Friday, 21 January 2022

Central State Office for Reconstruction Plans 60 Houses in Two Tenders

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing on Friday said that it had advertised two public tenders for the construction of a total of 60 standard brick houses, with nine and eight bids have been submitted for them respectively.

The office notes that it has received 490 decisions from the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction, and State Assets and now the situation in the field needs to be determined.

Documents are being prepared for 160 family houses and a tender for these should be advertised by the end of February the office said in a press release.

The office added that procedures for public tenders have been launched, and earthquake retrofitting for a further 900 family houses, estimated at HRK 30.3 million, is in the pipeline.

The decision for retrofitting of apartment buildings

Procedures for a public tender for the construction of pre-fabricated houses are going according to plan the central office for reconstruction said.

The office has received 14 decisions related to the seismic retrofitting of apartment blocks which were prepared by the ministry, nine decisions refer to buildings, four residential and commercial buildings, and one residential and commercial building which is a listed building.

Public tenders will be launched for the preparation of documents for the seismic retrofitting of 22 apartment blocks and residential and commercial buildings with an estimated value of HRK 6.15 million.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Gov't Transfers Ownership of Former Ironworks and Tools Factory Area to Osijek County

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - A HRK 58 million (€7.7m) deed of gift transferring state ownership of a 55,000-square-metre complex of the former ironworks and tools plant in Osijek to Osijek-Baranja County was signed on Friday by State Assets Minister Darko Horvat and County Prefect Ivan Anušić.

At the document-signing ceremony, it was emphasized that the local authorities are planning to conduct a brownfield investment to revitalize the area.

The brownfield revitalization envisages the construction of scientific and research centers for the agricultural and food-producing sector as well as the IT industry, a sports incubator which will have a swimming pool and other amenities, blocks of flats for researchers as well as for coaches and other employees hired by the sports incubator, and facilities for the alternative cultural scene.

Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić said that the project will help revitalize a wider area of this largest eastern Croatian city.

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak said that her ministry had already earmarked HRK 2.7 million (€360,000) for the preparation of the necessary project and technical documentation.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Plenković and Gotovina Pay Tribute to Defenders Killed in Operation Maslenica

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and retired General Ante Gotovina on Friday paid tribute to the Croatian soldiers killed in 1993 Operation Maslenica.

"This is an opportunity to remember all Croatian defenders, soldiers, and police, who gave their lives for the freedom of Croatia and the Croatian state, which had been desired by generations of Croats for centuries and which we now have," Plenković said during a ceremony at the monument near Maslenica Bridge in Zadar County.

"Croatia is now a free, democratic, and developed member of NATO and the European Union, and all this would not have been possible without the defenders. Once again, on behalf of the government, ahead of tomorrow's anniversary, I wish to thank them and their families for everything they did for Croatia," the prime minister said.

Gotovina said that the purpose of Operation Maslenica was to push the Serb forces as deeply as possible into the hinterland to ensure the free flow of traffic, put Zadar's Zemunik airport into operation, and put the Peruča dam under control.

"The operation was completed and its goals were achieved. We had 180 personnel killed several hundred wounded, and we paid our respects to those people. It is thanks to them that today we have a sovereign state, a safe country, and a free society," Gotovina said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Bridge and Social Democrats Criticise Gov't for Poor Handling of Galloping Inflation

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The Bridge and Social Democrats groups in the Croatian Parliament on Friday used the discussion on the new law on consumer protection to criticize the government for its poor handling of "galloping inflation."

"Everyone is protecting their citizens except the Croatian government, which says it might do something (about the inflation)," Social Democrat Davor Bernardić said, calling on MPs to support their proposal to freeze the prices of staples.

"In the last 10 months, every other food product has gone up in price. Prices of some products have increased by 150 percent, and the price of toilet paper has gone up by as much as 50 percent," he added.

Bridge's Nikola Grmoja wondered if the government was thinking of protecting consumers from its unreasonable decisions, such as a freeze on fuel prices. He instead called for the abolition of excise taxes on fuel, because otherwise "the cost will again be borne by consumers."

Lawmakers from the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said the new law on consumer protection was a "serious step forward." They welcomed the fact that the dual quality of goods, namely the marketing in Croatia of goods purporting to be of the same quality as those placed on the market in other EU member states even though they differ in composition and quality, would be treated as an unfair trading practice.

Barbara Antolić from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) welcomed the new law but noted that it lacked qualified people to monitor its implementation because inspectors were not trained well enough for online sales.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Split County Emergency Medical Service Gets Ten New Vehicles

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The Split-Dalmatia County emergency medical service on Friday received ten new emergency medical vehicles and ambulances valued at almost HRK 4 million.

During the handover ceremony, County Prefect Blaženko Boban said that the one emergency medical vehicle and nine ambulances were fully financed by the county administration.

Three ambulances will remain in Split while the others will go to Vrgorac, Imotski, Omiš, Makarska Sink, and Kaštel Stari. 

The head of the county emergency medical service, Leo Luetić, said that ambulances are a key working resource and the service conducted about 60,000 runs a year and traveled more than 4 million kilometers.

The ambulances that are going to remain in Split will be used to transport patients to Zagreb, Varaždin, Krapina, and Vela Luka, while the emergency medical vehicle will transport patients to tertiary health institutions, primarily the KBC Hospital in Zagreb, he said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

 

Friday, 21 January 2022

HD Tobacco Processing Company Begins Negotiations on New Production Season

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The Croatian tobacco processing company Hrvatski Duhani (HD), a member of the British American Tobacco Group, has begun negotiations on the new production season, the company said on Friday.

