Thursday, 4 May 2023

Dalmatia in Vukovar as Part of Svi ZaJedno Hrvatsko Naj Festival

May 4, 2023 - From May 5 to 7, life in Vukovar will be all about the fifth Festival of Heritage, tourist manifestations, attractions, and destinations 'Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj' (All together Croatia's Best). During the three-day program, the festival in Vukovar will gather over 600 participants from all over Croatia. It will be a unique opportunity for all visitors to get to know Croatia in a nutshell, all in one place, with all the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the country.


As Dalmatinski Portal writes, Dalmatia will be especially represented at the festival this year. In addition to Gibonni being this year's ambassador of the festival, this famous singer will gift the people of Vukovar and all the festival guests a big free concert to round up the first day of the festival, on May 5. During the second and third music evenings, Dalmatian songs will be presented in Vukovar, so on May 6, Klapa Šufit will have their concert as part of the Croatian tour. On the last day, May 7, Giuliano will be the star of the evening. But that's not all either. The folklore ensemble Jedinstvo from Split will once again contribute to the affirmation and presentation of Dalmatia's traditional and folk culture at the festival 'Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj'. One of the most important folklore ensembles from Split will take part in the special opening of the festival on May 5 and then present themselves to the audience once again during the second day of the festival. In addition to the Folklore Ensemble Jedinstvo from Split, this year, the female vocal group Kantalica from Zadar, City Music Dubrovnik, Milan Begović from Vrlika, and Knights' Society Kumpanji from Blato on Korčula are also joining the festival.


Other performers at the festival include the Šokadija Association from Babina Greda, KUD Ravnica from Stari Perkovci, KUD Gorjanac with Gorjanske Ljelje (queens), KUD Ivan Goran Kovačić from Zagreb and many other KUDs. Visitors can enjoy the richness and variety of vocal and dance performances of cultural and artistic societies from all over Croatia.

This year, the Sinj Alkari are joining the festival again. The previously mentioned military historical unit of the Knights' Association Kumpanjija from Blato and the Frankopan Guard of Grobnik will participate in the program. In addition, falconers will entertain visitors with a special program, as will the Đurđenovac horn players.

One of the main acts of this year's festival will be Lipizzan horses, with the equestrian stage show 'Dance of Baroque Horses of Eltz Manor.' Lipizzaner horses were the latest inclusion in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, so this year, festival visitors, big and small, will have the opportunity to learn more about the tradition of Lipizzaner breeding.

Among the famous tourist events from Croatia, as part of the festival, the oldest local gastronomic event from Vrbovac, 'What Our Ancestors Ate,' will be presented as part of the festival is being held this year for the 42nd year in a row.

In addition to numerous interesting educational workshops for children and adults, visitors can also expect an interesting Eco-Ethno Fair on the city promenade, as well as a Flower Fair.


The festival will be held in three locations: on Trg Republike Hrvatske, where the central stage and stands are located; on the promenade, where visitors will be able to enjoy food and wine from all over Croatia; and in the back garden of Eltz Manor, where the equestrian spectacle will also take place.

The presentation of intangible cultural heritage, tourist manifestations and attractions from all over Croatia, children's programs and creative workshops, and great concerts with performances by dance groups are a guarantee of good fun for the whole family at this truly unique festival that has become a Vukovar tradition. It should be emphasized that the festival is internationally recognized - it is the winner of the EFFE Label, the European quality mark for exceptional cultural and artistic festivals, and the winner of the Simply the Best Tourism award.


For the fifth year in a row, the festival Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj has been jointly organized by the Tourist Board of the City of Vukovar and the Agency Organizatori bez granica, led by Zadar producer Aleksandar Kovačević, in cooperation with the City of Vukovar.

All contents of the festival Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj are free for visitors, and you can find a detailed program of the festival on the official website.

