Monday, 29 August 2022

Do Benefits of Croatian Eurozone Accession Outweigh Risks?

August the 29th, 2022 - Croatian Eurozone accession is just around the corner, with all requirements filled, all boxes ticked and the date for entry marked out for the 1st of January, 2023. The public is still divided on the issue, however, so what are some of the advantages and some of the risks and costs of Croatia finally becoming a Eurozone member?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marina Marovic writes, here is no alternative to joining the Eurozone for Croatia, as it was part of the referendum the country held on joining the bloc. It did so back in July 2013 and according to experts, all the benefits of Croatian Eurozone accession greatly exceed the potential costs and risks. The Croatian economy has an extremely high degree of euroisation despite still using the kuna as it is tied to the euro, and around 70% of people's savings in Croatia are in the bloc's single currency.

Therefore, kuna devaluation is simply not an option, because the balance effect would be significantly more difficult for the Croatian economy to handle than any gains on the export front.

The biggest advantages of Croatian Eurozone accession

This high rate of Croatian euroisation originates from the time of the former state of Yugoslavia when, due to hyperinflation, the German mark was the currency used to preserve the value of money in the country. This means that regardless of Croatia having its very own currency for less than three decades, this sense of illusory monetary sovereignty will not actually be lost, but the risks involved in everything financial will be greatly reduced.

The absolute biggest advantage of Croatian Eurozone accession on January the 1st, 2023 comes in the form of significantly lower risks and reduced borrowing costs. In addition to the reduction in interest rates, which also maintains a better investment rating, additional borrowing will be made much easier because joining the Eurozone frees up significant funds (about 160 billion kuna in total) currently tied up as minimum foreign currency claims. In addition to that, the country's banks will reduce currency risks and improve overall stability.

In addition to lower interest rates and borrowing costs, Croatia will become more attractive for both investors and tourists (75 percent of them come from the Eurozone, and tourism makes up 20 percent of the nation's economic activity). Additionally, conversion costs for capital transactions such as the sale of property and land, the prices of which have been expressed in euros for a long time now, will be reduced.

Aside from property and other forms of real estate, renting an apartment or buying a car is also usually expressed in euros. By joining the Eurozone, Croatia is merely formalising some of the existing conventions. An additional advantage is that Croatia will be able to count on ECB support in case of any liquidity problems.

Croatian banks will lose out when it comes to conversion fees (about a fifth of their profit, or 1.5 billion kuna), and have additional ATM costs (totalling about 900 million kuna). Exchange offices will largely be out of business. The one-time cost of introducing the euro in Croatia will cost the banks an enormous 100 million kuna, and the cost of the entire adjustment will be paid for by other sectors of the economy, especially retail and telecoms. The average cost for large retail chains will stand at around 30 million euros, for telecoms it is around 20 million euros, and for smaller companies the cost of introducing the euro isn't expected to exceed 10,000 euros.

Uncertain times...

Croatian Eurozone accession is finally occurring in incredibly uncertain times in which it is really difficult to comply with all the requirements for convergence - known as the Maastricht criteria - and yet all the basic indicators were assessed as positive and successful in the latest report and decision back on July the 12th, 2022 The biggest risk is in the galloping rate of inflation.

Back in April 2022, the annual average rate of HICP inflation in Croatia stood at 4.7%, which is below the reference value of 4.9% for the price stability criterion. This value was decisive for the final decision on Eurozone accession in 2023. That said, by the time June rolled around, inflation crossed over into the concerning land of double digits, and the last July value of 12.3% was significantly higher than the average inflation in the Eurozone of 8.6%. The Baltic countries, all of which are now members of the Eurozone, have already registered inflations of more than 20%.

Just joining the euro brings a one-time increase in prices, but on average such an increase amounts to about 0.3% and in the context of current inflation is negligible. The dual display of prices (in both kuna and euros) serves to reduce this risk, and in general, the preparation for the introduction of the euro in Croatia is systematic and thorough, so that these risks are minimal.

In the long term, one would expect convergence of both prices and real income, but in practice there are many other factors that influence whether this actually happens or not. In addition to inflation - foreign exchange markets have experienced tectonic shifts. Croatia is now joining the club of prestigious countries when the euro is at its worst so far - and is at parity with the dollar, which has not happened in the last 20 years. There are several reasons for a strong dollar and a weak euro, but the most important one lies in the fact that the ECB is reluctant to raise interest rates.

