Monday, 2 January 2023

Exploring Croatian - The Oldest Known Slavic Alphabet - Glagolitic

January the 2nd, 2023 - Did you know that Croatia once used the oldest known Slavic alphabet? The Glagolitic script can still be seen in various parts of the country, and souvenirs sold across Croatia still bear it to this very day.

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian. What about Glagolitic?

A (very) brief history

To start off, it's worth noting that the origins of the Glagolitic alphabet are disputed to an extent. This can be said for most ancient languages and linguists are known to squabble over such things, but it is generally accepted that the script was created back during the ninth century by a monk from Thessalonica (today's Thessaloniki in Greece) called Saint Cyril, as well as to Saint Methodius, his brother. The very first observed mention of the word ''Croatia'' in the Glagolitic script dates back to around 1100 AD.

Another interesting fact about Glagolitic is that the precise number of letters in its original form is entirely unknown, but what we do know is that it is likely that Saint Cyril and his brother Methodius created the script in order to facilitate the introduction of the Christian faith, and we can assume with some level of certainty that the initial number of letters would have close to a Greek model. That said, there are elements of a variety of different languages within Glagolitic.

Over the many years, Glagolitic evolved with the population of its users and the tumultuous times they faced. It is certain that during the twelfth century, as Glagolitic in its original form (even with its non-Greek sounds) began to lose its grip, more and more Cyrillic influence could be found. As the centuries rolled on, more and more original Glagolitic letters were dropped, seeing the original number of letters drop to less than thirty in the Croatian recensions of what was called the Church Slavic language. 

The use of the Glagolitic script in Croatia

The first Croatian Glagolitic book to be printed was Missale Romanum Glagolitice from 1483, and if you somehow managed to obtain a fully functioning time machine and took a quick trip back to the twelfth century and landed anywhere in Kvarner, Istria, Dalmatia, or even in Medjimurje, you'd have come across the Glagolitic script more or less everywhere. It's true that Glagolitic was mostly found in the coastal parts of the country, with notable areas being islands such as Krk (the Kvarner area) and the Dalmatian islands which sit just off the Zadar mainland, but traces of it stretched to Medjimurje (far inland), Lika, and even in parts of modern Slovenia.

For a very long time, it was accepted that the Glagolitic script was used solely in the aforementioned areas, but when 1992 rolled around and Croatia was engulfed in some extremely difficult times in its fight for independence and against Serbian aggression, some fascinating discoveries were made in old churches situated along the Orljava river in Eastern Croatia (Slavonia). This rather remarkable discovery blew previous theories about the locations in which this ancient script was used out of the water, and proved that it was also indeed used in Slavonia, something that was simply not even considered before.

While the twelfth century was in some ways a form of peak for the old Glagolitic script in Croatia, it did survive beyond that as the nation's main script, and for some time, but after a while, the development (or indeed decline) of this script was very poorly documented for a variety of reasons. Just before the marauding Ottomans began sniffing around the area, and before the Croatian-Ottoman wars truly began, the use of Glagolitic was at its very peak, and in today's measure, the amount of people using it back then would correspond to the amount of people in Croatia who use the Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects (two of the main dialects which make up modern standard Croatian) today. 

The Ottoman wars and the decline of Croatian Glagolitic

The Ottomans and their invasions in the surrounding areas sounded the death knell for Croatian Glagolitic, and its stability in the region began to slip severely, with more damage being done to the use of this old script in areas more devastated and culturally altered by the Turkish forces. While the Ottomans certainly laid the heaviest of the groundwork to put the nails in Glagolitic's coffin, the real blow which set the wheels in motion for Glagolitic to meet its fate came much, much later, more precisely in the seventeen century, and by a bishop from Zagreb, no less. 

The Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy, the west and the Italians

You've likely never heard of this conspiracy, as it's known in Croatia by this title, but to others it is simply called the Magnate conspiracy. In short, this conspiracy was an organised attempt to remove foreign influences (read Habsburg) from both Croatia and neighbouring Hungary during the seventeeth century. This left the Glagolitic script entirely without secular protection, and its use was severely limited, seeing it used only in the coastal region of modern Croatia. One century later, in the very late part of it, western influence saw to it that Glagolitic was to be no more. The culture and the script crumbled under secular pressures from the west, and it relied solely on printed material. By the time the twentieth century had rolled around and Fascist Italy did its bit in many part of modern Croatia, the areas in which the Glagolitic script had managed to cling on to existence suffered tremendously, and these areas were scaled back even more.

Glagolitic in modern day Croatia

Many ancient buildings, such as churches, still bear the Glagolitic script to this day, and of course, items bearing it can also be purchased across the country. The brand new Croatian euro coins with national motifs on them also proudly bear this ancient script, and it can be found on the 2 and 5 cent coins minted here. The 1992 discoveries in Eastern Croatian churches also shed light on the script, and those churches are in Lovcic and Brodski Drenovac. Some of the oldest stone monuments with the Glagolitic script engraved on them have been found in Istria and on the island of Krk, and in February each year, Croatian Glagolitic Script Day is marked in an attempt to preserve the rich and rather mysterious history of this script for generations to come.

For more on the modern Croatian language, dialects, subdialects, extinct languages, and learning Croatian, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Croatian New Year Traditions: Swimming Into 2023 in Rivers and the Sea

January 1, 2023 - One of the most fun Croatian New Year traditions is swimming. Every region of the country knows its local legends who ensure never to miss the opportunity no matter the temperatures. This exceptionally warm winter might have made it a bit easier, but it was as legendary as ever.

As 24Sata writes, three weeks ago, young Ukrainians returned to Zadar from Montreal from the World Championship, where they competed in platform diving.

On the first day of 2023, they decided to practice jumping into the sea in Zadar.

They are gold world champions in platform diving from 10 and 12 meters. One of them won gold, another silver, and one even won the title of junior champion.

Some jumped in wetsuits, while some didn't mind the sea temperature so they didn't even wear one. Accor, ding to DHMZ, the sea temperature in Zadar is 14.8 degrees Celsius.

And more jumpers were found at the Greeting to the Sun in Zadar. The people of Zadar tasted their sea and decided to celebrate the new year in the same way.

Many swimmers in the Karlovac rivers

Brave swimmers plunged into the sea and rivers yesterday as well.

Swimming in cold rivers or the sea on New Year's Eve is a tradition many have practiced for years, including the 24Sata readers from Rab.

Swimming in the cold Drava is a tradition started more than three decades ago by Duško Rudež, the 'Seal from Osijek,' and continued this year in his honor by two young people from Osijek.

A special farewell to the Old Year and entry into the New Year in the Winter Harbor at exactly noon from Osijek's Promenade was followed by about a hundred people from Osijek who supported the two young men with a thunderous round of applause.

Saturday's air temperature of 15 degrees Celsius did not make the jump into the icy Drava any easier, said one of them, Bojan Marušić, and added that this was the warmest year since 2016 when, together with the legendary Tuljan (Seal), he first jumped into the Drava on New Year's Eve.

Marušić recalled that the Drava was really cold six years ago, but he also pointed out that it is cold this year, noting that it is better when there is less difference in air and water temperature.

When the air is colder, the body can more easily tolerate diving into cold water, and when it's this warm outside, the water feels freezing, Marušić explained. He thanked everyone who came to support them in continuing this tradition, which Osijek has known for a long time, and promised to continue nurturing this tradition. The deputy mayor of Osijek, Dragan Vulin, attended the traditional New Year's Eve swimming in the Drava, saying that it was in memory of Duško Rudež Tuljan, who died last year.

