Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Smart Museum Presented as Part of Karlovac Smart City Strategy

May the 18th, 2022 - The Karlovac Smart City strategy recently saw the presentation of a digital temperature monitoring project as part of the Smart Museum project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Smart Museum project for the digital monitoring of temperature, humidity and other conditions for the proper storing museum exhibits, was presented at the Karlovac City Museum as part of the "Karlovac Smart City" strategy.

The implementation envisages equipping the museum with smart systems for the measuring and remote reading and monitoring of the interdependence of the space's conditions (temperature, humidity) and energy consumption in order to save energy, save financially, and ultimately increase the security of museum materials.

The solution is based on a unique Internet of Things (IoT) platform through which a network of sensors has been set up to monitor various parameters in real time and is part of the far larger Sensors project, in which one million kuna has been invested.

The digital monitoring of various data has been introduced in utility companies, in some schools, in "smart" car parks, and now in the museum in the city centre and in the Vjekoslav Karas Gallery. All of the digitisation work was performed in cooperation with the following companies: Koncar - Electronics and Informatics, Koncar Digital and Transmitters and Communications (OiV).

Brancar Steko, the Director of Sales and Business Development at one of the aforementioned Koncar companies, explained that the IoT platform works through their MARS interface, which can connect many different types of data in one single place and process and present it all to different users, so the system and target data can be accessed online.

An alarm is sounded to users if sensors report unacceptable deviations. In the museum, these are deviations in humidity and temperature or a recorded motion sensor. Marko Serdarevic, a member of the Management Board and Director General for Sales and Development of OiV, believes that the "Smart Museum" project, which is part of the Karlovac Smart City strategy, is in the public interest for the protection of cultural heritage and that it should be an example to other museums when it comes to adopting such a solution.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Gradac Municipality Investing 1.5 Million Kuna in Waterfront Revamp

May the 18th, 2022 - The Gradac Municipality has decided to invest 1.5 million kuna in giving the waterfront a bit of a facelift of sorts, as part of a wider plan totalling approximately 5 million kuna.

As Morski writes, the Gradac Municipality has announced this year's plan for the management of its maritime domain, in the maintenance of which it will invest around 5 million kuna.

These funds will be raised partly from the budget, partly from fees for concessions and concession approvals, as well as from fees for the use of maritime domain paid by the owners of boats and yachts entered in the register of boats, and from compensation for damage caused by the possible pollution of the maritime domain there.

The plan published in the Municipal Gazette also lists the micro-locations where concession approvals will be issued for certain activities, and the plan for investment in maritime domain in the wider Gradac Municipality.

The Gradac Municipality plans to invest the largest amount of the aforementioned 5 million kuna in funds, around 1.5 million kuna, in the revamping of the waterfront in Gradac, around 340,000 kuna will be invested in the construction of the promenade in Obala Street, and a ''makeover'' of Sunce beach is also planned. An adaptation of the beach for dogs and the construction of the Bosac Roman park are also planned.

Investments in the maritime domain are also planned in Drvenik. About 400 thousand kuna will be spent on the adaptation of the port of Cmilja, 150 thousand kuna will be invested in the first phase of the reconstruction of the west coast of Donja Vala, and there is a plan to install some new ramps at the same location. The revamping of the beach and the paving of the waterfront is expected this year in Zaostrog as well, where the current plan is to pave the waterfront and spend 350 thousand kuna on doing so, as well as to do up the beach in front of Begovi, which will come with a 220 thousand kuna price tag.

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

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Čović Calls for Single Croatian Policy Towards Croats in BiH

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - The head of the Croatian National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dragan Čović, said on Tuesday he appreciated Croatian President Zoran Milanović's advocacy, calling on Croatia's top officials to pursue a single foreign policy in order to more strongly contribute to improving the status of BiH Croats.