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

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Jasmin Stavros, Famous Croatian Singer Has Passed Away Aged 68

May 4, 2023 - Jasmin Stavros, one of the most famous Croatian singers, passed away last night at 9 pm at the age of 68. He fought a serious illness, bone cancer, and was treated at KBC Rebro.

Recall, at the end of March of this year, it was confirmed that Jasmin Stavros had bone cancer. The singer was immediately hospitalized, and doctors suspected that the cancer had spread to his stomach, writes Index.

"The disease started sometime in January. First, I had stomach pains and a duodenal ulcer, which they operated urgently in Karlovac. Then I got sepsis, and they transferred me to the ward in Karlovac. I was there for about 12 - 13 days, I went home, and the next day I had to go to Vinogradska because I couldn't stand the pain. They did not know what was wrong with me," said Stavros at the time.

Two weeks ago, he was transferred to the Jordanovac Clinic for Pulmonary Diseases after developing lung complications. "It is true that the patient was transferred to Jordanovac because of complications. I cannot say what kind of complications they were," said Fedor Šantek, a radiotherapy and oncology specialist from Zagreb's KBC Rebro.

Jasmin Stavros started his career at the age of 15 as a drummer

Born in Split on November 1, 1954, Milo was immersed in music from an early age. All members of his family were involved in music - grandfather, mother, father, and brother. It is therefore not particularly surprising that he took singing lessons as a child, that he had been playing the drums since the age of 12, and that at the age of 15, he turned his hobby and passion into a job, playing professionally with then-popular Split bands such as Delfini, More and Mladi Batali, which were later renamed to Magazin.

Although at one stage of his life, football was a huge passion, and he even played for Hajduk and, considering the excellent reactions of the coach, believed that he would become one of the best footballers in the world, his father could not come to terms with it. He claimed that all footballers were fools and forced Stavros to learn to play the piano, which he claimed he hated. At one stage, they had to decide between football and music, and his father made that decision for him.

Although most of his career he was known as an entertainer, in the early seventies, Jasmin Stavros began to discover jazz and soon became a studio player in Jugoton and one of the most sought-after drummers in the area of the former Yugoslavia. The list of his collaborators is long and impressive. From Arsen Dedić and Josipa Lisac, through Mišo Kovač and Ivica Šerfezi, all the way to Neda Ukraden and Ljupka Dimitrovska.

In addition, he played percussion for four years at the Croatian National Orchestra, where he was conducted by greats such as Vjekoslav Šutej, Nikša Bareza, Bardeli, and Papandopulo. During that period, he also played with Oliver Dragojević and Meri Cetinić.

Accidental solo career

During the eighties, Jasmin Stavros went to the USA for two years, where he graduated from the Stanley Spector private jazz academy. Although they wanted to keep him as the best European student and gave him a green card to continue his career in America, Stavros decided to return to his homeland and try his hand at being a solo artist.

One of the biggest reasons was that he had a wife and two children. In 1976 he married Žarka, a girl who, as he said, had him at first sight. But her parents were not enthusiastic about it, so immediately after the wedding, the couple went to Russia for six months, where Stavros had a long tour with Magazin and Delfini. They didn't say anything to their parents, but over time they forgave them. All the more so because Stavros bought an apartment in Split with the money from the tour and thus calmed the parents' fears that their daughter would end up with someone who does not have a bright future.

As for his solo career, some stories say that it happened accidentally after he recorded the duet "U tebe se neću zaljubiti" with Doris Dragović, and that only because the singer who was supposed to sing the duet did not show up. He concluded that he had "that something" and decided to record a solo album. He recorded his first album with Rajko Dujmić and Stevo Cvikić in 1987, and it was immediately apparent that a star was born. The album sold over 50,000 copies, followed by numerous hits that often reached gold circulation.

How Milo became Jasmin

His friends in Split called him Pluto because of the cartoon character of the same name he loved, and Rajko Dujmić nicknamed him Jasmin Stavros. Milo accepted the name and immediately changed it officially, much to the displeasure of his parents—especially his mother, who never called him by his new name.