The reason for the ECB's lack of reaction is multifaceted, but the fact is that inflation in the EU hasn't been caused by an increase in demand, but rather by an increase in energy and food prices. On the other hand, inflation across the pond in the United States of America is more a consequence of the post-pandemic recovery of the economy than anything else.

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

Monday, 29 August 2022

First Row to the Sea! Fiat Driver Parks in Shallows on Murter Beach

August the 29th, 2022 - We all want to be as close to the sea as possible when summer arrives in Croatia and the temperatures become, frankly, intolerable. Some people take this to the absolute extreme, however, parking their cars quite literally on the beach, with the shallows of the sparkling, refreshing Adriatic Sea lapping at their alloys. One Murter beach was recently a victim of such parking.

As Morski writes, an unfortunate lack of intelligence and an even more lack when it comes to adequate punishments for people parking all over the place during the summer months have led to an increasing number of bizarre incidents all along the Adriatic coast. One Murter beach which should have been full of swimmers, those keen to get a bit of a tan and those seeking to relax with a good book under a parasol was visited by a car.

On Facebook page called ''Live from Slavonia's roads'' recently published photos from one Murter beach where a tourist took the expression "first row to the sea" a little too literally, parking his Fiat Grande Punto car literally in the shallows on the beach. It seems that some people will quite literally stop at nothing to get in the crystal clear waters of the Croatian Adriatic Sea, and why would you bother clambering over rocks and getting yourself overheated when you can quite simply drive directly into the sea?

"Greetings... this isn't somewhere in Slavonia, it's Murter... I couldn't resist not sending this picture to someone... So that everyone can see how rude and arrogant people have become...'' the post which contained the photos read, with an array of comments echoing the sentiments of just how pompous some people can be, especially when it's every man for himself when it comes to getting a good spot on the beach!

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

Monday, 29 August 2022

The Sun Shines Spotlight on Isolated Croatian Porer Lighthouse

August the 29th, 2022 - Ever fancied really heading off the beaten path and embracing true isolation? It might well be the last thing on your mind after having to suffer through two years of intermittent periods of isolation, lockdowns, and the threat of being fined for daring to meet up with other people, but if the coronavirus pandemic made you develop a taste for getting away from the world, perhaps the Croatian Porer lighthouse is right up your street.

The Sun has thrown the limelight on the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which was constructed back in the 1830s and sits atop a rocky islet just southwest of the Istrian peninsula's southernmost cape. You can stay here, and The Sun has caught on to just how cheap it is, which would make sense considering there are absolutely no amenities and it's recommended that you don't attempt a swim in the surrounding waters, however inviting the sparkling Adriatic might look.

As Morski writes, the British tabloid The Sun devoted several lines to the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which is located less than a mile away from the mainland of Istria. A 35-metre-tall tower rises above the house where the apartment which can be rented is situated, and the islet itself only three metres high without the lighthouse included.

The apartment there has two bedrooms, each with a double bed, a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen.

''Make sure you're ready when you arrive - you can get there only by a 35-minute boat ride from Premantura, which will cost you 373 kuna. Be sure to bring enough food and drinks for your stay on the island because there is nothing else on it, so you will need to cook your own meals during your stay,'' the British tabloid warns its readers who might be eager to engage in some post-pandemic Robinson tourism. The Sun adds that you've shot it if you need an Internet connection and WiFi, because there is none, but everything is compensated for by the amazing view on offer, especially at sunset.

If you're a keen swimmer and just can't keep yourself dry for five minutes when spending time near the glorious Croatian Adriatic Sea, then this destination might not be for you. Due to the extremely strong and dangerous sea currents which surround the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which can reach speeds of up to three knots in stronger winds, swimming, especially for children, isn't recommended. The currents around the islet are very strong even throughout the day, so even good swimmers shouldn't swim out more than fifty meters from the shoreline of the islet. The waves are extremely strong, especially in winter.

The underwater area near the islet of Porer is attractive for diving, characterised by shoals of fish and underwater cliffs. In the surrounding shallows lie Krsin, Fenoliga and Veliki Balkun, all of which are the ghostly remains of ships which mate watery fates during storms.

