Tuesday, 22 November 2022

"We're Ready": Zlatko Dalić Satisfied ahead of Croatia's First World Cup Match

November 22, 2022 -  Croatia meets Morocco in their first match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday. Coach Zlatko Dalić and captain Luka Modrić addressed the press one day before the big game. 

Croatia's first 2022 World Cup match is on Wednesday against Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium. The teams meet at 13:00 local time. 

"There is no easy opponent here. We appreciate and respect Morocco, and we expect a tough match," said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić ahead of the team's first World Cup match.

"We followed Saudi Arabia's win and Tunisia's draw. Everyone plays well, and surprises are possible. Therefore, we will enter with maximum respect," added Dalić. 

Croatia had only a week of preparations, but Dalić is satisfied with what was done.

"We used this time to get used to the conditions that awaited us. I am very satisfied. We are ready," Dalić said, revealing how he decided on the starting lineup. 

"We chose the highest quality in terms of energy and experience. We don't have any doubts anymore; the guys know the lineup. We have experience and energy, and we have a good mix. A challenging match awaits us. I believe we made the right choice," he said. "Livaja has also recovered and has no problems."

Dalić also spoke about Morocco's quality. 

"We analyzed them. They are a great team. They are well organized. They have great individuals in all positions. I don't want to comment on their decision to change the coach. Halilhodžić is an excellent coach, but that is their business."

According to the latest announcements, Morocco could play with a home atmosphere.

"I know that they will be particularly motivated and that they will have a lot of fans. We are careful and full of respect. We have to be at the maximum level."

Croatia arrived in Doha as the 2018 World Cup finalists and has a series of excellent results behind them. Dalić agreed that Croatia's rivals certainly look at them differently.

"We've had a lot of opponents, and they look at us better than before Russia. We are worthy; we are aware of it. However, we must be realistic and objective. The pressure is high, and the expectations are high. We will not fall into such a trap, and we will go one game at a time. I believe in this team."

Dalić pointed out that Croatia is one of the few in the world who has won two World Cup medals in the last 20 years.

"In the last 20 years, we have won two medals. And there should be commotion around us, but we are preparing in peace. Of course, the first game is important, a good start is important, but it is not crucial," said Dalić.

Modrić also commented on retiring from the national team.

"I haven't made a decision yet. I don't want it to be a topic at the World Cup. I'm here to enjoy and play a good tournament. We'll see how far we can go. We have faith in our abilities. If we play like before, we can do a lot. Tomorrow we have a tough match. I believe we can play well and hope for a favorable result", said Modrić.

Source: HRT and HNS

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit: Full Transcript of November 17 Hearing

Novmeber 23, 2022 - The full transcript of last week's court case between the Croatian National Tourist Board and TCN CEO Paul Bradbury.

There is a small, but growing trend in my LinkedIn inbox - messages from lawyers, international lawyers. No, I am not in trouble again, but it seems that my ongoing lawsuits with the Croatian National Tourist Board, which I am documenting in Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit, are being followed by international legal entities, who are finding the whole process rather fascinating.  Here is one such email from a couple of days ago:

  • Hello. As a lawyer working for the Council of Europe, I enjoy following your coverage of your court case.

You can read the latest report on last week's court appearance in Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit: Irish Newspapers and Belgian Radio, but below please find the whole transcript of the hearing, ably translated by Lauren Simmonds. 

Business number: 64 Pn-2010/20-22 - The minutes from 17.11.2022 during the main hearing held at the Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb

Those present from the court: Ela Misura Stopfer (judge), Renata Loncar (minute taker)

Plaintiff: Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ/CNTB)

Defendant: Paul David Raymond Bradbury

Subject at hand: Damages

The judge starts the main discussion at 09:00 and announces the subject of the discussion.
The discussion is public.

It has been established that the following are present:
For the plaintiff: Zoran Vukic, lawyer (with power of attorney)
For the defendant: Vanja Juric, lawyer (with power of attorney)

It has been established that witnesses Kresimir Macan, the identity of whom was determined by inspection of his ID card, and Zoran Pejovic, the identity of whom was determined by inspection of his residence permit were present.

It has been noted that Dora Nikolla also joined as a court interpreter, who submitted a copy of the decision on their appointment to the file, and submitted the original for inspection.

The plaintiff presents as in the lawsuit, they stand by their [previous] claim and all previous allegations.

