Friday, 26 November 2021

New Port Opens in Trget, Istria

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - A new port with 295 refurbished berths for a total value of HRK 10.5 million was officially opened on Friday in Trget, Istria as the most organised port in the remit of the Rabac Port Authority.

During the opening ceremony it was said that the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure financed the project with HRK 8.4 million and Istria County provided HRK 2.1 million.

In the wake of an accident involving the Liberian ship Fidelity in 2018, when oil leaked out in the Bršica port and the entire Raša Bay and the Trget port were polluted, it was necessary to remove the old berths and clean up the bay. This clean-up cost Istria County HRK 195,000 and Raša Municipality HRK 92,000.

The director of the Rabac Port Authority, Antonela Mohorović Kožuh, recalled that incident and said that today that episode was brought to a happy end.

"With the assistance of the Civil Protection Authority, with a lot of effort, we managed then to organise and deal with the damage. At the end of it all, we have a new port in Trget. Once a small, ugly and abandoned port, we now have 295 refurbished berths. Trget port is now the most organised port in the area in the remit of the Rabac Port Authority and it makes us all proud," underscored Mohorović Kožuh.

She added that next year a moor would be built in Trget and that documents are being prepared to refurbish the Sv. Marina port.

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Friday, 26 November 2021

PM Says Fighter Jet Purchase Big Step Forward

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021- Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday the purchase of French fighter jets was a big step forward as they were state-of-the-art technology and represented French-Croatian cooperation as well as contributing to European defence and strategic autonomy at EU level.

"That's such a strong and big step forward for the Croatian Army. We can be very satisfied. I think it's a phenomenal step forward and that it's a step forward for which we waited 30 years. I haven't heard even a hint of dissatisfaction from anyone who deals with this all the time," he told the press.

As for the general comment "we could have given the money for something else," we are giving it, he added.

The aircraft will be paid for over several years without it impacting the deficit, Plenković said, adding that the process was "carefully calibrated and carried out in a way we can be proud of."

As for criticisms that the price of the jets has gone up, which President Zoran Milanović said was scandalous, Plenković said, "If yesterday he was happy and today it's a scandal, did he wait for Macron to leave before reacting? I find it a little ridiculous."

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Croatia on Wednesday and Thursday, when an agreement on the purchase of the Rafale fighter jets was signed.

Plenković said VAT was not paid on used goods but on the commercial part and that the state paid that to itself. As for price indexation in the repayment years, he said it was something normal.

As for Milanović's criticisms that no one had consulted him about a strategic defence agreement, the prime minister said he could care less.

"He met with Macron yesterday, he supported the purchase of the aircraft. The strategic partnership is a document signed by the government and the French president. He received the document, the preparation and the information. It's ridiculous that he's complaining after the meeting. He should be happy."

Plenković said everyone was looking for some media coverage, but that one should be smart about it.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Strong GDP Growth in Q3 Increases Forecasts for All of 2021

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - The 15.8% GDP increase in Q3 has prompted RBA analysts to review their growth forecast for 2021 of 7%, the Chamber of Commerce says Croatia could be among the fastest-growing EU economies in 2021, 2022 and 2023, while employers note growth at the end of 2021 will be just a little higher than it was 10 years ago.

The State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) on Friday released its first estimate of GDP growth in the third quarter of the year, under which it is 15.8% higher than in Q3 2020.

That is the second-largest jump in economic activity after a record growth of 16.5% in Q2.

HGK: GDP growth in three quarters as much as 10.7%

Considering the good results in Q2 and Q3, in the first three quarters of the year GDP went up by as much as 10.7% compared to the same period of 2020, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said in its analysis of the latest DZS data.

Real GDP was not only significantly higher than in 2020 but it even exceeded the 2019 GDP by about 1.5%, putting Croatia among the most successful EU countries for which data is available.

"Of a total of 21 member states for which Eurostat has data for all three quarters, only ten achieved a GDP that was higher than in 2019. Compared to other member states, Croatia also stands out for the growth rate, having achieved the highest growth," the HGK said.

According to the European Commission, with an average GDP growth of 5.7% in this and in the next two years Croatia could rank third among EU countries, behind Ireland and Romania, and its growth is expected to be more dynamic than that of the entire EU, which will enable it to get closer to the EU development average.

HUP: GDP at end 2021 just a little higher than it was a decade ago

The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) underscored that based on available indicators, the DZS's initial estimate confirms the double-digit growth rate of real GDP in the third quarter of this year as against the same period last year, however, it noted that  at the end of 2021, GDP would be just a little higher than the growth achieved more than a decade ago.