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

Sunday, 28 August 2022

A1 Motorway Incident - Masked Hajduk Fans Create 9-kilometre Queue

August 28, 2022 - In the afternoon on Sunday, there was a standstill on the A1 motorway, and several kilometres long queues were formed due to an incident with Hajduk fans who stopped on the motorway and got out of their vehicles masked.

As Dnevnik writes, the police prevented a clash between the fans, but the traffic problems continued even after that. Although Croatian Auto Club (HAK) announced around 4:00 p.m. that the part of the motorway in question was reopened to traffic, readers of Dnevnik reported around 5:00 p.m. that they were still standing in place and not moving.

24sata video

“It's a kilometer-long queue. We're not even moving forward. People with small children started getting out of their cars”, a Dnevnik reader reported.

The police department of the Lika-SenjCounty explained that a long queue has formed and that it took time for traffic to start again.

“It's going slowly, the column is almost not moving towards the north. The police are on the ground and they are solving the situation so that traffic can start as soon as possible”, they said.

The Croatian Auto Club announced earlier on Sunday that traffic was stopped between the Gospić and Gornja Ploča junctions near the Jadova rest stop in the direction of Zagreb due to an incident with fans, and the queue was nine kilometres long.

Twitter: Ministry of the Interior

Police found baseball bats by the side of the road

As reported by PD Lika-Senj, there was no conflict between the fans who are now under police surveillance.

The Ministry of the Interior published photos from the motorway on Twitter and information that traffic was stopped by Hajduk fans traveling to Zagreb and Osijek, who got out of their vehicles masked with helmets and clothes. They added that the possible cause was a conflict with Dinamo fans traveling to Šibenik.

The police also announced that they found baseball bats on the side of the road, but they emphasised that the conflict between the fans was prevented without police intervention and the use of coercive means.

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

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from Posao.hr (August 27, 2022)

August 27, 2022 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency, Posao.hr, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site Posao.hr, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

Ines has kindly agreed to work with us on a new weekly feature on TCN - a weekly selection of 10 job listings, as chosen by Posao.hr.  Details and links to the job opportunities below in the sixth week of this feature.

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WEEKLY SELECTION OF JOB LISTINGS

Mikenopa a.s. is hiring Network engineer (m/f) in Prague. If you have willingness to work for hotel clients across Europe, experience with designing and configuration of data networks and above all, independence and reliability, you can apply by 05 Sep 2022.

DignetSoftware d.o.o. zapošljava Junior / Senior Web developera za razvoj eCommerce rješenja (m/ž) u Zagrebu. Ako ti je nakon pročitanog naziva radnog mjesta poprilično jasno što bi bio tvoj posao i želiš nastaviti s čitanjem oglasa, sve informacije pročitaj na linku do 03 Sep 2022.

Gi Group Staffing Solutions is hiring a Research and Development Manager (m/f) in Zagreb. Applications can be submitted until Aug 16th. They are offering you a part in a unique project, growth with the company, working in a passionate multi-national team and helping you pursue your ideas.

Sunce Hoteli d.d. / Bluesun zapošljava Voditelja računovodstva (m/ž) u Brelima. Ako imaš minimalno 5 godina radnog iskustva na rukovodećim pozicijama u računovodstvu, javi se na oglas do 31 Aug 2022.

Next Step Career Network is looking for a National Recruiter (m/f) in Klagenfurt, Austria. They are offering a full time job, competitive compensation, paid training, a great work environment with state-of-the-art technology, an incredible international team of co-workers, and comprehensive health and pension insurance. You can apply by Sep 17th.

Workforce Ljudski Potencijali d.o.o. zapošljava Voditelja proizvodnog procesa (m/ž) u Brežicama, Slovenija. Ako želite raditi u uspješnoj međunarodnoj tvrtki koja radi za automobilsku industriju u odlično organiziranom radnom okruženju i ugodnom timu, prijavite se do 31 Aug 2022.

Sintegris d.o.o. zapošljava PLC programer (m/ž) u Hrvatskoj i zemljama EU. Ako imate iskustvo sa radom u STEP7 / TIAPortal programima te znanje njemačkog i/ili engleskog jezika, prijavite se do 08 Sep 2022.

