Thursday, 30 June 2022

Vlaka Bay Fire Breaks Out Near Hvar Island (VIDEO)

June 30, 2022 - The Vlaka Bay fire broke out this morning just before 9 am. Around 25 firefighters and two Canadairs are at the scene. 

Boats sailing around Hvar this morning noticed a fire in Vlaka Bay, on the Pakleni Islands, not far from Hvar Island. Thick smoke billowed over the middle of the bay, reports Jutarnji List.

 

The first report of the fire arrived at 8:47 am. The dense pine forest, low vegetation, and grass are burning. There are 25 firefighters from the Voluntary Fire Brigade (DVD) Hvar on the ground, and two Canadairs came to their aid. Although it is burning near houses, they are not currently endangered.

The fire is high on the hill, and it is partly difficult to access, which is why two Canadairs came to the aid of firefighters, said the duty officer of DVD Hvar. 

"Around three hectares have burned. We hope that the Canadairs will solve the majority of the fire this morning. There is no threat to people and facilities," said DVD Hvar.

According to first-hand accounts, the southerly jugo wind had turned the fire to the north side of the island instead of closer to the restaurants in the bay.

Vlaka Bay on the island of Sv. Klement is a traditional Hvar resort with several restaurants in a small village where there is a church from the 14th century dedicated to Sv. Klement. There are also Roman dwellings in the area as well as Illyrian mounds. 

More soon...

For more news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 30 June 2022

2023 Croatia Summer Flight Schedule to Kick Off with New Schengen Rules

June 30, 2022 - Border controls should be lifted at Croatian airports from March 26, 2023, as Croatia becomes part of the single Schengen area. This means that the 2023 Croatia summer flight schedule will kick off with new rules. 

When the Republic of Croatia becomes part of the single Schengen area on January 1 next year, travel from or to Croatian airports will be significantly easier, writes Croatian Aviation

On Wednesday, the EU Council proposed that border controls at Croatia's land and sea borders with Schengen countries be abolished from January 1, 2023, and at airports from March 26 next year. Thus, at the beginning of the new year, Croatia should become a member of the Schengen area, which will simplify travel to and from Croatian airports.

If all goes well, border controls will be lifted on January 1 at seaports and road border crossings, while the same should take effect on March 26 at all Croatian airports.

Namely, with the stated date, the summer flight schedule comes into force, so it is logistically easier to make the change just then, and at the same time the airports are given enough time to prepare.

At Croatian airports, it is necessary to change the existing passenger flows, given that currently there are fewer departures at airports for flights within the Republic of Croatia, while now flights to and from all Schengen member states will be treated as "domestic".

This means that passengers traveling from Croatia on direct flights to destinations in the member states of this area (26 European countries), after checking in for the flight and security control, will go to the exit for their flight without crossing the border or police control.

All Croatian airports must have the infrastructural possibility of separating passengers arriving or departing to destinations in the Schengen area, as well as to destinations outside it.

This means that, for example, when traveling from Zagreb to Split, Osijek, Vienna, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or any other destination located in a Schengen member country, the exit to the aircraft will go without checking your identity document, but the border control still exists when traveling to Istanbul, London, Doha, Dubai, Sarajevo, Belgrade or other destinations outside Schengen. The same, of course, applies to all other Croatian airports.

Croatian airports have enough time to prepare and change passenger flows until the spring of 2023 when Croatia finally feels another advantage of membership in the European Union, and preparations have been underway for months.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac Discuss Croatia's Chances Against Slovenia Tonight

June 30, 2022 - The Croatia basketball team's last training before leaving for Slovenia was held on Wednesday night. The upcoming matches decide whether Croatia will qualify for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifications. Croatia's NBA stars Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac spoke about their chances against Luka Dončić and Slovenia. 

Croatia captain Bojan 'Babo' Bogdanović emphasized: “Both victories are very important to us because the points are transferred to the second round. I hope we will play well, first in Stožice and then in Rijeka, and try to achieve both victories. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere in Stožice; I think it will be great basketball. But we are not complete, we lack a lot of good players, especially players on the ball. We miss Simon, Krušlin; Šarić has not yet recovered… We are quite handicapped by that, but even with those absences, we are strong and quite good, and there are a lot of young players." 

