Sunday, 23 January 2022

Japanese Drumming Sensation Kodō to Perform in Zagreb on 6 February

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - The world drumming sensation Kodō will play Zagreb on 6 February with its new performance "Tsuzumi", a part of the Kodo One Earth Tour 2022 featuring masterpieces that have marked the troupe's 40-year-long career.

Based on Sado Island, Japan, this professional taiko drumming troupe has had a role in popularising taiko drumming, both in Japan and abroad. They regularly tour Japan, Europe, and the United States.

The traditional Japanese drum taiko, the heaviest weighing as much as 300 kilograms and spans a meter and a half wide, constitutes a link between nature and man that can not be illustrated better or more precisely than with the art forms of the exceptionally dedicated Kodō drummers, said the "Vatroslav Lisinski" concert hall, where the troupe will perform.

In Japanese, the word "Kodō" conveys two meanings: "heartbeat" and when read in a different way, "children of the drum".

Since its founding in 1981, Kodō has held more than 6,000 concerts in 50 countries worldwide.

Admission to the Zagreb concert will be possible exclusively with valid EU COVID certificates (electronic or paper form) and an ID document. Fast antigen testing at a price of HRK 50 will be available on the day of the concert at the concert hall from 6 to 7.30 pm.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Migrant Workers' Trade Union Accuses Tax Offices of Malpractice

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - On Sunday, the Croatian Trade Union of Migrant Workers, whose Croatian acronym is HSRM, accused local tax offices of malpractice and miscalculations in tax returns, claiming that such cases of negligence amount to violations of double tax avoidance agreements.

The HSRM says that it has come to this conclusion based on the findings made by its legal experts who analyzed cases of migrant workers whose tax returns were miscalculated.

The union issued a press release signed by union leader Franjo Lazar, stating that the state-level tax administration seems to be ignorant of cases of malpractice.

The union calls on its members to wait for some time before submitting their tax returns to the relevant authorities as negotiations are being conducted with the Finance Ministry, regarding the nine requests presented by the union with the purpose to improve the status of migrant workers.

According to the HSRM, an estimated 20,000 migrant workers come back to Croatia weekly or monthly and bring up to a half-billion euros annually.

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Sunday, 23 January 2022

Series "The Silence" by Dalibor Matanić Part of Berlinale Series Market Selects

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - Dalibor Matanić's new TV series "The Silence" (Šutnja), based on a trilogy by investigative journalist Drago Hedl, has been listed among 14 television series of the Berlinale Series Market Selects at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlinale Series Market Selects is part of the European Film Market. It is dedicated to TV series and offers industry experts, right holders, buyers, and creatives a platform for discussing current developments in the world of series.

The programme will take place online, in parallel with the European Film Market, also taking place online, from 10 to 17 February. The event will include talk shows, showcases by international production companies, streaming platform and series events, online screenings, and a curated selection of high-quality series on the market, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) said.

Among the 14 selected projects, there are also series from Brazil, South Africa, and Israel.

The producer and one of the creators of the series, Nebojša Taraba, said that entering that market was a huge personal success, but they were even happier that this confirmed the international success of Croatian drama series such as "The Paper" (Novine), "Success" (Uspjeh), "The Last Socialist Artefact" (Područje bez signala), were no longer an exception but becoming a rule.

"Croatian television productions are not only the most successful in the Adria region but beyond, I dare say in Central and Southeast Europe," he said.

The eighth edition of the Berlinale Series Market (BSM) will take place from 14 to 16 February with an exceptionally international and diverse selection of series, according to European Film Market according to director Dennis Ruh.

"The Silence" is a six-part TV series based on Hedl's trilogy, which is described as a combination of police procedural novels and political thrillers.

The series will start broadcasting on Croatian Radio Television (HRT) on 7 March. It is produced by Drugi Plan and HRT and co-produced by Beta Film, Star Media, and OLL.TV, ZDF/ARTE. Series creators are Nebojša Taraba and Miodrag Sila (Drugi Plan), with the screenplay written by Marjan Alčevski. The series also stars Kseniya Mishina, Goran Bogdan and Darko Milas.

Congratulations Dalibor, and all the team behind the production of "The Silence"!

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Palagruža Association Continues Building Replicas of Traditional Wooden Boats

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - The Palagruža association, based in the town of Komiža on the island of Vis, preserves and promotes the maritime heritage of the local community which includes making replicas of historical boats. The association has completed the building of models "Sandula" and "Ofalkono Gajeta" and is now in search of partners to build "Leut" and "Loja" replicas.

The association is also active in collecting and preserving traditional tools and promoting local crafts, artisanal products, and cuisine.

The head of the association, Miro Cvitković, recently told Hina that in the beginning, members made replicas of more simple traditional boats such as the "Gundula". Upon completion, this was followed by building replicas of "Sandula" and "Ofalkono Gajeta-učilo" vessels.

