Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Education Minister Says Extremely Difficult School Year Successfully Completed

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs on Tuesday congratulated pupils, teachers, head teachers, Ministry and local government officials on the successful completion of the school year, the first two-thirds of which, he said, were extremely difficult due to the pandemic and earthquake.

The minister also expressed hope that the next year would pass without too much stress, the pandemic, and other difficulties.

Addressing the press after a government session, the minister added that according to World Health Organisation surveys, Croatia had the lowest number of days of online classes in the 2021/2022 school year.

Fuchs said that this year, national exams had been conducted for the first time in the eighth grade in 80 primary schools, providing insight into what should be done next.

Next year, all eighth grades in Croatia will sit for the national exam. The minister pointed out those exams would not be graded, since they are intended for the evaluation of the system and would be used to improve educational facilities and as guidelines for teacher training colleges.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

2021 Sees Highest Crime Resolution Rate

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - The crime resolution rate in Croatia in 2021 was the highest since the country declared independence, at 73.1%, shows a report on police work, adopted at a government session on Tuesday.

The report contains information on police results in fighting and preventing crime, and Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said that the number of property-related crimes dropped by 4.1% in 2021, continuing on years of positive trends regarding crimes that have the biggest effect on citizens' subjective feeling of safety.

The number of cases of grand theft in 2021 was the lowest in the past 10 years, as was the number of burglaries, while the number of cases of grand theft auto and larceny was the lowest in the last 20 years, said the minister.

He added that there were 30 murder cases in 2021, a drop of 16.7% compared to 2020. The year 2021 was the fifth year to see a decrease in the number of murder cases.

Compared to 2020, the police reported 69.5% more corruption-related crimes and 46.1% more perpetrators.

The number of organised crime cases investigated was up by 11.6%.

A total of 100 war crimes were reported, twice as many as in 2020, and the quantity of drugs seized was 7.5% greater than in 2020.

The number of illegal border crossings dropped by 40.18%, while the number of reported cases of people smuggling grew by 37.1%, Božinović said.

Despite the increase in road traffic volume in comparison to 2020, 2021 was the second consecutive year with the lowest number of road fatalities, 292.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Gov't Rejects Motion for Discussion on Vote of No Confidence in Health Minister

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - The Croatian government on Tuesday sent an opinion to the parliament proposing that it should reject a motion by 32 opposition MPs to discuss giving Health Minister Vili Beroš a vote of no confidence.

In its opinion the government comments on allegations from the motion, describing them as unfounded and noting that there was no ground to vote no confidence in the health minister.

The government also sent the parliament a final bill on cultural councils and on the financing of public needs in culture, which envisages combining the laws on cultural councils, financing of public needs in culture and management of public institutions in culture in a single law to simplify and more efficiently regulate the area in question.

It also adopted four conclusions to help residents of earthquake-struck areas, extending a write-off of electricity bills for customers in earthquake-struck areas until the end of the year. The total cost of the measure is estimated at HRK 8 million.

The government also extended the toll-free use of A11 Zagreb-Sisak motorway as well as free train transport for residents of the earthquake-affected Sisak-Moslavina County and employees of services participating in the provision of assistance and removal of the consequences of the 2020 earthquakes in the county.

The amount of road tolls not to be collected in the next six months is estimated at HRK 16.5 million, including VAT, and the cost of free transport by train at some HRK 12 million.

The government also instructed the HRT public broadcaster to write off TV licence fees for residents of earthquake-struck areas.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Croatia's Living Standards Improve in 2021, Stil Lower than EU Average

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - Croatia's material welfare of households, measured by Actual individual consumption (AIC), increased in 2021, although it still lagged behind the EU average by 30%, the European Union's statistical office reported on Tuesday.

In 2021, AIC per capita expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) varied from 63% to 146% of the EU average across the 27 Member States.

Croatia's material welfare of households was at about 70% of the EU average, and the country reduced the gap by six percentage points compared to 2020.

Nine members above EU average, five record AIC per capita 25% or more below EU

In 2021, nine Member States recorded AIC per capita above the EU average.

Luxembourg (46%) was the only Member State that recorded AIC per capita of 25% or more above the EU average.

In Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Finland, and France, the levels were 10% or more above the EU average.

AIC per capita between EU average and 25% below in 13 countries

In thirteen Member States, AIC per capita was between the EU average and 25% below.