The defendant stands by their answer to the lawsuit and all previous allegations.

The court is set to determine: A solution

Evidence will be presented by hearing [the testimonies of the] witnesses who have appeared.

-

Witness: Kresimir Macan

My profession involves communications in general, and I have been known to forward information related to tourism to the defendant. I have read the article in question and I remember it as well as I possibly could with regard to the passage of time [since then]. This is the period in which Croatia suddenly opened up to tourism after the coronavirus [pandemic]. They did not want to communicate this clearly, I guess it was because of Croatia then holding the [rotating] presidency of the European Union (EU). However, word got out and people started making inquiries. It is true that at that time, tourism in the Republic of Croatia was advertised to certain, but not all, markets, and that the focus was on destinations to which people could travel by car/road. The defendant criticised the above, considering that some other markets could have also been taken into account, which I consider to be logical. It is also true that there were signs in the Irish media that citizens of that country could not come to the Republic of Croatia, and in general there were quite a lot of confusing publications in foreign media. I believe that the confusion occurred due to the time lag between the moment when we (Croatia) opened up to tourism and the moment when the CNTB started to communicate this to the outside world.

To answer the question put forth by the lawyer of the plaintiff, I state that the CNTB announced that it was carrying out targeted activities towards these markets, and if it had communicated regularly, I would not be testifying here today. During that period, I was involved with the [topic of] coronavirus, and at that time I was not yet involved with tourism.

When asked whether I knew that on June the 12th, 2020 the CNTB's campaign was already underway, I state that I do not know. I know that such publications could be found in the Irish media, but now I don't remember exactly which media it was, everything is on the portal. There were more [such] publications, but I don't remember the exact number.

In response to the question of whether the CNTB commented on such publications in foreign media, I state that the defendant corrected all these statements since he was receiving questions and providing answers to them, and the CNTB was not doing its job proactively at that time. I know this fact because I personally received inquiries and Paul told me that he [also] received a lot of inquiries on this topic, even though I was involved with coronavirus at that time, I also started becoming involved with tourism when Croatia started losing money.

From the 19th of May, 2020, you could not get any information from the CNTB, the only information [available] was provided by the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) and the defendant. I have known the defendant for ten years. I sometimes have business cooperation with him. I do not know whether or not the defendant would offer commercial business cooperation in 2020 to the plaintiff. At that time, I did not offer the plaintiff any business cooperation, but the plaintiff falsely accused us and spread gossip that we had indeed asked for it (in reference to business cooperations).

I do not know whether the defendant had any business cooperation with the plaintiff before that. Foreign tourists addressed the defendant with questions because he was the main source of information in English, he systematically published information about the conditions of arrival and stay in the Republic of Croatia during the pandemic and, as a private entrepreneur, he was more rapid in terms of communication. I don't know what the share of Irish and English tourists is in the Croatian market. I don't know how they got here, I know that they came to Dubrovnik by plane. Nobody was flying then because of coronavirus.

In response to the question put forth by the defandant's lawyer, I state to the that there was no Viber (platform) community for tourism at that time, while there was such a community related to information related to the coronavirus, and it was an official state one. Later, my agency did one at the request of Paul, who was getting a lot of inquiries and was no longer able to answer them all. This happened because no one, with the exception of MUP, responded to any inquiries via e-mail, and due to the large number of inquiries, we opened such a community, which was later visited by 220,000 people. We had to come up with our own material because there was no official material to use. That viber community was founded on Tuesday, May the 21st, 2020.

In response to the question put forth by the plaintiff's lawyer, I state that the Viber channel was offered to the Ministry of Tourism (CNTB) for free, it was not offered for sale, and it was offered to them because business had expanded so much that we could no longer do it all alone. We did not have a conversation with the CNTB about that Viber channel, the minister claimed he would get back to us.

I have nothing more to say, there are no more questions.

Witness: Zoran Pejovic

I know what is written in the article in question, my statements were also published in it, and I know what Paul stated and published in that article, and I believe that it is all correct. Namely, I was opening a hotel on Hvar at the time, and inquiries were constantly coming from tourists and journalists, because no one knew whether it was possible to come to Croatia or not, all because of the pandemic. I believe that it is very necessary to communicate this information to the public and to foreign tourists and travel agencies, because there was uncertainty. At that time, I cooperated with the defendant via his portal Total Croatia News in such a way that I wrote information, and he mostly corrected the incorrect publications coming out in foreign media. Namely, we wanted the tourism market in Croatia to continue despite the pandemic, and for it to remain in people's memory so that when the market opens, they have that (the Croatian) market in mind.

