Saturday, 24 July 2021

Milanović: Once Serbia Enters Euro Zone, Let It Propose Tesla As Well

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Saturday commented on the reactions from Belgrade following the announcement that Croatia will put the image of scientist Nikola Tesla on euro coins, saying that "once Serbia enters the euro zone, let it propose Tesla as well." 

Writing in a Facebook post, Milanović recalled a failed initiative by the Serb National Council (SNV) of more than ten years ago to establish "a Serb ethnic bank" in Croatia that was to be named after Nikola Tesla.

The initiative was launched in cooperation with "the state leadership and a development fund of Serbia, which allocated nearly five million euro of Serbian taxpayers' money for that purpose", and the SNV's idea was also for Croatia to make its contribution to the initial capital.

"The entire project for an ethnic bank was half forgotten over time, primarily because it was untenable businesswise," Milanović said. 

Milanović, who had served as prime minister at the time, said that he and his finance minister, Slavko Linić, had tried to find a solution, but to no avail, despite the millions of euro from Belgrade and the Croatian contribution. "Our intentions were sincere, but it didn't work."

"It's all right when a financial institution (Tesla Bank) should be established with the joint financial support of Croatia and Serbia. In that case, I guess, Tesla is our common heritage. When Croatia, a forthcoming member of the euro zone, proposes that Tesla should be on a coin, that is cultural appropriation according to Serbia's central bank," Milanović said, adding in conclusion: "Once Serbia enters the euro zone, let it propose Tesla as well and everyone will be happy." 

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Ministar Ćorić Takes Part in Sea Clean-up Drive on Brač Island

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić, took part in an environmental drive on Saturday, cleaning up the seabed at one of the most famous tourist destinations in Croatia - Golden Cape Beach at Bol on the southern island of Brač.

It is one in a series of drives that will be held along the Croatian Adriatic coast by several diving clubs to protect the sea and nature from pollution and reduce the negative impact on marine habitats, the Ministry said in a statement.

"People are still not aware enough that the nature around us is the only one that we have. It is unbelievable how much waste people throw into the environment and the sea, even though there are legal and simple ways of waste disposal available. Of everyday items, one of the biggest polluters is single-use plastic packaging, which we have reduced to the maximum by the new Waste Management Act," Minister Ćorić said.

He called on people to think of their future and protect the environment for the sake of the generations to come, praising the participating organisations and individuals for helping keep the environment clean.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Petrinja Area

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook the Petrinja area of central Croatia at 3.43 pm on Saturday, the Croatian Seismological Service said.

The intensity at the epicentre was V degrees on the EMS scale. The tremor was felt in the wider area of Petrinja, Sisak and Glina.

The area was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020 and a series of aftershocks, leaving seven people killed and extensive property damage.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Gymnastics at Olympic Games: Tin Srbić Advances to Final!

July 24, 2021 - Croatia gymnastics at the Olympic Games are off to a flying start, as Tin Srbić finally learned he would compete in the final on August 3, 9 hours after he competed on Saturday. 

Croatian gymnast Tin Srbić advanced to the final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. He finished third in the qualifiers with a score of 14,633, reports Index.hr.

Srbić competed in the first subdivision, after which he took first place, but in the second subdivision, Japan's Daiki Hashimoto (15,033) and Kazakhstan's Milad Karimi (14,766) were better than the 2017 world champion. Finally, in the third subdivision, no one was better than Srbic; only the USA's Brody Malone came close, who finished fourth with a score of 14,533.

"It was quite tiring because we had to wake up very early, come to the hall 2.5-3 hours before competing, so part of the warm-up and waiting was quite tense. Nevertheless, I pushed through because, after all, this was my first Olympic appearance. But before the exercise itself, when I looked at the Olympic rings again, I said to myself, "well, I guess I won't be scared now." I used my head, and I did very well, and in the final, I will attack with an even stronger exercise," said Tin immediately after his performance. His coach Lucijan Krce added:

"I am satisfied with Tin's exercise; he had an excellent performance. Of course, we both felt the pressure of the Olympics, but he still managed to do a very good quality exercise and get a pretty high score."

The final, which is scheduled for August 3, will also include Russia's Nikita Nagonji (14,466), Japan's Takeru Kitazono (14,433), Australia's Tyson Bull (14,433), and Holland's Bart Deurloo (14,400).

