from which Split's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan emerged together with the Strategy. Its implementation will require external sources of funding and changes in the habits of citizens," said Goran Batinić, Director of the Development Agency Split, on behalf of the City of Split.

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Conference participants have many years of experience in implementing smart and sustainable projects, ranging from transport to other digital solutions.

"Profico is a digital agency that markets its services mainly on foreign markets but has been one of the active creators of the local ecosystem for ten years. Starting from pioneering days in the startup community and co-organizing the Shift Startup conference to organizing numerous local events and training, we recognize green technologies as one of the new trends that we want to establish more strongly in the local community. That is why we joined the organization of this conference, which encourages the local community to think in the direction of new global trends and the development of globally applicable technologies," said Mateo Perak, director of Profico, one of the organizational partners of the conference.

The conference was also supported by Alijana Vukšić from the Split Tourist Board and Joško Stella from the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board and Split-Dalmatia County.

"Ever since the European Union gave guidelines for the green and digital transition, I have been thinking about how policymakers and private companies do not understand what this means and how a conference like this is needed to bring them closer, so this event helps us to bring it closer to the stakeholders who are important to us. I was very pleased with the news that the Green Future Conference is happening, and Split-Dalmatia County will stand behind it to the maximum, especially when we know that SDŽ is first in terms of solar energy in Croatia, first in planned solar and wind farms, and other renewable energy sources, and first in projects to restore the degraded coastal landscape. It is unique that something is happening at this level in Split, that we all learn something and share experiences," said Stipe Čogelja, Deputy Prefect of Split-Dalmatia County. 

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The Green Future conference is a climate-neutral event held under the auspices of the two largest Croatian technology companies, Rimac and Infobip. Gold sponsors are OTP banka, A1, and Bosch, while sponsors are Daikin, Končar, and E&Y. The friends of the conference are Daikin, Professio energia, and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, the City of Split and Hajduk. In addition, the conference is supported by Dwelt, Eutopia, GBC HUB, Croatian Green Building Council, Circuit, Business Psychology Lab, and the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Split. The organizational partners are Profico, Vajt, and Poduzetnik.

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

Thursday, 12 May 2022

VL: Over 7,000 Apply For Permission To Employ 50,000 Foreign Nationals

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - In the first four months of this year, over 7,000 companies asked the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) for permission to hire nearly 50,000 foreign nationals to work in 300 different occupations, the Večernji List daily said on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, around 84,000 foreign nationals were temporarily staying in Croatia in April, while about 10,000 had a permanent residence permit. They were mostly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Ukraine, China, Nepal, India and the Philippines.

The jobs they are hired for are traditionally in short supply in Croatia and concern construction, tourism and hospitality, and the metal industry.

Between 2,300 and 3,000 applications were for assistant cooks, maids, cooks and bricklayers, and between 1,000 and 2,000 were for welders, locksmiths, plasterers, waiters/waitresses and cleaners.

Gross wages paid by companies may not be lower than the minimum wage for 2022, the newspaper quoted the HZZ as saying. The net monthly wage for a young foreigner without dependants would be between HRK 4,000 (€530) and 4,800 (€640).

The construction sector pays an average net monthly wage of around HRK 6,000 (€800), and the situation in the tourism and hospitality industry is similar. Highly-skilled workers are paid a gross wage of between HRK 7,100 (€945) and 7,600 (€1,010).

"No wonder then that there is a shortage of workers," Večernji List said. "Foreigners being hired by domestic companies are increasingly coming from very poor Asian countries," it added.

Although it is possible that in addition to the net wage employers pay per diems, non-taxable compensation, cover the cost of board and lodging for foreign workers, which increases their income and drives up the hourly wage, all that is too little for anyone to feel secure. In this way employers cannot count on getting the necessary number of workers, and workers cannot meet their basic needs, says the article signed by Ljubica Gatarić.

For more, check out our politics section.

 

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