Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Croatian 2022 Season Lacks 35,000 Workers, Some Hotels May Not Open

January the 25th, 2022 - It might seem like we're far from the sweltering heat of summer and an influx of tourists at the moment, thanks to the temperatures and the weather, but the Croatian 2022 season will be here before we know it. As many as 35,000 staff are required and apparently are struggling to be found, leading some facilities such as hotels to perhaps not even bother opening their doors this summer.

As Novi list/Alenka Juricic Bukarica writes, there will be an estimated shortage of between 30,000 and 35,000 tourism employees for the Croatian 2022 season. The problem of labour shortages escalated last year when some hotels, and not only those of lower category, didn't bother to open their doors during the main summer season because there were no employees who would work the season to be found.

The tourism sector therefore calculated that around 800 million kuna more revenue could have been generated if they had been able to hire labour under more relaxed conditions.

Most of the Croatian tourism sector, with the exception of, for example, travel agencies, no longer have job preservation measures introduced in 2020 available for their employees, which is why the sector launched a series of proposals back in early autumn, immediately after the season, to alleviate the problem of staff shortages and to further facilitate employment. The sector also expects the labour market test obligation to be scrapped.

The problem of waiting for work permits for third country nationals

The 2021 Croatian census showed a sharp decline in the number of inhabitants of the country, and thus the working population, and in the conditions of the pandemic, the trend of local workers going abroad increased, meaning that the already insufficient pool of domestic labour was further emptied. As expected, the Croatian 2022 season will come with great demand for staff from other, mostly neighbouring non-EEA/EU countries, but also the Philippines, India and Ukraine.

Last year, when it came to hiring foreigners, employers ended up having to wait for several weeks to get valid work permits for their staff to that they could work legally, and waiting for even one month during the height of the busy tourist season is unrealistic.

According to the Croatian Employment Service (CES), two thousand and 463 waiters, two thousand and 101 chefs and 689 maids were registered at the bureau at the end of December. According to the same institution, a total of 235,219 workers were wanted for last year's season, of which 27,792 were seasonal workers.

Out of a total of 27,792 sought-after seasonal workers, most were in Istria, Split-Dalmatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties. When it comes to labour market tests, in 2021 - 28,838 workers were in demand. Thus, work permits were issued to more than 2,000 cleaners from abroad, about 1,700 foreign waiters, 1,300 assistant cooks, about 1,200 cooks, and about 700 hotel maids.

The highest number of requests for the labour market test was received by the Zagreb Regional Office, amount to around 8,500, while Pula is in second place with about 6,800 such requests, and Rijeka is in third place with about 5,400 requests. It's worth mentioning that back during the record-breaking year of pre-pandemic 2019, about 20,000 seasonal workers from abroad were employed in the Croatian tourism sector.

Crisis reactions

Commenting on the situation with staff in tourism last year and this year, Marina Cvitic, the president of the Trade Union of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia (SIKD), pointed out that in tourism, it is more than necessary to specifically increase salaries, all the more so given the situation with inflation.

''This was the biggest mistake employers in tourism made at a time when there were staff to be hired. There were enough of them, and the employers had enough money and they could have financially increased the salaries of their employees. Now they have less money, and they give bigger increases than when they did have money. But, unfortunately, there are no staff now. It's a vicious circle. Now, salaries should be increased by at least 50 percent in order to get people to come back,'' she warned.

She added that today anyone who is healthy can find a job. It might not be a quality job, but it will be enough to get by. People don't leave Croatia because there is no work, but above all to find better jobs and more stability. Last year, she said, the staffing situation became very difficult.

''On the one hand, I understand why it was how it was. Employers couldn't plan in time because the pre-season was marked by lockdowns, and until the very beginning of summer, it was practically unknown whether there would be a tourist season at all. Then in June everything started again rather abruptly, and of course all those who weren't invited to come here to work until June, had been looking for a livelihood elsewhere. A large number of workers who would otherwise have decided to work in Croatian tourism went and did other things, usually being engaged in the construction or trade sectors. Wages in these industries increased, so tourism offered low incomes in relation to them. Therefore, without a concrete increase in salaries, I'm afraid that there will be no progress for the Croatian 2022 season and that part of the facilities will remain closed once again due to lack of staff,'' said Cvitic, adding that now is the time to negotiate the price of labour for the upcoming tourist season.

