Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Wine Bottles to be Lifted from Sea in Ika This Weekend

August 3, 2022 - The wine bottles by the renowned Croatian wine-makers that have spent the last year on the sea floor will be lifted this weekend in Ika.

Ika is a small coastal town, almost a suburb of Opatija, where a unique event and tradition take place. A group of enthusiasts from the Ikarski barkajoli association, organize a unique event during which the wines of renowned Croatian winemakers are brought out into the light of day. They have spent a year in the depths of the Ika bay, where they have matured in ideal conditions at the springs existing in the bay (in the local dialect, the springs are called 'vruje'). 

The event, called "Vino i Vruja" (the wine and the springs) is being held for the eighth year in a row. The mayor of Opatija Fernando Kirigin is proud that the event will be one of the first events taking place on the recently renovated and decorated main square in Ika, which will make it even more spectacular this year. 

The springs of Ika are a geological phenomenon, where the freshwater from far away in the karst area of Croatia and Slovenia (as far as the Alps, presumably). The springs bring cold underground water into the bay, and because of the brackish water, the bay is a habitat rich in fish, especially sea bass and eels. Those cold springs are also an ideal natural "cellar" for maturing wine.

At the event last year, approximately 4,000 wine bottles from wineries Acinger, Ferenac, Herman, Kabola, Iločki podrumi, Rossi, Miklažić, Prelac, Sosich, Fuhtar, Matić, Vorić, and Kliković Mate (Austria) were placed in the sea at a depth of 20m. This Saturday, August 6, 13 wine cages with 4,000 bottles of wine will be pulled out after a year of maturing. At the same time, 14 new cages with 5,000 bottles of wine will be lowered into the sea.

The attractive scenes of wine extraction will take place on Saturday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in cooperation with Ikarski barkajol, divers from the Public Fire Department of Opatija, the Opatija Volunteer Fire Department and local divers. In the evening, after 7:00 p.m., there will be a tasting of wine bottles from the last year as well as other wines from these prestigious Croatian wine houses. In addition to the wines, there organizers will offer some food to their guests, as well as some entertainment, with the concert by the band "Obrazovni program"

Vjekoslav Zahej, the president of the Ikarski barkajoli association, says that they are extremely satisfied with the response and cooperation with the winemakers. Also, they are particularly pleased that the winemakers are satisfied with the quality of their wines after the maturation in the spring.

On the second day of the event, on Sunday, August 7, a parade of traditional boats will be held. The gathering of the crews will begin at 5:00 p.m., while the start of the regatta will be around 8:00 p.m. After the end of the regatta, there will be an entertainment program with a DJ.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Live Comedy in English for International Visitors and Zagreb Residents

August 3, 2022 -  A 12-day streak of local stand-up comedy shows in the English language will launch this month in downtown Zagreb

Zagreb has got a new summer attraction! For the first time ever, it will offer Croatian stand-up comedy shows, but - in English! These events will take place in the heart of the city (Confusion Bar, IvanaTkalčića 15) every evening from 20.00h, starting August 3. Their air-conditioned underground room will have limited seating of 40, so a timely booking is highly recommended.

- For years now we shave seen international tourists enjoying traditional Zagreb attractions. Nevertheless, one of its best ones - comedy - remained undiscovered! It is time to change that!, says Pedja Bajović, producer and the most international stand-up comedian from Croatia, who has performed in English all over Europe whilst his global action stretches from Vancouver all the way to Tasmania! More about this comedian and his previous work, you can learn on his website.

These comedy nights are titled _The Balkan Brain_ and will provide many answers about this part of the world, starting with is Zagreb in the Balkans at all and then comparing it to those were the audiences will be coming from; you guessed it: making them laugh along the way!

Tickets for these shows can be obtained online, or at the comedy club entrance prior to the show. Piece of advice: while strolling the streets of Zagreb do pay attention to comedians carrying flyers for the shows, as those provide an entry fee discount at the door!

More about the show can be seen on its webpage where you can also watch a short video trailer of the comedy special which made it to global distribution through the Comedy Dynamics, a company based in Los Angeles - as the first one ever from Eastern Europe!

Contact: +385 91 799 0848

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Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Bikademy App Emphasises Potential for Cyclo Tourism in Slavonia

August 3, 2022 - Bikademy – an academy where a good, strong connection is mandatory. The only other requirement is a bicycle. This innovative app explores cyclo tourism and places Croatia on the map of big European cyclo tourist destinations.