In this category, there were significant differences across the Member States: in Italy, Lithuania, Cyprus and Ireland, the levels were 10% or less below the EU average, while Slovenia, Spain, Czechia, Poland, Portugal, Malta and Romania were between 11% and 20% below. Estonia and Greece were 21% and 23% below the EU average, respectively. 

Five Member States recorded AIC per capita of 25% or more below the EU average. Croatia, Latvia, Hungary and Slovakia were between 27% and 30% below, while Bulgaria recorded AIC per capita of 37% below the EU average.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Anti-Fascist Association: Croatia Founded on Anti-Fascist Struggle

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - Representatives of the Alliance of anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia (SABA RH) laid a wreath at the National Heroes' Monument at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery on Tuesday, on the occasion of Anti-Fascist Struggle Day, which is observed in Croatia on 22 June as a bank holiday.

During the wreath-laying ceremony, the association's leader, Franjo Habulin, said that Croatia and Europe as a union of nations as well as the European Union were founded on the struggle of anti-Fascists and their victory over Nazis and Fascists in the Second World War.

Habulin highlighted 22 June 1941 as an extremely important day when the organized resistance was launched in the area of former Yugoslavia and when the first unit of Partisans was set up in Brezovica Forest near Sisak as the first armed anti-Fascist unit in the occupied European regions.

The first spark of resistance was ignited in Croatia, it is here where the organized armed resistance was offered to the Nazi-Fascist occupation, said Habulin, calling for better education of young generations about the armed resistance in Croatia during the WW2.

Zagreb's Deputy Mayor, Luka Korlaet, said that the legacy of anti-Fascism was intertwined in the foundation of the City of Zagreb.

In the Second World War, an estimated 50,000 Zagreb residents took part in the resistance, and about 8,000 were killed, he said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Croatia Logs 397 New Cases of COVID-19, Four Deaths

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours, there have been 397 new cases of the infection with coronavirus, and four more patients have died, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 2,144 active cases, and 174 patients are receiving hospital treatment, including six patients on ventilators.

This infectious disease has taken 16,035 lives in the country so far.

Over 2.3 million inhabitants have been vaccinated to date, and of them 2.24 million have been fully inoculated.

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.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Zadar: Much More than Your Typical Dalmatian Town

June 21, 2022 - Is Zadar one of the most underrated cities and regions in Croatia? Like many other cities and towns along the Adriatic coast, you tend to think that you have seen everything in two or three days. Think twice.

Facebook is a wonderful world where you can go from being a tourist to a travel guide without any education. You go from asking for recommendations to becoming an authorized voice in the tourism field. It wouldn't bother me if it were the case of people discovering the magic of a little-known and little-explored place, highlighting what a place has to offer that perhaps others were unaware of. But I find it interesting when a user (whose identity I will keep anonymous) says in a Facebook group that Zadar is a destination to stay for no more than 2 days.

I'll pretend I didn't read that, and instead try to answer this other user as concisely as I can:

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Unfortunately, many Croatian cities are stereotyped and reduced to one or two points of interest. Dubrovnik is its walls and the filming location of Game of Thrones. Split is Diocletian's Palace. Pula is the Roman amphitheater. While none of this is bad, it is true that for many people who stick to their travel itineraries they can come in and say they've seen it all. I don't mean to change their mindset, but although word of mouth can be beneficial, it can also be dangerous if the ''first mouth'' isn't exactly right.

I can say now I've been on both sides. Almost exactly two years ago, my parents were visiting me in Rijeka, where I had just finished my semester of studies. The plan was to give me a lift to our home in Split, and we rented a car in Rijeka. Although it is possible to make the trip to Split on the same day, we decided that we would sleep one night on the way. We chose Zadar. The apartment we rented was in the very heart of Zadar's old town, and we were at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a very minimalist trip, and we barely got to know some of the main points of interest around the old town: the sea organ, the Greeting to the Sun, the Roman forum, the church of St. Donatus, and I think that was it.

I wish I could say that the pandemic was a legitimate justification for not exploring more (the infamous tennis tournament organized by Novak Djoković was taking place at that time), but I'm sure that at some point before we resumed the trip to Split we said: ''Ok. We've seen it all''.

Fate brought me back to Zadar two years later, and how wrong I was. I hadn't seen anything.

I have to mention that what you probably already know about Zadar is definitely worth discovering. Watching a sunset from the sea organ and the Greetings to the Sun is not something to be underestimated under any circumstances. In the same way, the history that accompanies the old town through its churches, the Roman forum, the convents, and the city gates deserve all your attention, since we are talking about one of the most important cities in Croatia in terms of history.