This time last year, the negotiation was to reduce, not increase wages, because there was no need for workers. During the season, through non-taxable awards and other things, they tried to compensate for that.

As for foreign workers, Cvitic revealed, they were really from everywhere, from Nepal, Brazil, Argentina, India, to the Philippines to Ukraine.

''From those countries where it is worse than it is in this country, things are easier, on top of that, Croatia is actually just a stop on their way to Western European countries. The problem is that this type of employee, when in contact with the guest, cannot provide the service that a person who lives here and who is representing this country can do. Croatian are known for their quality and professionalism, and unfortunately we're in a situation in which we educate quality staff, invest in their education and practice, and then those people go to work elsewhere. This is clearly indicated by the latest census data. Personally, I expected that there would be no decline in Istria, precisely because of the progress in tourism, however, the peninsula didn't remain immune to this negative trend,'' concluded Cvitic.

LRH: We are raising the standard for employees

Liburnia Riviera Hotels (LRH) also touched on the Croatian 2022 season staffing issues, said that this year, they will need about 600 additional employees.

''We always need waiters, cooks, receptionists, maids... We'll also need additional strength in other areas. On a smaller scale, we'll also hire staff for some specific positions such as lifeguards, gardeners or handymen, as well as people to come and work in administration. The search for new human resources has already begun. We believe that it is very important to start the search in time to find the best employees, especially given the poor market situation,'' they said.

Initial talks with potential future employees for the Croatian 2022 season, as well as negotiations with some key partners in the recruitment process (employment agencies) began late last season, they said from LRH, adding that they offer employees competitive market conditions with adequate accommodation and food, as well as working continuously and intensively to improve overall working conditions and raise standards in all aspects of employee relations.

Jadran/Adriatic: Scholarships and a stable job

''Considering the situation on the labour market, primarily starting from the ambitious plans for next year, activities related to the labour force haven't stopped for this company.

As of September the 1st last year, a total of 46 employees received indefinite contracts, and some of them had their contracts extended for another year, meaning that Jadran now has 165 full-time employees, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period back in 2019,'' said Lucija Jukic, the director of sales and marketing of Jadran Crikvenica.

She added that, in addition to continuously advertising the need for labour force and cooperation with the CES, Jadran will also perform at the upcoming virtual job fair Sezonac.hr.

In agreement with the High School in Crikvenica, the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism in Ika and the PAR Business School in Rijeka, Jadran applied to the programme of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport for scholarships for students studying for tourism professions for which employment approval has been obtained, adding nine new scholarship recipients into the mix.

''Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we had to abandon the planned, year-round operation of the Boutique Hotel Esplanade, which was to become a centre of excellence, but we're glad to announce the opening of Hotel Lisanj, which will begin working on February the 11th and will not close until the end of the year. Jadran will also employ another 450 seasonal workers during the Croatian 2022 season,'' concluded Jukic.

Valamar: Permanent job and awards

The largest tourist company in Croatia, Valamar Riviera, says that this year, according to the plan, about 7,000 employees from Istria to Dubrovnik will work in their facilities.

''An additional advantage of working at Valamar is the possibility of working in our hotels in Austria during the winter months. After their first season working here, employees can enter the permanent season and have a seasonal job, with year-round income. Last autumn, Valamar started with the selection and employment for the Croatian 2022 season within the Good Job at Valamar programme and invited all those interested in developing a career in tourism to apply for a job with us.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Valamar, with the support of social partners and government measures, preserved all jobs through the Pause, Restart programme, which last year enabled the realisation of a solid tourist season, and we're already intensively preparing for the season ahead. At Valamar, we offer the best working conditions and have been recognised as a top employer in tourism for many years now. We expect to fill most of the job positions this year with employees from Croatia, and we're satisfied with the interest of candidates from the immediate region,'' said Valamar.

When asked what conditions they offer, they stated that last year, they hired 400 employees for an indefinite period of time, and paid the highest awards for the season, awards for excellence and a 13th salary and Christmas bonus.