In response to the question put forth by the plaintiff's lawyer, I state that I have been working with the plaintiff for about 10 years, that is, we have known each other for that long. He certainly did not pay me for any business services, and it is possible that we did some promotion through social media. I don't know how many times it was published in foreign media that citizens of Ireland and Belgium were unable to travel to the Republic of Croatia. I don't know how many Irish and Belgian tourists came to the Republic of Croatia before 2020. I know that these are airline destinations. I don't know if there were flights from those countries to Croatia from April onwards in 2020. I don't know in what percentage the success of the Croatian tourist market was measured in during the 2020 [tourist] season in regards to its rank in comparison to other competitive tourist countries.

To the specific question of whether the defendant worked within the tourism sector, I state that he worked as a tourist journalist, which in my opinion is in the tourism sector. I don't know how long he has been writing about tourism. As far as I know, he has been writing about tourism for 10 years. I don't know how many followers he has.

In response to the question put forth by the plaintiff's lawyer, I state that my statements have been faithfully transmitted in the article in question. When I said that there is no organised work on promotion and that promotion should be done more strongly, I was referring to the fact that tourist boards in countries mostly engage in destination marketing in tourism. I didn't rely too much on the work of the tourist boards, but since in this situation the state was the one that passed certain bans (coronavirus restrictions), I was of the belief that the CNTB should have been the one to communicate it, which did not happen. The plaintiff did not file a lawsuit against me. They neither asked me to publish any corrections nor withdraw my statement.

In response to the question put forth by the plaintiff's lawyer, I state that the target markets for 2020 were Belgium and Ireland, but by the 13th of May 2020, Croatia could not be reached by plane from those countries, and I do not know exactly when the flights began running again. I don't know if it was possible to come to Croatia by car, I don't think it was possible to cross the border.

I have nothing more to say, there are no more questions.

Evidence will be presented by a hearing of the defendant - Defendant: Paul David Raymond Bradbury

The first case of coronavirus in Croatia appeared in March 2020, and my portal Total Croatia News had written about coronavirus two months before that. In March, we already had a map showcasing the possibilities of entering and travelling to Croatia, and since March we had daily reports with all the necessary information, and we were the first portal in Croatia that informed [people] about this information.

Even on the 7th of May, 2020, the Ministry of Tourism didn't have any information about the possibility of movement and the possibility of travelling to the Republic of Croatia, although all other countries already had such information [on offer to the public], Croatia was the only country in the world that did not have it. It was impossible to deliver information to foreign tourists, even on the website of the CNTB, one piece - and a weak piece at that - of information was published with reference to a Narodne Novine (Official Gazette) number.

I wrote an article about it and just two days after the publication of that article we had a lot more information about it being offered on the websites of the CNTB and the [Tourism] Ministry. During those two months of the absence of such information, everyone asked us for information, and my mailbox/inbox was full, and we were in charge of providing information to such an extent that CNN published my website on its list of links for obtaining information for each country. For other countries, the official websites for their tourist boards were linked.

On May the 13th, 2020, the Republic of Croatia opened up [its borders] a bit, but it was not yet known who could come here and how, and on May the 15th, 2020, Kresimir Macan called me and said we should go to the Croatian border and see the situation on the spot so that we could publish the information. Chaos greeted us at the border and we saw two Slovenian citizens who wanted to go to the Adriatic, but since they did not have a certificate of accommodation, their entry into Croatia was forbidden. At that time, we worked closely with MUP and apart from them, we were the only ones who knew what the situation was, so we decided to create a viber community where people who had crossed the border could share their experiences, and I published that information with the fact that only MUP was helping in providing information.

In view of all this, I also followed the publications by [various] European media, and one day I came across an article in the Irish Times entitled "The Irish can't go to the Republic of Croatia", which was not true. I wrote about it and sent an email to the editor of the Irish Times, and within an hour that title was removed and the article was corrected. In addition to that, a man from Belgium sent a similar article published in the Belgian media via the Viber group, which was then also corrected and changed.

