Sunday, 31 July 2022

Deputy PM's Head of Office Remanded in Investigative Custody

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2022 - Dalibor Šemper, head of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister Anja Šimpraga, has been remanded in investigative custody after seriously injuring a child in a road accident and trying to flee from the scene. 

Karlovac County Court investigating judge Elma Kaleb Mamić confirmed to Hina on Sunday after a two-hour hearing that she had upheld the prosecution motion and ordered one-month detention because of the risk of the suspect interfering with witnesses and repeating the crime.

The accident occurred on Friday evening in Štikada, near Gračac, about 70 kilometres inland from the coastal city of Zadar. The 45-year-old driver, driving under the influence of alcohol, skidded off the road and hit a 10-year-old boy who was walking by the edge of the road in the opposite direction.

Prosecutors said after the hearing that the suspect had failed to administer first aid to the injured boy even though he could have. The suspect left the scene but was soon stopped by members of the public.

The child suffered multiple injuries and was transferred to the Gospić General Hospital and from there to the Zagreb Clinical Hospital Centre, where he underwent surgery on Saturday. "He is now in stable condition and his life is not in danger," the hospital's director Ante Ćorušić told Hina.

Deputy Prime Minister Anja Šimpraga confirmed to Hina on Saturday that the driver was the head of her office.

Šimpraga said that the police were investigating the case and that she would initiate the procedure for the dismissal of her head of office.

"As soon as we learnt this, we contacted the boy's family to express our regret for this unacceptable and unjustifiable act. What is most important is that the child's condition is stable, and we wish him a speedy recovery," Šimpraga said.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

"Hospital" for Griffon Vultures Opens on Cres island

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2022 - A new "hospital" for griffon vultures, with an indoor and an outdoor enclosure for intensive care, has been opened in Beli on the northern Adriatic island of Cres as part of a project to enhance the capacity of the Beli Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures.

The value of the project, which includes the necessary diagnostic and laboratory equipment, is HRK 888,000 (€117,300), of which HRK 755,000 (€100,000) was allocated by the European Union, while the rest came from the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.

The newly-renovated facility will be of great assistance to young vultures when they fall into the sea during their initial flights. Their rescue and recovery will contribute to the survival of griffon vultures in the Kvarner region, the last population of this species in Croatia which is protected by law, the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County administration said earlier week.

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County is committed to preserving its biodiversity, especially protected species, County Prefect Zlatko Komadina said at the opening ceremony.

The Beli Rescue Centre treats any griffon vultures found injured, sick, exhausted or poisoned, helping them to recover and return to nature.

Currently, about 125 couples of griffon vultures nest in the Kvarner region, most of them on Cres island. A dozen birds on average, mainly young vultures, are saved from death annually and are given care at the Rescue Centre.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Over 2,200 People Apply for Adult Education Vouchers, 1,762 Granted

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2022 - This year, 4,000 people in Croatia can apply for adult education vouchers, and so far over 2,200 applications have been submitted and 1,762 have been granted.

This measure was launched on 1 April, and both employed and unemployed persons can apply for vouchers. A total of 2,221 persons have done so by the end of July, the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) said in response to the query from Hina.

The HZZ is conducting the voucher-based adult education scheme together with the Labour Ministry.

So far, 1,762 vouchers have been granted, 459 applications are being processed, and 1,587 are under preparation, as applicants have chosen the skill they want to acquire but are still gathering the necessary documents, the HZZ said.

Although more than half of the planned quota of vouchers has been used up so far, the HZZ was reserved in predicting whether all 4,000 vouchers planned for this year would be used. A total of 30,000 vouchers will be offered over the next four years.

The HZZ said that in addition to programmes for the acquisition of green skills, there was demand for the development of programmes at all levels of education, including those for persons holding university degrees. That's why it has invited adult education institutions to get actively involved in the development of new programmes and request their registration in the education programmes database.