If you're not sure what else is there to see, it doesn't hurt to go to a tourist office or ask a local for recommendations. It's different when the person giving you recommendations on places to see or things to do was actually born there. It's already personal. In most cases, they will want to leave a great impression of their hometown and also recommend things that one would not usually see. You must also remember that Croatia is not a country with isolated cities, but that it stands out a lot for its regions as a whole. Administratively speaking, yes, it is true that some cities are better positioned such as Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, or Dubrovnik. But you would be surprised if you knew how much you can find beyond the Roman ruins and beaches in these cities.

Zadar is its Sea Organ, its Roman Forum, the Greetings to the Sun, the Church of St. Donatus, its Franciscan Monastery, and its Old Town.

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But Zadar is also the historical city of Nin and its healing mud beaches. (Image: Nin Tourist Board)

 

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Zadar is the largest lake in Croatia, the Vrana, and its surroundings. (Image: Pakoštane Tourist Board)

 

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Zadar is the royal city of Biograd na Moru. (Image: Biograd na Moru Tourist Board)

 

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Zadar is the Ottoman residence of Maškovića Han. (Image: maskovicahan.hr)

 

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Zadar is the jawdropping views from Vidikovac Kamenjak. (Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich)

 

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Zadar is sailing through the archipelagos of Kornati and Telašćica. (Photo: Mario Romulic)

 

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Zadar is reconnecting with the nature of Paklenica. (Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich)

 

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Zadar is hiking in North Velebit National Park. (Image: North Velebit NP)

 

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Zadar is tasting internationally recognized wines like those from Fiolić Winery. (Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich)

 

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Zadar is trying the famous Pag cheese. (Image: Pag Tourist Board)

Zadar is all that, and much more. In the end, I think the lesson is to dare to look for something different than what we usually see in pamphlets, on TripAdvisor, or in the comments section of a Facebook group.

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

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Art Caffe - Croatia's World of Arts Brought to Life Through Interviews

June the 21st, 2022 - Art Caffe, an initiative of Unimedia owner Nikola Mihaljevic and former Dubrovnik Summer Festival director and war veteran Miso Mihocevic, aims to shine the spotlight on those involved in the Croatian arts scene through a series of interviews.

Anyone who has spent any time whatsoever in Croatia can see that this country is awash with culture and arts. From theatre to painting, and from painting to sculpting, and then again from sculpting to acting, singing and the world of performance - this small country packs a punch. 

What better way to get to know the names and faces behind some of Croatia's arts scene than through a series of personal and light interviews held in the perfect surroundings and ambiance of the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in the heart of Zagreb?

The initial idea for the Art Caffe concept came from Nikola Mihaljevic and his Unimedia Studio, who was inspired by the permanent need to talk about arts and culture, to point out just what this country has to offer in that regard - which is abundant. While the galleries and the performances themselves are well known, much less is known about those who stand behind them, the artists, singers, actors, their assistants, their education and professions. Their lives.

Art Caffe's overall concept is to present those individuals and their work, their slot in the rich world of art, their inspirations, artistic and life philosophies, struggles and achievements. The idea was enhanced and its materialisation accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, when artists, especially those who freelance, had their entire existence seriously called into question in a manner that could never have been predicted.

ArtCaffe was offered as a chance to give them opportunity, a voice, for better visibility in the country's collective consciousness. 45 minutes offers time enough for one person to say a lot, indeed - the opportunity very few people are lucky enough to have, but one each person involved in Croatian arts deserves.

''The title is descriptive in its own merit - sitting in a cafe and talking about arts. It's as simple as that,'' explained Art Caffe's anchor, Miso Mihocevic, who has spent all his life in both arts, and in cafes.

''I'm a big fan of talk shows (if done well and without pretensions), I've watched thousands over the years. By watching them, I was involuntarily learning and preparing for something I never thought I'd do. When I was offered to anchor Art Caffe, I was slightly anxious and had lots of questions roaming in my mind, however, I knew I was ready. To try, I mean. It turned out pretty well from the start, which encouraged me and made me want to talk more and more with those lurking behind the scenes.

Art Caffe is simple as a format, and so am I as its anchor - there are no pre-prepared questions. Questions must arise from the conversation, in order to get something logical, smooth and easy going. My preparation is simple as well - God bless Google for some general (or even detailed) information, and a chat before the shooting.