Ljekarne Šćuric zapošljavaju Magistra farmacije (m/ž) u Jakovlju, Oroslavju i Stubičkim Toplicama.Očekuje te ugovor na neodređeno vrijeme i korištenje službenog auta, a prijaviti se možete do 09 Sep 2022.

Klinik Lengg AG zapošljava Medicinsku sestru, prvostupnik medicine/sestrinstva (m/ž) u Zürich, Švicarska. Ako imaš solidno znanje njemačkog jezika (B2 certifikat) u usmenoj i pisanoj komunikaciji i želiš raditi na izvrsnoj poziciji u Zürichu, u moderno opremljenoj zgradi na 2 kata sa ukupno 24 sobe, uz tim od 50 medicinskih sestara / tehničara i učenika, prijavi se na oglas do 19 Sep 2022.

The Emirates Group is hiring Cabin Crew (m/f) with relocation to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If you are ready to start an adventure that will take you from Dubai to the world and back again, apply until Sep 01st.

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For more career options and job listings, visit posao.hr.

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These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.

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Sunday, 28 August 2022

Perković and Mihaljević: Competition Always Strong at Hanžeković Memorial

ZAGREB, 28 August, 2022 - European champions Sandra Perković and Filip Mihaljević have announced the 72nd Boris Hanžeković Memorial, saying it was an athletics meeting that always brought together the best athletes and that the competition was always strong.

The Boris Hanžeković Memorial, an athletics meeting from the Continental Tour Gold series, will take place at three venues in Zagreb on 9-11 September. The current European champions from Munich, Croatian athletics stars Sandra Perković and Filip Mihaljević, will also participate in this three-day world athletics meeting.

In addition to Perković, athletes competing in the women’s discus throw will include American Valarie Allman, who won the bronze at the World Championship and the gold at last year's Tokyo Olympics, and Germany's European silver medallist Kristin Pudenz and European bronze medallist Claudine Vita.

The men’s shot put will also bring together many athletics stars, such as European champion Mihaljević, American athlete Ryan Crouser, who won the gold at the World Championship in Eugene, silver medallist Joe Kovacs and bronze medal winner Josh Awotunde, as well as former world champion Tom Walsh, who also won the bronze at the Olympics, and Armin Sinančević, the silver medallist from the recent European Championship.

Thierry Ndikumwenayo of Burundi, who holds this year’s 3000m record (7:25.93), will compete in the meeting's 3000-metre run.

On Friday, 9 September, Zagreb City Challenge will take place in the main square, Trg Bana Jelačića, with the pole vault starting at 2 p.m., and the triple jump and long jump at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Kid’s Day starts at 10 p.m. at Maksimir, followed by the 3K run, and then the shot put event by the Zagreb Fountains, starting at 6 p.m. On Sunday, 11 September, the finals of the Erste Plava league will take place, as will a meeting at the Mladost stadium on the bank of the Sava river, which starts at 5 p.m., said the meeting’s project manager Natko Bošnjak.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Hotel in Budva Closed after Food Poisoning Outbreak, 12 Croatians Sick

ZAGREB, 28 August, 2022 - Montenegrin inspectors on Sunday closed the Loza Hotel in Budva after about 100 guests staying at the hotel on Saturday sought medical help due to symptoms of food poisoning.

Among the tourists, most of whom are from European countries, are 12 Croatians who were admitted to the "Danilo I" hospital in Cetinje.

The public RTCG broadcaster said on Sunday that their condition is good and that they should be released later in the day.

Inspection Directorate head Ana Vujošević said that this was the eighth time in the past few months that the Loza Hotel was being closed, noting that the hotel had reopened illegally on the previous seven occasions, which qualifies as a criminal offence.

The Montenegrin Public Health Institute said earlier that samples had been taken in all hotel areas to determine the cause of poisoning.

Most of the guests staying at the hotel have been transferred to other hotels in Budva, with the Montenegrin Ministry of Economy and Tourism covering the cost of their stay there.

Local officials late on Saturday night confirmed that around 100 tourists, most of whom were from Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia, had sought medical assistance in hospitals in Kotor, Bar, and Cetinje due to gastrointestinal problems.

