Friday, 2 September 2022

Croatian Pension Funds Give Green Light to Jadran for Brac Hotel Purchase

September the 2nd, 2022 - The extraordinary assembly of the Crikvenica hotel group Jadran, which is backed by the Croatian pension funds PBZ/CO and Erste Plavi, gave the green light to the Management Board for the purchase of the Grand Hotel View in Postira on the island of Brac worth 47.1 million euros, equal to about 355 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, back on June the 1st of this year, Jadran took over the management of the controversial Postira hotel, which filled the newspaper columns while it was still under construction due to its size and the fact that it wasn't remotely in keeping with anything near it. It was then announced that by the end of the year, the contracting parties would agree on the terms of further business cooperation.

With the acquisition of a 100 percent share, Jadran now has 19 business entities in its portfolio, all of which are partly owned and partly managed. There are more than 2,000 accommodation units in hotels and resorts and over 1,300 pitches in camps. Although the stock market announcement of the purchase of the controversial Postira hotel aroused public interest, and not in a good way, the aforementioned Croatian pension funds didn't want to reveal the motives for the takeover.

They announced on Wednesday that with the new purchase of the business, they have successfully expanded to the islands of Central Dalmatia in addition to the Crikvenica-Vinodol and Makarska riviera, since five years ago the company was taken over by the Croatian pension funds PBZ Croatia osiguranje/insurance and Erste Plavi, who provided financial support.

"By purchasing Grand Hotel View, we've strengthened our ownership portfolio with another super modern, high-class facility in a beautiful location on the island of Brac, which contributes to a significant increase in our tourist offer and income, as well as our overall business results," said Jadran board member Ivan Safundzic, adding that the acquisition "directly contributes to the realisation of the national tourism development strategy across Croatia by increasing capacities in high-class hotel accommodation units".

Jadran assures that since the opening of the controversial Postira hotel, it has been extremely well occupied, with reservations looking good up until the end of the main season, as well as announcements for the post-season, and "extremely successful business results" are expected. It seems that, however, the Croatian pension funds would have to step in with an additional financial injection to Jadran given that, according to the media, the losses carried forward amount to 233 million kuna, and the group's total liabilities amount to a massive 455 million kuna in total.

The hotel on the site of the former sardine fish processing factory in Postira otherwise boasts 230 rooms and suites, swimming pools, wellness and spa and a congress hall on five above-ground floors with a garage. The main designer was Ivana Uroda with the architectural team of Ana Tomsic, Hrvoje Marinovic and Daniela Vugrinovic. At the end of the tourist season, work should begin on the doing up of the hotel's very own beach, which should, as has announced, increase the value and quality of the hotel's overall offer and be reflected in the development of Postira and the island of Brac as a whole with the creation of new jobs for the local population.

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

Friday, 2 September 2022

Third of Croatian Employees Have Never Had a Pay Rise

September the 2nd, 2022 - It's hardly a secret that the Croatian economy isn't known for being a booming one where employers fight over would-be staff with pay rise after pay rise, but it is jarring to learn that an entire third of Croatian employees have never received a pay rise.

Giving a pay rise to your employees is one way to show not only your appreciation of their efforts and choice to remain with you and your company, but to further build the confidence and loyalty of your employees, and as Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite spiralling inflation and the worries surrounding the energy crisis, only one in three Croatian employees can actually expect a raise by the end of this year.

Inflation is ongoing and as a result, the prices of just about everything imaginable have been running wild. It is making the cap between rich and poor even wider, and now more and more people are at risk of poverty than before. To add insult to injury, as analysed by the MojaPlaca (MyWages) service, Croatian wages have only grown by a very pitiful four percent when compared to last year.

Just over a quarter of Croatian employees (28 percent of them) received a raise earlier this year, while 23 percent of them received a raise for the last time back in 2021. It is worrying that a third of Croatian employees (30 percent of them) have never received a raise, despite the fact that many have been with their employers for a long time.

The amount of the average raise in the Republic of Croatia is 8 percent of a peron's salary, or 645 kuna on average. 36 percent of respondents expect a raise by the end of the year, a quarter of respondents (25 percent) don't yet know if they can expect a raise, while 34 percent don't expect a salary increase of any level at all.

When asked by what criteria raises are received/distributed in the company where they work, the majority of Croatian employees (58 percent of them) stated that it isn't remotely clearly defined when and to whom raises are given.

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

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Festivals in September to Look Forward to in Croatia

September 1, 2022 - Autumn in Croatia is possibly the most beautiful time of the year. The air begins to cool down, leaves begin to turn brown, life returns from the beaches to the streets. One of the bast parts is the festivals in September that take place all over Croatia, from Ilok to Dubrovnik.

Journal lists seven out of many festivals worth visiting. These events will take us on a cultural journey along and across Croatia. 

Split Film Festival

The International New Film Festival will be held in Split from September 1 to 9, 2022. After last year's 'online edition', this year we will have the opportunity to watch films live again in the Karaman cinema. The twenty-seventh edition of the festival will once again show films in the feature and short international competition. The audience will have the opportunity to get to know the new films in the Croatian program, and a detailed overview of all screenings is available here.


