Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Air Traffic Recovers Completely, Zagreb Airport in Lead

June the 15th, 2022 - Croatian air traffic has well and truly recovered from the enormous amount of damage done to it as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic and all of the lockdowns and measures against travel for leisure that were introduced across Europe and the world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the fact that there was a complete recovery of Croatian air traffic after the global coronavirus pandemic has been very clearly shown by data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Their information shows that in April 2022, the total passenger traffic at Croatian airports amounted to 580 thousand people, which is 654 percent more than in April 2021, when the country realised a turnover of a mere 77 thousand passengers.

The largest amount of Croatian air traffic in terms of passengers was realised by Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport, with 254 thousand passengers (an increase of 375.8 percent when compared to April 2021, which saw the transportation of 53 thousand passengers), followed by Split Airport with 132 thousand passengers and an increase of 842.1 percent when compared to April of last year (14 thousand passengers).

Dubrovnik Airport had 117 thousand passengers, which is an enormous increase compared to only eight thousand passengers in April 2021. Dubrovnik is still primarily an air destination owing the need to cross the border in and back out of neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum when travelling by car. The placing into function of the long awaited Peljesac bridge will likely aid that.

The most significant amount of international Croatian air traffic was realised with German airports, which transported 141 thousand passengers into Croatia, which is an increase of 650.3 percent when compared to the same period back in 2021.

The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at all Croatian airports during April 2022 was 7,932, an increase of 126.7 percent when compared to April 2021, when the number of landings and take-offs stood at a mere 3,499.

The total cargo traffic at Croatian airports in April 2022 amounted to 728 tonnes, an encouraging increase of 14.5 percent when compared to April last year.

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Company Nanobit Develops Game for Netflix Reality Dating Show

June the 15th, 2022 - The Croatian company Nanobit has been busy developing the game for the Netflix reality dating show, which will certainly put the international spotlight on this quite remarkable Croatian company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Croatian company Nanobit and the massive Netflix platform are jointly developing a mobile game for fans of the reality dating show ''Too Hot To Handle'', which will be shown on Netflix in 2023.

To speak more precisely, ''Too Hot to Handle'' is a lifestyle simulation game based on the popular Netflix series, it's a game developed by no less than the Croatian company Nanobit, and next year it will arrive on mobile platforms and will be available for play to Netflix users around the world.

Thanks to Nanobit's vast expertise with narrative games, players are provided with a unique experience and they can participate in the virtual season of Netflix's popular dating show.

“We will be presenting the game during Netflix’s virtual fan festival, Geeked Week. It's a game that will show the spirit of the TV series with exciting drama and events,'' explained Alan Sumina, the CEO of Nanobit.

There are an array of highly successful Croatian companies popping up left, right and centre, but some of them have really stood out from the crowd and we'd be more than correct in saying that the wildly successful Nanobit is one of them. The Croatian company Nanobit is the leading domestic studio for the development and publishing of mobile games. It is based in the City of Zagreb, it has 29 titles released, with 10 applications and 19 games and more than 220 million downloads to its name.

Since September 2020, it has been part of the large Swedish group, Stillfront. The fact that a Croatian-made game will be showcased on a platform as massive as Netflix will do wonders for not only the exposure of this particular enterprise, but for Croatia as a whole.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Marko Livaja Named Best HT First League Player, Luka Modrić Best Croatian Footballer Overall

June 15, 2022 - The Croatian Association 'Nogometni Sindikat' announced the awards for the past football season, in which the best HT First League player, coach, young player, and team of the season were voted on by First League players and coaches. The best Croatian footballer overall was again awarded to Croatia captain Luka Modrić. 

For the tenth time, Nogometni Sindikat organized the Football Trophy Award, in which the best players of the past season are chosen by the players and the professional staff of Croatian Football League clubs. Due to the epidemiological situation, no awards ceremony was organized this year, but the laureates were announced via social networks.

