Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatia Logs 987 New COVID-19 Cases, 14 Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - Croatia has registered 987 new COVID cases and 14 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 6,194 active cases in the country, including 613 hospitalised patients, 20 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,590 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 1,194,349 COVID cases have been recorded in Croatia; 16,434 patients have died as a consequence and 1,171,721 have recovered. 

To date, 59.58% of the total population, or 70.85% of adults, have been vaccinated.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ryanair Zagreb Base Plans for Weekend-Only Winter Operations

August 9, 2022 - How will the Ryanair Zagreb base work its winter operations this year? A look at how the capital city airport will transform into a weekend-only base for the low-cost airline. 

Simply Flying has revealed what the Ryanair Zagreb base has in store once the seasons change - precisely, the airline's plan to transform the capital city airport into a weekend-only base this winter. A first for the airline. 

Namely, the Irish low-cost airline will not reduce the number of aircraft based in Zagreb, with its three Lauda Europe Airbus A320s staying at Zagreb Airport, but what will change is the number of days the planes fly. Making it a weekend base means that the planes will only operate from Friday to Monday this winter. Thus, all flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will be operated from other Ryanair bases.

So, how will this work?

Simply Flying reveals that all routes launched as year-round routes remain on sale and operate throughout the week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with Boeing aircraft from its other bases around Europe. The busiest London Stansted-Zagreb route will also continue to run daily. 

Currently, all the three Lauda Europe A320s in Zagreb operate a full day of flights all week. The changes will be made with the end of the summer schedule at the end of October when nearly all routes will be at least partially operated by aircraft from other bases. As it stands now, only the Bratislava, Milan Bergamo, and Malta routes see aircraft from other bases. 

Simply Flying adds that this should not impact the capacity of flights, as Boeing planes actually offer higher capacity than the Lauda Europe Airbus A320s, but since frequencies will decrease after summer, so will the number of seats on offer. 

"Most interestingly, even aircraft that connect Zagreb Airport to airports that are not Ryanair’s bases will see non-Zagreb-based aircraft there.

This will be done with the help of a w-rotation, whereby an aircraft from one base will operate four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport," adds Simply Flying. 

This will be done with a 'w-rotation', or when aircraft from one base operates four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport. You can find examples of how that will look here

The July stats for Zagreb Airport are also in, with 329,203 passengers traveling through the capital last month - almost 175 thousand more than in July last year. When compared to the busiest year, Zagreb Airport hit 90% of the July 2019 figures. 

Zagreb Airport accepted and dispatched 1,628,437 passengers in the first seven months of this year, approximately 100 thousand more passengers compared to Split Airport, reports Croatian Aviation

A total of 1,782,871 passengers passed through 8 Croatian airports (Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Brač, Dubrovnik, and Osijek) in July this year.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatian Health Ministry says COVID-19 Drug Supplies Sufficient

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - The Croatian Health Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports about a shortage of drugs used in the treatment of people infected with COVID-19, noting that there are sufficient supplies.

In 26 hospitals across Croatia, there are 483 vials of Veklury (Remdesivir) and 236 vials of Ronapreve, medicines used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, which is sufficient for the current needs, the ministry said.

The ministry on Monday carried out an urgent check of drug supplies in all hospitals following media reports about a drug shortage.

The partner of reporter Vladimir Matijanić, who died on 5 August after contracting COVID-19 and who was an immunocompromised patient, has said in a Facebook post that staff at the KBC Split hospital told them that drugs used for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms were in short supply in the whole country and that therefore they could not give them to patients with immunological diseases or cancer patients.

"There is a sufficient quantity of medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, like Veklury and Ronapreve, for the current needs of hospitalised patients in every medical institution," Health Minister Vili Beroš said.

"There is no justified reason why any hospital would be without a certain drug if treatment needs require it," the minister said, adding that all hospitals could also request emergency additional drug deliveries.