Milan Sabic / Pixsell

Dimensions Festival

On Thursday, the jubilee 10th edition of the Dimensions Festival starts, with which we traditionally say goodbye to the summer at The Garden resort in Tisno. The famous electronic music festival takes place from September 1 to 5, and for its jubilee, a real treat of a line-up is coming. You can check it out at this link.


Dusko Marusic / Pixsell

Ogulin Fairytale Festival

This traditional cultural and tourist event will from September 9 to 11 make Ogulin a center of entertainment, good mood, fairy-tale creativity and a cultural program for children, youth and adults. This is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to spend quality time together and go to some of the festival scenes around the city with appropriate names - Regoč, Đulin vrt, Neva Nevičica, Stribor, Potjeh, Kosjenka and Domaći (characters from the fairytales of famous Croatian author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić). The detailed program of the festival can be found here.


Ogulinski Festival Bajke

Four River Film Festival

Karlovac will host the 15th edition of the Four River Film Festival from September 6 to 10. It is an international festival intended for high school films. Along with it, the 27th Youth Film Festival will take place, which will feature works created by young people aged 14 to 20. The festival program can be found here.


Kristina Stedul Fabac

Vinkovačke Jeseni (Autumn in Vinkovci)

September also brings the 57th edition of Vinkovačke Jeseni. Our tradition will shine in full glory from September 9 to 18, when the sounds of the tamburica will resound in Vinkovci, and the gathered guests will have the opportunity to see what lies beneath the golden Slavonian sun in early autumn. Detailed information about the event celebrating traditional culture is available here.


Dubravka Petric / Pixsell

Goulash Disko

From September 14 to 18, the island of Vis will host a special music festival - Goulash Disco. It is a festival that gathers artists who can be classified under the heading of underground music. In the description of the festival, it is pointed out that it combines "positive music, virgin nature and collective incredibleness". You can check the program of this year's edition of the festival here.


Zeljko Lukunic / Pixsell

International Puppet Theater Festival – PIF

The impressive 55th edition of the International Puppet Theater Festival will be held in Zagreb from September 16 to 22. During the seven days of the festival, we will have the opportunity to enjoy twenty professional and amateur puppet theaters and troupes, which perform shows for children and adults. The entire program of the oldest and largest international puppet theater festival in Croatia is available here.



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

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Domestic Airlines to Get €79m by 2026

ZAGREB, 1 Sept (Hina) - The government approved a budget allocation of HRK 592.2  million (€79 million) on Thursday fro the national flag carrier Croatia Airlines and Trade Air to conduct domestic air transport in the period from July 2022 to March 2026.

The Government gave this consent to the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure based on a decision regarding the obligation to operate domestic air transport for the period from 4 July 2022 to 28 March 2026.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure Oleg Butković explained that a tender was advertised at the end of October 2021 for the selection of carriers for domestic scheduled air transport.

"Five carriers took over the tender documentation, and two - Croatia Airlines and Trade Air - submitted their bids within the deadline. After determining that their bids were complete and valid, the ministry decided to enter into contracts with these companies for the performance of regular domestic air transportation for the specified period contracts," said Butković.

He also underscored that the financial resources for compensation to the mentioned airlines for regular air transport performed in accordance with the obligations of public services in 2022 have been made available in the state budget.

Thus, HRK 415.9 million goes to Croatia Airlines, HRK 176.3 million to Trade Air.

The major part of the total of HRK 592.3 million for this purpose over the next four years or HRK 415.9 million refers to the contract with the national flag carrier Croatia Airlines, for the Dubrovnik-Zagreb-Dubrovnik, Split-Zagreb-Split, Zagreb-Zadar-Pula-Zadar-Zagreb, Zagreb-Brač-Zagreb, Osijek-Dubrovnik-Osijek and Osijek-Split-Osijek routes.

A total of HRK 176.3 million will be disbursed to Trade Air for the Osijek-Zagreb-Osijek, Osijek-Pula-Split-Pula-Osijek, Osijek-Rijeka-Osijek, Rijeka-Split-Dubrovnik-Split-Rijeka, Rijeka-Zadar -Rijeka and Osijek-Zadar-Osijek routes.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Minister: School Year Starts on Monday with No Particular COVID Rules

ZAGREB, 1 September, 2022 - Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Thursday that the new school year would start on 5 September without any particular COVID rules, after the past two school years started with COVID protocols in place.

He said that there was no need to switch to online teaching and expressed hope that this would stay so during the whole school year.

"If the epidemiological situation worsens, we will respond in a timely manner," the minister said before today's meeting of the government.

Asked by the press about announcements by bus operators that they would discontinue bus services in communities where there were not enough children, the minister said that the government would make a relevant decision on subventions for the transport system for school-age children.

Primary school children are entitled to free transportation, he noted explaining that the organisation of transport is within the remit of county authorities, while the government ensures funds for those purposes.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Croatia Logs 921 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Related Fatalities

ZAGREB, 1 September, 2022 - In the last 24 hours, 921 coronavirus cases, out of 3,507 tests, and 10 related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID crisis management team said on Thursday.