The best player of the HT First League for the 2021/2022 season, voted on by the players and coaches in the First League, is HNK Hajduk Split player Marko Livaja. Note that Livaja finished the season as the league's top scorer with 28 goals in 34 appearances, and added seven assists. With his fantastic performances, he led Hajduk to win the Croatian Cup, and in the never more tense ending to the season, Hajduk finished in second place.

The captain of the Croatia national team, Luka Modrić, was chosen as the best Croatian football player last season. At the age of 36, he was one of Real Madrid's biggest assets on the way to a new Champions League title (fifth overall) and the Spanish championship. This is Luka's jubilee tenth award in this selection. Ivan Perišić (Inter) and Marko Livaja (HNK Hajduk) were also in the running. 

The best young player is Lokomotiva winger Lukas Kacavenda. Stipe Biuk (HNK Hajduk) and Dion Drena Beljo (NK Istra 1961 / NK Osijek) were also in the running. The goalkeeper of the current champion Dinamo, Dominik Livaković, was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the HNL. He won this title last season as well.

The former Rijeka coach, Goran Tomić, was named the best coach. He led his team to the Cup final and fourth place in the Championship. Rijeka last season was characterized by attacking football, and a slight drop in form in the second half of the season kept them away from the title race. Valdas Dambrauskas (HNK Hajduk) and Silvijo Čabraja (NK Lokomotiva) were also in the running. 

The best 11 players of the HT First League were also announced: 

Goalkeeper: Dominik Livaković (GNK Dinamo Zagreb)

Defenders: Stefan Ristovski (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Josip Sutalo (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Josip Elez (HNK Hajduk Split), Petar Bockaj (NK Osijek / GNK Dinamo Zagreb)

Midfielders: Arijan Ademi (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Filip Krovinovic (HNK Hajduk Split), Domagoj Pavicic (HNK Rijeka)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (HNK Rijeka), Mislav Orsic (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (HNK Hajduk Split).

Rujevica in Rijeka was declared the best stadium. 

ŽNK Split player Aida Hadžić was chosen as the best female footballer.

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Over 300 Applications for Indo-Croatian Startup Challenge,13 Best Selected

June 15, 2022 - The Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation, and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO) organized an online event to announce the winners of the Indo-Croatian Startup Challenge, a competition for Croatian and Indian startup companies supported by Infobip, KONČAR, and HexGn.

More than 300 applications were received, among which the 13 best innovative solutions were selected. HAMAG-BICRO organized the competition to upgrade the initiative to connect with the Indian market and launch the India-Croatia Startup Bridge, a digital platform designed to strengthen the international cooperation and innovation environment and trade and economic cooperation between Croatia and India. The competition was organized in cooperation with Startup India, with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of India in Croatia.

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His Excellency Raj Kumar Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Croatia, praised the organization of the entire competition and said: "It is encouraging to see the successful completion of the first activity within six months of the startup bridge between India and Croatia. At the time of the startup bridge, I said it would allow Croatian startups to take advantage of the 3S speed, scale, and sensitivity that define the Indian ecosystem and strengthen cooperation within 3T; talent, technology, and trade between our two countries.

They also have great potential for building an Indo-Croatian innovation partnership for global solutions and the global good. Looking at the process and results of the first startup challenge in the last 50 days, I think our expectations have been exceeded. Congratulations to the winners because they literally won 1st place in the competition of as many as 100 entries on average." 

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In the introductory part, the gathered participants from Croatia and India were greeted by Deepak Bagla, Director of Invest India, who praised the initiative and expressed satisfaction with the great response of participants who exceeded all expectations.

On behalf of HAMAG-BICRO, the organizer of the event, Mate Kovač, Director of the Sector for Support and Development of Entrepreneurship, Coordination, and International Cooperation, said: “I remember the first visit of His Excellency HAMAG-BICRO when we talked about connecting the Indian and Croatian market, and I must express my satisfaction that we managed to realize the agreed cooperation in such a short time. As a key government agency for small and medium enterprises, we have made efforts to implement this project because we see significant opportunities for Croatian startups in a market as large as India. Croatia can also be an entry point for Indian startups for the wider EU market."