And while his parents weren't crazy about his new name, critics weren't thrilled with his career turn because the best drummer in Yugoslavia turned into an entertainer. He soon became known as the "party king". Many people still recount the concert at the Mississippi club in Split, during which Stavros at one point jumped, hit his head on the ceiling, ended up in the emergency room, and after being stitched up, returned to the club and finished the performance professionally, which lasted until dawn.

At one point, the German publishing house Ariol wanted to move him to Germany, where he worked as a studio musician, but ultimately he chose his family again.

From the best drummer in Yugoslavia to a megastar

He officially became a megastar in 1989 with his third album, which included the hits "Umoran" and "Dao bih sto Amerika." For the next 20 years, he performed over 120 concerts a year. The beginning of the Homeland War stopped many careers, and Stavros then decided not to record new albums but immediately enlist in the army. Since he had no military training because he refused to serve in the JNA, he chose to help in the only way he could. He performed over 500 charity concerts.

He continued his career with collaborations with Tonči Huljić and Fedor Boić, and he also tried his hand as an actor by participating in the comedy show "Jel' me netko tražio," which was a great success. He continued to play drums until 2000 when he left that part of his career behind. Admittedly, his son Milo followed in his footsteps and became an excellent drummer, who has several years of jazz academy in Graz and study in America behind him.

In the later phases of his career, his personal life, aesthetic procedures, and the fact that he turned to religion and became a "fanatic" were often written about.

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

Thursday, 4 May 2023

We Too Are Healthcare: Protest of Cro Nurses and Other Hospital Staff

May 4, 2023 - Under the motto "We too are healthcare," nurses, technicians, and non-medical staff held peaceful protests in front of four hospitals in Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik on Wednesday, demanding decent wages for their work and improvement of their labor and legal status.

As 24Sata writes, these half-hour protests were held in Zagreb - in front of the Merkur and Dubrava clinical hospitals, in Split in front of the KBC, and in Dubrovnik in front of the general hospital there.

The protests were organized by the Croatian Professional Union of Nurses and Technicians and the Independent Union of Health and Social Care Employees. Croatian medical staff, as well as non-medical staff working in healthcare institutions, are dissatisfied that their membership did not receive a ten percent increase in coefficients according to the government decree last week, which Croatian doctors did receive when they went on strike recently. The increase for other medical and non-medical staff was between 3 and 5.4 percent.

This time, unions have announced a series of mini-protests starting Wednesday, May 3. They will protest every day from 11 to 11:30 a.m., during the daily break, in front of various hospitals throughout Croatia.

The protests will be held until May 12, when, on the International Day of Nursing, a large, central protest has been announced in Zagreb.

Maids, cooks, laundry workers, and other non-medical staff in the healthcare system will join the nurses and technicians in protest activities. They are also demanding an increase in salary coefficients by a minimum of ten percent and an improvement in the labor and legal status.

The president of the Independent Trade Union, Stjepan Topolnjak, also said that there is a principled determination of the trade union to strike if the Government and the relevant ministry keep ignoring their demands.

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

Thursday, 4 May 2023

March Unemployment in Croatia and EU Drops Marginally

May 4, 2023 - The unemployment rate in the eurozone decreased marginally in March, dropping by 0.1 percentage points compared to the previous month, and unemployment in Croatia decreased by the same amount, according to a Wednesday Eurostat report. In the 20-member eurozone, the unemployment rate measured by the International Labor Organization (ILO) methodology was 6.5 percent in March, dropping from 6.6 percent in comparison to February, according to data from the European Statistical Office.

In the EU, as Index writes, it was six percent, remaining at the previous month's level. For comparison, in March 2022, it reached 6.8 percent in the eurozone and 6.2 percent in the EU. Eurostat estimates there were 12.96 million unemployed in the EU in March 2023, of which 11.01 million were in the eurozone.