HUP notes that based on most economic indicators, Croatia continues to be at the bottom of the EU along with Bulgaria.

"In order to change that and for growth to be stepped up and the level of development of other EU members from central and eastern Europe to be achieved, we need to use the present time to create foundations for strong and sustainable growth rates in the future," HUP underscored.

Joining the euro area and accessing EU funds "could additionally push growth rates up in the coming period but exclusively on the condition reforms are implemented to enable investments and new employment."

For more on business, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Two Croatian Doctors Awarded Medical Oscars 2021

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - Two Croatian doctors, Gordana Drpa from the KBC Zagreb hospital, and Matej Šapina from KBC Osijek, are the winners of the 2021 International Medis Awards - a sort of medical Oscar for best research achievements in medicine and pharmacy.

The International Medis Awards for Medical Research rewards excellent researchers from nine countries in Central and Southeast Europe in nine medical fields and this year's winners were proclaimed in Ljubljana on Thursday.

Pulmonologist Gordana Drpa from Zagreb and paediatrician Matej Šapina from Osijek were awarded among 230 researchers who applied for this year's competition from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia.

Dr Drpa won in the area of pulmonology and allergology. She is the author of the first original article on how the ratio of neutrophils and lymphocytes can predict the outcome of extensive stages of lung cancer in small cells. The article was published in the Radiology and Oncology science journal.

Dr Šapina is the first author of an original scientific article dealing with research in geospatial grouping of children's IgA-vasculitis and nefritis syndrome. The article was published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

In addition to the two Croatian doctors, other laureates were Marin Jukić from Serbia (pharmacy), Christoph Grander from Austria (gastroenterology), Luka Roškar from Slovenia (gynaecology), Marija Vukoja from Serbia (intensive medicine and anaesthesiology), Aleksandra Tomić Pešić from Serbia (neurology), Fanka Gilevska from North Macedonia (ophthalmology) and Gorica Ristić from Serbia (rheumatology).

The competition was founded in 2014 by the Slovenian Medis pharmaceutical company and it is the main sponsor of the competition.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

NeuroSplit Association Wins European Citizen's Prize

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - The NeuroSplit student association for neuroscience is this year's winner of the European Citizen's Prize for its achievements in popularising science, it was said at a ceremony in Zagreb on Friday.

Representatives of the association, founded in 2015 at the Split School of Medicine and awarded for the success of its project "With One Dream United", a series of events designed to popularise science, workshops, humanitarian campaigns and lectures, were presented with the prize by Croatian members of the European Parliament Tomislav Sokol and Sunčana Glavak.

"We are young professionals and what we have in common is a desire to work for the benefit of our community. We have many ideas and plans which will hopefully receive broad support," said Miro Vuković on behalf of the NeuroSplit association.

He said that the results of the "With One Dream United" project were beyond expectations, citing in that context the organisation of a conference called Nobel Days and an international congress on practical skills for students.

At the Nobel Days conference four Nobel Prize winners spoke about their discoveries and life to university and secondary school students from all over Croatia, and the congress on practical skills for students included workshops offering students from the field of biomedicine skills for their future careers.

Sokol said the European Citizen's Prize going to medical students in the current time of the pandemic was an appropriate coincidence.

"We are in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis and this prize sends a message about the importance of investing in science and in professionals," he said,

"Our main priority must be for EU citizens to not be divided into first and second-class citizens and for health care in all EU countries to be equal," said the MEP, noting that projects like the one launched by NeuroSplit could help the national health system raise its quality and be more competitive at EU level.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Of Grasshoppers & Water: Croatian Couple Off to Uganda to Dig Wells

November 26, 2021 - Croatians spend the winter in various ways. Meet a young couple off to dig wells in Uganda hoping to overcome a fear of grasshoppers while there.  

Could this be the Croatian car rental story of the year?

She: a young student working for a car rental company part-time.

He: an internationally famous young chef with working experience in a Michelin 3-star restaurant, as well as being listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 most influential people under 30

The car: just a regular Suzuki. 

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Nobody will ever know what happened in the car park on that fateful day, but a few days later Matea found herself in a new role, playing hostess at a 5-star luxury dinner in western Zagreb, which was raising money to dig wells in rural Uganda. 