"Because of the man who started this tradition, who swam 32 times in this place, precisely on New Year's Eve, and last jumped into the Drava in 2018, it is important that this tradition is kept, and I believe that it will continue to be so", said Vulin. It should be noted that Duško Rudež's mission was to point out the ragweed problem by diving into the cold Drava on New Year's Eve as one of the pressing problems for the citizens of Osijek.

Zvonimir Karadža Kara (71) from Slavonski Brod saw off another New Year in his traditional way - by swimming in the icy Sava.

His friends faithfully cheered him on this year as he jumped from his friends' rafts in Splavarska Street in Slavonski Brod.

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

Sunday, 1 January 2023

New Croatian Currency Now in Effect with First Euros Withdrawn

January 1, 2023 - Croatia officially became the 20th member of the eurozone, a monetary union member of the European Union (EU), making the Croatian currency and the only legal tender the euro, the second most important world currency.

As Index writes, on the first day of the New Year, Croatia became the 20th member of the euro area, and the euro became the official Croatian currency and legal tender in Croatia. The previous eurozone expansion took place in 2015 when Lithuania became a member.

Minister of Finance Marko Primorac and CNB Governor Boris Vujčić met in front of CNB. Minister Marko Primorac commented on the introduction of the euro.

"Croatia has joined the circle of the most developed countries in the world. This was by no means an easy process. It took a long time; a number of people made significant efforts," he said. "The euro will provide us with some security in these turbulent times," he said and added that the euro will enable further growth and development.

"Over 95 percent of ATMs are stocked with euros; now the transition process is underway. So we can relax and enjoy ourselves," said Primorac.

"Kuna is going down in history; it served us well."

Then Boris Vujčić took the floor.

"I am thrilled because this year we finished the project that we started five years ago. We created the Eurostrategy then, and I must say that it did not always look like we would be in the Eurozone on January 1, 2023. This is a record timeline; it could not have been faster," he said.

"Croatia is the 20th country that uses the second most important currency in the world," said Vujčić and listed the advantages of the euro. "It is not a magic wand that will solve many of our problems, but it will help us be a richer country," Vujčić said.

"Kuna is going down in history," Vujčić said. "The kuna served us very well. It was stable since we introduced the kuna, we had low inflation, it will go down in history with pride, we will only remember it for the good," he said.

After that, at a nearby ATM, Minister Primorac withdrew the first euros from the ATM.

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

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Schengen Croatia Welcomes 2023 by Lifting the EU Ramp One Last Time

January 1, 2023 - At midnight, Schengen Croatia marked its entry into the Schengen area with the symbolic removal of the plaque at the Bregana border crossing, the lifting of the ramp, and the green light for free passage at the site of the former border control, which is now going down in history. "We opened the door to a Europe without borders," said Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović in Bregana. "Tonight, he added, we celebrate a new day, a new year, a new Europe with Croatia in Schengen."

As Index writes, at the beginning of 2023, Croatia became a new member of the Schengen zone, the largest area of free movement of goods and people in the world, which includes all the members of the European Union, except for Bulgaria and Romania, Cyprus, the Republic of Ireland and four other non-EU countries: Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

On this occasion, on New Year's Eve, special ceremonies were held at numerous border crossings with Slovenia and Hungary, including one of the largest crossings on the Croatian-Slovenian border, Bregana-Obrežje.

Borders have stood there for too long

Minister Božinović hosted Slovenian Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, while Acting Chief Director of Slovenian Police Boštjan Lindav joined Chief Police Director Nikola Milina.

"There are no more borders that stood between our neighbors and us for too long, the natural environment to which we belong both as a people and as a country," Božinović said.

He assessed that last night's act is more than the abolition of border controls: It is the final affirmation of our European identity, for which generations of Croats fought and ultimately won. He thanked the Slovenian minister and delegation for sharing moments of joy and pride. "Happy new year in Schengen to all of you!"

The Slovenian minister considered it a historical event. "Just as we symbolically set borders about 30 years ago, we are removing them now. However, this does not mean that security will decrease since we have thoroughly prepared for this moment in both countries," said Ajanović Hovnik.