If any of the hospitals has denied appropriate medical care due to a shortage of the drugs in question, additional checks will be made to determine possible responsibility on the part of those in charge of drug supply, the minister said.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatia Still Lacking Five to Ten Thousand Tourist Workers

August 9, 2022 - 1.2 million jobs in tourism are vacant in Europe, while in Croatia the number is surprisingly high, and there is a demand for between five and ten thousand tourist workers.

This tourist season, 1.2 million jobs in hospitality and tourism in the European Union remained unfilled, with travel agencies being the most affected, followed by the aviation industry and the accommodation sector, and Italy has the biggest problem with a lack of workers.

Croatia has somehow prepared and adapted for this season when it comes to large employers, and the most problems throughout the season are micro-entrepreneurs who do not have the capacity or means for systematic staffing. The entire sector is asking the Government for concrete solutions that would speed up all processes for next year.

Analysis by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) showed that in 2020 the travel and tourism sector across the EU suffered the loss of almost 1.7 million jobs, only to see 571,000 jobs regained last year when governments began easing travel restrictions.

This year, tourist traffic in Europe is almost reaching pre-pandemic levels, which means that Europe is above the global average, but this good trend is significantly threatened by the lack of manpower, warns the Council.

They predict that travel agencies will be the hardest hit this season with a 30% shortage of workers (almost one out of three vacancies unfilled), while the air traffic and accommodation segment will have one out of five unfilled jobs.

WTTC collected labour force data for Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, and the UK. Their data show that Italy is the most affected of all the analyzed European countries because this season there is a shortage of 250,000 workers, leaving one out of six vacancies unfilled.

Croatia imported thousands of tourism workers by June

The tourism sector in Italy employed almost 1.4 million people before the pandemic in 2019, but in 2020 more than 200,000 jobs were lost. WTTC's analysis shows that the accommodation and travel agencies segment will be the worst affected, facing more than one-third (38%) and almost half (42%) of unfilled jobs, respectively.

This is followed by Spanish tourism, which this season lacks 137,000 workers, which means that one out of 8 vacancies will remain unfilled, with the aviation sector having the most problems, followed by hotels.

In French tourism this season, 70,000 jobs remained unfilled, i.e. one out of 19 vacancies. Before the pandemic, more than 1.3 million people were employed in the sector, and in 2020, almost 175,000 of them lost their jobs. In France, the aviation industry has the most problems, not being able to fill one out of three jobs, which thousands of passengers feel on their skin every day.

Brexit is costing the UK

Portugal has the smallest problem, lacking 49,000 workers in the third quarter, that is, one out of 10 vacancies remaining unfilled. Before the pandemic, more than 485,000 people were employed in tourism in Portugal, and in 2020, more than 80,000 jobs were lost.

In the United Kingdom, Brexit has dramatically accentuated the problem which all countries are facing, and the Government is not using the flexibility of the visa system to attract workers, warned Julia Simpson, executive director of the WTTC.

“Travel and tourism contributed almost £235 billion to the UK economy and employed almost two million people, and now they are at risk of losing a large number of travellers to other countries due to a lack of workers”, says Simpson. The UK has a shortage of 128,000 workers, that is, one out of 14 jobs is vacant. The aviation industry suffers there, too.

The WTTC and the European Travel Commission (ETC) have therefore identified six measures that governments and the private sector can implement to tackle this urgent problem

In the first place, they propose facilitating labour mobility within countries and across borders and strengthening cooperation at all levels, including issuing visas and work permits. Another measure is to enable flexible telecommuting, particularly if travel restrictions continue to prevent workers from moving freely across borders.

The next measure is to ensure decent working conditions, along with social security and providing opportunities for career advancement, to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector and retain new talents. The next measure is investing in the training and education of employees so that the workforce acquires new skills.

The promotion of education and practice with effective policies and public-private cooperation that supports educational programs and practice-based training is also sought. The last measure is the adoption of innovative technological and digital solutions to improve business.