For more on how companies are preparing for the Croatian 2022 season, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Zeljka Karin: 250 Croatian PCR Test Appointments Being Missed Per Day

January the 25th, 2022 - Dr. Zeljka Karin has appealed to Croatian residents to please make sure they call and actually cancel their PCR test appointments as opposed to simply not showing up, as the situation surrounding testing appointments is becoming a severe issue.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the fact that Omicron is spreading like wildfire and that many professionals are now wondering whether testing for the presence of the novel coronavirus has any purpose anymore, there are still huge problems with supply and demand when it comes to the ''gold standard'' test - the PCR.

The problem, as they explained from the Dr. Andrija Stampar' Institute of Public Health, are the testing appointments which go unused because the people referred simply don't bother to turn up. On average, there are around 200-250 such cases every single day. There is a similar situation going on in Split, as well.

“The problem is really that people don't bother to let us know that they want to cancel their PCR test appointment, meaning that they go for a quick antigen test instead or just stay at home after a positive antigen result and doesn't bother to cancel their PCR appointment. I'm appealing to all those who aren't going to come for their PCR test appointments to please let us know. We're waiting for about two days for this sort of testing,'' said Dr. Zeljka Karin, the director of the Teaching Institute for Public Health of Split-Dalmatia County for HRT.

"Don't be fooled into believing that this is just Omicron and that it will pass with a milder clinical picture. Omicron creates different clinical outcomes, depending on the person. In addition, we still have the Delta strain circulating and it is still common. Six people died two days ago. You need to know that to us, when people are dying daily, it means that the virus is far from harmless. You have to go and get vaccinated and adhere to the epidemiological measures," Dr Zeljka Karin added.

Rapid antigen tests taken at home are also a measure of protection for many, and some pharmacies sell up to 150 of these tests a day, ending their days with empty drawers.

“Rapid antigen tests are currently the most sought after commodity in pharmacies and very often in the afternoon, especially before closing, the tests actually disappear. Towards the end of last week in some pharmacies, we were told that there were no tests, but this morning we talked to suppliers and those who don't have any today will get them over the first days of next week, so I think there will be no major problems there,'' said Ana Soldo, President of the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists, adding that rapid antigen tests are reliable and of high quality.

“Rapid antigen tests for self-testing at home are about the same accuracy as those used for professional purposes, they're only in a different form and the instructions have been adapted to non-medically trained people that they can test themselves. So, their accuracy is mostly over 97 - 98% ", added Soldo.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Croatian Highlander Brand Spreads to 15 Countries Including USA

January the 25th, 2022 - The popular Croatian Highlander brand, which offers a special experience for all lovers of walking, climbing and mountaineering, has spread from Croatia to as many as fifteen different countries, including the United States of America, which the creators say was a real achievement for them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the very special mountaineering experience created by the Croatian Highlander brand originated in Croatia back in 2017 and has since expanded to 15 countries around the world. This year, it is heading across the pond to the United States.

The USA is the world's largest market for long-distance mountaineering, which is a great achievement for this brand, and at the same time an opportunity to promote Croatia even more loudly.

"Launching into the American market is our biggest victory and a turning point in business because it's the strongest market in the world, but also a market that needs a focus on health and care for nature. The first event we launched will be in California, in the Big Bear Lake region from September the 27th to October the 2nd, where we expect participants from over 40 countries to join us,'' explained Jurica Barac, the director of the Croatian Highlander brand.

The event over in the USA is the result of the strategic partnership of the Croatian Highlander brand with the American event company Spartan Race®, which they concluded last year. The main goal of the partnership is to break Highlander into the world's largest markets in the event industries such as the US, the UK and even China.

It's worth noting that the team of recreational mountaineers and nature lovers from Osijek is responsible for the creation of this mountaineering adventure, as they recognised the beauty of Croatia in its mountain peaks and paths.

This expedition had its premiere on no less than the famous Velebit, and today, the Croatian Highlander brand has versions in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Austria and Greece, while last year Morocco, Portugal, Macedonia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Slovenia joined the list, as did Russia and Egypt.

Back at the beginning of pandemic-dominated 2020, the license for the Croatian Highlander brand was sold to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria and Greece, which made Highlander Global the umbrella organisation that oversees the brand's entry into existing and new countries as franchisors. In addition to more sales, the main focus of this brand will be to help organise events for partners who have purchased a license.