After a short meeting of the ministers, at midnight, a ramp was simultaneously lifted on both sides of the border, which enabled free passage between the neighbouring countries. The lifting of the ramp on the Slovenian side was followed via a video wall.

Five minutes before midnight, the police officers at Bregana carried out the last border control, along with an appropriate gift - a teddy bear dressed in the uniform of a Croatian policeman.

In addition to the ramp, the sign with the inscription "Bergana Border Police Station" was removed, but just before that, the last report of the station chief was recorded, in which he informed the police officers to stop implementing border controls and move on to the tasks of compensatory measures.

The two countries' delegations then headed to the Slovenian side, to the area of the former Obrežje border crossing, where the chiefs of police stations and police officers thanked each other for their cooperation so far, with the symbolic removal of plaques from the police building in Obrežje. In the first 15 minutes after midnight, a dozen cars entered Slovenia without control from Croatia, greeting the assembled police officers with the sound of their horns.

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

Saturday, 31 December 2022

Vucedol Culture Museum and the City: Free Entry for Vukovar Residents

December 32, 2022 - Though it has been visited by more than half a million visitors from Croatia and abroad since its opening in 2015, the Vucedol Culture Museum remains one of Europe's most underrated museums. The stunning architecture, unique location, the modern exhibition and exciting events deserve all the attention. A place with a soul like that, though, will no doubt go a long way.

As Glas Slavonije writes, the archaeological site of Vučedol is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Europe. For visitors of all generations who want to experience something new, beautiful, and interesting, the Vucedol Culture Museum offers a new universe of discovery and inspiration, with an incomparable and unrepeatable combination of location, architecture, pleasant atmosphere, and, above all, archaeological and historical values presented in a contemporary way.

It is not surprising that from the day it opened, the museum became an important place in the tourist offer of Vukovar, so many domestic and foreign tourists who visit the city on the Danube do not miss the opportunity to learn something about the locality itself and the history of the area. The museum employees help with their knowledge and presentation of the exhibition. Furthermore, they pointed out that a few changes await the citizens in the first days of 2023 and shared some good news for the residents of Vukovar.

"From 1st January, entry to the museum will be free for all Vukovar residents. It is enough to present an identity card as proof of residence. During the seven years since the museum's foundation, many fellow citizens have visited us, so we would like to thank them for supporting us. Also, the people of Vukovar visit the museum together with their guests and remain the best promoters of their city", pointed out the head of marketing Darko Bilandžić.

Since its opening on June 30, 2015, the museum has been visited by more than half a million visitors, making Vucedol one of the most visited museum institutions in Croatia.

During that period, it received several awards for its work and many activities in Croatia and abroad. Not so long ago, the first international scientific and professional conference on the meaning of Vučedol culture was also held in Vukovar.

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

Saturday, 31 December 2022

May 1994 to January 2023 - An Ode to the Croatian Kuna

December the 31st, 2022 - The Croatian kuna is set to enter the history books tomorrow, after being in use since May 1994 in its modern (current) form. As we prepare to bid farewell to the Croatian national currency, let's look back on its history.

Subdivided into those irritating little lipa coins, 100 of them to be exact, the Croatian kuna (coded as HRK) is minted at the Croatian mint and sent out into the country by the Croatian National Bank (CNB). The design of the Croatian kuna banknotes were by Vilko Ziljak and Miroslav Sutej, and the first series of these banknotes were dated on October the 31st, 1993. There was once even a five kuna note, which has been withdrawn since 2007.

Meaning marten (a mink type creature), the kuna's roots go back to the exchanging of marten pelts (furs, skins) back in medieval times as a form of payment for goods and services. Lipa, those small silver and golden coins which end up in everyone's back pockets and left on cafe tables because nobody really knows what to do with them, draw their name from the linden tree. These trees were planted in and around Croatian market places during the early modern period.