There will be no Kohei Uchimura of Japan and Epke Zonderland of Holland in the final. Uchimura, who won gold in the all-around from London 2012 and Rio 2016, decided to compete in Tokyo only on the bars, but with a score of 13,866, he took 20th place and ended his career on Saturday. Flying Dutchman Zonderland, the Olympic winner in London, three-time world champion, and three-time world runner-up, took 23rd place with a score of 13,833.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Curious Croatian Laws: 4 Facts You May Not Know

July 24, 2021 - Excelling in theory, failing in practice, that could, in short, be the summary of 2021 Rule of Law Report for Croatia, issued by the European Commission. Laudably keeping in step with the changing times, but worryingly lagging behind when it comes to basic rights, here are five things you may not know about the curiosity that is the Croatian legal system. A look at curious Croatian laws.

When I was still a wee first-year law student, one of our classes featured a guest lecturer from the U.S. In order to prepare for the class, we had to read up on a topic that had to do with the philosophy of law, full of technical terms we had yet to grasp, all in English. Confused and unsure how to proceed, we came to the class dreading the moment when this stern American professor would start asking questions.

What greeted us defied all of our expectations. Dressed in a plain T-shirt, with tattoos on both his arms, to break the ice, the professor started walking among us, listing weird and anachronistic American laws that are in place even today. He even openly admitted to crossing the street at a red light on his way to the lecture. In comparison to our own professors, always dressed in perfectly ironed button-up shirts, he couldn't look less like an authority on a legal matter. And yet...

To me, Croatian laws are not dissimilar to what I experienced that day. For all the procedural complexity, at their core, they are straightforward and written in a way that is easy to understand, even to an average person. However, even if they are easy to comprehend, they will still often leave you wondering....why???

#1 If you commit an offense described in the Law on Misdemeanors Against Public Peace and Order, you will be charged a fine...to be paid in German marks.

As Index/Hina wrote in 2019, the law, which has existed since 1977, was last amended in 1994 when, due to the war and the difficult economic situation, inflation hit the Croatian dinar (kuna didn't become the official currency until May of that year) the amendments to the law expressed penalties in German marks. After 1994, no government felt the need to rectify this, so the courts came up with an intricate way to convert the sum the offender has to pay first into euros, and then into kunas. So, how do they do that?

Well, the Croatian National Bank uses the exchange rate of the mark against the euro, which in 1999 was fixed at 1€ = 1.95 DEM. Therefore, after the verdict, the penalty must be expressed in euros, and since this currency is not domestic either, the middle exchange rate of the CNB for kuna and euros is once again used. In short, a fine of, for example, DEM 200 is converted into euros and amounts to €102, after which, using the CNB's daily exchange rate (€ 1 = HRK 7.39), the amount is HRK 757. 

At the time of writing of this article, we didn't have the exact statistics on the number of documented misdemeanours for 2020 or 2021, but whatever they are, we are sure that making the culprit figure out the sum to be paid on their own would serve as an excellent additional deterrent. 

 #2 Husbands cannot initiate divorce proceedings if their wives are pregnant

The Croatian Family Law Act allows for women to file for divorce when pregnant, but husbands have to wait until the baby is one year old. The rationale behind this is that the added stress of divorce could have an added negative impact on a woman who's already in a delicate state and thus in an unequal position in comparison to her husband. On the whole, the Croatian legal system is still finding its footing when it comes to the rights of women. On the one hand, female genital mutilation has been criminalized, but the non-consensual distribution of sexually explicit images or videos is still waiting to be criminalized. Women also don't have the right to home birth, there are no efficient tools in place to combat rough and inhumane treatment at the hands of medical professionals when it comes to abortion, miscarriage, and giving birth. 

#3 Retirees coming from outside the EU cannot obtain permanent residence in Croatia

As described in the article Why Croatia Is Not (But Could Be) a Top American Retirement Destination, foreigners who are well-off and just want to enjoy living in Beautiful Croatia, but have no ties to Croatia will find themselves in front of a brick wall if they attempt to stay here on a more permanent basis. Even if they are willing to contribute by paying the taxes, insurance, have proof they won't become an unnecessary burden to the system, and are willing to donate their time and skills to the community. They can be granted only a temporary one-year visa, after which they must leave the country and can’t reapply until 6 months after expiration. 