To qualify for a voucher, a person must be at least 15 years old and have at least primary school education. The same conditions apply regardless of whether applicants are employed in the private, public or state sector. Education programmes last up to six months or 10 months, depending on whether the applicant is unemployed or employed.

In the last four months, more women than men and more employed persons than unemployed have applied for vouchers. The average age of voucher recipients is 34 years, and the employed to unemployed ratio is 77.3 to 22.7 per cent.

The greatest interest in new occupations has been shown by residents of Zagreb, Osijeka, Rijeka and Split.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Croatian Fathers Entitled to Paid Paternity Leave as of 1 August

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2022 - As of 1 August, all fathers in Croatia will be entitled to paid paternity leave of 10 or 15 days, depending on whether they have one child, twins or more children born at the same time.

Paternity leave is not obligatory, but if a father chooses to take this leave, his employer must grant it. This right is governed by the Act amending the Maternity and Parental Allowances Act.

"Paternity leave can be taken during the first six months of the child's life. Fathers are advised to exercise this right, and employers have an obligation to make this possible, otherwise they face a fine of between HRK 10,000 and 50,000," Željka Josić, State Secretary at the Central State Office for Demography and Youth, told Hina in an interview.

"We believe it would be good if in the first months of the child's life both parents participated in its care to build a better emotional connection," she said.

All employed or self-employed fathers will be entitled to paid paternity leave if they have at least nine months of continuous service or 12 months of interrupted service over a period of 24 months, regardless of whether they work under open-ended or fixed-term contracts.

Fathers who choose to take paternity leave will receive their full pay at the expense of the state budget and not the employer, Josić noted.

She said that the exact number of fathers who would choose this option was not known at this moment, expressing hope that all fathers entitled to paternity leave would exercise this right, and that the planned HRK 91 million would be spent for this purpose until the end of the year. 

Josić said that her Office had noticed that very few fathers had taken maternity leave and that they had more often opted for parental leave, namely between 1,800 and 2,000 fathers, which is 5% of fathers.

"We believe that the possibility for fathers to spend more time with their child in the first days of the child's life will encourage fathers to stay with their children on parental leave," she said.

Josić said that adoptive parents would not be able to exercise the new right, adding that preparations were under way to draw up a new law to make that possible.

The maximum amount of the monthly parental leave allowance, for the other six months if this right is exercised by one parent or for the first eight months if it is used by both parents, is increased from the present HRK 5,600 to 7,500. For those working part-time, the allowance is increased from HRK 2,328 to 3,658.

Josić said that the government had paid out HRK 2.83 billion for maternity and parental allowances in 2021, which is 55% more than in 2016, when HRK 1.82 billion was disbursed.

The number of recipients increased by 8%, from 161,190 in 2016 to 173,444 in 2021. The number of fathers receiving these allowances increased by 152%, from 3,459 in 2016 to 8,719 last year. The share of fathers in the total number of recipients also increased, from 2.1% to 5%, Josić said.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Head of Office of Deputy PM Šimpraga Arrested for Causing Road Accident

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2022 - The driver who attempted to flee from the scene of a road accident in which a child was seriously injured has been arrested, police said on Saturday. 

Deputy Prime Minister Anja Šimpraga confirmed to Hina on Saturday that the driver was the head of her office.

The accident occurred on Friday in Štikada, near Gračac, about 70 kilometres inland from the coastal city of Zadar. The 45-year-old driver, driving under the influence of alcohol, skidded off the road and hit a 10-year-old child who was walking by the edge of the road in the opposite direction. He attempted to leave the scene without helping the injured boy, police said.

The child suffered multiple injuries and was transferred to the Gospić General Hospital and from there to the Zagreb Clinical Hospital Centre, where he underwent surgery. "He is now in stable condition and his life is not in danger," the hospital's director Ante Ćorušić told Hina.

Šimpraga said that the police were investigating the case and that she would initiate the procedure for the dismissal of her head of office.