A comparison with February shows that the number of unemployed in the EU decreased by 155,000 and in the Eurozone by 121,000. On an annual level, their number decreased by 353 thousand in the Union and by 365 thousand in the eurozone.

Croatia in the company of Lithuania and Slovakia

Spain and Greece are still the only ones with a double-digit unemployment rate, which reached 12.8 and 10.9 percent in March, respectively. Italy and Sweden follow, with unemployment rates of 7.8 and 7.3 percent, respectively. In Croatia, the unemployment rate measured by the ILO methodology was 6.2 percent in March, dropping from 6.3 percent in February. In March 2022, it amounted to 6.7 percent.

According to Eurostat data, 112,000 citizens were unemployed in Croatia in March, three thousand fewer than in the previous month, according to revised data. The tables show that compared to the same month last year; their number decreased by 10,000.

The closest to Croatia in March were Slovakia and Lithuania, with an unemployment rate of six and 6.4 percent. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in March, at 2.6 percent. Germany and Poland follow, with 2.8 percent, and Malta is close behind, with an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent.

Marginal drop in youth unemployment

The unemployment rate of citizens under the age of 25 was 14.3 percent in the eurozone in March, having slipped by 0.1 percentage point on a monthly basis. At the same time, in the EU, it dropped by 0.2 percentage points to 14.3 percent. In March of last year, Eurostat tables show it was 14.2 percent in both areas.

The statistical office estimates that 2.76 million young people were unemployed in the EU in March, of which 2.26 million were in the eurozone. The number of unemployed young people in the eurozone in March was thus higher by 91 thousand than in the same period in 2022, and in the EU by 105 thousand, Eurostat announced.

Four above 20 percent

Spain had the highest youth unemployment rate in March, at 29.5 percent. Greece follows with 24.2 percent, Italy with 22.3 percent, and Sweden with 21.9 percent. Among the EU countries with data available to Eurostat, Germany had by far the lowest youth unemployment rate, at 5.6 percent. Austria and Slovenia follow, with 7.6 and 7.9 percent, respectively.

In the first quarter of 2023, Croatia had an unemployment rate in that age group of 17.4 percent, with 26,000 unemployed, according to a Eurostat report. For the sake of comparison, in the fourth quarter of last year, it recorded an unemployment rate of a revised 17.9 percent, with 27,000 unemployed youth, according to the tables of the European Statistical Office. Eurostat did not only have data on youth unemployment in Romania.

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

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Osijek Company Saponia's Revenues Exceed 27 Million Euros

May the 4th, 2023 - The Osijek company Saponia's revenues have exceeded a very impressive 27 million euros, and the company's most significant investment yet is now entering into its final phase.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the beginning of the year brought an almost 10 percent increase in revenue to the Osijek company Saponia, which exceeded 27 million euros (27.1) in the first quarter of 2023.

In the financial report published last week for the first three months of this year, the company notes that a strong increase in profitability of 35 percent was created with the achievement of EBIT of 1.2 million euros, as well as a proportional increase in EBT of 32 percent, with the achievement of profit before tax in the amount of 1.2 million euros.

Revenues from sales on the domestic market grew significantly, which, in relation to the same period last year was 18 percent higher and amounted to 15.3 million euros. On foreign markets, which are responsible for 43% of total revenues, that realisation amounted to 11.4 million euros.

Balanced growth

"Despite the increased absorption of input costs, the Osijek Saponia company's operations are continuing to head in the planned direction. Significant growth in terms of business income was achieved in a very difficult cost and operational environment.

The financial progress of business income consequently preserves and improves other key business indicators, and as such the ratio of net debt to EBITDA was maintained at 1.8, and the level of net working capital recorded an increase of 57 percent and amounted to 39.5 million euros. The value created in the first quarter of 2023 confirms that the balanced growth of Saponia has been created," the quarterly financial report states.

However, it has been noted that the business is still primarily characterised by cost pressure through the growth of prices of raw materials and packaging, energy costs and further increases in the gross salary of employees.