A brief look into the deeper history of the kuna reveals the importance of martens and their pelts back during, you guessed it, Roman times, where these pelts were collected as a form of tax. These pelts were sought after and carried a very high value, and the Croatian word, marturina, comes from precisely this. Foreign currencies and means of trade and payment were in use across Croatia for many years, but by the time 1939 rolled around, the Banovina of Croatia planned to introduce its own currency alongside Yugoslavia's dinar. A couple of years later in 1941, under Ustasa rule as the Independent State of Croatia, the Croatian kuna was born, then called the Independent State of Croatia kuna. This was the means of payment in Croatia until 1945, when it was replaced with the dinar.

Fast forward to the turbulent 1990s, Croatia was engulfed in the strife of the breakup of the well and truly failed experiment of Yugoslavia and the Croatian War of Independence broke out (Homeland War/Domovinski rat). Back then, the Croatian dinar, a somewhat short-lived currency was in circulation here, introduced in 1991 and lasting only until the final month of 1994. Then came the Croatian kuna as we know it, tied to the German mark from the very beginning.

Of course, there were those who weren't fans of calling it the Croatian kuna because the name was coined (no pun intended) by the Independent State of Croatia and was in circulation during 1941-1945, a time many people preferred to try and forget. Other names were suggested as a result, including the banica (the wife of the viceroy) and the kruna (crown). The idea that the kuna would echo back to Ustasa rule and as such be a controversial name was dismissed, and the Croatian kuna remained with its rightful title. 

The CNB's policy was keeping the Croatian kuna's fluctuations with the bloc's single currency stable, as the initial expectations for Croatia adopting the euro officially, which was four years after joining the EU in July 2013, didn't come to fruition.

Croatia adopted the Croatian kuna as we know it today in May 1994, and it has remained in circulation ever since. It will continue being permitted as legal tender until mid January, 2023, but it is officially being scrapped tomorrow, on the 1st of January, 2023, making way for the euro as the country's new currency. Croatia fulfilled all of the many requirements for Eurozone entry this year, being given the green light not only for Eurozone accession but also for Schengen entry. No country has ever managed to enter both at the same time, on the very same day.

For some, the loss of the Croatian kuna marks a loss of identity and hard-won monetary independence, and for others, the introduction of the euro means more financial and economic stability, less people who have taken out loans being victims of exchange rate fluctuations, and more protection during crises. Whichever camp you fall into, Croatia abandoning the kuna for the euro is certainly an enormous moment in history for the little country that not only could, but consistently has, in the face of whatever has been thrown at it.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 31 December 2022

Croatian Hospitality Establishments Air Euro Concerns on Kuna's Final Day

December the 31st, 2022 - Croatian hospitality establishments, particularly bars, restaurants and cafes have been airing the last minute concerns as we are set to introduce the euro as Croatia's official new currency tomorrow. Will they all end up being more or less exchange offices for the next two weeks or so?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, will Croatian hospitality establishments double up as unwilling exchange offices during the first half of January? Who will have enough euro coins and cents and who won't? How will cash registers be closed on New Year's Eve? These are all questions currently troubling Croatian hospitality establishments, as with store closures, they'll be the first port of all for all euro transition confusion.

Cash problems

Dalibor Kratohvil, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK), said that the state was asked, considering that on New Year's Eve there will be a lot of pressure on Croatian hospitality establishments, to continue making it possible to return the difference when giving people change in kuna.

"The Ministry answered saying that it is clearly written in the Euro Act, in Article 40, Paragraph 2, which says that in the first two weeks of January, in exceptional cases, they can return kuna, if there are no euros available to them at that moment in time,'' said Kratohvil, noting that this is only in exceptional cases such as a shortage of cash in euros.

When speaking about the concrete adaptation of the hospitality sector to the introduction of the euro, Hrvoje Margan, vice-president of the Catering Guild at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, said that as far as the technical part is concerned, anyone who is a little more serious about things is ready for it and can do it.