Bikademy is a unique Croatian product intended for all those who like cycling to explore new destinations and their cultural and natural heritage. It promotes cities and regions as desirable cyclo tourism destination, rewarding cyclists for their efforts. A bicycle is an ideal means of exploration, being slow enough to take in your surroundings, and fast enough to cover longer distances.

The Bikademy application is completely free for users who, just like in other academies, are called Bikademy Students. Within the application, you can choose from different Bikademy Studies, each representing a particular region, county, or city. Within each Study, there are different Exams, that is, locations and places of cultural or natural significance.

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Photo: Bikademy

The main task of a Bikademy Student is to cycle to each Exam in the chosen Study. It is required to take a selfie and check in via the application. After passing all the Exams of the chosen Study, Bikademy Students receive a prize from the Bikademy sponsor, GIANT Croatia.

In just four steps, you too can pass the Bikademy Exam (photos attached).

1 Install the application and register

2 Cycle to the Exam (location)

3 Check in through the application

4 Repeat the previous two steps

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Photo: Bikademy

One of the first Bikademy Studies was the Brod-Posavina County with seven Exams: Vrpolje, Gajna, Tvrđava Brod, Petnja, Stara Kapela, Cernik and Tvrđava Stara Gradiška. 

Check out the highlights of the Brod-Posavina Study here.

This Study is intended for more experienced cyclists who want to cover longer distances. The Exams are of similar difficulty for the four other four Slavonian counties. They reveal that Slavonia is not only made up of fields and valleys but also rich cultural heritage, natural resources, superb gastronomy and hospitality, at every turn. Although everyone knows about Slavonia, it is yet to be discovered as a hidden tourist gem perfect for cycling.

In cities like Zagreb, Šibenik, and Berlin, there are less demanding Studies for every traveler who wants to explore the area by bike.

Through its social networks, Bikademy presents its cyclo tourism destinations, and examples from practice, but also continuously rewards its followers. They are preparing new surprises and opportunities soon, so make sure you follow them on social networks.

If you would love to see Bikademy in your area, feel free to contact them, as they are expanding beyond the borders of the Republic of Croatia.

As for your holidays, choose your destination and explore it by bike, get to know the culture and nature of the region, and win prizes. Cycle your exams!

To learn more about some of the people behind the movement, check out TCN's interview with Krešimir Herceg.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, explore our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Roma MP, Ex-President, Zagreb Mayor Address Press after Uštica Commemoration

ZAGREB, August 3, 2022 - After a commemoration for the WWII Romani victims of genocide in Uštica, near Jasenovac, on Tuesday, Roma MP Veljko Kajtazi said that this was the first time Roma were starting to speak publicly about the suffering of the Roma people.

He noted that today's commemoration was attended by many young Roma people, and that the most senior state officials now attended the commemorative event as well.

Asked if he expected an apology from President Zoran Milanović for his latest statements about Roma, Kajtazi would not give a straightforward answer.

"I stand by what I have already said and I will always advocate the interests of the Roma community. I am not into high politics, Roma interests are my primary concern," said Kajtazi.

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić said that Milanović's statements were inappropriate and that it would be good for him to apologise.

Criticising the government's energy saving scheme last Thursday, Milanović said that if air conditioners would need to be set to 25 degrees Celsius, they had better be sold to Roma. "They will make a profit out of it. Roma are very skilled in these matters," he added.

Mesić recalled that crimes against Roma in the WWII Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia were committed also in Orahovica, where he was born.

"The local Roma were hard-working craftspeople and workers and they just disappeared one day, and Roma and Jewish children did not show up for school because they had all been taken away one night," said Mesić.

"I think that the Roma minority should be helped and given a chance to show their abilities," Mesić said.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said that the city administration was advocating greater rights for all ethnic minorities in Zagreb, including Roma.

"We have carried on with all good projects (intended for ethnic minorities), all residents of Zagreb must be equal. Of all the cities (in Croatia) we have the highest scholarships for Roma students," Tomašević said, noting that today's commemoration was not an occasion to make political statements.

 

 

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

61-Year-Old Man Indicted for War Crime in Baranja

ZAGREB, 3 August, 2022 - The County Attorney's Office in Osijek has indicted a 61-year-old Croatian citizen for a war crime committed in March 1992 in the village of Vardarac in Baranja against a civilian who was aged 47 at the time.