 #4 Homeless people used to have proof of residence to apply for a place in a shelter...despite having no residence to speak of.

This legal conundrum was fixed some 6 years ago, when, after a long battle with the system, Mile Mrvalj became the first person to be able to effectively call upon Article 6 of Law on Residence which dictates that every homeless person has the right to obtain residence (and address) at the local Center for Social Care or other institution which provides accommodation for the homeless people. Without an address, a homeless person cannot register to vote, look for work, or to sign up for social security and is in danger of being fined for not having a valid ID card. Today, Mile is a tour guide for Invisible Zagreb, a project aimed at raising awareness of the problem of Zagreb's homeless people. You can find them on Facebook, with tours in English also available. 

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Zagreb Courtyards Opens Again to Visitors!

July 24, 2021 - After a year-long postponement due to the pandemic, Zagreb’s Upper Town once again threw open its doors to visitors of Dvorišta, or Zagreb Courtyards.

Zagreb's Upper Town is a metaphorical home to the government institutions, the oldest museums and heritage sites to be found in Zagreb, and it used to be a literal home to some of the most influential figures in Croatian history. Despite its importance to historical records, the only time a resident of the wider Zagreb area might go to Upper Town, as one Croatian journalist joked, is if their relatives from abroad or other parts of Croatia are coming for a visit. Then they will act as tourist guides and proudly show off the 'must sees' -  the vibrant tiles of the roof of St. Mark's Church, the parliament, and the government building - and that will be that.

Otherwise, the somewhat quaint, but stately buildings lining the cobblestone streets of Upper Town will remain a distant and much unfamiliar thread in the rich tapestry of Zagreb.

In order to rectify that, G.A.D. Productions and Katapult Promotion agency, supported by the City of Zagreb Tourist Board took the opportunity to bring the inner life of Upper Town closer to the wider audience. Encouraged by the popularity of the 1970 beloved musical 'He Who Sings, Thinks No Evil', the plot of which majorly takes place in one Upper Town courtyard, the authors of Zagreb Courtyards launched the project in 2014.

Under the slogan 'Every Courtyard has its story', they played on people's interest in going behind the scenes and catching at least a whiff of the days long gone, when the only people strolling through the yards of these residences were ladies in crinolines and gentlemen wearing tailcoats. 

Providing shade and a respite from the summer heat against a backdrop of relaxing music, selected drinks, and tasty bites, the Courtyards were warmly welcomed as the 'it' place to hang out during the summer.

Bolstered by the enthusiasm of its visitors, what started as a July event soon got its winter edition during Zagreb Advent.

However, like many things in the past year and a half due to the pandemic and the damage caused by the earthquakes, this year's event opened to the public on a much smaller scale. Instead of five to seven different locations, this year there are only three - the courtyards of the Škrlec-Balbi Palace in Demetrova Street 11 and two courtyards of the National Hall of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, in Opatička 18 Dvoranski prečac 1, respectively.

The focal point of the courtyard of the Škrlec-Balbi Palace is a pulley water well with a shingle-covered canopy and is the only preserved well of its kind not only in the Upper Town, but the entire city of Zagreb! 

The old Zagreb townspeople used to call this house Balbi's Palace after its last private owner, Baroness Kornelija Balbi. Since 1952 the palace has been housing Old Church Slavonic Institute whose mission is collecting, researching, and publishing the treasures of the Croatian Glagolitic culture.

The site of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts originally housed a convent of the Order of Saint Claire. Today's palace was built in 1843 as a residential mansion for the Drašković family. Built in neoclassicist style, the palace is furnished with an ornamental facade and a classicist interior. However, the Drašković family never fully settled in their home, so they sold it to the leaders of the Croatian National Revival movement and it was in the gall of this palace that the 'Demands of the Nation'' (Zahtijevanja naroda) which aimed to acquire national independence and unite Croatian provinces were adopted on March 24th, 1848.

The Courtyards kicked off on July 16th and are open until tomorrow, 25th of July, from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Entrance to all courtyards is free. In the words of the organisers: ''Step inside and enjoy yourself, get hooked on the Courtyards!''

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Registers 191 New Coronavirus Cases

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 191 coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Saturday.