Bogdanović gave his thoughts on Luka Dončić: “He is one of the best players in the world; there is also Goran Dragič, they are very good at pick and roll, and I think we will have a hard time defending one on one, so we have prepared several team defenses that we will try to play against the two of them, and I hope we get results. If we come out with the right energy, I think we have something."

The match in Rijeka is certainly no less important than in Slovenia. Moreover, this match is crucial for entering the second round of qualifications.

"I hope we will come to the match in Rijeka in a good mood and atmosphere. I hope for a great game in Stožice, and then against Finland, it is imperative to win regardless of Thursday's game."

Ivica Zubac, who has not been with the national team for a long time, spoke about what he expects from the upcoming matches: "Victory! We have been preparing for several days. Unfortunately, Bojan and I did not have much time, but we prepared individually and worked well these days. If we stick to what we did in training, both offensively and defensively, we have a chance to win." 

About Luka Dončić: “The plan is to make it as difficult as possible for him, to be as aggressive as possible, to make him work in defense and to attack him in that way. We will not stop him for sure; we can try to slow him down and hope for the best." 

And how does Zubac see himself for Croatia? "I think I've made a lot of progress in the last three or four years, I have more games in my legs and I think I can help a little more than last time."

Coach Damir Mulaomerović, despite his proverbial objectivity, is optimistic: “For me, the most important thing is that we are as ready as we can be. My only regret is that we didn't have Bojan and Zubac for longer. The guys are ready; we know what awaits us - a great game, a strong Slovenia, Luka Dončić… we know what awaits us. I believe in these guys, and what I ask of them is to give their maximum, in the wake of what we did against Sweden for the last twenty minutes and two overtimes, to leave our hearts on the court, and that is what can put us in a positive situation. We were already in a tough situation; we got out, and now we have Bojan, Zubac, and Žiža. We can hope for a good game, and what is important to me as a coach is that we are compact on the court and react well defensively. It is certain that Slovenia also has the pressure to win because each of these matches can decide who goes next."

How to stop Dončić?

"He is a great player, so everyone is asking that question. With individual and team defense, we will try to stop him or force him to shoot as many bad shots as possible. Because of his talent and all that he gives in the NBA and his national team, he is getting better and better. It won't be easy, but we are very motivated. Maybe it is more important that we do not let the rest of their players develop. There are a lot of strong individuals, so I would not say that only Dončić should be stopped."

All 16 players from the preparations went to Slovenia, but only 12 will play at Stožice.

Croatia player list:

  • 1 Toni Perković
  • 2 Goran Filipović
  • 4 Roko Prkačin
  • 8 Mario Hezonja
  • 10 Lovro Gnjidić
  • 11 Tomislav Zubčić
  • 17 Dragan Bender
  • 23 Mateo Drežnjak
  • 32 Roko Rogić
  • 40 Ivica Zubac
  • 41 Ante Toni Žižić
  • 44 Bojan Bogdanović

Both matches are broadcast live by Sport Klub televizija. Tickets for Croatia - Finland can be found at ulaznice.hr.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Croatian Railways: Seventy Brand New Trains Due Before Year 2024

June the 30th, 2022 - Croatian railways aren't usually praised by many users of their services, with complaints about the trains being slow frequent and even situations in which the train drivers not bothering to turn up for work occurring. Could all that change with some new acquisitions?

There is an enormous amount to see all over this extremely geographically diverse country, which, while small, packs a punch from the sparkling Adriatic Sea and its impressive rugged coastline to its imposing, karst mountain ranges, luscious green rolling hills, picturesque lakes and seemingly endless Eastern vineyards. Seeing it all by train would be the preferred choice of many if things ran a little more smoothly, and it seems like that's going to happen.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, recently, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, visited the Koncar factory hall in which brand new electric trains are being produced as part of the project entitled The Reconstruction of the Croatian Railways (HZ) Passenger Transport fleet.

The new trains are being co-financed from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme 2014-2020 in the amount of 85 percent, and the total estimated value of the project stands at a whopping 1.29 billion kuna.

Croatian Railways is continuing modernising its entire fleet with eleven brand new electric trains for urban-suburban transport and ten other new electric trains for regional transport, and by the year 2024, it should have almost seventy new trains in use across the country, which makes up more than fifty percent of the current fleet.

