Saturday, 22 January 2022

Minister Medved: Operation Maslenica Showed Our Ability to Free Homeland

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - Croatian War Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved said on Saturday that the Operation Maslenica in 1993 was a turning point in the Homeland War and that it had sent a strong message of the capability of the Croatian armed forces to free their country from the enemy.

Addressing the central ceremony marking the 29th anniversary of the Operation Maslenica in Zadar, the minister expressed gratitude to the participants in the operation and particularly to the families who lost their members in that liberating action.

Operation Maslenica was launched in the early morning hours of 22 January 1993, with Croatian forces regaining control of the Serb-occupied Zadar hinterland, the straight of Maslenica, the Zemunik airbase and later on the Peruca dam. Within 72 hours, nearly 100 square kilometres of occupied territory was liberated. Croatian forces regained control of key strategic points from Serb insurgents and re-established transport connections between the country's north and south. In the first three days of the operation, 19 Croatian soldiers were killed and 70 were wounded. However, by 31 March 1993 the number of Croatian fatalities rose to 127 as Serb forces fought back.

Minister Medved said that the Operation Maslenica sent a strong message that the Croatian armed forces and police were capable of liberating every occupied inch of the occupied territory, as it was later shown in the military and police operations in 1995.

Medved also pointed out the importance of commemorating this operation and other events from the 1991-1995 Homeland War as a reminder that freedom in the present-day Croatia should not be taken for granted and that the defenders and the Homeland War were the strongest pillar of the independent and sovereign Republic of Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Orthodox Fresco Depicting Blessed Stepinac in Hell Painted Over by White

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - An icon, which appeared in a Serb Orthodox Church in the town of Bela Crkva, Vojvodina, depicting the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, a Catholic martyr, in the hell, has been painted over by white, the Croatian Catholic news agency IKA reported on Friday.

IKA quoted the Zrenjanin Catholic Bishop Ladislav Német as saying that the controversial icon was painted over by white and that news items about Bela Crkva and the icon depicting Stepinac in the hell were no longer topical.

The news about the controversial fresco was broken by the direktno.hr news website on 16 January. The fresco depicting the hell and the Blessed Stepinac in it was painted on a wall of the Serb Orthodox Church of Saint John in Bela Crkva, a town in the region of Banat, which is in the eastern parts of the Serbian province of Vojvodina.

The whole case prompted the Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade, Stanislav Hočevar, to say that depicting a saint in the hell was an insult to God.

He told the Croatian national broadcaster (HRT)  that he would try to solve this issue through dialogue.

He also apologised to the Catholic faithful in Croatia for the belated reaction of the Catholic Church in Vojvodina and Serbia to this case.

Archbishop Hočevar said that this would be also a topic of his talks with the Apostolic Nuncio in Serbia on Saturday.

Pope John Paul II declared Alojzije Stepinac a martyr and beatified him at a ceremony in the Croatian Marian shrine of Marija Bistrica in 1998, when hundreds of thousands of Croatians gathered for that mass.

Later, Pope Francis decided to initiate the establishment of a joint commission to study the historical truth on Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac and to shed light on the historical role of this Zagreb Archbishop at the time of the WWII Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and the Ustasha crimes in the Jasenovac concentration camp, before the decision on his canonisation.

After the Second World War, Stepinac was persecuted by the Communist authorities in the Tito-led Yugoslavia. In 1945 he declined Tito's proposal to establish a national Catholic church separate from Rome.

In July 2016, Zagreb County Court annulled the Communist-era rulings against Zagreb Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, who was sentenced in 1946 to 16 years in prison and forced labour and was stripped of his political and civil rights for five years.

Zagreb County Court established that the guilty verdict had grossly violated the then and the current principles of the criminal law.

Cardinal Stepinac (1898-1960) was the leading person of the Catholic Church in Croatia during World War Two. After the war, Communist authorities charged him with collaborating with the Ustasha regime of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945), although he publicly denounced the crimes of the pro-Nazi regime and actively helped provide sanctuary for those persecuted. Subsequently, Stepinac spent five years in prison and nine years under house arrest until he died.

In October 1946 the then Supreme Court found him guilty of all charges in his indictment.