The association takes part in many festivals and events abroad to promote Croatia's maritime heritage.

For instance, its members attended the European maritime festival in the Gulf of Morbihan, France, to promote the "Sandula" vessel. On this occasion, they also managed to establish cooperation with the French town of Rochefort-sur-Loire.

"Sandula" is a "work boat" which was used for everyday fishing activities and short voyages along the local coast.

"Loja" is a boat used in fishing for oily fish, or for communication between bigger vessels during fishing activities.

Cvitković has said that currently the association is trying to find partners for its project to build replicas of "Leut" and "Loja" vessels.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 7,095 New Cases, 36 Deaths, 7,569 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - In the last 24 hours, there have been 7,095 new cases of coronavirus infections in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Sunday.

There are currently 63,587 active cases. 1,860 of these cases are currently receiving hospital treatment, including 201 patients placed on ventilators.

In the last 24 hours, 36 more patients have died from the infection, raising the death toll to 13,407.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Croatia in late February 2020, a total of 877,060 coronavirus cases have been registered. Of these cases, 800,066 have recovered, including 7,569 in the past 24 hours.

Croatia has conducted 4,109,897 coronavirus tests to date, including 14,525 tests in the last 24 hours when rate of positive tests was 49%.

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.

 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Split Census Reveals Reality of Life Under Marjan: Unused Apartments, High Prices

January 23, 2022 - The Split census results revealed that almost every fourth apartment is empty while the prices continue to rise. A closer look at the realities in the city.

According to the new census, Split has 59,947 households and 77,309 apartments, which means that there are 17,362 empty housing units in its area, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

That is, almost every fourth apartment is empty. If we look at the city without the settlements that administratively belong to it: Žrnovnica, Slatine, Donje Sitno, Gornje Sitno, Kamen, Stobreč, and Srinjine, then Split has 16,069 empty apartments.

This does not mean that all empty flats are also tourist apartments - some owners use them occasionally, and some do not use them at all. But a good flat today is undoubtedly intended for tourism. Several apartments are empty and used only during the season, and prices are multiplying. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the last quarter of 2021, the prices of apartments on the Adriatic were on average 38 percent higher than in 2015.

In parallel with the rise in prices, the number of inhabitants is declining, but empty flats are growing. There were 4,500 in the 2001 census, and only a few years later, at the time of the Split GUP, 6,000 apartments did not have electric meters. Since the last census in 2011, Split has lost more than 16,800 inhabitants and has 17,300 vacant flats. In the meantime, the number of accommodation capacities has increased tremendously.

According to the data of the Split Tourist Board, in 2019, 23,657 beds were registered in households in the city. However, due to COVID, the number of registered accommodation capacities is decreasing, so in 2021 and 2022, the number is the same, and 20,547 of them are registered as household beds.

Housing, on the other hand, is growing. For example, in Mejaši, more precisely around the "Mall of Split" shopping center to the junction with Vukovarska Street, building permits have been issued, or applications for their issuance have been submitted for more than 450 apartments in the last two years. 

Although the location and the associated housing conditions could by no means be called elite, this is not an obstacle to the rage in prices. On the contrary, the public was amused and shocked by the ad in which about 4,000 euros per square meter were demanded for a 14-square-meter studio apartment in that neighborhood.

However, children attend the overcrowded Mejaši Elementary School in three shifts. The head of the Split Social Services Department, Mate Omazić, told Slobodna that the City has problems finding a suitable plot of 10,000 square meters to construct a school with a hall in Kila, in the Mejaši district where POS apartments were built.

This example clearly shows why young people are leaving. Namely, affordable apartments are not built, while they are costly in favorable locations and are constructed primarily for tourism or for the temporary stay of those with deeper pockets.

Apartments in poorer locations, which are bought mainly by people in Split today, are too expensive considering what the location offers. Moreover, the environment in which such new buildings are located is poor in infrastructure, greenery, and public facilities. Therefore, the overall impression of such ambiance seems relatively poor compared to the money required to buy real estate, especially when compared to Split in the second half of the 20th century when the city's development was meaningfully planned.

An expert in spatial planning and a member of the Spatial Development Council in the competent ministry, architect, and urban planner Gojko Berlengi predicted in an interview with Slobodna that there would be more than 10,000 vacant apartments in Split in the census. As one of the reasons why apartments under Marjan are expensive and empty, he points out the tax policy, which is not fair to the owners of hotels and other forms of accommodation.