Health Minister Dragoslav Šćekić said in a Twitter post that Montenegrin health institutions had promptly provided the patients with the necessary medical care.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

International Cooperation Key to Cyberspace Protection, says SOA Head

ZAGREB, 28 August, 2022 - A growing number of espionage, sabotage, crime, and terrorism cases are being reported in cyberspace, a mirror of the real world, and international cooperation is key to its protection, Security-Intelligence Agency (SOA) director Daniel Markić has said in an interview with Hina.

"We are proud to have excellent partners, primarily in NATO and the EU. Global experience, notably that of the United States, teaches us that it is important to be actively involved in the protection of critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks which have been increasingly threatening national security," Markić said.

Last week, elite experts of the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) conducted a joint operation with SOA against malicious cyber activity on vital Croatian networks, commending the level of organisation, visibility, and proactive approach of SOA's Cyber Security Centre, established in 2019.

Markić said the joint operation was conducted for several reasons."The USA is a strategic partner with whom we share the same values and goals and with whom we have established the highest level of trust and reliability, so we did not hesitate when we learned of this programme. We acquainted the state leadership with it, and they supported us and approved the joint operation," Markić said, noting that SOA has had ambitious goals ever since it established the centre.

"We have wanted to keep abreast of technological developments and see tangible effects on our cyber security. That is why we want to cooperate with partners who are the best in that regard. When we learned about the (USCYBERCOM) Hunt Forward programme, we expressed interest because the operation fit perfectly our needs."

US experts provided their expertise and know-how in collaboration with Croatian agents in hunting for and preventing malicious, so-called APT (advanced persistent threat) attacks which are supported by countries that perceive NATO and the EU as a security threat or challenge.

"We were given the opportunity to work with a partner with the best capabilities and know-how and to share our know-how and work methods, check our systems and tools, and share the experience of interoperability, which is very important among allies. This type of cooperation is necessary because it enhances our reach and capabilities," said Markić. 

"As a US ally and NATO member, Croatia is targeted by the same attackers as other Western countries so we were able to provide a new 'hunting ground' in the hunt for malicious actors and to share our experience and knowledge," Markić said.

The operation completely met Croatia's expectations, and the hunt was thorough and successful, with malicious attacks on Croatian state infrastructure having been prevented on several occasions, he said.

Markić underlined the importance of contacts and relationships established during the joint operation, noting that they would continue to be used to further develop partnership, interoperability, and information sharing.

During the operation, SOA defined areas that needed improvement and new goals in the development of the system and its capabilities, he said, noting that he was proud the operation had confirmed that Croatia had competent personnel, quality tools, and a well-organised system.

Speaking of cyber threats in Croatia, Markić said that they were not different from those in other NATO and EU member states.

"The intentions and interests of state-sponsored attackers are best evidenced by data which show that they mostly target the IT systems of the ministries of foreign affairs and defence, while in recent years we have also been registering attacks on other state institutions," he said, noting that in 2021 the number of state-sponsored cyber attacks was up 40% from 2020.

In addition to the growing number of ATP attacks on state institutions in Croatia, there has also been an increase in such attacks on companies, Markić said, noting that the system had proven to be very good in responding to the threats and that joint operations such as the latest one would help further consolidate the system in the protection of the national cyberspace.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Croatia Logs 501 COVID Cases, 12 Deaths

ZAGREB, 28 Aug (Hina) - In the last 24 hours, 501 coronavirus cases, out of 2,225 tests, and 12 related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 5,951 active cases, including 636 hospitalised patients, 22 of whom are on ventilators, while 4,002 persons are isolating.

Croatia has registered 1,211,920 coronavirus cases to date, the death toll stands at 16,658, and 70.87% of adults have been vaccinated, including 68.84% fully.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Split County Police Department Issues Communication Manual for Officers

ZAGREB, 28 August, 2022 - The Split-Dalmatia County police department has published a communication manual for police officers, which includes instructions on impression formation and what they should and should not do when communicating with citizens.

The booklet includes tips on how to conduct interviews and interrogations in a police station, how to talk to victims of violence, what to do when contacted by a citizen with a complaint, or how to de-escalate a crisis situation.

The author of this manual, the first of this kind in Croatia, is Marko Doljanin, the head of the police station in the town of Trogir.

Doljanin has recently told Hina that communication skills are very important in policing.

The more trust citizens have in the police, the more willing they are to comply with police decisions and cooperate and the more reassured they are of the professionalism of police officers, Doljanin said.

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