The number of active cases is 1,013 and there are 121 hospitalised patients, including 15 on ventilators, while 3,194 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 362,496 coronavirus cases and 8,245 deaths, while 353,238 persons have recovered from COVID, including 135 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,242,487 persons have been tested for the virus, including 6,118 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,997,335 vaccine doses have been administered, with 39.9% of the population vaccinated, including 47.9% of adults.

One dose has been administered to 1,617,306 persons, while 1,423,795 persons have been fully vaccinated - 1,380,029 who have received both doses and 43,766 who have received the one dose of the Janssen vaccine.

For more updates on COVID-19, follow TCN's dedicated page. 

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Split Airport Busiest in Croatia!

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - Split Airport is currently the busiest in Croatia and this weekend alone it will handle 180 planes with 32,000 passengers!

This weekend has seen the largest numbers of passengers and planes, an executive at the airport, Mate Melvan, told Hina on Saturday, adding that 140 of those 180 planes were regular flights and 40 were private planes.

"If the situation doesn't deteriorate, we could have more than 300,000 passengers in July," he said, adding that Split Airport could already say that the current tourist season was exceptionally good when compared with last year's, which had been the worst to date.

Jelena Ivulić of the Jadrolinija shipping company told Hina there were many tourists in the Split port as well, their number rising constantly since June. She said 56,000 passengers and over 13,000 vehicles were expected in the port this weekend.

"It's a real July weekend. We are in constant positive growth and if it stays so, it will be excellent," she said, calling for caution due to COVID so that Croatia was not declared a red zone like last summer.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Users to Be Fined for Hate Speech in Their Comments, Not Media – Jutarnji Lis

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - The final electronic media bill has acknowledged the criticisms that were made, so users will be punished for hate speech in their comments, not the media where the comments are generated, Jutarnji List daily said on Saturday.

Compared with the first draft, which was widely criticised last winter both by media professionals and the general public, the final bill brings several significant changes, and the attempt to crack down on hate speech on web portals is likely to draw the most attention.

The Culture and Media Ministry has accepted the criticisms made by journalists, editors and media owners, so exorbitant fines will not be paid by the media but users whose comments break the law.

The first draft of the bill said the electronic publication provider was accountable for all content, including content generated by users. That meant that the media would have been held fully accountable and could have been brutally fined, including for racist comments and those inciting to violence, comments that are mostly anonymous. The envisaged fines ranged from HRK 100,000 to one million.

The ministry changed the article in question, so that in future the real writers of those comments will be held to account. In return, media owners, if they wish to avoid fines, will have to completely change the rules of the game for their readers. They will have to register users and warn them in a clear and easily noticeable way about commenting rules and breaches of regulations.

Jutarnji List said the government could endorse the final bill at next week's meeting.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Tennis at Olympic Games: Wins for Mektić and Pavić, Marin Čilić in First Round!

July 24, 2021 - Croatia tennis at Olympic Games -  a good start as Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić move to the 2nd round, as does Croatia's only male representative in the singles tournament - Marin Čilić!

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić have overcome their first obstacle in the Olympic tournament. In the first round, they played against Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo and celebrated 7:6, 6:4. 

Brazilians Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo offered strong resistance to Nikola Mektić and Mato Pavić, but the Croatian pair was still better and took the deserved victory.

Mektić and Pavić are the favorites for gold, but surprises are not uncommon at the Olympic Games. 

The Croatian team was on the verge of losing the first set in which the Brazilians led 5:0, but by the end of the tie-break, Mektić and Pavić made it 8:1 and took the 13th game with 8:6.

In the second set, there were no breaks until the very end, when Mektić and Pavić reached 5:40 at 5:4. They had their second match point and advanced to the second round.

In the second round, they will play against the winners of Spain's Andujar / Carballes Baena and Italy's Musetti / Sonego.

Marin Čilić, the only male Croatian tennis player in the singles competition of the Olympics, advanced to the 2nd round with a big turnaround, defeating Brazilian Joao Menezes (ATP - 217th) 6:7 (5), 7:5, 7:6 (7) after three hours and 23 minutes of play.

Čilić finished the match with 12 aces, 12 double faults, and a first-serve percentage of only 54%. He made 49 unforced errors compared to Menezes' 27 and realized only five of the 17 break points he had.

Čilić's opponent in the 2nd round will be Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta (ATP - 11th) who defeated American Tennys Sandgren 7:5, 6:2. Čilić is 4-0 against the Spaniard in mutual matches.

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