These brand new and much more modern trains set to take to Croatian railways will reach a speed of 160 kilometres per hour and will be equipped with ramps for people in wheelchairs, and there will also be proper bicycle space and free internet access for passengers.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Continental Croatian Tourism Blossoming This Tourist Season

June the 29th, 2022 - Continental Croatian tourism is blossoming this tourist season much like the rest of the country's tourism is, with returns to pre-pandemic levels being recorded across the board by this previously deeply hindered sector.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, continental Croatian tourism is waking up, and up in the north of Croatia, more precisely in gorgeous Medjimurje, things are almost at the level of the record year of 2019. Ivica Grudicek from HRT checked out the popular Terme Sveti Martin to see how they survived the global coronavirus pandemic, and also to see how they're managing to deal with the current problems - rising energy prices as a result of inflation and an ongoing lack of labour.

Nusa Korotaj, the general manager of Terme Sveti Martin, said that Terme Sveti Martin were a valuable asset back during the pandemic, and that now things are slowly returning to how they once were before that. As she explained, they have returned to the figures from back in 2019, and maybe the revenues will be even higher this year.

"We have to take into consideration that inflation is indeed high, so the cost side of things isn't even close to the period from back in 2019, it is a challenge for us and for all directors in the hotel industry," she emphasised, adding that before the global coronavirus pandemic, Croatian guests visiting Sveti Martin were the most numerous of all, with 60 percent of overnight stays being recorded by them, and all other overnight stays were guests from neighbouring countries. During the coronavirus pandemic and immediately afterwards, guests were mostly locals, but, as she now says, foreigners have started to return.

"We have a lot of guests from Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland," said Korotaj, which is a clear indication of continental Croatian tourism making a comeback.

The rise in energy prices is having a strong impact on business, and as Korotaj noted, this is currently the proverbial cancer wound of all of the country's hoteliers and managers, especially those with thermal capacities to boast of, because they are highly dependent on energy.

"As far as the workforce is concerned, our colleagues down on the coast are having some big problems, but the situation here at Sveti Martin it is different. The vast majority of employees are local people and they have been workinb here for many years. We also have several Indians and hard-working Ukrainian women employed here,'' she said, adding that they are ready and equipped to welcome the summer season.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Porec and Surrounding Municipalities Fund Own Additional Medical Teams

June the 30th, 2022 - Porec and several Istrian municipalities have decided to fund the employment of more staff in order to have emergency medical services made available all year.

As Morski writes, the City of Porec and the nearby municipalities of Tar-Vabriga, Funtana, Vrsar, Visnjan, Sv. Lovrec, Vizinada and Kastelir-Labicni recently signed a contract on financing the additional employment at the Teaching Institute for Emergency Medicine of Istria County.

Almost 10% of all Croatian tourist traffic is realised along about 70 kilometres of the coastline of Porec. It's an area which, during the very height of the summer season, goes from 40 thousand inhabitants to hosting about 150 thousand people.

''Unfortunately, the state doesn't recognise that and we have an insufficient number of emergency medical teams, and we're talking about the healthcare services that our fellow citizens have already paid for by paying their taxes into the state budget. In order to have a service equal to other cities of our size in the rest of the country, we came together and decided to set aside about two million kuna a year for something that isn't even within our jurisdiction.

On top of that we're additionally paying for apartments for deficient doctors, the purchase of vehicles, the purchase of equipment, two weeks ago we even paid for the accommodation for additional police officers due to the expressed need for them - all of these are services that should be being provided to us through the state budget, because if we're taxpayers, we the citizens of Porec have already paid. We wonder where the end to all of this actually is because the needs are becoming greater from year to year,'' complained the mayor of Porec, Loris Persuric.

The director of the Teaching Institute for Emergency Medicine of Istria County, Dr. Gordana Antic, pointed out that it's actually only Istria that hasn't received an increase in the latest changes made to the emergency medical care network, unlike other Croatian counties. They have since been doomed to try to find funding for additional teams throughout the year, especially during the summer tourist season.

''Just as an illustration, last year, the Porec health centre had to deal with almost 5,000 interventions throughout the year, and this year we've already reached 3100 incidents. There were 36 resuscitations performed throughout the past year, and this year we've already reached 27. Our volume of work is drastically increasing, especially in the area of ​​Porec,'' Antic emphasised.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Dalmatians Supposedly Most Satisfied With Croatian Lifestyle

June the 30th, 2022 - For many foreigners coming to spend time on the glorious Adriatic coast, it's difficult to understand what there isn't to love about the Croatian lifestyle. While spending hours over a coffee in the sun in an ancient city next to the crystal clear sea before heading home for some fresh fish and homegrown salad might seem like the lifestyle jackpot, Croatia doesn't have a raging demographic crisis without a reason.