President Milanović on Monday called on Croat politicians in BiH to state whether they supported his efforts to make Finland and Sweden's NATO accession conditional on amendment of the BiH election law to the benefit of local Croats. Milanović's statement was described by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković as irresponsible exhibitionism that would not help the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"I appreciate what he (Milanović) has been doing recently. I'm glad that he has shown special interest in the status of the Croat people in BiH and has thus strongly mobilised also Croatian citizens as well as Croat representatives in BiH. I expect all current initiatives, including diplomatic ones regarding Finland and Sweden, to be agreed on among Croatian foreign policy actors. Then they will have a chance to be successful and I am confident that today the most important thing is to preserve the unity within the Croat people in BiH," said Čović.

According to Čović, it would be bad if Croats from BiH and from Croatia became divided over the issue of international integration.

"I was clearly told that I should contribute fully so that we do not become divided in any way over issues such as whether someone will enter into some association tomorrow, be that a security or some other association. We simply have to preserve our unity and must not be divided on any issue," Čović said.

He added that he communicates regularly with President Milanović and Prime Minister Plenković and that he expects leading Croatian officials to reach an agreement on ways to improve the status of the BiH Croats.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Constitutional Law Experts Opposed to Milanović's Idea to Abolish Court

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - Constitutional law experts have said that they consider President Zoran Milanović's idea to abolish the Constitutional Court to be bad and absurd.

The Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that the questions in two referendum petitions launched by the opposition Bridge party - on abolishing mandatory COVID passes and transferring the powers of the national COVID response team to Parliament - were not in line with the Constitution.

The decision elicited a strong reaction from the Bridge party, which said that the court was the "HDZ's puppet," while President Milanović went a step further, saying that Constitutional Court judges had carried out "a coup d'etat" and that the court's decision showed the court should be abolished.

"What those ten judges did is a coup d'etat. That court needs to be abolished by a referendum so they can see what the will of the people means and what it means when 400,000 people consciously sign a petition. They dared check the mental state and sobriety of 400,000 Croatians who clearly called for amendment of the Constitution," Milanović said on Monday.

A constitutional law professor at the Osijek Faculty of Law, Mato Palić, told Hina that Milanović's idea about abolishing the Constitutional Court "is a bad idea with a bad motive."

"If state institutions were to be abolished because someone wasn't satisfied with their decisions, not one of them would remain," Palić said.

A retired law professor from the University of Zagreb and a former member of the task force that created the Constitution, Branko Smerdel, considers Milanović's idea to be absurd and contrary to the essence of democracy.

Another constitutional law expert from Zagreb's Faculty of Law, Đorđe Gardašević, told Hina that "in its practice until now, the Constitutional Court has made some very good and some not so good decisions, or rather the reasoning of its decisions. Nevertheless, I believe that the Constitutional Court, just like any other institution, should continue to be built and improved."

"A good way for that is critical, primarily scholarly questioning its decisions. I would never abolish the Constitutional Court as an institution because it can and has to be one of the important brakes and a balance between the three main branches of government in the country," Gardašević concluded.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

State Attorney General Won't Comment on Statements Made by President, PM

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - State Attorney General Zlata Hrvoj Šipek said on Tuesday that she would refrain from commenting on statements made by President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

The Office of the State Attorney General (DORH) says on its website that the responsibility for the statements lies with those who have made them and that everyone should be aware of the constitutional definition of DORH as an autonomous and independent judicial agency.

The State Attorney General does not cave in under pressure caused by statements made by individuals and media and makes decisions exclusively based on facts established in legally prescribed procedures, DORH says, among other things, on its web site, following the exchange of accusations between the president and the prime minister over the case of Defence Minister Mario Banožić and Milanović's insistence that Banožić should be arrested due to suspicion of favouritism at the time when he was State Assets Minister.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Milanović Says Plenković Violating Constitution in Banožić Case

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - President Zoran Milanović on Tuesday described as unconstitutional Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's having talked to the State Attorney General after Milanović publicly wondered what the State Attorney General was doing regarding a case of favouritism involving Defence Minister Mario Banožić.

"His having phoned the State Attorney General is unconstitutional, it's serious enough to warrant impeachment," Milanović said.

The president on Monday again raised the question of what the state prosecutor was doing concerning Banožić whom he accused of favouritism in a case of state property lease of two years ago, when Banožić served as the state assets minister.

Following months-long row between Milanović and Banožić over issues concerning the defence sector as well as topics from the state assets department, Milanović yesterday said that Banožić should be incarcerated.