"How many times bigger is New York than Split? And there are only four times as many apartments in private accommodation? They are taking measures to limit the number of flats and require apartment owners to be domicile residents. In our country, the privileged tax on apartments was introduced as a reasonable social measure to help households with a surplus of space and a lack of income. In the end, it turned out that a man came, for example, from Varaždin, and invested in five apartments in Žnjan. He uses a privileged tax, competes with hotel owners, and has a very short season that produces huge peak loads, which the City needs to deal with, from traffic, water, sewage, waste disposal... When entering into a thorough calculation of all negative externalities, cities, and municipalities are thus de facto at a loss," explains Berlengi.

"I am interested in the extent to which the Split Development Strategy and the Agglomeration Strategy, as well as the County Development Plan, will answer such questions. For example, what does one zone with apartments on Žnjan mean to Split? How much tax revenue does the City carry per hectare, and how much does it cost in utility equipment and maintenance? We have vacant apartments and people who have not resolved the housing issue, and at the same time, the city space is being spent on building overpriced real estate. There are public policies that can address this, resulting in these apartments being used for housing and being offered on the market at normal prices, especially if there are more than households. Tax measures and other public policies from the existing fund should activate apartments in the function of housing," Berlengi believes.

Berlengi adds that it is logical that the tax for this activity should be low, but only for people who live on the islands and the coast, where they have one or two apartments. But it is not logical, he says, that as a consequence, it starts to turn into the construction of apartment houses on Žnjan, which are empty for most of the year.

"Half of them are summer apartments, some of a higher standard. When you come, you find the key. You leave it in the mailbox, everything is anonymous, and at the same time, it goes under the lower tax of accommodation in a family household, which should be an incentive for local residents. It is not logical to reward rich people who are not domiciled. Numerous cities worldwide handle things like this, so you can’t rent if you’re not domiciled. In addition, they limit the number of rental days per year and thus stimulate year-round rental. We want to equalize these forms of renting so that the owner does not have the advantage of renting an apartment to tourists compared to year-round rent to families," says Berlengi.

As a result, the number of apartments has doubled since 2012, although the Tourism Strategy foresaw that apartments in Croatia would remain in that number. The infrastructural load in the summer is vast because from Trogir to Omiš, there are 80,000 beds in apartments.

Will the real estate bubble burst? Berlengi believes that valuable real estate is always on price. However, at the other end of the spectrum are numerous lower-quality properties on the city's outskirts that could be a problem.

"Anyone who has invested money in them at one point may have difficulty cashing in if, of course, there is not as much demand for housing due to fewer residents and households. Dwellings have become a commodity that preserves the value of the property. However, it is like a financial pyramid, and any such pyramid eventually collapses. I don't see how this could survive in the long run if you don't live in those apartments and if a normal real estate tax is introduced, so unused real estate becomes an expense. But our state is slow, and perhaps the problem is that those who decide on it have too much real estate themselves. For now, the state de facto supports the rentier mentality. It sterilizes financial capital for productive investments by buying unnecessary real estate; for example, we have thousands of hectares of uncultivated land, and we import billions of euros of food," adds Berlengi.

"Split has increased the number of apartments by five to six times. There are almost 10,000 apartments in Split, about 8,000 in Vienna, about 50,000 in Paris, and about 40,000 in New York. I see this as the primary form of pressure on coastal settlements and space, but also on the affordability of housing because apartments are becoming too expensive, which with already negative demographic trends is driving local people out of cities," concludes Gojko Berlengi.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Croatian Notary Public Services to be Streamlined Through Digitisation

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - In 2022, notaries are expected to ease the workload of land registries through the further digitization of some services such as the registration into land registries and online issuance of documents, the head of the Croatian Chamber of Notaries, Zvijezdana Rauš-Klier said in an interview.

The continuation of the digitization of notarization services will not be conducted on commercial platforms but in a sort of "a safe virtual room", that is a separate IT system, Rauš-Klier said in the interview published on Sunday.

Starting a company online to be possible as of this summer

As of this summer, the notarization system ought to offer full online service for the digital registration of the newly-founded companies.

Upgrading digitization of notary public services will make it possible for clients not to go to notaries' offices but to be provided with digital services necessary to start a company or to register changes in the existing ones, Rauš-Klier explains.

Croatia to apply German model of digitization of services

Local notaries, supported by the Croatian Ministry of justice and public administration, are due to implement the German model of digital notarisation services. An agreement signed by the Croatian chamber and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries in 2019 will facilitate these efforts, she told Hina.

She said that this model of digitization will enable notaries to establish the identity of clients, that is parties, and their serious intention, as well as to provide them with advice for the best ways to implement their plans. 

The model includes the combination of video conferences, electronic identification, and remote identity proofing.

Rauš-Klier underscored the importance of electronic power of attorney for the business sector. and cross-border interoperability.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

This Year's Museum Night to Take Place on 28 January

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - The 17th edition of Museum Night will take place on 28 January and this year's theme is "Museums between the real and the digital".