''In addition to expanding and developing more, we also plan to talk to potential investors for the project, which we believe will lead to a 50 million US dollar annual revenue deal by 2025. In five years, we want to be present in at least 50 markets across the world and have more than 350 events globally,'' concluded Barac.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

How Will Croatian Eurozone Accession Affect Kuna-Winning Game Shows?

January the 25th, 2022 - How will Croatian Eurozone accession, which is rapidly approaching and currently due to happen at the very beginning of next year, affect game shows in which prizes are paid out to winners in Croatian kuna?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Eurozone accession will occur on January the 1st, 2023, and then the euro will replace the kuna as the official currency in this country as well. At that moment, a lot will change, but what interests quiz and game show fans is whether or not the prize money in the popular show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" will increase from one million kuna to one million euros.

Vecernji list finds out that things in that regard are still very much up in the air.

''We haven't totally ruled out the possibility of competitors fighting for a prize of one million euros, but it's more likely that this won't be the case. It will be difficult to plan seven and a half times more funds for the prize fund in the production plan than is the case now. That's a real issue, but it hasn't really been discussed yet.

The originally British "Who wants to be a millionaire?" is also aired on many commercial TV stations in other countries as well, and in those countries, the fund is covered by sponsors. Maybe part of that fund could be covered by sponsors in this country as well.

''There are different options and they are all still being discussed, and when the time comes, we'll have to decide on what our format will look like,'' said Igor Grkovic, the editor of ''Who wants to be a millionaire?" and ''The Chase''.

''We won't have any problems with "The Chase", as the amount of cash offered for the answering of the questions will simply be converted from 3,500 kuna to 500 euros. As for "Who wants to be a millionaire?", we've seen many different examples on how that's done from other countries. Slovenians play for 100,000 euros, and countries such as Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania cancelled their versions of the show before joining the Eurozone. I guess they didn't want it to still be being called "Who wants to be a millionaire?" when the prize isn't a million euros,'' Grkovic said.

It is interesting to compare experiences in other countries. As previously touched on, "Who wants to be a millionaire?" started in the UK back in 1998 and has been broadcast in more than a hundred countries since. Regardless of the name, in some countries, much less than a million is won. For example, in the Albanian and Kosovar versions of the show, the highest prize was 50,000 euros. A new season of the show is being broadcast in Bulgaria, where the main prize is 100 thousand levs, or 385 thousand kuna, and in Greece, as well as in neighbouring Slovenia, the top prize is 100 thousand euros.

For more on Croatian Eurozone accession, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Two Play Centres, Toy Libraries to Be Opened in Međimurje

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Two new play centres and toy libraries for children from disadvantaged families will be opened in the northern Međimurje region in February, and the project, financed with EU money, is adapted to Roma children and families.

UNICEF and 11 partners are implementing a pilot project as part of "Phase III – Testing the Child Guarantee in the EU Member States", a programme aimed at enabling children to access basic services such as health care, education, nutritious food, quality housing conditions and childcare.

It focuses primarily on children with disabilities, children from disadvantaged families and children - members of ethnic minorities.

The project is being implemented in seven Međimurje communities, where, as many as 40% of children aged 3-6 are not included in pre-school education.

Intervention focuses on three areas - services of child protection and family support, early intervention services, and access to pre-school education.

In addition to an existing play centre, the new play centres to be opened will be places for informal child education and learning through play. The play centres and toy libraries will cover more than 450 children, they will employ three education experts, plus three Roma assistants to help adapt activities to Roma ethnic minority families.

The project also includes three carefully designed training courses for 55 kindergarten teachers.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Looking to Hit the Slopes? Vučići Ski Trail, Passion Project of Ogulin’s Skiing Enthusiasts

A wonderful story comes our way from Ogulin, a town in north-western Croatia where a group of skiing enthusiasts run what’s arguably the most welcoming skiing resort in the country

Located in Vučić Selo, only 1.5 kilometres from the centre of Ogulin, the ski trail Vučići and all its facilities are completely free to use, reports Novi list/Danijela Bauk.

‘Resort’ is a bit of a stretch, actually, as the piste is only 450 metres long with a 100-metre sledding slope nearby. Small in size, perhaps, but larger than life, given the enthusiasm of Ogulin Ski Club members who run the show. 