Given that I managed to do it, and the CNTB, which has 70 employees, failed to do it, I believe that I have the right to have my opinion and the right to express it, and I did so. By the way, that Viber community won seven awards and people said that we were the ones doing the work of the CNTB, I did that work exclusively on a voluntary basis, and now the CNTB is the only one filing a lawsuit against me, which is something that is not clear to me.

Regarding the information that a campaign was published by the CNTB for seven markets for which Croatia is a destination that can be reached by car, I read that on June the 1st, 2020. That was published by the CNTB and I criticised it because I thought we should have included the market(s) of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Switzerland.

In response to the question put forth by the lawyer of the plaintiff as to whether I have inspected the Irish media in printed form, in which it is written that Irish people could not enter the Republic of Croatia, I state that it is difficult for me to obtain printed media from Ireland.

In response to the question of whether or not I had any insight into Irish television or radio before the 12th of June, 2020, I state that the only way of monitoring foreign media that we deal with is online.

To the question of how many publications in the Irish media of that content I came across before June the 12th, 2020, I state that I have read a lot of them, and the publication that I remember is the one that ran in the Irish Times that I testified about. I can't say exactly how many Irish media published such articles, nor can I state the dates on which they were published, at that time I was working 18 hours a day and followed a lot of media, so I don't remember.

To the question of how long such information was being published in the Irish media, I answer that the information [of that kind] was brief in the Irish Times because I contacted them, and if I hadn't, it would probably have been there much longer. Specifically, I only contacted the Irish Times, while a Belgian citizen from the Viber community contacted the Belgian media. I personally saw the publication [in question] in the Belgian media, and that Belgian citizen sent the link to me. I don't know exactly which Belgian media it is, but if necessary I can go through my emails and find out. I assume it was shortly after the announcement in the Irish Times because I was writing about that announcement when I got the information about this one. The publication in the Belgian media was in French and I speak French. That Belgian citizen's name is Didier. That gentleman could have driven a car from Belgium to Hvar since he could not get a flight there. I don't know what the exact address of the Belgian media is, Didier sent them a correction.

To the question put forth by the plaintiff's lawyer as to whether the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia had permission from their countries to enter the Republic of Croatia during the months of May, June and July, I state that this caused issues for me because this information changed very quickly and it was difficult to find out at any given moment in time. There was a period when the Serbian borders were closed and the Hungarian borders remained open, so through the Viber community, we advised Serbian citizens to come to Croatia via Hungary. I don't know if Swiss citizens had permission to enter Croatia from April to July 2020. In July, the situation changed, Americans could not fly via Frankfurt, so Switzerland allowed travel via Zurich. I don't know what the share of travellers from Belgium and Ireland was before 2020, nor do I know what the share of travellers from Switzerland was. I know that Serbia was one of the most attractive markets for Croatia for tourism.

Regarding business cooperation with the plaintiff, I state that I occasionally wrote articles for them in the period from 2016 to 2018, and in 2019 and 2020 I offered them cooperation, so for three projects I was at a meeting [with them] in March 2020 - the project regarding digital nomads in the Republic of Croatia, religious tourism and the Olympic Games Festival of traditional Dalmatian Games. I offered the Minister of Tourism our Viber platform for information about the coronavirus and travel, I thought it would be stronger if it was official, but he did not get back to us. I did not offer him business cooperation under market conditions. I don't remember if it was before June the 12th, 2020. The 2020 [tourist] season ended well in Croatia compared to other competitor countries.

In response to the question put forth by the lawyer of the plaintiff, I state that in the press release of the tourist board dated June the 1st, 2020, it was stated that Croatia was opening its borders to seven markets - Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and Hungary, while there were no other campaigns ever since the 1st of March, 2020, when all activities of the CNTB were stopped due to the [public health] crisis, and even though the borders were opened on the 13th of May, 2020, only on the 1st of June, 2020 was there a new campaign which meant three weeks of nothing.

I have nothing more to say, there are no more questions.

The parties unanimously state that they have no further evidentiary proposals, and they propose to close the main hearing.

No further evidence will be taken.

The file and the documentation attached to the file have been read.

The plaintiff proposes the court accept the claim in its entirety, with compensation for the costs of the litigation according to the bill of costs which they have submitted.

The defendant proposes the court reject the claim of the plaintiff, with compensation for the costs of the litigation according to the bill of costs which they have submitted.

The main discussion has been closed.

The hearing for the publication and delivery of the verdict is scheduled for: January the 13th, 2023 at 09:50 - Room 219/II. 