It was one of the finest meals I have ever had, prepared by Zagreb's only Michelin Star chef, Bruno Vokal of Noel, and the man renting the Suzuki, Mario Mandaric. Read more in Michelin Starry Nights in Dubrava as Vokal, Mandaric Cook for Uganda.

The couple had become close very quickly, and Mario invited Matea to join him on his winter project in rural Uganda, to build wells with the non-profit organisation, Water Help Uganda.  

There was just one problem - Matea was terrified of grasshoppers. 

Terrified. 

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That fear did not subside when Mario showed her photos of where they were going. Apparently, now is peak season for grasshoppers. 

How to go on this incredible and worthy journey to dig wells, while also overcoming her fear of grasshoppers?

Mario is known as a very resourceful chef, who made his name fighting food waste in the restaurant industry. He is a very capablee young man, and he came up with a rather ingenious way to help his new girl tackle her fear.  

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Meet Flipper. 

African grasshoppers are hard to find in Zagreb in late November, but Mario always finds a solution to the problem, and this was to be no exception. He wanted his girl to go to Uganda, and if he had to help her overcome her fear of grasshoppers in order to make that happen, then so be it. 

And I have to say, didn't Matea do well?

Matea and Flipper became best buddies almost (ok, maybe not almost) instantly. 

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I caught up with the young couple earlier today ahead of their departure tomorrow, and I was there as their negative PCR tests came in. 

The journey is about to begin, one which TCN will be reporting on in the next few months. Mario has kindly agreed to become the first ambassador for our new CROMADS project, which launches next month, and we brainstormed a little during our meeting. Stay tuned, for what we came up with is quite exceptional. 

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The couple will be gone until January, when Mario will start work on a very cool project in Zagreb, on which we have already published a teaser: Local Knowledge with a Foreign Eye: When Gourmet Visions Collide

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It promises to be quite a change of scene for the couple, but their Ugandan hosts are very excited about their arrival.

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You can follow their progress on the Water Help Uganda Facebook page

TCN is proud that our first CROMADS ambassador is off on such a worthy journey, and we will be reporting on both the progress of the well construction project, as well as Matea's ongoing love affair with grasshoppers. 

And I leave you with some photos of the project and what awaits. So next time you rent a car in Croatia, who knows where it could end... 

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Friday, 26 November 2021

Jelsa Tourist Board Launches Project "Loyalty Program for Renters"

November 26, 2021 - With the aim of helping private rental owners in the town to prepare in the best possible way for the following summer season, the Jelsa Tourist Board launches a project that will offer discounts and benefits for partners, called the ''Loyalty Program for Renters''.

The project "Loyalty program for renters" of the Tourist Board of Jelsa will offer a number of benefits and discounts for arranging accommodation units, equipping facilities, arranging gardens and yards, and private renters will provide better and better preparation for the upcoming tourist season.

The "Loyalty program for renters" works on the principle of a card that renters will be able to pick up at the office of the Tourist Board of Jelsa, reports HrTurizam. Given the large share of private accommodation in the Municipality of Jelsa, this method jointly contributes to increasing the quality of the tourist offer and encouraging local consumption. The cardholder must be registered in the eVisitor system and have all debts settled.

The Tourist Board of the Municipality of Jelsa invites all companies and crafts that are engaged in economic activities and offer products related to tourism (construction, equipment, works, aesthetics ...), to apply and get involved in the project as partners. The deadline for joining this project is December 10, 2021, after which renters will be invited to pick up their cards at the office of the Tourist Board of Jelsa.

Interested partners should submit an application form in which the required information is entered. By completing it, the partner undertakes to participate in the project until its revocation. Discounts and benefits provided by partners can be easily changed throughout the year, by sending an e-mail toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with new information. The project is permanent, and partners who want to activate later in this project are welcome, and you only need to send the completed application form to the specified email address.   

The cards are in the name and surname of the landlord, are not transferable to other persons, and can be picked up upon presentation of an identity card. The list of partners and contracted benefits for renters can be found on the tab, whereby simply scanning the QR code, the landlord can see current benefits and discounts at any time. Also, a list of all current offers will be on the official website of the Jelsa Tourist Board.

THE APPLICATION FORM is located at the LINK.

The application form should be sent exclusively to the email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or delivered in person to the office of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Jelsa.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Social Enterprise Da-Mogu Opens Webshop for Knitted Hats

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 -  After conducting a successful crowdfunding campaign, the social enterprise Da-Mogu has launched a webshop at www.damogu.org where knitted hats can be bought, the company reported on Friday.