Eleven years ago, some 50 lovers of skiing formed a ski-club in Ogulin and decided to spruce up a slope where locals were known to ski even back in the mid-20th century. Their call to action was an unfortunate event in 2011: a fire that destroyed the Olympic centre Bjelolasica, a skiing resort where many residents of Ogulin had first learned how to ski.

Wanting to ensure the youngest generations in Ogulin have somewhere to learn skiing or simply have fun sledding while Bjelolasica was undergoing renovation works, they reached an agreement with local landowners to turn parts of their land into a ski run at no cost. In return, the ski club members vouched to maintain the grounds all year round.

Bit by bit, what was supposed to be a little local project turned into a well-equipped facility attracting visitors from all over the country. Members of Ogulin Ski Club gradually upgraded the trail with drag lifts and lighting, and borrowed a snow gun from Vrbovsko in Gorski kotar.

These days, the ski club counts 150 members, about half of which are children. Some 60-70 people are active members and spend their free time volunteering at the Vučići ski run, explained head of Ogulin Ski Club Darko Vučić.

‘Whenever we are open and if the weather conditions allow, the slopes can be used from 5 PM to 9 PM on workdays, and from 10 AM to 9 PM on weekends. There are always at least four members on site, we care for safety, supervise drag lifts, and since the pandemic started, we’ve been checking Covid certificates at the entrance. In the pre-Covid era, there was no one at the entrance, because entry is free, we don’t charge and we never will. That’s what we decided at the beginning, that’s how it’ll always be. We wish for people to come to us, to ski and sled, and if they’re satisfied, to leave a donation, whatever one can afford’, said Vučić.

 

They also run a skiing school for children and adults, but can only accept locals at the moment as the weekend crowds don’t leave space for any additional lessons. They certainly don’t lack interest: there are inquiries from Karlovac, Rijeka, Zagreb, Slavonia, Dalmatia… Owing to the Vučići ski trail, Ogulin is turning into a proper winter destination; there’s been an uptick in accommodation bookings in the area on the days when the trail is open, especially on weekends and during school leave.

According to Vučić, they get about twenty days of skiing a year given the current conditions. ‘We’re not that high, we’re at an altitude of some 300 metres above sea level, but now that we’ve borrowed a snow gun from Vrbovsko, we’re hoping for the season to last a bit longer’, he said, adding that the skiing season in Vučići would likely extend to a full two months if they had another snow gun to maintain the trail.

Novi list also talked to Marko Polić, a skiing instructor from Ogulin and a member of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.

‘You know what makes this ski trail so special? There’s no anger, no aggravation, no stress. When you go to Sljeme or Platak and pay for the ticket, you’re annoyed by every bump on the trail, by the queue for the lift… Those who come here don’t stress over anything, they’re relaxed, they don’t mind the crowd, the mud, or an occasional bump on the trail. Energy is what counts, and there are only positive vibes here. Yes, we’re donation-based, but if you can’t spare [a donation], it’s okay. We’ll treat you to a cup of tea or mulled wine, treat the kids to some biscuits; our faces are smiling and that’s what people are drawn to’, said Polić.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Mandatory Pension Funds' Assets Reach €17.7 Billion at End-2021

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - The total assets managed by mandatory pension funds reached HRK 133 billion at the end of 2021, up by HRK 14 billion on the year, the UMFO association of pension funds  and pension insurance companies said on Monday, adding that pension funds have earned their insurees HRK 50.9 billion to date.

At the end of 2021, mandatory pension funds had 2,111,192 insurees, or 53,801 more than at the end of 2020.

Of them, 1,899,623 were in category B, which is for insurees in the middle of their career and has medium-risk investment; 150,266 were in category A, which is for younger insurees and has the highest investment risk; and 61,303 were in category C, for insurees who are about to retire and has the lowest investment risk.

Thanks to a recovery of the capital market, the average yield for category A insurees in 2021 was 13.52%, and 7.78% since its establishment, for category B it was 7.37%, and 5.51% since its establishment, and for category C it was 0.43%, and 4.48% since its establishment.

At the end of 2021, there were almost 67,000 more insurees in category A than the year before, the UMFO said, adding that this was due to the 2018 amendments to the law on mandatory pension funds as well as higher financial literacy.

The structure of mandatory pension funds' portfolio is diversifying, the UMFO said, with sovereign bonds accounting for 63.8% of the portfolios at the end of 2020 and for 57.7% at the end of last year.