By the end of June, Croatia had imported around 22,000 workers in tourism, and it is estimated that the sector lacks between 5,000 and 10,000 workers. Micro-entrepreneurs, caterers who only need a few workers each have the most problems but do not have the money and capacity to engage in finding workers, like the big ones.

Half of the seasonal workers return

“To relieve the administration and speed up the issuance of work permits, the idea is to maximally simplify the procedure for obtaining a work permit for foreign workers who are now working in Croatia, if they remain with the same employer.

Since about 50% of seasonal workers return, this would be a significant step forward, which would relieve the Ministry of Interior, and it is also important to know the estimate that about 30% of foreign workers give up engagement in Croatia precisely because of slow procedures.

At the same time, it is important that, if such a practice is introduced, it is communicated to the workers now, so that people have security for next year”, says the director of the Croatian Tourism Association Veljko Ostojić.

For more, make sure to check out our Business section.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Western Sanctions Won't Harm Russia, But Harmed Croatia, says President

ZAGREB, 8 August, 2022 - The sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia due to the attack on Ukraine are not working, and they will not harm Russia, but they have harmed us, President Zoran Milanović said on Monday during a visit to Hvar.

Describing the situation in the world as unstable and increasingly confusing, Milanović warned that "it all resembles a dandelion in the spring, and you just pray to God no one sneezes and blows it away."

The West's response is not good, said Milanović, adding that "we have sanctions that are not working."

He underscored that he "has been saying this from day one" and that he regrets that he was right.

"The sanctions are not working; they will not harm Russia, if that is the goal (...) and what has happened has harmed us," the President said.

Regarding statements by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that he will not go to the Croatian Adriatic and by Novi Sad Mayor Miloš Vučević that he could not understand why some Serbs go to Dalmatia for the summer, Milanović said that he was happy about Serbs vacationing in Croatia.

"They are welcome. (Serbia) is a neighbouring country and we don't have to agree on everything," Milanović said.

When asked why Vučić was doing this, Milanović replied that he did not know because he was not the president of Serbia but of Croatia.

"Good, at least Vučić is not talking about a Serbian sea, for now. There is a lot of folklore in that," said Milanović.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ombudsman: Croatia Committed to Guaranteeing Everyone's Right to Healthcare

ZAGREB, 8 August, 2022 - Commenting on the death of reporter Vladimir Matijanić, Ombudsman Tena Šimonović Einwalter said on Monday that Croatia had strongly committed to guaranteeing everyone the right to health care in accordance with the law, the Constitution and international documents.

Underscoring that everyone should have the right to accessible and timely health care, Šimonović Einwalter stressed that "no one's life or health should depend on their persistence, resourcefulness, political affiliation or on whether they are influential."

"That also means that actions taken by healthcare workers should focus on people seeking help, who rightfully expect that everything will be done to protect their health and life. Finally, all competent authorities should ensure that guaranteed rights are actually available to citizens,'' said Šimović Einwalter.

The ombudsman said that Matijanić's case was an example of several critical points in healthcare, from problems in accessing healthcare and necessary information and the way doctors communicate with patients to the issue of the functioning and efficiency of the emergency medical service, as well as subsequent comments promoting the inadmissible position that the protection of one's life and health depends on knowing the right people and having connections.

"That is why it is extremely important to promptly and thoroughly examine the actions of all the staff involved in this case and then take all the necessary steps to prevent similar tragedies," said Šimonović Einwalter, adding that she had launched an inquiry into the case.

The ombudsman expressed her condolences to the reporter's family, friends and colleagues and supported their going public with the problems he encountered while trying to get the necessary care.

The Split Municipal Attorney's Office has announced that it will launch a preliminary investigation due to suspicion that one or more persons committed a criminal offence of medical malpractice, causing the reporter's death.

Earlier this week, Matijanić's partner Andrea Topić published the chronology of the case on her Facebook profile, claiming that even though Matijanić's health condition was difficult, both hospital and emergency medical workers refused to have him hospitalised.