The crowdfunding campaign was recently conducted to help persons with low employability, notably those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, find employment, specifically by knitting, "which empowers and lifts spirits."

Since the launching of this initiative, 19 knitters have joined to design caps and launch production.

The enterprise deals with handicrafts and is part of a slow fashion movement aimed at caring for social aspects, quality material, protecting mankind, the environment and animals.

It advocates employing people who have difficulty in finding employment such as the disabled, elderly and people seeking first employment.

The crowdfunding campaign has ensured finances to employ two disabled knitters and by exiting on the market the enterprise hopes to employ other knitters.

The project has included beneficiaries at the Zagreb centre for the elderly and disabled and so far ten knitters from continental Croatia have been included in the project. Several professional knitters contribute by providing additional training and stockpiles in cases of increased demand.

"With time we hope to include knitters from other areas of Croatia, and perhaps beyond, the enterprise director Tatjana Aćimović said.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Digitalising Agriculture Key to Increasing Productivity

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - Digitalisation is the key to increasing productivity in agriculture and the driver of developing domestic production, an analysis by the Smarter consulting company said on Friday, noting that digital technology can help farmers to work more precisely, efficiently and sustainably and increase productivity.

"In Croatia, less than 10% of farmers use digital systems to manage production. In developed countries that share is far higher - almost 40%...and about 30% use information technology and keep their records using digital tools," Smarter said in the analysis.

It recalled that in addition to EU funds, Croatia has the opportunity to invest in digitalisation through the NextGeneration EU instrument and the National Recovery and Resilience Programme, which has ensured about HRK 77 million for digital transformation in agriculture.

Of that amount, HRK 14 million is earmarked for the establishment of digital public services, HRK 50 million for smart agriculture and HRK 13 million for traceability, which can significantly contribute to the wider use of digital technology in agriculture.

Digitalisation can help Croatian producers to improve decision-making and increase ecological efficiency, which is a must based on the EU green deal.

Smarter recalled that the COVID pandemic has impacted the application of new technological solutions and a large number of farmers organised their own digital platforms to promote and sell their products. This, however, is insufficient as users do not have sufficient experience in using digital tools.

In Croatia, digitalisation is present in large companies and among young people who are continually introducing new technology and are achieving European results in yields and productivity. However, in Croatia, most farmers are older and are poorly educated and IT literate.

The best solution would be for all agricultural producers, regardless of their size, to use a national IT platform that would ensure the introduction of digital management of production that would be open to every farmer in addition to the existing commercial systems.

Such a platform would also enable the ministry to have insight into and plan and monitor production, while producers would be provided with the best practices in their sector.

For more on business, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Croatia Bans Arrivals of Foreigners from Southern African Countries

ZAGREB, 26 Nov 2021 - Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team decided to impose a 14-day quarantine and mandatory testing for Croats returning from South Africa, Botswana, Lesoto, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Congo, and to ban arrivals of foreigners from those countries, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Friday.

The ban and restrictions are in line with the European Commission's recommendations to all European Union member states following the appearance of a new variant of coronavirus in South Africa.

Brussels is mulling EU-wide flight restrictions due to concerns over the new COVID-19 variant.

The head of Zagreb's Infectious Diseases Hospital, Alemka Markotić, informed the news conference about studies showing that the new variant had not yet been detected outside Africa.

The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, said that it was still to early to predict the rate of the spread of that variant of the virus, having in mind the fact that the vaccination rate in southern African regions is below 10%.

Božinović told the news conference that European Union member states have to date issued 650 million COVID certificates, and currently talks are being conducted on the period of the certificate's validity after full vaccination.

The European Commission on Thursday updated its rules on the validity of EU Digital COVID Certificates for a period of 9 months since the primary vaccination series. The Commission presented draft recommendations for safe and free movement in the EU which should take effect as of 10 January next year.

Capak: The vaccinated transmit the virus to a lesser extent

Capak warned about misinterpretations of scientific papers concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

If one reads a scientific paper, they should also be able to interpret it correctly. A vaccinated individual can contract the virus and develop symptoms, however, the vaccinated get sick to a much lesser extent. It has been also proven that the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in their nose quickly lessens, Capak said, adding that vaccines provide a high level of protection against serious illness and death.

Also, the instances of the virus breaking into healthcare institutions are rarer now than in the first waves before the vaccination rollout.

For more news on travel, CLICK HERE.

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