"As such, the costs of production materials are 23 percent higher, and the costs of energy and fuel are 55 percent higher compared to the first quarter of last year. The work of our employees was supported by an increase in payments for labour costs of 16 percent, which had an aliquot effect on the increase in the average gross salary for 1,071 employees," they stated.

Energy restoration

In a period in which the importance of energy sustainability and savings is becoming more and more clear, the Osijek Saponia company is beginning to "harvest" the benefits of intensive investments in increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, about which the company said the following:

"Certainly the most important project for the development of the Osijek Saponia company as a modern and environmentally conscious enterprise is energy renovation, which is entering the final phase, and even at first glance you can see the change on the facades of all four buildings, and we expect the end result, i.e. savings, by the end of the year. The workers in the production plants are already seeing the announced positive changes in working conditions, and our goal is to continue this process and a number of new projects have been prepared and are ready for implementation,'' the statement read.

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

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Croatian Company Koncar Boasts 1.2 Billion Euros of Open Orders

May the 4th, 2023 - The Croatian company Koncar can boast of an enormous 1.2 billion euros in open orders, with the first quarter of 2023 looking very good for them indeed.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first three months of 2023, the Croatian company Koncar (Koncar Group) achieved very impressive consolidated sales revenues in the amount of 171.5 million euros, which is 54.2 million euros or 46.2% more in comparison to the same period last year. In the total revenue the company earned from sales, the share of exports increased, amounting to 64% in the first quarter alone.

In relation to the comparative period from last year, revenues from the sale of the Croatian company Koncar's products and services in terms of exports increased across all markets in which they operate, and a particularly significant increase in revenues was recorded in the European Union's (EU) single market, where exports increased by 30.8 million euros. Exports to the EU amounted to 79.9 million euros, repesenting 73.2% of the company's total exports.

At the same time, the business segment of electricity transmission and distribution achieved particularly good results, thanks to the high demand for transformers due to the increasing momentum of the green transition. In addition to contracting on the EU market, which  159.9 million euros higher than back during the first quarter of 2022, contracting on all of the other markets on which the company is present has also increased.

Newly contracted deals in the first quarter of 2023 were concluded in the amount of 404.7 million euros and are more than double the amount of contracted deals in the same period last year.

According to Gordan Kolak, the president of the Koncar Management Board, open orders, the backlog, which reached a record amount of 1.2 billion euros and have increased by 233.1 million euros compared to the end of 2022, stand out in particular and represent the basis for growth.

Despite the growth in profits, the energy crisis and ongoing geopolitical turmoil as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine had a strong impact on profitability, and EBITDA was reduced by 15.2%, while operating profit was realised in the amount of 10.7 million euros and was lower by 4.3 million euros.

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

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Living in Croatia - What on Earth is FINA and What Does it Do?

May the 3rd, 2023 - There are some rather obscure institutions in Croatia, and when you begin living any form of real life here, you'll run into several of them. One institution that is worth familiarising yourself with is FINA, or the Financial Agency.

A brief history of FINA

FINA has been around for around half a century, but has only had its current name since 2002. Formerly known as the Payment Transactions Institute, or the Social Bookkeeping Service, it was the only entity in all of the former Yugoslavia which was able to authorise and execute domestic transactions. It has played a key role in many reforms, from the pension reform to the payment reform, and it has regional centre in the cities of Osijek, Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. There are also many other smaller branches dotted all over the country, and an interactive map of them can be found here.

What actually is it?

Are these offices banks? Tax office branches? Kind of, but no. FINA is Croatia's leading financial and electronic service provider. It deals with business information, cash operations, payment transactions, education, e-business services of various kinds, financial mediation, payment transactions and so on. It has quite the portfolio. It even offers safety deposit boxes.

It isn't a bank (although it might look like a small one at first glance), but it does have close cooperation with the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB) and other banks operating in Croatia. It describes itself as a public company which operates according to the stringent rules which regulate the activities of the free market, and it is also a government partner. 