The rest, as said, comes out of the conversation, the questions I ask are inspired by the interlocutor and nothing else. There are no agendas. I therefore see Art Caffe as a conversation, not as an interview. With that warm feeling of giving a chance to people to introduce themselves by saying precisely what they, and not what you, want.

In this world obsessed with the pandemic, the war, the economy and oil prices, an artist can hardly make the news through any contact with the public, and to an audience without whom the arts make no sense whatsoever.

If you understand Croatian, you can follow Art Caffe on YouTube by clicking here.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Croatia Ferry Guide 2022: From Rijeka to Cres, Mali Lošinj, and More

June 21, 2022 - In the newest TCN series, we take a look at the destinations you can visit by ferry from the main Croatian ports. In this second installment of the Croatia Ferry Guide 2022, where to go from the port of Rijeka?

When advertising the Adriatic Sea and the Croatian islands abroad, the experience of being on board a sailboat, yacht, or catamaran is usually highlighted. However, there is no destination a Croatian ferry can't reach, and why not mention that it's totally worth saving a good amount of Euros on sailboat rentals and crews?

Today we tell you more about the island destinations you can reach from the ferry port of Rijeka. Did you know that the Jadrolinija company was founded in Rijeka in 1947?

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Photo: Mario Romulić

First of all, how to buy your ferry tickets? There are three ways. The first is via the official Jadrolinija website. In it, you can not only see the updated sailing schedules, but you can also buy your tickets online. Simply choose the port of departure, the port of destination and the date of your trip, and you will find the available times. Once you have chosen the time and the number of tickets, in addition to completing all your personal information, you can proceed to pay for your tickets online with a credit or debit card.

The second way is through the official Jadrolinija mobile app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Playstore for Android. The application is very easy to use and, just like on the website, just select the port of departure and you will be able to see the ports that you can travel to from the one you selected. The process is very similar, and you will find that it is even more comfortable and intuitive to use. Payment also allows the use of credit and debit cards.

Finally, the third type of payment is the most traditional and has its benefits. All ferry ports in Croatia have a Jadrolinija office, where you can go to buy your tickets in person. Sometimes one can be a bit confused before buying their tickets both on the website and in the app, so having a Jadrolinija agent to guide you is a great help.

Where is the Rijeka ferry port located? The good news is that if you're in the city center, it won't be too far to find it. Also, if you arrive in Rijeka by ferry, you will already be well placed to get to know the city right away. If you happen to be along Rijeka's promenade, you will notice that a large pier stretches out in front of you: the famous Molo Longo. At the beginning of Molo Longo, between restaurants and offices, is the Jadrolinija agency. It's a good place to start as, as well as being able to buy your ferry tickets at that same office, you'll notice that the ferries depart right in front of the office. Take a look at the map below to see where the Rijeka ferry port is located.

Cres

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Photo: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons

There is a daily line of catamarans that depart from Rijeka and go to the town of Cres, the main one on the island that bears the same name. Every day a catamaran belonging to the (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA line leaves at 17:00 pm from the port of Rijeka and arrives in Cres at 18:20 pm. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 53 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 25 kuna.

Ilovik

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The islands of Ilovik (right) and Sveti Petar (left) seen from the island of Lošinj. (Photo: Roberta F./Wikimedia Commons)

To get to Ilovik, the small island south of Lošinj, one can board the same catamaran line (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA. However, if you are going to Ilovik, you must remember that this line goes there every day except Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Departs at 17:00 pm from the port of Rijeka and staggers its arrival times in Ilovik depending on the day. On Mondays and Thursdays, it arrives at 21:05 pm, while on Wednesdays and Fridays it arrives in Ilovik at 20:50 pm. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 68 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 32 kuna.

Mali Lošinj

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Photo: Mario Romulić

If you are heading to Mali Lošinj, you can get there via the same ferry line as Cres and Ilovik, line (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA. Just like Cres, the catamarans arriving in Mali Lošinj do so every day. On Mondays and Thursdays, it arrives in Mali Lošinj at 21:50 pm. On Tuesdays, it arrives at 20:05 pm. On Wednesdays and Fridays, it arrives at 21:35 pm. On Saturdays, it arrives at 21:10 p.m. and on Sundays at 20:55 p.m. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 68 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 32 kuna.

Martinšćica, Cres

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Photo: Dovsakd/Wikimedia Commons

Another destination on the island of Cres that one can reach via the line (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA is Martinšćica, a small bay on the west coast of the island. Catamarans to Martinšćica depart only on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They always leave at 17:00 pm and arrive at 19:10 pm. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 58 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 27 kuna.