There are 5,806 active cases, including 580 hospitalised patients, 15 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,524 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has logged 1,214,579 COVID cases to date, the death toll is 16,712, and 70.87% of adults have been vaccinated, including 68.85% fully.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Zagreb and Split Mayors Support HND's Local Media Financing Model

ZAGREB, 31 Aug (Hina) - The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) on Wednesday presented models for financing local media based on transparent public financing, which Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević and Split Mayor Ivica Puljak said were acceptable and potentially applicable.

HND leadership said that transparent public financing was necessary for the long-term independent functioning of local media and for ensuring stable conditions for journalistic work in the public interest. They underscored the need for such public financing but under clear conditions and criteria and with an assessment by an independent expert committee.

Zovko: Local media must be financed with public money

HND leader Hrvoje Zovko recalled that the association had been warning for years about the problems of local media, and the project Models for Financing Local Media, created in cooperation with the Croatian Journalists' Union (SNH) and financed by the Active Citizen Fund (ACF) Croatia, was a solution by journalists' associations for improving the quality of independent journalism.

SNH leader and the president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Maja Sever, said that the project highlighted the seriousness of the problems of local media and journalists exposed to great pressure.

That is the first step towards the goal of building a system that will protect journalists and the media more strongly and transparently, but political will is needed to take a step forward in order to get local media out of the cycle of dependence on local politics and advertisers, she said.

Project authors Andrea Milat and Melisa Skender presented an analysis of the financing of local media from public funds and models of public financing of local media with recommendations.

Tomašević: Local media shouldn't be levers of local authorities

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said he supported the presented models because their goal was to build a transparent financing system that is in accordance with the law and under proper supervision.

He said that local topics were getting lost due to the excessive centralisation of the state.

Tomašević announced a public call for financing the media this year and promised that the amount for media financing would increase.

We want the financing to be fair and that local media contribute to informing the citizens without being levers of local authorities, he said.

Split Mayor Ivica Puljak said that he found the HND's model acceptable so Split authorities would apply it, addressing possible problems along the way.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Media Krešimir Partl said that the ministry supported the project.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina Opens General Consulate in Rijeka

ZAGREB, 31 August, 2022 - A general consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina was officially opened in Rijeka on Wednesday and its consular services will cover seven Croatian counties.

A ministerial advisor at the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb, Zoran Perković, explained that consuls-general are appointed by the BiH Presidency, so it is expected that the Consul General in Rijeka will be appointed after the October election and the inauguration of the new BiH Presidency, probably in November.

He added that the consulate would start providing some of its services immediately, while other services would follow.

Present at the opening ceremony was Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bisera Turković, who said that this was the country's eighth general consulate and 58th diplomatic-consular office in the world.

"I hope that Croatia, as a member of the EU and NATO, will provide unconditional support to all our citizens and to BiH overall on its Euro-Atlantic path," she said, stressing that BiH is committed to strengthening relations with Croatia and wants to build strong, stable relations based on mutual respect and understanding.

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Prefect Zlatko Komadina and Rijeka Deputy Mayor Goran Palčevski attended the opening ceremony too.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Plenković: We Want All INA Management Members to be Called to Account

ZAGREB, 31 August, 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday that he will insist on calling to account all members of the INA Management Board, both the Croatian and Hungarian members, and making changes to the way INA is managed due to a scam in which INA is believed to have been defrauded of more than HRK 1 billion.

Plenković made the statement after a meeting of representatives of the parliamentary majority.

Five suspects, including an INA executive, were arrested last Saturday on suspicion of defrauding INA of more than one billion kuna by buying natural gas supplies from the company at below market prices and selling those supplies at market prices, thus making an illegal gain of at least HRK 848 million (approx. €113 million).

INA is jointly owned by the Hungarian energy group MOL and the Croatian state, with MOL being the biggest individual stakeholder.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

MP: Money Stolen from INA Could have been Used to Pay Bills for Every Household

ZAGREB, 31 August, 2022 - Commenting on the INA gas trading scam, MP Nino Raspudić said on Wednesday that in any democratic country, the ruling party would be directly responsible for such a crime but that that was not the case in Croatia, even though the billion kuna stolen would be sufficient to pay households' winter energy bills.

Raspudić, an MP of the opposition Bridge party, recalled that after the final corruption verdict against the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), its president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the HDZ he was leading had nothing to do with the HDZ led by Ivo Sanader, but that now it was clear that the then HDZ was nothing compared to Plenković's HDZ.

"We are facing a difficult winter. It will be difficult to convince citizens, when they face enormous energy costs, that there is no money, so the possibility of social unrest cannot be ruled out because in this scam alone, the amount of public money stolen would be enough to pay one bill for every household," Raspudić said.

He added that the past and present members of the INA supervisory board, Damir Vanđelić, Davor Filipović, and Tomislav Ćorić, who were now publicly accusing each other, should "start talking and blowing the whistle as much as possible."

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