"As soon as we learnt this, we contacted the boy's family to express our regret for this unacceptable and unjustifiable act. What is most important is that the child's condition is stable, and we wish him a speedy recovery," Šimpraga said.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Croatia Reports 940 New Coronavirus Cases, 13 Deaths

ZAGREB, 31 July, 2002 - Croatia has registered 940 new coronavirus cases and 13 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Sunday.

The number of active cases stands at 9,861, including 683 hospitalised patients, of whom 27 are placed on ventilators, while 5,941 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was reported in Croatia, 1,186,739 people have been registered as having contracted the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, of whom 16,313 have died and 1,160,565 have recovered, including 1,501 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 59.57 per cent of the total population, or 70.85 per cent of adults, have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 68.81 per cent of adults have received two doses.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

What Did Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Get Wrong About Croatia?

July 31, 2022 - In one of the least important articles ever posted on this site, we examine a brief conversation in the TV series 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' which features Croatia as a plot point.

Disclaimer no. 1: Yes, I know I'm late. The episode I'm talking about here, the 7th episode of the fourth season of the Amazon Prime Video series, was released in March, but hey, there are so many shows to see, so little time!

Disclaimer no. 2: Total Croatia News is a serious site, bringing you the most important news about Croatia in the English language. However, please keep in mind that my biggest (potentially only?) claim to fame is the fact that my article from a long time ago is still cited on a Wikipedia page for a TV show that has since won 9 Emmys, and is currently nominated for 25. Don't believe me? See for yourself, it's reference no. 89 in the article!)

So, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a TV show about a newly divorced lady from New York, who decides to pursue a career in stand-up comedy - in the late 1950s and the early 1960s! It has had a very successful run of 4 seasons thus far, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (of the Gilmore Girls fame), and starring the amazing Rachel Brosnahan as the title character, Midge Maisel.

In the aforementioned episode seven of season four, Midge has a conversation with Susie, her manager (played marvellously, pun intended, by Alex Borstein). Previously in the season, Midge has decided she doesn't want to open for anyone else, under any circumstances, and that she only wants to do shows where she'd be the headliner. Susie brings her the good news:



Now, don't get me wrong: I get the point, I get the joke! But, many of my online friends have asked me, and I've since found out that there've been discussions about the mention of Croatia in this context. Important point: we know exactly when this episode is taking place, as it includes a long scene of Midge doing a performance at one of John F. Kennedy's campaign events. And as we know, he was elected to become the US President in November of 1960, so we can timestamp the episode as "during 1960".

So, let's go point by point, and untangle this mess:

  • Was there a 'Republic of Croatia' in 1960? Well, that's a "yes" and a "no" at the same time. The People's Republic of Croatia was a part of the Federal National Republic of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1963, when the new constitution was instituted (after 1963, it was the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Republic of Croatia". Constitutions are complicated, obviously, but would anyone say that they were going to Croatia in 1960? Not very likely, unless they had close ties to the country. Would you say you were going to Montana now, if anyone asked you? Probably not, you'd say you're going to the USA, and then the next question might be about the state where you're going to.
  • Was Zagreb the capital of Croatia then? Yes, absolutely. It has been the capital of Croatia (at least!) since 1918, when it joined the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians (later to be renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), although the Croatian Parliament has been seated in Zagreb since 1825. So, nothing wrong there, Zagreb was the capital.
  • Is there any link whatsoever between Croatia and Pennsylvania? Actually, yes. There is a huge Croatian community in Pittsburgh (and the rest of Pennsylvania), and that's where the Croatian Fraternal Union was established.
  • Was there a thousand-seat theater in Zagreb in 1960?  No, not really. The Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall was the first such venue in Zagreb. It was decided that it would be built in 1957, the works on it started in 1961 and it wasn't finished until late 1973. Before that, except for a football stadium, there were no venues in the city of Zagreb with such a capacity.
  • Does "Make Laugh Showing Teeth" mean anything to anyone in Croatia, when translated? Absolutely not. I would love to know how and where the scriptwriters got the idea to give that name to their imaginary venue. No matter how you translate that to Croatian, there has never been a place called anything similar to that.
  • Were there electricity problems in Croatia in the 1960s? Also, that's a resounding "No!" The former Yugoslavia, and therefore, Croatia, was very stable during that period. Stuck in a position best described as "no-man's land" during the Cold War, the Tito government was borderline pampered by both the Soviets and the Western powers in that period. Croatia was experiencing a cultural and economic boom in that period, as stated by the historians Tvrtko Jakovina and Dušan Bilandžić in their piece you can access here (.pdf, in Croatian). The economy was doing OK, and there were cultural breakthroughs that made Zagreb one of the centres of culture in Europe during that period (Modern Arts Gallery, International Festival of the Student Theatre, Animated Film Festival, Ivo Robić and his international hit "Morgen"* all happened at the time). The country has seen electricity rationing, but it happened 20 years later - in the period after 1983, the electricity was rationed in Zagreb (the so-called "redukcije", that this author is old enough to remember) and in other major towns in the former Yugoslavia. However, even when those happened, it was not "one night of electricity, six nights without", rather - we didn't have electricity twice a week. If my memory serves, it was on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, there would be no reason for Midge to travel in and out of the country each week, she could've had 7 shows a week in the sixties, and 4 or 5 shows a week even during the worst period of austerity before the Homeland War.
  • What about those freakin' shots? I'm not sure. Honestly, there's only so much research one can do for a piece such as this one. I don't know, and can't easily find out which vaccines the USA citizens needed in 1960 to go to the former Yugoslavia and get back (and honestly, I doubt that the screenwriters did any more research than I did). However, there are two points I'd like to make regarding the vaccinations mentioned: 
    • as anyone who's recently stepped on a nail or was bitten on the chin by their dog can tell you, the tetanus vaccination is a normal thing we should all take when needed, and it's not 'excruciatingly painful';
    • there was a smallpox outbreak in the former Yugoslavia in 1972, it's well-documented and written about. There's even an amazing movie about the outbreak, and you should watch it if you haven't already. However, that's more than a decade after the events of the episode we're talking about, and the smallpox threat was not considered to be high, so I'm not convinced that US citizens would need to be vaccinated against the disease for travel. I do know that the children in the former Yugoslavia were vaccinated against smallpox almost until the end of the seventies, to make sure that we don't have another outbreak.


So, not having lived in Zagreb in 1960, what do I think, would it be the worst thing in the world for the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to perform here? No, I honestly don't. There was electricity, there were people who'd be interested in seeing her perform, but unfortunately, there wasn't a thousand-seat theatre for her to perform in, especially not one called "Make Laugh Showing Teeth" or any version of that name.


* - featured in another international TV hit this year, Natasha Lyonne's second season of Russian Doll, as shown below:

Sunday, 31 July 2022

A Father's Promise Fulfilled! 50 Islands, 1 Swim, 1 Legend

July 31, 2022 - The most beautiful story to come out of Croatia in this and many a year. A father's promise fulfilled, as Ribafish completes his swim to Croatia's 50 inhabited islands. Bravo!

I never got to meet young Rok before his life ended tragically so young, but I have heard lots about the special bond that he shared with his father, Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish. And I cannot imagine a child being more proud of his dad than Rok would have been at the end of his father's momentous journey.

I have heard a lot of their joint love of the Adriatic and of Dad's promise to take him to all the inhabited islands in Croatia, as he did not have money to take him to New York and Paris.

Of how, after the tragic loss so young, a father's promise to him son was fulfilled, and in quite the most beautiful way. 


Scattering Rok's ashes in the Adriatic close to their favourite beach on Korcula, Ribafish vowed to fulfill the promise to visit all 50 islands by swimming from one to the next, from the south to the north, with Rok by his side. And not just swim, but also to educate children on the way on the environment, growing up happy, and spending time with their parents. You can learn more about the project from this previous TCN report.

What to say - Ribafish did it! And rather than me tell you about it, here he is in the form of the official press release. Respect, Sir, you have inspired thousands.  