Domestic shares accounted for 10.7% of the portfolios at the end of 2020 and for 12% at the end of 2021, while foreign companies' shares accounted for 9.2% of the portfolios, up by 17.7%.

At the end of last year, 397,253 citizens made voluntary pension contributions and the net assets totalled HRK 7.8 billion, up 15.8% on the end of 2020.

At the end of 2021, eight open voluntary pension funds were active in Croatia with 351,251 insurees as well as 20 closed funds with 46,002 insurees.

Among citizens with 11 to 20 years of service, 30.6% wish to save in the third pension pillar while 27.4% would like to invest in real estate.

As for citizens with less the ten years of service, 31% wish to invest in real estate and 23.3% in the third pillar, UMFO said, adding that only 5.1% of them would invest in securities and less than 10% would keep the money at home.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Monday, 24 January 2022

Notions of 'Spheres of Influence' Have No Place in 21st Century, EU Says

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - EU foreign ministers said on Monday that notions of "spheres of interest" had no place in the 21st century and condemned Russia's threats against Ukraine, threatening Moscow with "massive consequences" if it attacks Ukraine.

"Notions of 'spheres of influence' have no place in the 21st century," the Council said in conclusions on the European security situation.

EU foreign ministers met in Brussels today and the main topic was the tense situation on Ukrainian borders, where Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops.

"The Council condemns Russia’s continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine, and calls on Russia to de-escalate, to abide by international law and to engage constructively in dialogue through the established international mechanisms," the conclusions say, adding that "any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs."

That "includes a wide array of sectoral and individual restrictive measures that would be adopted in coordination with partners."

Due to the situation in Ukraine, some countries have announced downsizing their diplomatic missions and advised against travel there.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said Croatia was monitoring the situation and that for now there was no reasons to withdraw diplomats.

"The EU High Representative for the foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, has said that for now there is no reason to evacuate. Croatia will follow the situation and the EU's position. There might be a change, but for now the member states won't withdraw their diplomats," he said.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Croatian Baby Beef Exporters Given Access to Japanese Market

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Croatia's ministry of agriculture, in cooperation with Croatian producers, has ensured the access of Croatian-produced baby beef to the Japanese market, the ministry stated on Monday.

The access has been gained because of efforts and programmes for the eradication and control of major infectious diseases in animals. These efforts enable Croatia to get recognition from the World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly the Office International des Epizooties, OIE) and to prove the equivalency of the system of control of animal health and products of animal origin to the relevant authorities in Japan.

Having access to the demanding Japanese market is also a great reference for Croatian products on other foreign markets, the ministry stated.

The Croatian ministry continues to make efforts, either on its own or in cooperation with the European Commission, to get other markets open to Croatian products.

Thus, in 2021, Croatian fishery products, mixed products and raw and salted skin got access to Israel. Also, Croatia got the green light for exporting milk and dairy products to Libya, sheep and goats to Iran, pet food to Albania, ice cream to Costa Rica and gelatin capsules to Egypt.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Main Infrastructure Projects for Zadar County Presented to Minister

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković on Monday held talks with Zadar County Prefect Božidar Longin  on to the most important transport and infrastructure projects in that county including a connecting four-lane road from the Zadar 1 exit on the motorway.

After the meeting, Butković visited the construction site on the Zadar waterfront which is being reconstructed and said that this was yet another large project in building port infrastructure along with the first European project and a new port in Tkon and Sali.

"This is a very important project and Zadar County is one of the more successful. Preparations are underway and new financing is being negotiated for the seaports at Preko and Biograd. The Biograd port, similar to the one in Gaženica, will transfer traffic while the Preko port will get a new breakwater," said Butković.

"During the meeting, there was talk about a maritime route between Zadar and Ancona which needs to be restored because these are the two closest points on both sides of the Adriatic and Jadrolinija recently shut down that line because it wasn't feasible. At the same time, the line from Split has survived because it is subsidised. The connection with Ancona is important primarily due to freight transport but also for passenger transport," Longin underscored. Minister Butković promised to talk about this issue with Jadrolinija director David Sopta.

There was also talk about amendments to the county's physical plan which are underway and of identifying priorities of all road directions, railway routes, the Zadar airport and port traffic.

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