This prompted Plenković to state on Monday evening that he urged State Attorney General Zlata Hrvoj Šipek not to take heed of politically motivated inflammatory rhetoric against Banožić.

"I can't remember any case of public office-holders having so loudly and clearly upbraided DORH, and I told this to Hrvoj Šipek whom I contacted earlier in the day and told her that (Milanović's campaign against Banožić) is unacceptable and shameful," Plenković said.

Milanović said today Plenković phoned Hrvoj Šipek to tell her "not to touch his man".

He said that Plenković's behaviour was against the Constitution and sufficient reason to oust the prime minister.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Topic of Protection of LGBTQIA+ Persons' Rights Often Marginalised in Croatia

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - Protection and improvement of LGBTQIA+ persons' rights in Croatia, even though it should be one of the most important topics when discussing human rights, is often marginalised, European Parliament member Predrag Matić of the Social Democratic Party said on Tuesday.

"I emphasise that the current European Parliament has declared the European Union an LGBTQIA+ freedom zone in response to homophobic and discriminatory measures in some member-countries," Matić said at an event at Europe House, dedicated to the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.

"Additionally, there is an LGBTQIA+ group in the European Parliament bringing together 148 deputies from five different political groups, which is proof that the protection of LGBTQIA+ persons' rights is really high on the agenda in this term," he said.

Matić noted that the European Parliament has adopted many documents that directly or indirectly warn about discriminatory practices in the EU, demand changes and promote the rights of LGBTQIA+ persons.

"We have strongly reacted on several occasions to homophobic initiatives... in Poland, Hungary and Romania," he said.

The event at Europe House was opened by the head of the European Parliament Office in Croatia, Violeta Simeonova Staničić, who said that LGBTQIA+ persons should know that Europe House was also their house.

Danijel Martinović of the Rainbow Families association said that they were frequently contacted by young LGBTQIA+ persons seeking information about their rights in Croatia with regard to life partnership, starting a family and prospects of staying in Croatia.

"The experiences of young LGBTQIA+ persons in Croatia are not that great, I think that we, older LGBTQIA+ persons, should show responsibility and mentor and help them as much as possible," Martinović said.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

MP: Constitutional Court Shouldn't be Abolished, but Appointment Criteria Should be Changed

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - MP Sandra Benčić (Green-Left Bloc) said on Tuesday there was no need to abolish the Constitutional Court but that the criteria for the appointment of its judges need to be changed because their decision on Monday is "legal nonsense that will be used as an example for law students".

"The Constitutional Court should not be abolished because it has had some good decisions, however, the criteria for the appointment of Constitutional Court judges should be changed. The Constitutional Court's reasoning behind the decision on the initiative 'Let's decide together' will be used as an example of poor practice for future students," Benčić said.

She was commenting on the Constitutional Court's conclusion that the questions in two referendum petitions launched by the opposition Bridge party - on abolishment of mandatory COVID passes and the transfer of the powers of the national COVID response team to Parliament - were not in line with the Constitution, and President Zoran Milanović's comment that the court should be abolished.

As for Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's request to Attorney General Zlata Hrvoj Šipek regarding Milanović's calling out Defence Minister Mario Banožić and calling on Hrvoj Šipek to launch an investigation against Banožić, Benčić said: "We are not talking about interfering in the work of the attorney general here but about leading the Office of the Attorney General (DORH)."

Plenković on Monday said that he had "asked DORH, as an independent judicial institution, to not listen to political incitement to action, as it goes against all the principles of the separation of powers".

Radimir Čačić, leader of the Reformists, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, and the opposition Bridge party today sharply criticised Plenković's request.

Commenting on a statement by President Milanović that "Banožić should be put in prison", Benčić said that no one at the head of any institution that can influence any decision making should be calling for anyone's arrest but that the prime minister's role is not the same as that of the president, who has no powers whatsoever.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Meet Foreign Students Choosing Croatian Education: Nicholas Silva from Brazil

May 17, 2022 - Among the growing number of foreigners relocating to Croatia, international students are increasingly visible. So who are these foreign students choosing Croatia, and why? In the third of a new series, we get the perspectives of life and study in Croatia through the eyes of its foreign students, continuing with Nicholas Silva from Brazil. 