Project #Rokotok - promise fulfilled! Ribafish was the first in history to connect 50 Croatian inhabited islands by swimming, learning and socializing

Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish fulfilled the promise he made to his son. The #Rokotok flag has flown on 50 Croatian inhabited islands, which for the first time are connected by swimming, but also by a story. A story about a project that reminded the islanders and their guests of the importance of preserving the environment and growing up happily, filled with spending time with friends and parents.


The project, which the media declared "the most beautiful story of the summer", celebrated its grand finale, after nearly 54,000 meters of swimming, in the third, last phase, in Punat on the island of Krk. RokOtok's official swimmer Boris Korbar, four locals and Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish jumped into the sea from the boat near the islet of Košljuna. A few boys joined them and they all reached the waterfront with ease, in about twenty minutes, where they were greeted by about five hundred children and adults.


Ribafish looks at those last 800 meters of the 210 kilometers swam during the project along the Adriatic, from Koločep to Krk, with a gap of a few days, as the most emotional moments. "It was not easy to get out of the sea in front of all those people, while emotions of sadness were interwoven in me, but also enormous gratitude for the support of all the people who welcomed me at this and all other locations, and all my Rokotočans who during all three phases project, on the four-year long journey, were with me", he said and added that he will use August for a holiday on Korčula, where he will be surrounded by his closest relatives, process everything with himself and sifting through memories, looking for inspiration for some new ideas through that #Rokotok as a project will live in the future.


Along with the crew, numerous swimmers and thousands of islanders and their guests are also included in the "memoir" of the #Rokotok project. They all listened to the story about the problems faced by the islands, swimming, nature, ecology and parental love, looked for and hid "treasures", and Ribafish points out that he hopes they all remembered the key message of this project, the message in which he found the meaning and what was its driving force - that promises must be fulfilled.


The final reception was organized by the Punat Tourist Board headed by director Branko Karabaić. After the lecture and hanging out with the kids, Ribafish placed the last geocache, thus motivating some other kids who will visit this beautiful island and destination in the future to research. Here, too, the children were delighted with the gifts. On the last 17 islands during July 2022, 2,200 were distributed (over 6,000 in all three phases), and Ribafish himself received a gift of personalized #Rokotok tennis shoes, three fish for the three phases of the project, a delicious cake and what he considers the greatest gift - smiling faces, warm words and hugs from little and big kids.

During the project, Shortest Path Production recorded all the material for the upcoming documentary film (expected in the fall of 2023), and in September, along with an appropriate exhibition of pictures by the official ship photographer Ivan Čujić and posters drawn by children on the islands, a press conference of the project will be held. where everyone interested will be able to learn about plans for the future.


Thank you all for being part of the most beautiful story of the summer and helping to fulfill a promise.

The project was supported by Sport Vision Croatia, RBA, HTZ, Rio Mare, Hyundai Croatia, Offertissima, UHU, Rubor Autoservis Zapruđe, Jamnica,, Pašmanero, Solgar, Insako and many others...

You can learn more about the RokOtok project on the official website.


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.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years: the Insider Guide to Surviving Croatia 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

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Unique Mali Brijun Catamaran Ready to Sail at Brijuni National Park

July the 31st, 2022 - The truly unique Mali Brijun catamaran is ready to set sail, and will be a real hit for all those who use it to see the stunning Brijuni archipelago, which attracts countless visitors each year.

As Morski writes, Marino Milotic, the director of the gorgeous Brijuni National Park, explained how each client is demanding and has some highly specific requirements and needs when it comes to vessels.

''The navigation of the shallow seas in the Brijuni National Park is just as demanding and very specific as those requirements are, and the Mali Brijun catamaran was an extremely demanding vessel to construct precisely because of the fact that it needed to be able to sail through the strait between Veliki and Mali Brijun,'' Milotic told HRT.

In the womb of the vessel, the answer to the question of how this unique prototype will satisfy the set ecological standards of the Brijuni National Park is clearly answered.