"I think we're all somewhat ready and have a vision of how we'll work, and the biggest problem was that, in order to take some kind of advance supply of money, you had to have enough money in the bank account, and it's not like we're sitting on millions," he stated.

Closing the cash register

He added that IT experts did a good job and prepared the software for the transition to the euro. Thus, if and when a guest pays in kuna, the difference that they must return will be automatically converted into euros. Explaining what will happen at midnight from December the 31st (today) to January the 1st, he stated that, in order to be able to start anew on January the 1st, Croatian hospitality establishments would have to close their cash registers on December the 31st, make a calculation in kuna and then start working again. They'd then have to close all open items until then. The state, he added, came to the rescue and raised the cash limit from 10,000 kuna to 40,000 kuna for this purpose.

Clarifying what could be problematic when the euro comes into force, the vice president of the Catering Guild said that it isn't really a problem if a guest has a bill of 15 euros and pays it with a 200 kuna note, but when someone pays for a coffee of 1.60 euros with a 500 kuna note or more, then issues will arise.

"We're all afraid, not only cafe, restaurant and bar owners, but others as well, of becoming exchange offices," he stated, and when asked what about rounding up of prices and expected price increases, he added that he doesn't expect that to happen because in this situation, when people are looking at every single kuna, there isn't really much room for that.

"I don't know if any of my colleagues touched their prices at all, or if there's been price rounding, I don't expect that there will be any big price increases. Specifically, if we take for example coffee, which is now 12 kuna, it will cost 1.60 euros, or 12.07 kuna, from the New Year onwards, so there won't be a significant difference," he concluded.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Saturday, 31 December 2022

City of Split Updates Prices in Euros, Parking is Now More Expensive

December the 31st, 2023 - The City of Split has updated its prices in anticipation of the introduction of the euro in Croatia tomorrow, and while public transport may be cheaper, parking isn't...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, with the introduction of the euro as this country's official currency, Split's local authorities, or more precisely two of its utility companies, decided to "round up" the prices of some utility services and, as they claim, in such a way as to benefit the end users themselves. Let's make that more simple: city car parks are now more expensive, but public transport is cheaper.

As confirmed to tportal, the prices of Split's car parks will be adjusted to higher amounts with the introduction of the euro, and the winter regime going forward will be similar to what it is currently, one euro in the first zone, while in the summer period, one hour of parking will cost 1.5 euros. A special item on this particular list is the car park on the Riva (promenade) itself, which will be significantly more expensive: from the current 15 kuna (equal to about two euros) for the first hour and 20 kuna for each subsequent hour to slightly more in the winter period (two euros for the first hour, and three euros for the next hour).

However, from the months of May to September, parking on Split's famous Riva will cost 4 euros for the first hour and as much as 5 euros for each subsequent hour.

"However, most of the other prices have actually remained the same: parking in public garages isn't going to increase in price, the price of tenant subscriptions won't change either," they explained to tportal from "Split parking". They then once again announced the intensification of the construction of new public garages in different Split city districts: one has just kicked off as far as construction is concerned, another is due in about three months, and several more are planned throughout the year.

In parallel with the increase in the price of parking, public transport in Split is becoming cheaper: a monthly ticket for the first zone, which until recently cost 290 kuna, will cost the people of Split 30 euros in the future, equal to around 226 kuna. The difference from the actual price, which is set at 35 euros, so about five euros, will be subsidised by the company "Promet" from Split's own city budget.

It is this company that recently implemented a new ticketing system, meaning it's now possible to buy a ticket for the use of Split#s city buses in several different ways - at card machines, through a mobile application, on prepaid cards and the like. They will be slightly cheaper from the current eight kuna, costing around one euro in 2023.

For more, check out our news section.