To follow Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit into its fourth calendar year, follow the dedicated TCN section.

****

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.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Free Hepatitis and HIV Testing in Rijeka for European Testing Week

November 22, 2022 - The Hepatos Association from Rijeka is inviting citizens to participate in the free and anonymous testing for hepatitis B and C and HIV as part of the European Testing Week for these viruses.

As Index writes, the president of the Hepatos association, Aleksandra Marković pointed out that in this way, the association, in cooperation with the Teaching Institute for Public Health of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the Internal Medicine Clinic of KBC Rijeka and other partners, joined the Month of the Fight Against Addiction and the World HIV/AIDS Day.

The test aims to enable the broadest possible range of people to determine whether they have hepatitis B, C viruses, or HIV. Since 2013, when the European Testing Week was first organised, more than 500 organisations from fifty countries have participated.

In Rijeka, testing without a doctor's referral will be possible on two days, November 24 and December 1, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the association's premises in Blaža Polića Street. The interested inmates will be tested in Rijeka prison, and field tests will be organised in Mali Lošinj. Testing will also be possible in the LORI association in Rijeka.

As Marković stated, half of the people who find out they have HIV are diagnosed late. It is estimated that there are 13 million people in Europe with hepatitis B or C; most of them are unaware of it and treatment often starts too late.

The problem is that many infected people do not know they are infected and spread the disease.

Davor Štimac, head of the Clinic for Internal Medicine at KBC Rijeka, pointed out that the treatment of hepatitis has changed significantly in recent years. Hepatitis C is effectively treated with drugs that patients tolerate well, and timely treatment is almost 100 percent successful.

The problem is that many infected people do not know they are sick and do not seek treatment, spreading the disease to others, he said. "In the last few years, we have been treating 20 to 30 patients with hepatitis at the Rijeka Hospital, and our capacity is significantly higher," Štimac pointed out.

The risk groups for hepatitis include intravenous drug addicts, people who have patients with this disease in the family, those who engage in risky sexual relations, people prone to promiscuity, but also those who received blood transfusions before the 1990s when blood was not tested for viruses, as well as persons who performed dental procedures in insufficiently sterilized circumstances.

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Croatian Ice Cream Wins Title of Best Ice Cream in the World

November 22, 2022 - Croatian ice cream, Ledo's King Majestic, featuring cheesecake, blueberry, and white chocolate, justified the title of the king of flavours by winning a prestigious world award.

As Dnevnik writes, King Majestic won the Croatian consumers this summer, and now it has also been crowned as the best ice cream in the world. The International Ice Cream Consortium (IICC) awarded the prestigious award at its regular annual conference after the presentation and tasting of ice creams produced worldwide.

 "We are extremely proud of this award, which proves that our King Majestic is not only loved by consumers who recognise it as a new brand product with top quality and innovative flavours but also won by a strict jury - specialists in the ice cream industry. Of course, this is a particularly great recognition for the development team that turned the world's favourite dessert, cheesecake, into phenomenal ice cream," said Ledo Plus.

The best in the world

King Majestic features premium cheesecake-flavoured ice cream mass with blueberry liquid filling, blueberry, and white chocolate double topping, topped with crunchy cereal sprinkles.
Lovers of supreme pleasures and hedonists in the eternal search for new, unique and irresistible flavours have been choosing Ledo King ice creams for many years, and it will not surprise them that King Majestic won the crown of the best ice cream in the world.

King ice creams - made for indulgence

All King ice creams are extremely popular in Croatia. The story began with the King Classic ice cream, which entered the Croatian market in 1995. Over more than two decades, more than 30 unique and previously unimaginable flavour combinations were launched which would immediately find their way to the hearts of consumers. Always with premium quality ingredients and innovative flavours, it is no surprise that King ice creams have become a symbol of eternal value that is not subject to passing trends.
As they say in Ledo, King constantly reminds its consumers that it's okay to be bold and not always necessary to follow the rules, which is what the communication platform #breakingrules is known for. This time they proved once again that it is possible to create your own rules and that world-class ice cream can come from such a small country like Croatia.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Employment Growth of Fifteen Percent in the Croatian IT Sector

November 22, 2022 - In addition to data on last month's September salary payments, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics also published the latest data on employment. The Croatian IT sector has shown a significant increase in employment.