In February 1992, the Croatian parliament adopted the declaration condemning the court decision and the process that led to it. The declaration states that the true reason of Stepinac's imprisonment was his pointing out many Communist crimes and especially refusing to form a Croatian Catholic Church in schism with the Pope.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Immunologist Says It's Still Too Early to Ease Anti-epidemic Rules

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - Immunologist Zlatko Trobonjača, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka, said on Friday that although the Omicron variant of the virus seemed to cause milder symptoms of COVID-19 than previous variants, it was still to early to relax anti-epidemic restrictions.

Calling for caution, the doctor said in his interview with the national broadcaster (HTV), that there had been nearly 17,000 new daily cases of the infection on Friday, while the hospital admission numbers had fallen to some extent.

He explained that the new variant mostly infects the upper respiratory tract and therefore it spreads faster, while, on the other side, it seems to be causing milder symptoms of the disease.

Trobonjača went on to say that the Omicron epidemic has been lasting just about 20 days, and that it is a short period to make conclusions whether this variant of the virus is not dangerous.

We must wait for some time and see what consequences the spread of the Omicron can produce for health, before giving a thought to the relaxation of the restrictions, the professor said.

The level of the collective immunity which is being acquired through vaccination, immunisation and also through recovery from the disease will put an end to this virus eventually, he said.

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.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Filip Hrgović Awaits Yet Another Opponent as Tony Yoka Withdraws from IBF Final Eliminator

January 22, 2022 - It has been a whirlwind of unfortunate events for Croatian boxer Filip Hrgović, who now waits for yet another new opponent in the IBF Final Eliminator. 

It's been quite the last few weeks for Croatian boxer Filip Hrgović. After Tony Yoka accepted Hrgović's offer for a big rematch, on Friday morning it was confirmed that there will be no fight, reports Boxing Scene and Gol.hr.

The IBF ruled in favor of an appeal filed by Martin Bakole who rebelled because he felt Tony Yoka owed him a fight. He and Yoka were due in the ring in December in France, but that fight was postponed due to the pandemic. Since the French fighter owes him a fight, Yoka cannot make a deal with any other fighter.

Martin Bakole's lawyers provided evidence confirming that the fight was only postponed to April this year and not completely canceled as claimed by the Yoko team.

This means that the IBF is searching for a new opponent for Filip Hrgović, who was previously rejected by Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker.

Joe Joyce is expected to be next on the list, but he is still recovering from his injury. If he refuses the invitation, the IBF could contact Agit Kabayel, and next on the list is Chinese boxer Zhilei Zhang, who has already spoken publicly about the fight with the Croatian boxer and who again seems to be the most realistic opponent.

For now, Hrgović and his team will wait for one of the mentioned boxers to accept the IBF invitation. The boxers have three days to respond to the offer, followed by negotiations.

The winner of that fight will wait for the outcome of the upcoming rematch between Oleksandr Usik and Anthony Joshua, which should take place in the spring.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Marin Čilić Knocks Out Andrey Rublev for Spot in Australian Open Last 16!

January 22, 2022 - Marin Čilić is in the Australian Open last 16 after beating one of the world's best tennis players, Andrey Rublev, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3!

Marin Čilić easily won the first two sets, complicated the following two, but ultimately served for the match and victory. Marin will face Félix Auger-Aliassime next. 

“I enjoyed every single second of the match. I had so much fun and played great tennis. I tried to be aggressive, you can’t give these top guys the chance to hit – and I think it worked. I’m feeling really excited, it’s going to get tougher," Čilić said after the match, as reported by The Guardian.

Petra Martić and American tennis player Shelby Rogers will play in the third round of the women's doubles competition after beating 11th seeded Ukrainian Lyudmila Kichenok and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. For a spot in the quarterfinals, they will face the 5th seeded Chilean Alexa Guarachi and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

The mixed doubles tournament also started, in which Ivan Dodig and French partner Kristina Mladenović reached the second round with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 10-3 victory over the Belgian pair Kirsten Flipkens - Sander Gille.

Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo did not advance in the men's doubles tournament, losing 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the second round to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

The world's best doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić lost on Friday in the second round of the Australian Open to Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (8), 3-6 in a match that lasted an hour and 36 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić lost the serve at the beginning of the match, but they managed to get it back in the next game, and then broke for a 4-2 lead. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios immediately came back and the first set went into a tie-break. In the 13th game, the Croatian duo managed to save three set points, but the Australian side managed to realize the fourth.