Friday, 30 December 2022

Banovina Earthquake Reconstruction Recap 2 Years Later - Houses Built: 6

December 30, 2022 - Two years ago, the devastating Banovina earthquake struck the Sisak-Moslavina area of Central Croatia. How well has the state done in tackling the consequences? Horrifically poorly, according to many...

The SECOND anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Banija came with the dissatisfaction of the victims, but also of the participants in the reconstruction, which Prime Minister Andrej Plenković called "unbelievably slow," writes Index. Though we briefly covered the complex topic in A Week in Croatian Politics, read along for a more detailed overview.

Two years ago, on Tuesday, December 29, at 12:19 p.m., the area around Petrinja was hit by a devastating earthquake of magnitude 6.2, followed by a series of other earthquakes. The earthquake took the lives of seven people, leaving behind sad scenes of destroyed houses, commercial facilities, and public buildings in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina, and surrounding towns.

Many citizens from all over Croatia came to the aid of the residents who lost their homes in an instant on the same day, collecting and donating food, preparing meals, and clearing the ruins...

Citizens themselves brought food and other necessities in their cars, numerous volunteers and groups of younger people with shovels were seen in the earthquake-affected area helping the local population clear the terrain.

Two years later, the consequences of the earthquake are still apparent in many unrenovated houses in numerous villages and in Glina and Petrinja, where the reconstruction of the city centre has not started, but scaffolding and work on the first of 26 buildings are expected early next year.

In the area of Glina, 700 containers have been placed in which people from houses with red and yellow stickers (poor state of the buildings) are still waiting for structural renovation or replacement houses. Among them are people who do not have their own properties, so they are waiting for some other suitable accommodation.

In the Petrinja area, which has lost 5,000 residents since the last census, many people live in container settlements and containers next to their houses. Currently, about 1,600 of them are in the entire city and 212 in three container settlements.

The residents of the destroyed homes are dissatisfied because most of them are still waiting in containers to return to the renovated houses. The completion of the renovation of the houses is not yet in sight, though, as there are still many bureaucratic windmills left to fight. The government members are dissatisfied because the planned structural renovation of houses and the construction of replacement houses and residential buildings has not gained the expected momentum, despite the amendments to the Law on Reconstruction from October 2021, in which great hopes were placed.

Plenković's recent statement that the reconstruction of Banija "is going unbelievably slowly" fueled speculations about the resignation of Minister Paladina, who took up his post in March after the resignation of former Minister Darko Horvat. However, Paladina claimed that the "unbeleivably slow reconstruction" statement did not apply to him and was misinterpreted. The statement refers, he clarified, to the fact that the structural renovation of houses and buildings and the construction of replacement houses are not progressing at a sufficiently high-quality pace, which he has been saying for months.

"Only when we start renovating 100 houses a month we can be satisfied. I've been saying this for more than three, four months. The Prime Minister's statement refers to that part of the renovation that must be accelerated," he said.

Number of houses built in two years - 6

Only a few were lucky enough to return to their homes because, so far, the state has secured that all of six replacement houses are built in the entire county. Another 109 are currently under construction, while 16 multi-apartment buildings are under construction as part of the competitiveness and cohesion operational program.

Not a single building was renovated in the organised structural renovation, and the Central State Office, responsible for that county, completed the public tender procedure for 50 structural renovations.

According to statements from the area, most buildings were renovated thanks to donations. For example, in the area of Glina, 45 buildings were bought or built from donations, while the state has so far built six houses in the entire county, of which only one is in the area of Glina.

In the Zagreb area, which was hit by an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale on Sunday, March 22, 2020, at 6:24, 25 structural renovations are underway, while 14 structural and 2227 non-structural renovations have been completed.

The renovation of public buildings is going better. From the Solidarity Fund, which is open until June 30 next year for the reconstruction of public buildings, 10 percent of the amount was realised in March, and now that share has risen to 40 percent.

Claims were submitted for compensation in the amount of HRK 2.6 billion.