Among the many foreign tongues heard around the Croatian capital these days is the growing number of students choosing to do their graduate programmes in Croatia. A safe, affordable EU country, with a rapidly expanding programme of high-quality graduate courses in English, with excellent employment opportunities upon graduation, are just some of the reasons for choosing Croatia. And the quality of that education was highlighted recently, as Algebra University College signed an academic partnership agreement with Goldsmiths, University of London (as reported previously on TCN), thereby allowing Algebra students to study under the approved programmes of one of the 500 best universities in the world according to the World University Ranking.

Despite the growing excellence of English-language graduate and post-graduate education in Croatia, the opportunities are not so well known, and so TCN - in partnership with Algebra University College - has compiled an authoritative guide to what you need to know about studying in this beautiful country. Check out the Total Croatia Study in Croatia guide.

Nothing paints the real picture of studying in a foreign country better than the real experiences of students living the day to day reality. In a new series on TCN, we meet some of the international students who have fallen in love with Croatia, many of whom plan to stay and work here if they can find employment. We look at the realities of life, why they chose Croatia, and what advice they have for others contemplating studying in Croatia. 

Time to meet Nicholas Silva from Brazil who is doing a graduate course in Applied Computer Engineering, Game Development at Algebra University College.

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1. You chose to study in Croatia. Tell us what were the main factors in that decision.

To be honest, Croatia was never my first option, not because I didn't think the country was good enough, but because when we think about exchange programs we always think about the big countries like USA, France, UK etc.

But I've always had an adventurous spirit and I really wanted to go to a place that not everyone knew, I was researching more about the countries in Europe and I came across Croatia in one of my searches, I had already heard about the country when it had the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and the checkered shirts of the Croatian soccer team had caught my attention.

I started researching more about the country, the culture, the cities, the cost of living, and it ended up being very interesting to me. What was decisive for me were the safety of the country, the possibility to study and work, the chance to get to know the Adriatic coast and all the benefits of being in the European Union as well.

2. How is the experience so far? Give us some pros and cons.

My experience has been fantastic. I really like everything that happens here, the coziness of being a small country but at the same time seeking to internationalize itself.

The climate is very diverse and for me this is good, I have already had negative temperatures and now in spring we have had days of 30 degrees Celsius, not everyone likes it, but it is very good for me.

The possibility of being on the coast in less than 4 hours by car is very good, to be able to escape from routine on a weekend to take a dip in the sea and recharge the batteries.

The people are very receptive and curious about outsiders, I have made great friends here and feel at home already.

The cost of living, although it has increased a little recently, is still much better compared to other places in Europe.

The food is very good and there is so much gastronomic richness that every day you can eat something totally new if you want.

The negative points are that the bureaucracy is a little confusing when it comes to immigration documentation, there is a lot of disconnected information, but the Ministry of the Interior always answered my e-mails and the police responsible for my temporary residency process always clarified, but it causes a lot of insecurity for those who will apply for the first time.

The public transportation, despite reaching several points in the city (I talk about Zagreb here), could be improved.

The language for me is the main barrier, most people speak English, but obviously you are restricted to international environments if you do not make an effort to learn Croatian which is a very challenging language to learn. And also there are not many affordable language courses.

3. How was your perception of studying in Croatia different from the reality? Give us some things that have surprised you about the experience?

I am studying my Masters in Game Development at Algebra College University and have a very good experience studying.

But what struck me the most is that the teacher-student relationship is totally direct and close, the teachers are very easy to contact and are very accessible to help you with projects and questions.

The relationship with the other departments of the college is also very easy, it's like you know everyone and everyone knows who you are there, it seems that everyone is aligned to the same goals.

This may be just my personal experience at Algebra University, but I really like that I can send an email or go to the international secretary's office and know that I will be well taken care of.

The study relationship is very focused on the employability of their students, so their main metric is how many students are employed during and after their course, so it's almost guaranteed that you'll have a good job after graduating and the many possible student job opportunities in Croatia.

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4. How easy was it to do the paperwork to enroll in the study programme? Any suggestions to improve things?