The sixth game of the second set was fatal for Mektić and Pavić, in which they managed to save two break points, but not the third. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios took a 4-2 lead. By the end of the match, the Croatian duo did not have the opportunity to return and the Australians were able to celebrate their spot in the third round.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 22 January 2022

UEFA Futsal Euro 2022: Croatia Opens with Victory against Poland

January 22, 2022 - The Croatia national futsal team defeated Poland 3:1 (3:1) in the first round of the UEFA Futsal Euro 2022 Group C in Amsterdam and made a big step towards the quarterfinals.

Matej Horvat (8), Antonio Sekulić (14), and Franco Jelovčić (18) scored the goals for Croatia, and Patrick Holy (14) scored for Poland. 

The Croatia futsal team, led by coach Marinko Mavrović, thus opened the Euros with a victory, beating Poland, a direct competitor for second place in the group and a place in the quarterfinals.

The first goal for Croatia was scored spectacularly by Olmissum player Horvat in the eighth minute, during Poland's attack and aggressive pressing. Horvat tricked the goalkeeper and another player and attractively hit the back of the net for 1:0. 

In the 14th minute, Horvat lost the ball as the last player, leaving Holy alone in front of Croatia's goalkeeper Luketin to equalize.

Only 15 seconds later, Croatia retook the lead after another player from Omiš, Olmissum's Sekulić, cleared the rebound after Suton's shot. Then, two minutes before the end of the half, captain Jelovčić scored from a solo action, almost from a dead angle.

Mavrović's team started the second half worse and was saved by goalkeeper Žarko Luketin after two dangerous Poland attacks. However, Croatia's defense withstood all challenges and reached an important victory in the first big competition in six years.

In the second match of the group, Russia defeated Slovakia 7:1.

Croatia will meet Russia next in Amsterdam on January 25 and Slovakia in Groningen on January 29 in the group stage.

POLAND - CROATIA 1:3 (1:3)
Futsal European Championship, Group C.
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam.

Judges: E. F. Coelho, M. Castilho (Portugal)

Scorers: 0:1 - Horvat (8'), 1:1 - Holy (14'), 1:2 - Sekulić (14'), 1:3 - Jelovčić (18')

Yellow cards: Sekulić (25')

Poland: Kaluza, Grubalski, Zastawnik, Lutecki, Kriezel; Nawrat, Kubik, Madziag, Holy, Smialkowski, Solecki, Leszczak, Marek, Wojciechowski. Coach: B. Korczynski.

Croatia: Luketin, Matosevic, Jelovcic, Marinovic, Novak; Primic, Kanjuh, Djuras, Suton, Jurlina, Postruzin, Cekol, Horvat, Sekulic. Menu: M. Mavrović.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Prof Bruno Barsic of KB Dubrava: Only Two Measures Make Any Sense

January the 22nd, 2022 - The director of the covid ward of KB Dubrava in Zagreb, Prof Bruno Barsic has stated that with the emergence of the highly infectious but far milder variant of the novel coronavirus, Omicron, only two measures make any sense. The rest are quite pointless.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prof Bruno Barsic of Dubrava Hospital's covid ward pointed out to Index that because of the Omicron variant, we have a large number of infected people, but the pressure on hospitals isn't what it was. He stressed that Omicron patients aren't putting any pressure on the hospital and hoped that it would remain like that.

From Thursday the 27th of January, wearing masks in the United Kingdom will no longer be mandatory, working from home will no longer be officially recommended, and covid certificates (NHS covid passes) will no longer be required to enter nightclubs and partake in certain larger gatherings, according British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was recently busted for having parties during the harsh UK lockdown and is being pressured to step down.

The abolition of covid certificates is also being seriously considered in Israel, where Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman has risen up against their continued use. He said that they have no health purposes and that they contribute to creating even more issues and panic.

Cyrille Cohen, one of the Israeli government's vaccination advisers and head of the immunology department at Bar Ilan University, told UnHerd yesterday that covid certificates had become "irrelevant" now Omicron is dominant, and that he expected them to be abolished soon.

“When it comes to the Omicron variant, we don’t see virtually any difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and both can become infected by it more or less equally,” he said.

"That's logical. It's going in that direction. If you have 50 percent of those tested returning a positive result, then what's the use of testing? It seems logical to me that we are going in that direction in this country as well,'' said Prof Bruno Barsic.

He also commented on other epidemiological measures that are in force in this country and pointed out which ones he would drop if he was in charge. "Of all the measures, I would keep those that limit mass gatherings and wearing masks. So far, masks are very important because we can see how rapidly and easily Omicron spreads and infects people,'' he said.