As Poslovni writes, the average net salary paid for September to employees of legal entities in the Republic of Croatia amounted to HRK 7,623. Compared to the previous month, it is nominally 0.7% less, and if inflation is considered, the real drop is a slightly more significant 2.2%. On the annual level, September wages are on average nominally 7.2% higher than in the same month last year, but the purchasing power is 5% weaker. Half of the total of 1.4 million employees in legal entities have a salary of less than HRK 6,500, while 10% of those with the lowest salaries, i.e. around 140,000 people, in the net earn less than HRK 4,211. In terms of the average net salary in September, the activity of air transport was also in the lead (HRK 12,580). The lowest salaries were paid in protective and investigative activities - less than HRK 5,000.

In addition to data on last month's September salary payments, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics also published the latest data on employment. Although total employment (which, in addition to legal entities, also includes craftsmen, freelancers and insured farmers) in October recorded a normal seasonal slight monthly decline (by about 900, to 1.62 million), the number of employees in legal entities increased by more than 8,400 or 0.6%, which means that the annual growth of employment for them reached 1.3%.

The IT sector stands out with double-digit annual employment growth. The Information and Communication activity registered a growth of 14.6%, to more than 55,600 employees. There are almost 10% more employees in tourism and hospitality companies today than a year ago, and an above-average increase of more than 6% was also recorded in real estate and administrative and other service activities.

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Peljesac Bridge Traffic To Pass 1 Million Vehicles Today

November 22, 2022 - It is less than 4 months since Croatia became one contiguous country with the opening of the Peljesac Bridge, and vehicle number 1 million will close around lunchtime today. 

An historic milestone in the timeline of Croatia's signature infrastructure project, the Peljesac Bridge, will be marked between 12:00 and 13:00 today as the one-millionth vehicle will cross the Chinese-built bridge since its official opening on July 26 in a ceremony that reflected on the pride Croats felt at finally having their country connected. Prior to the bridge, road travellers had to pass through the so-called Neum Corridor in Bosnia and Hercegovina, which often led to significant delays at the border, especially in the peak tourist season. 

No longer. The bridge, funded largely by EU funds and built by the Chinese, has been a popular addition since its opening, not just for those wanting to go from Split to Dubrovnik without leaving the country, but also for its better access to the Peljesac Peninsula and the island of Korcula. As previously reported on TCN, a trip from Korcula Town to Split can now be done in under 3 hours. Read more in Korcula to Split via Peljesac Bridge: A Heavenly, Speedy Road Trip

A few weeks ago we did a story on how the traffic flow had changed since the opening, using data supplied by Croatian Roads. In the first 100 days, some 940,046 vehicles had crossed the bridge, an average of almost 10,000 a day, while traffic through Neum for the corresponding period in 2019 was down by a whopping 70%. That average of 10,000 a day is obviously much higher in the summer months, and the reduced traffic will have had a considerable effect on the Neum economy, while at the same time improving the Neum tourism experience. 

I asked Croatian Roads to inform me when the millionth vehicle would cross, and this morning, they informed me that the milestone was expected between 12:00 and 13:00.  

You can take a tour over the bridge as I did on the morning before it officially opened in the video above. 

For more on the Peljesac Bridge, check out the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Croatian Companies Generally Optimistic About Customer Payment Discipline

November the 22nd, 2022 - The European Union (EU) average when it comes to companies being placed in serious jeopardy because of poor financial discipline is higher than the Croatian one, but that doesn't mean that Croatian companies aren't also finding themselves in hot water more often than they should.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, almost two out of three companies operating within the European Union (EU) believe that customer payment discipline will worsen in the coming period, according to the thirteenth representative EOS survey entitled "European payment habits", in which 3,200 companies spanning sixteen different European countries, including those operating here in the Republic of Croatia, were examined.

When it comes to Croatian companies, however, things are (quite surprisingly) a little bit more optimistic than the European Union average; namely, only one in three out of four Croatian companies currently predicts a worsening of payment discipline, and as they state, a quarter of them even believe that it will improve. In comparison, back in the very successful pre-pandemic year of 2019, every other company operating in this country held the opinion that improvement was around the corner.

"Although it's less than the European Union average, the fact is that as of 2019, almost twice as many Croatian companies, based on experience, estimate the deterioration of their payment habits, while there are also significantly fewer who believe that they will improve. This is a clear indicator of future trends, given the current economic figures and high inflation," said Barbara Cerinski, the director of EOS Matrix.