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On behalf of the companies that supported the competition, Lucija Reić from Infobip, the first Croatian unicorn, and Jappreet Sethi, CEO of Hexgn, addressed the participants. Iva Milašinčić, Head of the Entrepreneurship Development and Support Service, moderated the event.

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As part of the Indo-Croatian startup challenge, startups from Croatia and India were invited to deliver innovative solutions in three challenges: Clean Water and Better Quality of Life, Reduced Inequality and Decent Work, and Economic Growth. Infobip awarded the first three best startup solutions in the form of Infobip products and services worth $10,000. KONČAR provided the best startup solution to the challenge of Decent Work and Economic Growth with a cash prize of HRK10,000.00 gross ($1,694), while Hexgn provided a free scale-up program worth $2,000 to each of the 12 successful participants. The total value of the prize pool is estimated at $43,000.00.

Best innovative solutions in the Indo-Croatian startup challenge:

Ciree Edutech Llp
Mindful Gurukul Private Limited
E2o.Green
Drona Automations Private Limited
Anuartstore
Talking Online Learning Solution Private Limited
Ame Artists Network Private Limited
Shevolve Innovations Private Limited
Vas Bros. Enterprises Private Limited
Thales Cleantech (Opc) Private Limited
Arms 4 Ai Private Limited
Reehdus Biotech
Country Clay

CiREE is an online EduTech platform for skills acquisition, training, retraining, and employment. Mindful Gurukul is a solution that combines the organization of hours of independent learning with modern technology and machine learning. E2O.GREEN is an intelligent consumer solution powered by AI, AR, EO, and IoT to enable golf course and urban green space management companies to manage assets, operations, and terrains effectively.

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Telemach Covers Almost All of Croatia with 5G Network

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - Telemach Croatia has covered almost all of Croatia with a 5G network and 100,000 households with a fast fixed fiber-optic network, approaching national coverage, to be completed by the end of 2022 or in early 2023 with the integration of Optima Telekom, Management Board President Adrian Ježina said on Tuesday.

Telemach has replaced and/or upgraded close to all of 1,200 base stations for the mobile network, and has so far covered Zagreb, Zadar, and Split with a 10-gigabit fiber-optic network, with Osijek to be covered soon as well, he said.

"We have achieved everything we planned in less than a year," he said, noting that this was possible owing to the support of the parent company United Group.

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Ex-Petrinja Mayor Suspected of Favouring His Son's Companies

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - The former mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, is suspected of giving favourable treatment to companies connected with his son while he was mayor, his lawyer Dražen Ivanić confirmed to Hina on Tuesday.

USKOK anti-corruption investigators began searches of the houses, business premises and cars of Darinko and Darko Dumbović on Tuesday morning. They will be interviewed in Zagreb, and if USKOK requests custody for the suspects, that will be decided by a Zagreb County Court investigating judge.

The lawyer said Darinko Dumbović is suspected of helping his son win several business contracts from the Petrinja town administration. 

According to unofficial sources, among the companies that were given preferential treatment is Titan Commerce, established in April 2015, two years after Dumbović became mayor. Media have said that the company's revenue has increased by millions from year to year.

Dumbović served as mayor until June last year.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Cooperation Between Plitvice Lakes National Park and Ruidera Lakes in Spain

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - A cooperation agreement between the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Spanish Ruidera Lakes Nature Reserve was signed on Tuesday in Plitvice, in the presence of Croatian and Spanish officials for sustainable development and the Spanish Ambassador to Croatia, Alonso Dezcallar Mazarred.

The Minister of Sustainable Development of the Castilla la Mancha region, Jose Luis Escudero Palomo, said that the experiences and methods of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in protecting limestone barriers would mean a lot to the Spanish side because limestone barriers in the Ruidera Lakes Nature Reserve had suffered great damage due to hydropower projects.