According to its website, FINA has ''a longstanding tradition in business, its strength being mirrored in the successful implementation of large scale projects in the public sector, the implementation of legislation, computerisation and the enhancement of public services, and sharing knowledge and expertise of employees in the finance, electronic, cash and other services, aswell as responding to the needs of all client categories.''

In order words, FINA will be a repeated theme in your life if you own a company, or intend to open one. 

FINA also has agreements with numerous different utility providers in Croatia, and these are: 



PEOVICA d.o.o.



DUNDOVO d.o.o.


Digital certificates FINA issues and deals with

FINA issues numerous different digital certificates, and these are:

A qualified electronic time stamp

CA certificates

Fina's PKI system

Conformation and legislation documents and certificates

Certificate revocation lists (CRLs)

A tool with which you can search certificates

FINA's register of digital certificates

More information about each of these certificates can be accessed via FINA savings. You can also find out about how to obtain any of the aforementioned documents/certificates here.

E-business, e-invoice and e-payment services

Being the driver of digitalisation in business in Croatia, FINA naturally deals with e-business, which allows users to issue e-invoices and deal in e-payments. The e-business service enables the entry, signing, sending and timestamping of e-invoices, e-invoice receipt certificates, change of e-invoice status, the archiving and search of e-invoices, the use of templates, the graphic personalisation of e-invoices (such as company logos and so on), and their matching to payment orders. FINA's e-nvoice service is connected with the Internet banking services provided by all Croatian banks which hold a valid business cooperation contract with FINA, and which enables the automated preparation of electronic payment orders for all kinds of purchased goods and services.

FINA uses a tool called PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) for its e-business system, which, via its cross-border e-procudrement system, includes the issuing of e-invoices and making e-payments. You can find much more information about PEPPOL and how it works with invoicing Croatian state beneficiaries by clicking here.

What FINA does for the Croatian Government

As mentioned previously, FINA is a very close and important partner of the government, and as such it carries out numerous services and deals with various products for the state. This is where the ''Is FINA a tax office?'' question comes into play. In short, no it isn't, but it does have a lot to do with the supervision of compulsory contribution, surtax and tax payments. It's also where the ''Is FINA a bank?'' question might be asked, and again, no, it isn't, but it is heavily involved with all significant national treasury activities.

In short, FINA is involved with the following government agencies, providing various products and services:

HITRO and HITRONet (Croatian Government communication network)

REGOS (Registry of Insured Individuals)

RegZap (Public Sector Employees Registry)

The National Treasury System

e-File (Ministry of Justice)

The Blue Diesel Consumption Supervisory System

The Funds Enforcement System

The Registry of Court and Notary Services

You can find out about what each of these systems do, which state entity they're affiliated with, and how FINA provides services for them by clicking here.

For more on moving to, living in and travelling to and from Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section. Keep an eye out for our How to Croatia articles which tackle a different aspect of doing things here and which are published every Wednesday.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Jarun Reconstruction - Check Out What's New at Zagreb's Prime Spot

May 3, 2023 - The Jarun reconstruction works were worth 3.7 million euros, of which around 2.4 million euros are expected to be covered by the EU Solidarity Fund and the rest from the budget of the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni writes, Aleja Matija Ljubek on Jarun was renovated after 40 years, and on Saturday, Mayor Tomašević visited it, expressing his satisfaction.

"After 40 years since the Universiade, Aleja Matija Ljubek was finally renovated, and not only was it renovated, but improved, first of all for cyclists, but also for pedestrians," the mayor pointed out.

For the arrival and departure from the Recreation and Sports Center (RSC) Jarun, for the first time, public transport, the ZET bus on weekends, can now be used, he says.

"All visitors doing various activities around Jarun can use the bus, for now, on weekends," said Tomašević, who took a ride on the ZET bus with his colleagues after the press conference.