Otherwise, payment habits across Europe have worsened quite significantly over the last three years, as was confirmed by this research, which points out that the above-mentioned development is causing approximately one in five companies to suffer legitimate fears for their own existence.

For more on Croatian companies, startups and entrepreneurs, make sure to keep up with our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Share of Croatian Women Listed as Company Founders Increased in 2021

November the 22nd, 2022 - The share of Croatian women who started their own businesses last year is incredibly encouraging, with the number of companies with women at the helm on the up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, last year, a group which is made up of 47,041 enterprises had at least one woman on the Management Board or Supervisory Board. Croatian women held 95,777 functions, of which 51,535 were management functions, while in 1,846 cases women held supervisory functions (members of the Supervisory Board), and in 42,396 cases - they appeared as company founders. The above was shown in Fina's recent analysis that looked into the results of the aforementioned group's operations according to GFI data for the years 2019-2021.

"Back in 2021, the observed group of enterprises held capital in the amount of 161.6 billion kuna and had total assets in the amount of 752.5 billion kuna. Compared to 2019, the number of companies in the observed group increased by 12.2%, their total income increased by 11.7%, their total expenses by 11.0%, their profit for that period by 23.5%, their losses for that period by 14.0%, while the number of employees decreased by 0.6% in 2021," stated Fina's analysis, and as we know, Fina itself is strongly represented with a high proportion of women employed in managerial positions.

Out of a total of 291 employees working in management positions within Fina (management, director of sectors and other organisational units), 210 were Croatian women, which makes up a share of 72%.

According to the data from the processed GFI for the year 2021, 473,821 employees were employed in this group, and those companies achieved 471.5 billion kuna in total revenue, a period profit of 31.4 billion kuna, a loss of 6.9 billion kuna, and an impressive net profit in the amount of 24.4 billion kuna kuna.

The largest total revenues (73.0%), profit for the period (69.6%), and loss for the period (75.8%) were achieved by limited liability companies. In second place came joint-stock companies with a share in total revenues of 22.9%.

The largest number of enterprises of this group operated in the City of Zagreb (34.8%) and Split-Dalmatia County (10.3%). Companies of this group in the City of Zagreb employed 44.4% of the total employees and achieved 53.9% of total income, 57.4% of profit for the period and 53.3% of loss for the period. Analysis by activity shows that the largest number of enterprises within this group operated in professional, scientific and technical activities (20.7%) and wholesale and retail trade (19.8%). The largest number of employees was in the processing industry (25.0%) and wholesale and retail trade (19.3%). The largest total income was achieved by companies from wholesale and retail trade (29.8%), and the highest profit of the period was achieved within the processing industry (26.7%).

"The largest number of companies of this group (73.3%) operated in the form of limited liability companies (d.o.o.), which employed as many as 73.2% of the employees of the observed group. In second place in terms of representation came simple limited liability companies (j.d.o.o.) with 20.1% (they employed only 3.5% of the employees of the observed group), while enterprises with other forms of organisation occupy less than 3.0%.

Natural persons engaged in registered activities (crafts, freelance professions and OPGs) in the observed group participated with a relatively small percentage (2.8% in terms of the number of enterprises, 1.0% in terms of total income) which is to be expected because most of these entities are income tax payers, not profit tax payers," Fina's analysis stated.

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

Monday, 21 November 2022

Gender Pay Gap Situation in Croatia in 2022: Women Earn 500 Kuna Less

November 21, 2022 - The average monthly gross salary per employee for the third quarter of 2022 was HRK 10,741 for men and HRK 9,931 for women, meaning that the average net monthly wage for women in Croatia came five hundred kunas short of that paid to men. The gender pay gap in Croatia in 2022 as presented by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.

As Danas.hr writes, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics has published the average monthly net and gross salaries of employees by gender for the year 2022.

As reported by the Bureau, the average monthly paid net salary per employee in legal entities of the Republic of Croatia for the third quarter of 2022 was HRK 7,888 for men and HRK 7,323 for women.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, the average net wages for men increased by 7.6 percent, while for women, this was 7.4 percent. The most significant increase in average net wages for men was by 13.5 percent in the activities of providing accommodation and the preparation and serving of food. At the same time, for women it was14.2 percent in the field of other service activities.