He called on the signatories of the agreement to use the opportunities in the European Union Green Deal and submit their programs for EU funding for the protection of nature and biodiversity, specifically to protect their national treasures.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, the director of the Nature Protection Directorate, Igor Kreitmeyer, emphasized that significant funds for visitor infrastructure had been invested in the Plitvice Lakes Nature Park over the past five years to make visitor pressure on nature as low as possible.

He added that "it is very important for experts to share their experiences in the management of protected areas."

"That is important in terms of preserving healthy ecosystems. Our only way out is to fight climate change, to function in a sustainable way as a whole, and that means living in a way that is promoted in protected areas,” said Kreitmeyer.

He praised the Castilla La Mancha region for being advanced in promoting environmental policies and wished that Croatia would learn how to better promote those policies in park management.

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Only 16% of High School Students Aware of Contraceptive Information

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - Only 16% of senior high school students in Croatia have any basic knowledge about contraceptive methods, which has prompted the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) to launch an awareness campaign about sexual and reproductive health.

The preliminary results of a survey, conducted by the HZJZ in the last school year on a sample of 1,208 senior high school students from across Croatia, show that 355 students (29.3%) had some kind of sexual intercourse. Of the 355 sexually active students, only 57 (16%) had basic knowledge of contraceptive methods.

In an effort to provide young people with access to accurate and verified information, the HZJZ is organising a campaign from 15 June to 4 September as part of the Healthy Life project with Sanja Musić Milanović as the project leader.

"The campaign is focusing on young people, who are often faced with confusing and contradictory information from unreliable sources," the HZJZ said in a press release.

The national campaign will involve prevention messages that will be displayed on info panels, in locker rooms, on beaches and on posters in pharmacies throughout Croatia.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of all citizens, especially young people, about the importance of preserving and improving sexual and reproductive health.

This year's campaign will provide online education through posts and quizzes on social networks. Prizes will be awarded for the most original photos, videos and slogans, as well as for the fastest correct answers in the quizzes.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Croatia's Maja Sever Elected President of the European Federation of Journalists

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - The head of the Croatian Journalists Union, Maja Sever, has been elected President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) at the organisation's general meeting that is taking place in Izmir, Turkey on 13 and 14 June, the Croatian Journalists Association announced on Tuesday.

Sever received 137 votes, while the other candidate for this position, Mariusz Pilis of Poland, gained 7 votes.

Sever is the first woman to serve as EFJ President in the organisation's history. She thanked the delegates for their nearly unanimous support.

"This election is a great honour to me and a chance for us to continue our struggle for strong and independent professional journalism," Sever said after her election.

She said her presidency would focus on the safety of journalists, improvement of worker and professional rights and the status of freelance journalists, and the fight against SLAPP lawsuits. She also highlighted the importance of journalist associations and unions fighting for better strategic and legislative frameworks at the national and EU levels.

The EFJ is the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 73 journalists' organisations across 45 countries.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Candidates for Civil Service Jobs to Be Selected by Robot

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - Justice Minister Ivan Malenica has decided to put an end to hiring for civil service positions "through personal connections" by digitising the hiring process.

The minister has launched a tender for a centralised selection system for admission to the civil service, and nine bids were received last week.

The purpose of the project is to avoid a repetition of examination questions and prevent candidates who have already participated in examinations and are acquainted with previous questions from having an advantage over other candidates, according to the tender document cited by Jutarnji List.

It also aims to prevent the hiring of persons using their personal connections or party membership to get a civil service job.

For this reason the government has decided to buy a software that will put questions randomly and select the best candidates according to predefined criteria. The procurement value is HRK 10.9 million (€1.45m) excluding VAT.

"The aim of the project is to establish a more objective and transparent hiring system based on actual needs and allocated funding, which will ensure the hiring of the best and most competent candidates, improve the efficiency of public administration and put its focus on user needs," the tender document says.

The selection process will be carried out centrally by online testing, which will ensure the objectivity and transparency of the candidate selection process, Jutarnji List said.

For more, check out our business section.

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