She described how she repeatedly called the hospital and the emergency medical service, which refused to take him to hospital. When Matijanić's condition further worsened, an emergency medical team came a second time, but it was too late.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Devastating Drought to Make for Difficult Winter and Spring

August 9, 2022 - This is one of the driest years, and according to the farmers, the drought has already caused a shortage of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.

As Glas Slavonije reports, In the heart of Slavonia, Croatia's open-air food factory, in Đakovo, compared to the 35-year average of 760 liters per year, so far in 2022, 190 liters of rain are missing. From the beginning of the year to the present day, according to the records of Bartolo Bačić, who monitors the weather conditions in Đakovo, only 261 liters of rain fell in this part of the country. “If it rains now, it's too late”, said OPG member Mato Kretonić from Budrovac, who sells the fruits of his labour from the garden with his wife every day at the Đakovo market.

The drought, which resulted in scorched earth, will not abate even in autumn, and farmers and vegetable growers are announcing large deficits in the production of corn, sugar beet, vegetables, fruit, etc., which will, of course, be reflected in the further increase in prices. At the city market in Đakovo, they have kept them at the level that arose after last year's jump. “The prices were not corrected, even though it was necessary, but if that had happened, I don't know who would have been able to sell their goods”, says Blaženka Škorvaga of the OPG from Punitova. Farmers do not have good news for the coming period.

“This is one of the driest years ever. I am a realist by nature, and I can say that in the coming time there will be little due to drought and other disturbances. What was hinted by experts a few months ago - that there will be a food shortage, is already visible now. A difficult period awaits us in winter and spring when it will be difficult to get food at all”, warns the vegetable farmer Kretonić.

“Peppers cost 12 kuna, potatoes 8, tomatoes 10, or 5 kuna in wholesale, cucumbers, onions and cabbage cost 8, carrots 10, pumpkins range from 5 to 7 kuna per piece, and a special kind of zucchini goes for 15 kn/kg”, Mata's wife Marica Kretonić lists the prices at her stand. A kilogram of yellow beans costs 50 kuna. These OPGs sell cooking corn for 3 kuna per piece. “Its quality is first class”, adds Marica. Keeping prices at (almost) last year's level, warns her husband Mato, puts them in an unenviable position.

“Next year, we practically won't be able to organise production, because there is no working capital”, says this OPG employee.

When asked if people are buying less because of price increases, or inflation, the answer is negative.

“People keep buying because they don't have their own products due to these extreme weather conditions, but shopping for winter food is also declining this year, and people are also losing the habit of preparing it. They used to buy it by the bag, but now people only buy ten heads of cabbage for pickling”, says Budrovčanin.

And the vegetable gardener Škorvaga warns that there will be a shortage of food soon.

“There is a shortage already. There will be a lack of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes... There is a lack of fruit, you can see which fruits are local, because they are much smaller, and which are imported. And customers are aware that food production is like that, the products are worse because of the drought, and they understand”, says Škorvaga, whose production has been suffering for two years due to the capricious nature, storms - last year the wind destroyed her greenhouses, and this year the ice beat the seedlings, counting 300,000 plants. Damage - HRK 100,000.

Production to be cut in half

“I will cut production in half. I can no longer sustain such a large production. Nature can be compensated, but it is too expensive to be marketed, and there is also a high cost of labour and its lack”, says Škrovaga. At her stand, tomatoes cost 10, or 4 kuna in wholesale, peppers 10, corn 2 kuna a piece, melon 7, cucumbers 8 kuna. A kilogram of green beans costs 25 kuna, and half a kilogram 15 kuna.

“People are less likely to buy vegetables for the winter. They say they will eat what they have. Purchases at the market have decreased, and many people do not come anymore especially young people”, says Škorvaga.