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, events will be held online and, where possible, offline with mandatory use of COVID passes.

The organizer, the Croatian Museum Association (HMD), said that cultural institutions were forced to adapt to the new reality, with most of the events being moved to digital communication channels.

All Museum Night programmes will be available via digital channels.

In the pre-pandemic years, Museum Night saw mass visits to museums, with the number of visits in one night exceeding 300,000. Last year, nearly all events were organized online.

The HMD organized the first Museum Night in 2005, with the participation of only a handful of museums in Zagreb. Since then, it has evolved into a national event, attracting 3,635,127 visitors. It takes place on the last Friday in January, from 6pm to 1am, and admission to museums is free.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Andrej Kramarić Scores 100th Hoffenheim Goal

January 23, 2022 - Andrej Kramarić scored his jubilee 100th Hoffenheim goal on Saturday, which was also his first goal after more than three months!

Andrej Kramarić scored in Hoffenheim's 2:3 home defeat against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. The Croatian footballer equalized for 1:1 in the first minute of stoppage time in the first half. Kramarić played the whole match.

This was his first goal after more than three months, but also the jubilee 100th for Hoffenheim. This is only his third Bundesliga goal this season, the first since October 29 last year. He nailed the back of the net with a half volley, reports Jutarnji List.

"Of course, I'm overjoyed with my 100th goal for TSG. It really took a long time. I would like to thank my family, club, and teammates. My son was at the stadium for the first time today, I'm glad I managed to score in front of him," Kramarić said and commented on the match:

"I am extremely angry about the defeat because we played superbly. Dortmund had three shots in the box and scored three goals (official statistics say two, and the third goal is an own goal). We are not happy with the result, but the game was really good. It is clear to everyone that we were better. We need to keep building on this game so the results will come with which to climb the ladder."

Kramarić's Croatia national teammate Marin Pongračić entered the game for Borussia Dortmund in the 83rd minute. 

Third place in the Bundesliga standings was confirmed by Bayer with a convincing 5:1 home victory against Augsburg. The absolute first name of the match was the Frenchman Moussa Diaby who scored three of the five goals for Leverkusen. Bellarabi and Alario scored for Bayer, and the only scorer for the guests was Maier.

Only the second league victory of the season was recorded by Greuther Fuerth, who beat Mainz 2:1 at home. 

Stuttgart is penultimate in the rankings. This time they lost to Freiburg (0:2) and recorded their fourth defeat in the last five league appearances (with one draw). Croatian footballer Borna Sosa played the whole game for Stuttgart, and the scorers for the winning team were Ito (own goal) and Schade.

Union Berlin broke through to fourth place, winning 2:1 in Moenchengladbach. The hero of the match was Kruse with two goals. He scored the winning goal in the 84th minute.

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

 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Croatia Likely to Play in 2023 World Handball Championship Qualifiers

January 23, 2022 - Losing to Denmark on Saturday night in Budapest came with even more consequences outside of the Euros - Croatia will likely have to play in the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifiers this spring. 

Not only did losing to Denmark in Budapest eliminate the last theoretical possibility for Croatia to reach the European Handball Championship semifinals, but it almost certainly left Croatia without a direct spot in the next big competition - the World Championships, to be played in Poland and Sweden in January 2023, reports Gol.hr.

In addition to the hosts Poland and Sweden and the current world champion Denmark, Europe will grant at least 12 national teams the chance to participate in the World Champs, three of which will qualify directly as the best at the current Euro held in Hungary and Slovakia, while nine will play in the qualifiers.

Thus, the three best national teams in this European Championship besides Denmark, Poland, and Sweden will qualify for the World Champs, which means that, in case Denmark and Sweden reach the Euro semifinals, then the fifth place will lead to a spot at the World Champs. The national teams that are third in the groups of the second round will play for fifth place, for which Croatia, which is currently at zero points, has a very small chance. 

Even if Hrvoje Horvat's team wins against Iceland and the Netherlands, many other factors would have to coincide again for Croatia to finish third in this group, on Friday, January 28, play the game for fifth place, and only then, if Denmark and Sweden are in semifinals, win direct placement at the World Champs.

A far more realistic scenario is that this will not happen and that Croatia will have to play qualifiers. They will be included in the second round, for which the draw will be held this weekend in Budapest, at the end of the Euro. It is played in two games between April 11 and 17 this year, and the opponent will be some of the national teams that will play the first round between March 14 and 20.

2023 Handball World Cup Qualifiers:
First round:

Seeded teams: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine

Unseeded: Belgium, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Israel, Greece, Italy, Romania, Switzerland

Second round:

Seeded: Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia + six national teams from the European Championship (potentially Croatia)

Unseeded: nine first-round winners

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

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