New measures tackling numerous obstacles

Obstacles in the renovation of houses are numerous, from complicated "paperwork" and the application process to the lack of labour, rising prices of construction materials, and property-legal relations.

At the end of July, the Ministry adopted a new Program of Measures for the Reconstruction of Earthquake-Damaged Buildings, which improved the model of financial assistance, i.e., self-renovation, according to which the property owner who opts for the self-renovation model assumes the choice of the contractor and supervision. It also allows the owner to ensure the creation of the architectural design.

The most significant measure is the payment of advances to users who cannot provide their own funds. For example, for the first phase of self-renovation, an advance payment for the costs of creating a project for structural self-renovation of houses, as well as an advance for the execution of works worth 25 percent of the financial aid, is possible, while for buildings, the payment of the entire amount of financial assistance is possible.

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

Friday, 30 December 2022

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from Posao.hr (December 30, 2022)

December 30, 2022 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency, Posao.hr, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site Posao.hr, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

Ines has kindly agreed to work with us on a new weekly feature on TCN - a weekly selection of 10 job listings, as chosen by Posao.hr.  Details and links to the job opportunities below in the latest edition of this feature.

Eumetsat is hiring a Remote Sensing Scientist – Hyperspectral Infrared Level-2 Products (m/f) for work in Darmstadt, Germany. The company is offering an excellent salary of up to 7.500 € net per month, flexible working time, private medical coverage, and much more. Apply via this link by Feb 2nd.

Falkensteiner Hotelmanagement d.o.o. is looking or a Event Marketing Manager (m/f) in Zadar, Croatia. The company is offering a competitive salary, all-inclusive onboarding, an employee discount, and much more. Apply by Jan 20th by clicking here.

Future HR is hiring a Camping Resort Manager / Technical Supervisor (m/f) in Zagreb, Croatia. If you are familiar with the Tourism industry, have at least 4 years of experience in the relevant areas and proven experience managing social media accounts and websites, this is a great opportunity for you! Apply here until Jan 4th.

Next Step career network is hiring a Children Animator (m/f) in Austria. The net monthly salary is 1.700 €, with 14 full salaries a year and 48-hour weeks. All the details are available here, and applications are open until Jan 20th.

Adecco Hrvatska d.o.o. is hiring a German Speaking Customer Service Representative (m/f) for their client for work in Zagreb, Croatia. If you are proficient in English and German, and you know how to use a computer well, this is a great chance for you! Click here for more details about the listing and submit your application by Jan 1st!

CCPOTER Sp. z.o.o. is looking for a Sales Advisor with Croatian (m/f) for remote work. Other than 100% work-from-home benefits, they are also offering a competitive basic salary with attractive sales bonuses, flexible working hours, and more! Apply here by Jan 24th.

Workforce Ljudski Potencijali d.o.o. is hiring a Business Analyst (m/f) in Hum na Sutli, Croatia or Vojnić, Croatia. If you have a Master’s in economics or mathematics, strong organizational and writing skills and advances English communication skills, this is a great opportunity for you. Apply here until Jan 5th!

Gi Group Staffing Solutions is hiring a Junior Architect (m/f) in Zagreb, Croatia, for their client, Paradox Museum. If you would love to create innovative designs in line with the company mission and deliver comprehensive and detailed projects, this is a great opportunity for you! Apply here until Jan 9th.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o. is looking for a Linux System-Administrator / DevOps (m/f) for work in Zagreb, Croatia or Belgrade, Serbia. The company is offering a chance to work in a global, multinational working environment with a strong team spirit, a competitive salary, and much more. Apply until Jan 15th by clicking here!

Pfizer Inc. is hiring a Healthcare representative (m/f) in Zagreb, Croatia. You can expect to grow with Pfizer, and to work in an environment which appreciates diversity, equity, and inclusion. Apply by Jan 24th via this link.

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For more career options and job listings, visit posao.hr.

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These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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