He said that they managed to withdraw the money for the works on that road from the Solidarity Fund; almost everything done will be financed from that EU fund, so they made savings in the city budget.

He said he is pleased "that we are going to Jarun without a car." As a transitional solution, the number of parking spaces around the lake has been reduced, and the number of parking spaces at the entrances to RSC Jarun on three sides has been increased.

He said that traffic for cars remains in one direction, which was introduced during the time of the previous mayor; however, as we have this weekend - a car-free weekend, the last weekend of every month - will be a car-free weekend and only people will be able to enter the RSC Jarun complex licensed vehicles - official and those for the needs of sports clubs operating within the Jarun complex.

Tomašević said that the transitional period would be one year, after which they plan to completely ban traffic for all vehicles that do not have a license so that RSC Jarun would become the largest new pedestrian and bicycle zone in Zagreb.

"So, for Earth Day, in a year, we expect this transitional period of traffic regulation to end, and that from then on, only vehicles with a permit can enter," Tomašević said.

Significantly expanded bicycle path

Deputy Mayor Danijela Dolenec reminded that the works on the reconstruction of Aleja Matija Ljubek opened at the beginning of February. Even then, they said it was a historical reconstruction of that thoroughfare because it had never been renovated since its creation 40 years ago. She pointed out that the works were used to significantly improve the entire traffic regulation on the lake and to announce the future direction of that regulation.

She noted that there are three main features of the new traffic regulation. The two-way bike path has been significantly expanded and is now on the lake's inner edge, making it much safer. It is also separated by a protective belt along the entire road along the lake.

Also, many parking spaces around Lake Jarun were removed, and new parking spaces were opened at several locations at the entrances to the lake. New parking spaces were created on Hrvatskog Sokola Street, a parking lot was opened next to the entrance to the lake, and a parking lot was arranged on the south side of the lake on Petrovaradinska Street.

The key novelty they want to promote is the bus line. Dolenec said that there was a bus line 113 from Remiza that ran around Hrgovići and turned at Hrgovići Street, and now it makes a circuit around the lake on weekends. There are 11 bus stops in total. "It is another way in which we promote the idea of public transport and, above all, the use of Lake Jarun as a recreation center," said Dolenec.

She also pointed out that the result of the cooperation with the coalition partner SDP agreed upon in the city budget for 2023 is that the City ordered two studies - the spatial programming of RSC Jarun and the lake desilting study. They hope to have these two studies by the end of the year, which will further enable activities on improving RSC Jarun.

Dolenec also announced that the Rowing World Cup would be held on Jarun next weekend.

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

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Osijek Joins the Night of Fortresses Croatia Cultural Event

May 3, 2023 - The cultural and tourist event Night of Fortresses takes place at established monuments of cultural heritage in the territories of Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina - three countries included in the Interreg IPA CBC HR-BA-ME program area.

As SiB writes, the first edition of the regional cultural event Night of Fortresses, was held at the end of April 2022. The organizers of this unique event are partners in the FORTITUDE project: Fortress of Culture Šibenik, City of Banja Luka, City of Karlovac, and Municipality of Bar.

The FORTITUDE project aims to improve the cultural and tourism offer in cities with established heritage in the cross-border area of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro and to raise awareness of the potential and importance of the valorization of cultural heritage as a generator of cultural tourism development. For this reason, the strategically important goal of the project is to strengthen networking and cooperation among managers of established heritage in cross-border areas by launching a new joint initiative - a cross-border cultural event called the Night of Fortresses.

Accordingly, in cooperation with the Museum of Slavonia, the Osijek Fortress Reconstruction Agency is organizing an appropriate program on Friday, May 5, 2023, on the eve of the Night of Fortresses event.

The Museum of Slavonia offers free entry to all visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Visitors can view the exhibitions "Painting: the Technique of Painting Walls with Stencils and Rollers"; "Goodbye Kuna, Good Morning Euro!" and the newly opened guest exhibition "MUO in Slavonia, Slavonia in MUO," created in cooperation with the Museum of Arts and Crafts from Zagreb. Also, museum publications will be available at a reduced price in the museum souvenir shop.