A liter of tomato sauce at the market in Đakovo on Saturday cost 20 kuna. The price of the queen of summer fruit - watermelon - at the stand of Marina Grgić from Đakovo cost 3 kn/kg. The vegetable farmer says that she will be ready for the dry autumn - with deep wells.

While more retailers are already dually reporting prices, there are still no buyers' inquiries on the market about the formation of prices in euros, according to our interlocutors. “Everyone is still silent about it”, says Marica Kretonić, and her husband Mato adds that he will price his products in euros based on his own assessment.

“If I have my own goods, so that I don't have to resell them, there will be no price shocks with the switch to the euro. It will be rounded to Eurocents - for example, something that comes up to 63 will be rounded to 70 Eurocents”, says Škorvaga and adds: “Some things will be rounded to my detriment, some to the detriment of the customer”.

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Do Croatian Citizens Spend Summer Holidays in Croatia? - Yes, at Home

August 9, 2022 – Croatian tourism is booming although the prices have gone up in every aspect. More on that here. How do Croatian citizens stand, though, and what is it like for them?

As SiB reports, of the 11 and a half million tourists who visited Croatia this year, 1.6 million arrivals were domestic guests, which is 8 percent more than in the record year of 2019.

Nevertheless, the data of the exclusive research on holidays of Croatian citizens conducted for RTL by the agency Promocija plus (on a sample of 1300 respondents) show a slightly different picture of Croatia.

While the whole world is flocking to Croatia, Croats are not able to go and enjoy a holiday in their own country.

Namely, almost 60 percent (59.5 percent) of Croatian citizens have not been, nor do they plan to go on holiday outside their place of residence.

37 and a half percent (37.4 percent) have been or are planning to go, while almost 3 percent (2.7 percent) are not yet sure.

When we look at the region from which citizens travel the least, Dalmatia leads, understandably (67.3 percent), as it is a tourist destination itself.

However, almost the same percentage of Slavonian people will not go on holiday anywhere – as many as 67 percent answered that they had not been, nor do they plan to go. Northern Croatia is at around 62 percent (62.3 percent), while the least number of those who do not go anywhere are in Zagreb and its surroundings (41.6 percent).

Citizens certainly did use their annual holidays, so the survey looked at where they spent them: the results coincide with those who did not travel, so 62 percent (62.1 percent) of those surveyed spent their holidays at home. About 15 percent (14.8 percent) went to the seaside and stayed in a hotel, apartment, or camp; 8.5 percent stayed in their own property at the seaside, 6 percent stayed with friends and relatives (6.1 percent), while 4 percent (4.2 percent) travelled outside Croatia.

Now for the most important thing for many: how much did people spend on vacation? Most (13.1 percent) spent two to three thousand kuna on summer treats. About 10 percent (10.5 percent) spent up to four thousand.

Up to ten percent of those surveyed (10.3 percent) spent up to five thousand kuna.

When it comes to larger figures, five percent of domestic tourists spent up to ten thousand.

The fact that many did not care about it or did not want to even remember how much they spent shows that they properly enjoyed their summer holidays. Maybe that's the best way to be stress-free at least a little until the bills come due in the autumn.

NOTE: The survey was conducted for RTL by the agency Promocija plus from August 1 to 4 on a sample of 1,300 respondents. The standard error of the sample is +/-2.77 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Tenth Web Summer Camp to Gather Leading Web Experts in Šibenik

August 9, 2022 - This year will mark the tenth edition of Web Summer Camp, a high-profile event that gathers developers and web experts for a few days of learning, sharing experiences, as well as fun under the sun, and networking.

As Poslovni reports, Netgen, a local IT company, which has been organizing Web Summer Camp since 2012, which in recent years has been profiled as an event that gathers around two hundred developers and web experts on the Croatian coast, announced the tenth-anniversary edition of the conference, this year with a slightly different concept.

“In addition to the full-day workshops planned for the first day, which our participants already know and expect, the second day is reserved for interesting lectures and accompanying discussions”, explains Ivo Lukač, Netgen's co-founder and director, adding that this year it is possible to choose to buy a ticket either for the entire Web Summer Camp or just for one day – the conference part that takes place on Friday, September 2.