Prof Bruno Barsic also stated that the elderly population still needs to be vaccinated.

"And that's it. It seems to me that the need for less measures is slowly emerging. But I'm not an expert in epidemiology, so I'd leave it to those who are to make those decisions,'' concluded Prof Bruno Barsic.

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.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Feel Croatia Project Promotes Domestic Products, Services and More

January the 22nd, 2022 - The Feel Croatia project (Osjeti hrvatsku) has been launched, placing a focus on Croatian products, services, producers and local communities.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Croatian economy is extremely vulnerable, and at the same time, in true Croatian paradoxical style it is brimming with potential. It relies heavily on personal consumption and tourism, therefore requiring some new ways to identify opportunities on both the domestic and on foreign markets.

Therefore, a group of about 30 experts and entrepreneurs launched the Feel Croatia project, which aims to educate young people to understand why it's important to buy local, and promote product quality and innovation here on the Croatian market.

They also launched the eponymous digital platform www.oh.hr, which has been launched and created a group of exceptional experts and professionals experienced in several areas of economic activities - market communications, tourism, economy, journalism, presales and sales, marketing and digital marketing, and of course - entrepreneurship - to help Croatian businessmen, producers and service providers in one place.

The Feel Croatia project grew out of economic activities that took more than seven years to build through the NGO Centre for Entrepreneurs www.poduzetnica.hr, a former Women's Entrepreneurship Centre boasting more than 2,300 members and 128 members from 2015 to 2021.

"I'm looking forward to being the first user of the services of the team of experts and the Feel Croatia project and I'm also looking forward to the cooperation that is coming to us in this new year. In my range of entrepreneurial activities, I have a whole range of originally Croatian tourist, health, medical products and services, which have long since crossed the borders of Vukovar-Srijem County and my city of Vukovar, where I work. I'm sure that with the Feel Croatia project and these exceptional project experts, I will ensure a proper market position, clients, sales, promotion, but also recognition within the borders of our beautiful country, but also outside it, which is why I gave them my trust,'' said Dr. Mirjana Semenic Rutko , an entrepreneur from Vukovar.

"For many years, I've been watching everything that has to do with Croatia being 'devastated', and everything that comes from abroad is being put on a pedestal, praised and appreciated. We all know very well what is true, which is that domestic production, services and activities must not be neglected and devalued. Croatia certainly has something to offer. I'm glad that I was among the first to recognise the Feel Croatia project and that I'll be able to participate in it as an innovator, and an entrepreneur who appreciates Croatian products and services, but also provides them,'' said Davor Kovacic, an entrepreneur and innovator.

“The Feel Croatia project isn't only a new dimension for communication for presenting, connecting and promoting Croatian producers and products and service providers, the local community, as well as everything on the Croatian market, it's also systematic work done in order to raise awareness of domestic customers and all users on the Croatian market who will have a number of projects on offer. We'll do a lot of things that should further strengthen the market and develop domestic potential economically.

We want to work effectively on organic growth and development through numerous examples of success from across all parts of Croatia, from small family farms (OPGs) to large food giants and from the ordinary man to the world stars with Croatian roots because only then can we get the best Croatia and offer that to those who are the only ones competent to evaluate it - and these are our current and future customers and consumers,'' concluded Sanela Dropulic, the co-founder of the praiseworthy Feel Croatia project.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Sljeme Adrenaline Parks, Bike Paths and More Above Zagreb?

January the 22nd, 2022 - Could Sljeme adrenaline parks and bike paths, as well as much more, ever come to be? This idea for year-round fun on the mountain which towers of the City of Zagreb has certainly attracted public attention.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec wrires, Sljeme adrenaline parks at two locations at the bottom of Crveni spust in the area of ​​the ski Complex within the Medvednica Nature Park, bike paths and a permanent bobsled track were ideas which were all brought to the public's keen attention by a current debate on the ski complex on Medvednica.

Known for the famous ski competition "Snow Queen", this gorgeous mountainous area above the Croatian capital opens up new opportunities for recreation enthusiasts because it creates spatial and planning prerequisites for the spatial, purposeful and technological expansion of the ski area into a unique ski-wire system with other accompanying facilities.

The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property, which is responsible for drafting the entire plan, says that the improvement of the excursion and recreational function as the primary function of the Medvednica Nature Park is the goal of drafting these amendments. They say that it is about enabling the improvement and development of recreational and sports facilities throughout the year.