The average monthly gross salary per employee for the third quarter of 2022 was HRK 10,741 for men and HRK 9,931 for women.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, the average gross wages of men increased by 8.7 percent, while the gross salaries of women increased by 8.3 percent. The most significant increase in average gross wages for men was by 16.3 percent in the activities of providing accommodation and the preparation and serving of food.

As for other metrics, in the third quarter of 2022, men worked an average of 176 paid hours, and women worked 174. The average monthly net hourly wage for the third quarter of 2022 was HRK 44.07 for men and HRK 41.11 for women. The average monthly gross hourly wage for the third quarter of 2022 was HRK 60.02 for men and HRK 55.75 for women.

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

Monday, 21 November 2022

City of Football: Dalmatia's First Football Meetup Features Andy Goldie of Swansea City

November 21, 2022 - City of Football held its first meetup in Split on Sunday, featuring Andy Goldie, director of the Swansea City Academy. 

City of Football is an informal community taking football networking in Dalmatia to the next level. The first Meetup was held on Sunday at Fabrique Pub in Split, featuring the current Academy Director of Swansea City - Andy Goldie. 

Andy started his development journey at Dundee United as Academy Director, responsible for working with players from the U15s and U17s. He continued at Hamilton Academical FC, then became Middlesbrough FC's first team scout. 

His work was recognized by the Scottish Football Federation, where Andy was in charge of developing the elite performances of the most talented young Scottish footballers and was also an assistant coach of the young national team.

He achieved his greatest success as the director of Dundee United's Academy, where he earned top results from 2019 to 2022.

Andy lectured in front of a packed room of eager participants on the theme: "From one full-time employee to a talent factory." This theme walked us through his journey of creating and implementing the strategy for young talents within Dundee United's Academy.

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"It is a great honor to be here today to present my work at Dundee United. I have often used Croatia in my analyzes and comparisons because it is fascinating that such a small country has great success in the world and European competitions and is always at the top. I am also glad that I had the opportunity to watch the pioneers and cadets of Hajduk and see firsthand the potential and quality of young players that this area offers," said Goldie at the beginning of his presentation.

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The Meetup was opened by Andro Fistonić, the man responsible for launching the new City of Football community. 

"The idea was to start with informal events where we talk about football in a relaxed atmosphere. Meetups are quite normal in other industries, especially in the IT sector. What excited me is how they push each other forward, encourage knowledge sharing, and ultimately encourage people to stay in this region. The idea is to gather people who want to know more about football, from coaches, parents, managers, and investors. Through this Football Meetup, they can encourage and improve football development in Dalmatia," Fistonić said.

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Andy Goldie presented the results of three years of work at Dundee United's Academy. He explained how with a clear strategy and plan, he raised the budget from 60,000 GBP and one employee to 400,000 GBP and fulfilled the goals of development and return on investment. 

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TCN caught up with Andy after the event to hear his thoughts about kicking off City of Football:

"When Andro presented the opportunity and explained the program and its future, I was excited. I think it can significantly impact this region, not only on the professional side of the game but also on the recreational and business side. It will help to build that connection and understanding and, ultimately, a more strategic direction. 

This is my second visit to Split. I fell in love with it when I first visited and still love it. I love how it mixes modern and traditional. It feels authentic - nothing is commercialized here."

And his thoughts on Hajduk this season?

"Hajduk has had a period of struggle and had to refind who they are. It appears that they have refound their identity. They understand the process it takes to succeed, and it looks like they're getting that back. In football, anything is possible. Given my strong connection to Hajduk, I bought my two sons Hajduk tops to bring back home. We will definitely be supporting Hajduk."

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After the presentation, there was a Q&A with Andy, followed by networking among the attendees.

"The general impression is very positive. The pub area was full, and the Q & A lasted about 30 minutes, meaning the attendees were confident to discuss and connect with the topic and speaker. The attendees included primarily coaches, but there were also agents, parents, futsal and football players, and some potential football investors. The versatile audience improved the discussion with different perspectives on the given topic," Fistonić said. 

So, what's next for City of Football?

"The next Meetup will be in about two months. The idea is to continue bringing people who proved themselves internationally. For example, in the next Meetup, you can expect to see local football workers building something extraordinary in Dalmatia or Croatia. Things that you don't hear about in the media," concluded Fistonić. 

The next Meetup is scheduled for early February.

All photos by Duje Bonačić

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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