On the first day, the workshops will be held in six tracks: UX, Javascript, PHP, Symfony, DevOps, and Tech forum, and the participants include Valeria Adani, Flaminia del Conte, Gerard Sans, Princiya Sequeira, Derrick Rethans, Marco Pivetta, Andreas Hucks, Neal Brooks, Matt Thorpe, Luka Kladarić, Vanja Bertalan, Cristoffer Crusell, Ondřej Polesný, and Janus Boye.

The conference part of the second day will be divided into 2 tracks - Web and Developer. Harry Roberts, Ramona Schwering, Stephen K. Meya, Rowan Merewood, and Nehha Sharma have been announced for the Developer track, while the Web track will host Andy Clarke, Simon Jones, Sam Dutton, Ante Stjepanović, Magdalena Sekulić Ljubić, and Mili Ponce.

After all-day workshops and lectures held by leading experts from companies such as Google, Infobip, Hrvatski Telekom, and Oracle, coming from various parts of the world, the participants of previous conferences most often emphasize the acquisition of new knowledge and direct networking and exchange of experience with colleagues as the main benefits. For this very reason, the conference will exclusively be held live, without live stream options.

This year's platinum sponsor of the conference is Lendable, an online platform for personal finance from Great Britain, founded in 2014, which is aimed at introducing and enabling fast, simple, and practical personal finance in the digital age.

Last year's edition was rated 8.7/10 by all attendees, and 84 percent of attendees stated that the conference provided them with the knowledge that they can apply in their daily work, with 86 percent stating that they intended to return to the next edition.

Web Summer Camp is also different in that an additional Companions track is organized for accompanying participants, during which a tourist tour of the destination or some similar entertainment program is usually prepared for the participants' partners or spouses, who are not interested in attending the workshops. The last day is usually reserved for an excursion for all participants, which this year, depending on favourable weather conditions, will be held in the vicinity of Šibenik.

Paul Boag, one of the world's leading authorities in the field of user experience, conversion optimization, and digital marketing, commented on last year's edition of the conference:

“If you are thinking of coming to any conference, you can hardly find a better one than this one. Great weather, great location, you can bring the family, relax while learning new things, and enjoy it like you're on holiday. There is something unique about this conference!”

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Zrce Fire by Famous Party Beach Near Novalja, Zadar

August 9, 2022 - Croatia's summer of wildfires continues, with a Zrce fire close to the famous party beach near Novalja and Zadar starting in the night, reports Index.hr.

On Zrce, the most famous party beach in Croatia, a big fire broke out last night, it is being tackled by the firefighters of DVD Novalja, and a Canadair has arrived to help them fight the fire from the air.

Conditions are being made difficult by a strong gale.

Index.hr is providing live updates (Google Translate is your friend if you want to follow the story). 

10:00 Update - the fire has now been extinguished with no casualties.

8 minutes ago
Croatian Roads Authority: Traffic in Novalja has been interrupted
Traffic on the state road DC106 Pag-Novalja in Novalja has been interrupted due to the fire.

8 minutes ago
The clubs evacuated the guests
A journalist from the Požeški.hr portal happened to be at Zrce and reported that the storm that did not stop all night made the extinguishing difficult. After the fire was noticed, the clubs on the Zrce beach immediately directed their guests to the exits and to the buses and taxis in order to get away from the beach as soon as possible.

9 minutes ago
A Canadair is also helping tackle the blaze.
The fire is not under control, and the Canadair has arrived to help.

9 minutes ago
Firefighters have released the video
Tonight, around 3 o'clock, a fire broke out next to Zrce beach on the island of Pag. On the field are members of DVD Novalja who posted a video on their Facebook profile.

Index.hr is providing live updates (Google Translate is your friend if you want to follow the story). 

****

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

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Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

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