At 6:00 p.m., a guided tour of the Osijek Fortress begins with the tourist guide Stanislav Subotić. Stories about the Fortress will bring interesting facts about historical figures and events and the purpose of certain buildings, such as the Magistrate's building, which today houses the Museum of Slavonia. The Osijek Fortress was built on the model of the lowland Dutch military fortifications, and the Austrian military authorities started the planned construction after the liberation of the city from Ottoman rule at the beginning of the 18th century. The starting point of the guided tour is the Votive Statue on Holy Trinity Square.

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

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Mediterranean Cities in Danger - Zagreb Urban Planning Conference

May 3, 2023 - Mediterranean cities are in danger of droughts, fires, heat waves, and water shortages, so the cooperation of all countries in the area is needed to combat the consequences of climate change, the Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) warned.

"For the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin, this is alarming. In addition to the fact that the region is susceptible to climate change, it also has one of the fastest rates of urbanization in the world," said Erdal Sabri Ergen, head of transport and urban development at UfM, reported Poslovni (Hina).

Turkish diplomat Sabri Ergen, who will participate in the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean on sustainable urban development in Zagreb on Thursday, announced the event with a text titled "Green cities will save lives."

"Cities in the Mediterranean region are already dangerously exposed to the impacts of climate change, including water shortages, droughts, forest fires, and heat waves. In addition, they face increasing threats from rising sea levels, coastal flooding, and storms," he stated.

Zagreb to host an urban planning conference

In recent weeks, droughts and fires have raged in Spain, Portugal, and France, where temperatures are at July levels. The Mediterranean Sea and its coasts are warming 20 percent faster than the world average, so it is the second most threatened area after the Arctic in the north, according to data from the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

"That's why we call for more energetic international cooperation to encourage sustainable development, where cities must be at the center of action," added Sabri Ergen.
The Union for the Mediterranean, an intergovernmental organization based in Barcelona, includes all the countries of the European Union and the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, a total of 43 of them.

The Zagreb meeting of the ministers in charge of urban planning is the third such meeting after those held in Cairo in 2017 and Strasbourg in 2011. Five years ago, the Union for the Mediterranean presented its urban agenda, and to fulfill its goals, it launched an action plan. It is the framework that all countries should adhere to in implementing policies to reduce urban and underwater pollution, build energy-efficient homes, provide water for citizens, preserve historical landmarks, and implement sustainable tourism.

"Looking forward, the UfM countries have embarked on implementing an ambitious action plan for the further progress of sustainable urban development in the region. Measuring progress will be key, and as part of the 'Strategic Action Plan for Urban Development 2040', we have established indicators for monitoring and reporting on the progress achieved," said Sabri Ergen.
Urban areas cover only 2 percent of the world's land, but they produce 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and use 78 percent of the world's energy.

"Our cities leave a huge mark on the environment," emphasized Sabri Ergen.

He notes that there are more benefits to sustainable urban development. The health organization ISGlobal estimates that cities in Europe could prevent up to 43,000 premature deaths each year if they followed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on access to green spaces.

"Through our recent collaboration with the WHO, we are promoting healthier and more pleasant cities that prioritize the well-being of their residents," said Sabri Ergen. "The effect of this partnership will be highlighted during the ministerial conference in Zagreb on Thursday," he added.

The conference should be attended by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, European Commissioner for EU Funds Elisa Ferreira, and UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel, as well as Croatian Minister of Spatial Planning Branko Bačić.

Sabri Ergan says that one of the key areas of discussion will be the lack of energy efficiency in buildings.

"Today, buildings and structures generate 37 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. This takes us away from achieving the ambitious goal of complete decarbonization by 2050 because by then, global energy consumption in the construction sector will double, and the need for cooling in buildings will triple," he warned.

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