The prosecutor's office reported that the 61-year-old man is charged with having acted contrary to international humanitarian law.

The 61-year-old is charged with attacking the 47-year-old along with two other suspects, who hit the victim in the head and chest and threatened to kill him.

One of the three suspects, who is no longer alive, stabbed the 47-year-old several times in the neck and upper chest, causing his death.

The prosecutor's office said the investigating judge had ordered pretrial detention for the 61-year-old due to the risk of escape.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Croatian Journalist Association Demands Strong Response over Attack on Reporter

ZAGREB, August 3, 2022 - The Croatian Journalists Association has welcomed the fact that persons involved in an attack on Maja Sever, a reporter for the HRT public broadcaster and president of the European Federation of Journalists, have been taken in for questioning, demanding a strong response by state institutions.

The incident happened on Monday on the island of Tijat, where, according to the media, Sever was attacked while photographing the usurpation of the shore and public property.

"We should note that police on Monday said that (the incident) did not involve elements requiring police action, but they have evidently changed their mind after the story made a splash," the Croatian umbrella journalists association, which goes by the acronym HND, said in a statement on Tuesday.

It noted that Sever was attacked while on duty and that the attack on her constitutes criminal coercion against a person who is doing a job in the public interest or works in public service.

Sever was attacked while photographing the usurpation of the shore and the public property on the island of Tijat.

Accompanied by Judge Sandra Artuković, Sever went to see if the Spirito restaurant on Tijat was open. The restaurant was recently closed by the state inspectorate because it did not meet the minimum technical requirements. According to Sever, she and Artuković were attacked by the restaurant's owner, who seized their cell phone and threw it away.

"The man shouted and was rude. He jumped onto our boat and took our cell phone and ordered me to delete the photos taken," Sever told reporters after the attack.

The HND said it expected an unequivocal and strong response by the government as Sever was physically and verbally abused only because she tried to report about violation of law and violence towards nature.

The silence of state institutions has encouraged various offenders who verbally and physically attack our colleagues because they do their job, the HND Executive Committee said in the statement signed by HND president Hrvoje Zovko.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Wildfires in Šibenik-Knin County Contained

ZAGREB, 3 August, 2022 - Firefighters have contained several fires that broke out in Šibenik-Knin County around noon on Tuesday.

Late on Tuesday, firefighting vehicles left the fire sites, while firefighters remained on the ground in case further intervention was needed, the Croatian Firefighters Association said.

The area affected by the wildfires is rather large, around 400 hectares of land, which is why caution is needed, firefighting commander Darko Dukić told Croatian Radio.

A large part of the area cannot be accessed by fire trucks because forest tracks are too narrow, Dukić said, noting that the wind frequently changed direction on Tuesday, making the situation on the ground harder for firefighters.

The fires broke out by the main road running along the Croatian Adriatic coast near Vodice and close to the Podi industrial zone near Šibenik.

A hundred firefighters, assisted by seven firefighting planes, were putting out the fires.

The fire at Podi was contained in the afternoon on Tuesday while the fires near Vodice were put under control in the evening.

Owing to a more favourable situation, most of the local roads that had been closed to traffic were reopened in the evening, and according to information available at 2230 hours on Tuesday, the only road that remained closed was the D-27 road.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Uswitch: Zagreb Fifth Worst in Amount of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

August the 3rd, 2022 - The City of Zagreb is the fifth worst in Europe in terms of the amount of available electric vehicle charging stations according to Uswitch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the constant rise in fuel prices led 70 percent of Europeans to choose an electric vehicle as their first choice when buying their next new vehicle, according to research by Uswitch, a platform for comparing energy prices.

Additional research also determined the top list of European metropolises that invest the most in the network of charging stations for electric vehicles they have available to road users, and those that are significantly behind in this segment. The Croatian capital of Zagreb is one of those cities lagging behind quite a lot.

Unfortunately, the City of Zagreb has a mere 43 charging stations available in total for electric vehicle owners according to Uswitch, which is still more than the nearby Slovenian capital of Ljubljana (41) and Vilnius (21) and Sofia, Nicosia and Riga, all of which have a mere 15 charging stations each.

The situation is actually worse when this set of data is put into the context of the spatial size of the city itself, meaning that the Croatian capital city of Zagreb has just 0.07 charging stations for electric vehicles per square kilometre. Still, Zagreb isn't the absolute worst on the list, with the Bulgarian capital of Sofia having just 0.01 per square metre, while the Greek capital of Athens is slightly better than Zagreb with 0.10 charging stations for every kilometre of space.