The disparity between the Adriatic coast and Eastern Croatian regions such as Slavonia and Baranja is only increasing, and while jobs might be plentiful during the summer months, seasonal work doesn't put food on the table throughout the year and it certainly doesn't provide much in the way of economic stability. Eastern Croatia, the country's former breadbasket, has been gradually emptying out for years now, with Croatia's accession to the European Union back in July 2013 only speeding it up even more. 

While this country of paradoxes sees the gap between middle class and poor steadily grow, just which of its inhabitants are the most satisfied of all with the Croatian lifestyle? It seems that the family-oriented Dalmatians are the happiest of all.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, almost 70 percent of this country's residents are fairly or even extremely satisfied with their personal lives and the Croatian lifestyle, while dissatisfaction prevails among less than 12 percent of respondents, according to a poll the Promocija plus agency conducted for RTL. There is no significant difference between men and women, but the difference in life satisfaction is noticeable in regard to education, and satisfaction seems to decrease with age. Satisfaction is the highest among Croats aged 18 to 30 (81 percent), least among those older than 70 (59 percent).

Dalmatians are the most satisfied with the Croatian lifestyle, with almost 75 percent of them saying so, Zagreb and its surroundings are also on average, it's similar in other parts of the country, and the inhabitants of Slavonia are rather unsurprisingly the least satisfied of all with life, but 62 percent are more or less satisfied there as well.

When it comes to life priorities, family reigns strong for almost 70 percent of residents.

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Crobex Rises for Fourth Straight Day

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - Amid careful trading on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the main indices increased, with the Crobex continuing a four-day rise despite a poor turnover.

The Crobex strengthened by 0.24% to 2,035 points. At the same time, the Crobex10 increased by 0.31% to 1,207 points, increasing for the second day in a row.

Regular turnover amounted to almost HRK 4.6 million, which was 1.6 million less than on Tuesday.

Not one stock crossed the million kuna mark. The most traded was Ericsson Nikola Tesla, turning over HRK 560,000. It closed at HRK 1,815 per share, the same as yesterday.

Twenty-seven stocks traded today, with 9 increasing and 8 decreasing in price, while 10 remained stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.525950)

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

SDP to Collect MP Signatures for Reinstating Abortion Right into Constitution

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - Social Democratic Party president Peđa Grbin said on Wednesday the SDP would start collecting MP signatures for a parliamentary debate on reinstating a woman's right to abortion into the Constitution, and that if that failed, it would collect signatures for a referendum.

Speaking at a press conference, he said a woman's right to choose was a fundamental human right which could be protected only by being written into the Constitution.

We will not allow the US scenario, or worse, the Polish scenario, to occur in Croatia, he added.

Grbin said a woman had the right to freely and independently decide about giving birth and that the state's task was to ensure that she can exercise that right.

He said this was not just one political party's issue but a civilisational issue.

According to SDP political secretary Mirela Ahmetović, "marginal fundamentalists are trying to contest women's constitutional right to choose."

"Everyone who sees women as equal members of society will stand with the SDP and women as well as with men who know that women are not secondary," she said.

Grbin would not say if the SDP would make his support for the ruling HDZ's constitutional changes regarding referenda conditional on the abortion initiative, saying he would first talk to the HDZ about that.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Croatian Defence Industry Presented in European Parliament

ZAGREB, 29 June 2022 - Protective gear and other products of the Croatian defence industry were presented in the European Parliament on Wednesday as part of a conference on strengthening Europe's security and defence, organised by Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler.

Security and defence are not a choice today but fundamental issues which come first, he said, per a press release from his office.

Croatia's defence industry is one of its strongest and most successful exports and deserves, alongside other European colleagues, even stronger EU support so that Europe stays the safest continent, Ressler added.

Among those attending the conference was former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who said the situation caused by the Russian aggression on Ukraine called for unity and strengthening the common defence.

She recalled that 90% of EU citizens live in NATO countries and called for deeper cooperation between the EU and NATO.

Also present at the conference were Croatian Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak, Ukrainian MP Maria Mezentseva, and representatives of Croatian and European military companies and the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Defence Industry.

For more, check out our politics section.

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