Novalja, Pag

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Image: Visit Pag

If your destination is Novalja on the island of Pag, the catamaran line is now (9309) NOVALJA-RAB-RIJEKA. Every day a catamaran leaves Rijeka at 17:00 pm and arrives at Novalja, north of Pag, at 19:40. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 88 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 42 kuna.

Rab

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Photo: Mario Romulić

Heading to the friendly and sandy island of Rab? A catamaran departs daily from Rijeka in that direction at 17:00 pm, arriving in Rab at 18:50 pm. Due to its proximity to the island of Pag, the catamaran line that takes you to Rab is also (9309) NOVALJA-RAB-RIJEKA. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 88 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 42 kuna.

Susak

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Image: Lošinj Tourist Board

Susak is a small island southwest of Lošinj with sandy beaches, a small population of almost 150 people, a unique language, and is known for its wine production. If you want to venture to this island, you will need to buy a ticket for the line (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA. Catamarans to Susak depart every day except Tuesdays. The departure is from Rijeka at 17:00, and the arrival time depends on the day. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays it arrives at 20:25 pm., while on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays it arrives at 20:10 pm. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 68 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 32 kuna.

Unije

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Image: Lošinj Tourist Board

The island of Unije also belongs to the Cres-Losinj archipelago and has many inlets and beaches. It is the last Rijeka ferry destination on this list. To get to the island of Unije, the ticket you will buy belongs to line (9308) M.LOŠINJ-UNIJE-CRES-RIJEKA. The catamarans that go to Unije leave every day except Tuesdays. The departure time is always at 17:00 from Rijeka, while the arrival time varies throughout the week. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays it arrives at 19:50 pm., while on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays it arrives at 19:35 pm. The price for adult tickets (12 years and older) is 63 kuna, while for children between 3 and 12 years old they cost 30 kuna.

The ferry lines mentioned above are those with confirmed schedules for the next three months. Prices are subject to change. Visit the official Jadrolinija website for more information on other ferry lines from Rijeka.

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

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Croatian Ferry and Bus Prices Increase as Summer Season Hits

June the 21st, 2022 - Croatian ferry and bus line prices are set to significantly increase as inflation continues to bite and the cost of fuel keeps on increasing. Croatian ferry and bus line operators have asked customers for their understanding, and their forgiveness during a time which is proving difficult for all pockets.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a lot of people from Zadar like to joke about swimming across to Ugljan instead of paying for the ferry, but all jokes aside, transportation on a Croatian ferry to the Adriatic islands this summer will cost thirty percent more than it did last year.

"I think it's a really great price (speaking sarcastically) and we'll end up al going bankrupt, but for as long as it's like that, it's going to be like that. You only live once,'' said Pavao from Zagreb.

Many passengers, however, are now thinking twice about whether they can go on day trips to nearby islands at all with prices for a Croatian ferry ticket being so high. Shipowners themselves are also in troubled waters, no pun intended. The catamaran that sailed on the line between Split - Bol - Makarska - Korcula - Mljet - Dubrovnik will not sail at all this season. The reason is cited as excessive costs, writes Dnevnik.hr.

The private shipowner has issued an apology to all would-have-been passengers, offering a refund for any tickets already purchased. Unlike commercial lines, public service lines are co-financed for the year with more than 320 million kuna from the state treasury. Nevertheless, in order to sail, part of the burden is paid by customers.

"Of course, shipowners can't incur losses even though they have contracts, they must be at a certain zero both according to the law and the regulations of the European Commission, including the real profit in doing their job," explained Paula Vidovic.

They added that prices have not changed in the last twenty years, and in the last few months, the increase has been felt by bus transport companies as well.

For the Zadar - Vodice or Vodice - Zadar section, tickets were purchased a few days ago, and the difference in price is 15 kuna. The global coronavirus pandemic has thinned bus lines out totally, and fuel prices dictate ticket prices, which depend on both the carrier and the cost-effectiveness of the line. The unprofitability of local lines has plagued these companies for years, and rising fuel prices, they say, have only added fuel to an already fairly out of control fire.

"Certainly with this announcement of an additional increase in fuel prices on Tuesday, we can expect additional corrections to the price of our services," concluded Vedran Tomicic from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

They see the solution either in subsidising all local lines or by introducing monthly tickets at the state level, following the example of some other European countries, in order to save public line transport, but also to stop the prices going wild.

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

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