The timing of this public debate, as well as all of the preparations for new projects and interventions, is difficult to currently assess, because the process of drafting spatial plans doesn't actually determine the financial aspect or the procedure of the further implementation of the intervention, which the department responsible duly noted.

Therefore, in the public speaking phase, proposals and opinions are being collected until February the 8th, 2022, followed by the preparation of a report, part of the timetable envisaged by the Croatian Government's decision from back in 2020.

The study and summary of the spatial plan can be found and read on the competent ministry's website, the Institute for Physical Planning of the City of Zagreb is the expert author of the UPU amendment, and a public presentation was held yesterday at the competent ministry.

The current UPU planned for a route for summer tobogganing on the Red, Green, Blue and White downhill trails on Sljeme which would have be around 1824 metres long, designed as a single-pipe assembly-disassembly structure that could have been installed or dismantled with the changing of the summer and winter seasons.

That idea sadly didn't come to life as it was assessed as technically non-functional and burdensome for the space. The new solution defines a new route and the area of ​​the toboggan run route which would be called "Sljemeski bob", with new technical and performance solutions (building of the upper and lower station in the function of bobsleigh), without additional environmental impact.

Areas for the arranging and building/reconstruction of buildings in the function of ski resorts include the upper stations of Crveni and Zeleni spust: a four-seater cable car is planned at the location of today's Zeleni spust lift, with the extension of the route to the bottom of Plavi spust. Sljeme adrenaline parks and bike paths, as well as an overall improvement in the ski offer above Zagreb would certainly allow for the boosting of year round tourism as more and more international visitors discover the bustling Croatian capital.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Boris Vujcic Reveals All Locations for Kuna-Euro Cash Exhange

January the 22nd, 2022 - Boris Vujcic has revealed all of the locations at which the Croatian kuna can be exchanged for the euro as the country edges closer to Eurozone entry.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and CNB Governor Boris Vujcic addressed the public at a recent session of the Council for the Introduction of the Euro as the Official Currency, held at the National and University Library.

Plenkovic: There are many advantages for citizens

"Why is the introduction of the euro good? There are benefits for our citizens. Currency risks will disappear. The euro will bring with it a great impetus to the international exchange of goods and services,'' explained Plenkovic.

“Euro deposits account for more than 76 percent of total time and savings deposits with banks, and 50.3 percent of total bank placements are euro placements. We intend to highlight several fundamental principles of this process which are included in the bill. The first and most important thing is consumer protection, we must prevent any situations that would take advantage of the introduction of the euro to the detriment of consumers,'' added the Prime Minister.

"The intention is that in the beginning the prices will be expressed twice, both in kuna and in euros. Throughout the whole of 2023, after the introduction of the euro, prices will also remain highlighted in kuna. So, first we'll pay in kuna and see the prices in euros, and then we'll pay in euros, but we will also have the prices visible in kuna,'' he said.

After Plenkovic, CNB Governor Boris Vujcic spoke, HRT writes:

"The most important thing in the law is that it contains the principle according to which the existing contracts stating the reference to the kuna are still valid. We're removing any possibility of legal uncertainty during Croatia's changeover to the euro,'' he said.

"When it comes to the process of exchanging the kuna for the euro, consumer protection is important. Converting kuna into euros will be done by and in banks automatically and without any incurred costs,'' assured Boris Vujcic.

"As for deposits and loans, people don't need to worry, the conversion into euros will be done automatically on the day of the introduction of the euro in Croatia at a fixed conversion rate and without any cost. Agreements on all loans and deposits will continue to be valid,'' he added.

"As for interest rates, the rule is that fixed interest rates will remain fixed, and when it comes variable interest rates, if the variable parameter needs to be adjusted when introducing the euro due to rounding, this law stipulates how this adjustment will be made," Boris Vujcic said.

"The consumer must not be put in a worse position than they were in before"

"Again, the important principle is that the consumer cannot be in a worse position than they were in before. If there are any differences in the second decimal, it will be at the expense of the bank, not at the expense of people. When exchanging kuna cash, about 36 billion kuna is in circulation at the moment, it would be good to deposit as much of that money in banks as possible this year in order to logistically facilitate the conversion itself,'' noted the governor.

"Those who fail to do so will have a chance after that, for one year at Fina, in banks and at Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta) offices, and banknotes will be able to be exchanged forever at the CNB, and the same will be made possible for kuna coins for the next three years," concluded Boris Vujcic.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle and politics sections.

Page 2 of 3357

Search