The capital of neighbouring Hungary, (Budapest) for example, already has 452 stations for electric cars, which is ten times more than Zagreb can boast of. With three million inhabitants, Budapest is, of course, much larger than the Croatian capital city, but the fact that for every 100,000 inhabitants there are 80 percent more charging stations than the Croatian metropolis is quite worrying indeed.

Uswitch has determined that the Norwegian capital city of Oslo (2,481) has advanced the farthest in this segment of environmental awareness, and Oslo's residents have access to almost five and a half charging stations per square kilometre in that city, of which the British capital city of London has the most in total (4,991).

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

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Eurozone Accession: Are Croatian Exchange Offices Doomed to Failure?

August the 3rd, 2022 - Are Croatian exchange offices doomed to failure as Croatian Eurozone accession rapidly approaches, and with the sending of the kuna to the history books set to take place on the 1st of January, 2023?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, six hundred kuna for one hundred euros has become a common amount that is obtained when exchanging these currencies during the height of the summer tourist season when you have to convert money at local Croatian exchange offices. That is all due to alter with the arrival of the euro as the country's official currency, and the need for Croatian exchange offices to exist at all will be greatly reduced. Many will close their doors and never open them again, reports HRT.

If you ask the tourists spending time (and money) here in Croatia themselves, everything is very clear and simple, adopting the bloc's single currency is a good move for Croatia. But when it comes to Croatian exchange offices, most of them anyway, they'll have to think about another business model entirely if they want to survive the introduction of the euro from the first of January next year.

"It will be difficult for Croatian exchange offices who will continue to try to work only in the foreign currency exchange business to survive because 80, 90 percent of the turnover takes place around the purchase and sale of euros, and without this turnover it will be difficult for them to survive," warned Sergi Gabor, president of the Association of Croatian Exchangers.

Financial experts have hope and believe that most Croatian exchange offices can be transformed and remain in business when the changeover happens, and that not all of them will be closed due to the demand for digital money, as well as savings and exchanges being done in other currencies.

"Perhaps there will be a continuation of turbulent economic trends at the level of Europe or the world, and in that case it will be possible that in Croatian exchange offices, there will be a tendency for people to be dealing with other currencies such as the Swiss franc or the US dollar,'' believes Hrvoje Japuncic, a financial expert.

For more on Croatian Eurozone accession, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Tomislav Fain: Private Renters Not Registering Around 40% of Tourists

August the 3rd, 2022 - Tomislav Fain, the president of the Croatian Association of Travel Agencies, has claimed that private accommodation renters/landlords renting out their properties to tourists during the summer season aren't bothering to register as many as 40 percent of their guests via the eVisitor system at all.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the problem being currently faced by the wider area of Zadar County is illegal accommodation renters and illegal work/earning in this sector. The president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, Tomislav Fain, has recently stated that up to forty percent of guests are staying in the country undeclared, pointing out that it is necessary to strengthen inspection supervision to curb this trend.

Tomislav Fain told HRT that a large number of landlords who have a categorisation on their properties for renting them out to foreign visitors during the summer for some quick and easy cash, do not register their guests via the eVisitor system or even attempt to do it in the ''old way'' with MUP.

"It's very simple, we have a certain number of capacities in a particular place, and when we look at the application that goes through eVisitor, we arrive to some very simple data, that forty percent of guests are simply not being registered at all.

We also need to be aware of the fact that in addition to those renters that aren't registering their guests, but have a categorisation, we also have a certain number of accommodation facilities which don't have a categorisation, and yet they still continue to receive guests and still advertise their apartments for rent on platforms,'' he said.

Tomislav Fain emphasised the fact that this figure is even higher, and creates various problems, from communal ones to the development of a specific destination. Therefore, incorrect data is obtained, and the preparation of upcoming tourist seasons cannot be carried out with quality or accuracy in mind.

''Some individuals who don't register guests don't bother issuing an invoice for the guest either, so they're not in the VAT system, and therefore they're paying less to the state. Some individuals are careless, they simply forget to register their guests and don't do it with any underhand motives in mind. They should be appealed to, to not be so careless,'' he said.

For those who deliberately avoid their obligations, inspection supervision should be strengthened and the proper punishments should be doled out, Fain believes.

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

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