''We have a diesel generator which always works at an optimal operating regime. The vessel is equipped with two engines and depending on the needs of the propulsion power, either one or both can be used, so it is essentially optimised in terms of fuel consumption and this has achieved this environmentally friendly effect,'' said Niko Skala, Tehnomont Technical's director.

Shipbuilders struggled to construct the vessel, but they didn't disappoint with the amazing outcome. However, the most interesting part of the Mali Brijun catamaran story worth more than 12 million kuna lies in the project team of the client. With the exception of external associates, the project of the contracting and construction of the ship, was done by an entirely female team. Most didn't have any shipbuilding experience or foreknowledge.

''This project has lasted for more than two years. We've been focused on it totally for more than two years,'' said Marina Giachin Pauletic, head of the maintenance and transportation department.

''The design and construction of the ship lasted for two years, however, everything that preceded the signing of the contract with the shipyard lasted for almost an additional two years. So, the absolute specification techniques needed to be prepared, we needed to create a certain study of the maritime conditions of the Fazana Channel and the like, so when it comes to that, an enormous contribution was provided by my colleague Katja Regvat - the same is true for the design, and the most deserving of praise for the successful public procurement procedure, which was also quite complex, is my colleague Dusanka Cvijanovic, and I'd also like to thank Milena Kostovic, too,'' said Masa Mihelic, head of the project preparation and implementation department.

''We had a great responsibility on our shoulders, but I think in the end we were able to do it all and do it well,'' Giachin Pauletic added.

The capacity of the new Mali Brijun catamaran is 150 passengers, which a four-member crew and a commander will take care of.

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

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Hrvatska Postanska Banka's Organic Growth Sees it Pushed Forward on Market

July the 3st, 2022 - Hrvatska Postanska Banka has been pushed forward significantly on the market owing to its organic growth and the excellent business being done, not to mention a new acquisition.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first six months of 2022, Hrvatska Postanska Banka achieved strong growth in terms of the wider HPB Group's assets and the acquisition of Nova Hrvatska Banka (New Croatian Bank), which is now successfully operating. All of the above has significantly strengthened its overall market position.

After a record 2021, a ten digit net profit of 1.066 billion kuna was realised at a consolidated level as a result of income due to acquisition activities and profit creation at the bank's level. A significant increase in property of 7.7 billion kuna indicates a strong step towards the entry of HPB into the top five banks per total assets on the entire Croatian market.

The main factors of the record positive results of the wider Hrvatska Postanska Banka Group in the first six months of 2022, in addition to the effects of acquisition activities, were the profits made from business even in these dire circumstances of growing inflation and the cost of adjusting business for the introduction of the euro in 2023. Hrvatska Postanska Banka successfully annulled the unfavourable effects of the drop in the price of bonds caused by the announcement of a change in monetary policy to restrain inflation and continued to implement the multitude of strategic projects of the HPB Group.

Back on March the 1st, 2022, the Hrvatska Postanska Banka took over Sberbank d.d., now called Nova Hrvatska Banka, which enabled it to stabilise its business, in that it also secured the preservation of its property and the property of its clients.

A significant increase in the Hrvatska Postanska Banka deposit and the stabilisation of Nova Hrvatska Banka's business, after them having taken it over, contributed to a much more favourable liquidity position and the strengthening of the potential to continue the realisation of a planned market share. The complementary and quality credit portfolio of Nova Hrvatska Banka has also further strengthened the stable and growing credit portfolio of HPB in almost all possible segments.

In addition to the record low level of the stake in unchanging loans, the activities of the diversification and increase in the quality of the bank's card products are reflected in the growth of total revenue from 7.7% fees that have mitigated the drop of net interest income of 6.0% (unconsoilidated) provided by a competent environment.

Thanks to cooperation with a strategic partner, Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta), Hrvatska Postanska Banka has continued to increase the availability of its financial services to different segments of clients even in the smallest and most remote rural locations that have a post office available.

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

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