The application documentation for my master's degree was no different from other countries, the process was totally online, with interviews with professors over the internet and everything according to the institutional website schedule.

Algebra was always very willing to help me during the documentation for the application (and any other questions I had, which was a lot...) for the temporary residence, to get the OIB, and everything else that was necessary for my arrival and I have no complaints, it was all smooth.

The documentation for application for temporary residence depends a lot on which country you are coming from, if you need a visa before coming to the country, in short, my process took less than 3 months to get my temporary resident card but I know that there are people who had to return to the country for not being able to deliver all the requested documents.

5. Tell us a little about the accommodation and the cost of living.

Regarding accommodation, I was lucky because I found a flatshare on a Croatian equivalent of Craiglist, so before even arriving in Croatia, I already had my contract for a 12-month rental of a room in a shared house with other Croatians 25 minutes walking distance from my university campus.

The only bad part was that when I was in Brazil, every time I contacted the apartment advertisers they either distrusted me because I was from far away or they did not speak English.

I know of other international students who had problems with scammers but my experience in general wasn't bad.

6. Finding work is a key priority for students, both to help finance the study, but also upon graduation. How hard have you found it to find work, and what are the main obstacles?

I know that there are many jobs for students that are not filled because either there is no interest or because it requires knowledge of the Croatian language which is difficult among international students.

I got a very good job in 2 months in the business support area, I got it because I speak 4 languages fluently and that made it easier for me to find a job.

But it is a fact that if you don't know the language or don't have knowledge of demand it will be difficult to find something at first, but there are many international companies where the administrative language is English. But focus on your important skills for the job market and you will find something.

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7. Tell us about the Croatian lifestyle and making friends. How has it been for you?

I can’t complain.

The Buddy Program from my university introduced me to the Erasmus students and also Croatian people willing to know more people, now I have really good Croatian friends.

And what beer and rakija bring together, stay together.

8. Do you plan to (try and) stay in Croatia when your studies finish? Why/not?

I do. I have a good life here and I believe if I can stay to pay back what I receive from this awesome country I would very much like to do it. But for now I will focus on my studies and work, after that, I will see what are my possibilities.

9. Three things you have enjoyed most about your experience studying in Croatia?

1 – People

2 – Trips

3 – Cultural exchanges

4 – Rakija

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10. What advice do you have for people who are considering studying in Croatia?

Croatia is a great place to visit, to study, but studying abroad will always put your limits on the edge and will require dedication and patience to get what you want.

Are you an international student on a graduate or post-graduate course in Croatia, who would like to be featured in this series? Contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Study. 

To learn more about the options for studying in Croatia, check out the Total Croatia Study in Croatia guide.

For more information on courses offered by Algebra University College, visit the official website.  

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Mayor Says Sveti Duh Hospital Soon to Provide Pregnancy Termination

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said on Tuesday that the gynaecology ward of the city's Sveti Duh hospital would soon have a new head who would ensure access to safe abortions in that hospital, founded by the city, where all gynaecologists are conscientious objectors.

Addressing a regular news conference, the mayor recalled that this was one of the promises in his election platform based on which he was democratically elected.

Asked how this would be achieved considering that all gynaecologists at that hospital are conscientious objectors, Tomašević said that details should be left to the hospital director to decide.

As for the need for the hospital to hire a psychologist, Tomašević said that the health minister has to give his consent for that as well.

In a comment on the findings of an inspection conducted in the hospital regarding the case of Mirela Čavajda, which indicates procedural irregularities, he said that the hospital head should deal with that, noting that an in-house inspection launched before the inspection requested by the Health Ministry was still underway.

Left-wing parties on restoration of abortion in Constitution

Peđa Grbin, leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) said earlier today that his party was discussing the restoration of the right to abortion in the Constitution and that there were two possible ways to do it - through the parliament or through a referendum, noting that the latter option was more likely due to the parliamentary majority.

Katarina Peović of the Workers' Front said today that they would attempt to "rally the progressive opposition" in favour of collecting the signatures of one-fifth of members of parliament necessary to table a proposal to amend the Constitution to make it include again the right to abortion.

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