The new season is the continuation of the successful purchase of tobacco in 2021 when a total of HRK 81.6 million was paid out to tobacco producers, which is as much as HRK 6 million more than in 2020, HD said.

This is the largest volume and value of production in the last four harvests despite major challenges last year when inclement weather, including draught, hail, and frost, affected the quality and yield of tobacco. Given that HD had ensured the most favorable insurance terms, producers were paid more than HRK 16 million, the company said.

The company said that last year it had invested over HRK 18 million in machine harvesting and that about 50 percent of tobacco had been harvested mechanically. New technology helped reduce costs and increase yields while at the same time helping producers to overcome the problem of labor shortage.

HD said its goal was to continue to increase the quality and yield of tobacco and the profitability of producers in 2022.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business and travel sections.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Zagreb Mayor Hosts New Year Reception for Foreign Diplomats

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević has hosted the traditional New Year reception for foreign diplomats accredited in Croatia, acquainting them with the policies of his administration, the city administration said in a statement on Thursday evening. 

Thanking them for their constructive cooperation, the mayor acquainted members of the diplomatic corps with "the implementation of policies of change for a better Zagreb, for which he received support from the citizens" at the local election in May 2021, the statement said.

"One of the most important priorities is to stabilize the city's finances, as we have shown in the new budget for 2022. Reducing the debt, increasing the liquidity and efficiency of the city administration, while making sure that social rights, education, and health services remain intact, were the main guidelines in the preparation of the budget," Tomašević said.

He stressed the importance of the green transition and strengthening the capacity of the city-owned multi-utility conglomerate Zagrebački Holding, notably the waste disposal services.

He also noted a considerable increase in the number of applications for the reconstruction of public buildings damaged in the March 2020 earthquake, adding that he expected the government to support the city's efforts in that regard more effectively.

"Thank you everyone for supporting us in the process of rebuilding our city. In this respect, we are more than open to cooperation and the exchange of good experiences of your countries so that we can make Zagreb a better place for everyone," Tomašević said.

Speaking on behalf of the diplomatic corps, consular missions, and international organizations with offices in Zagreb, Apostolic Nuncio Giorgio Lingua wished the city administration success in their work for the benefit of Zagreb and all the people who live and work in it or visit it. "It would be our pleasure to expand our cooperation to help in the development of the city for the prosperity and wealth of all its citizens."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

How Can Croatia Handball Advance to EHF Euro 2022 Semifinals?

January 21, 2022 - Does Croatia handball have a chance at making the EHF Euro 2022 semifinals? Yes, but it won't be easy. 

Because the Croatia men's handball team did not transfer any points to the next phase of the competition and lost to Montenegro 32:26 in the first game of the second round, their chances of reaching the European Handball Championship semifinals are slim. However, there is a glimmer of hope, reports T.portal.

So, how can Croatia move to the knockout stage of the competition? 
1) The first condition is that Croatia can no longer lose and needs to win the next three games: Denmark (Saturday), Iceland (Monday), and the Netherlands (Wednesday). If they lose to Denmark, they have no shot. 
2) The second condition comes down to the other results, of which the key one is for France to beat Denmark in the group derby. In that case, France would be first in the group with ten points, Croatia and Denmark would have six points each, and Montenegro and Iceland four points each.
3) In addition, some other results must coincide, so it is so important that Montenegro beats the Netherlands on Saturday, and France beats Iceland.
4) Furthermore, Denmark should be expected to win against the Netherlands and France against Montenegro. It is also important that Iceland outplays Montenegro.

Thus, Croatia does not depend on themselves, and needing to secure three consecutive victories, including against powerhouses Denmark and Iceland, is not totally realistic. 

However, with so much at stake, coach Hrvoje Horvat decided to make several changes in the team in order to present the best possible players at the European Championship. 

Against Denmark tomorrow, Kristian Pilipović will be part of the team, who today (January 21, 2022), acquired the right to play for Croatia, in addition to Lovro Mihić and Mateo Maraš.

"We go game by game, defeat hurts and we are not happy that we lost. We are in a specific situation where we need to constantly revise, always start all over again. It will be very difficult to play, we will need to be maximally concentrated and provide the best possible game," said Horvat.

Croatia and Denmark meet on Saturday at 20:30. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 21 January 2022

Croatian Diaspora Book ''The Girl Who Left'' Earns Success in Australia

January 20, 2022 - The Croatian diaspora book ''The girl who left'' tells the story of Marija, a little girl from Blato who left her village to start a new life in Australia. The author is her daughter, Debra Gavranich. ''Ever since I was a child I have wanted to write my mother’s story. It is one of courage and hope''.

As years and decades go by, nostalgia and memories of the motherland begin to weigh more heavily, and the desire to pursue our origins and roots grows stronger. One of the most characteristic things about the Croatian diaspora is how far they have drifted from their country: Argentina, Chile, Canada, the United States, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, among others. We are talking about societies and geographies very different from those of their homeland. Nowadays, with so much distance both in space and time, how do they manage to get closer to the country in which their ancestors were born?

The first generations of Croats who emigrated kept the traditions of their families and their homeland and made sure to pass it on to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But what really inspires us to value our Croatian ancestry are their stories and tales about their families, their homeland, and, of course, the tough decision to leave it all behind. Some have already made their lives in other parts of the world, but proudly celebrate their roots to this day. Others have returned to "our beautiful homeland" to honor their ancestors. Both perspectives are equally valuable in learning more about Croatia.

croatian-diaspora-book-2_1.jpg

Portrait of Marija, Debra's mother.

The Croatian diaspora book ''The girl who left'', about Debra Gavranich's mother, Marija, is one of those stories that help celebrate Croatian heritage by sharing about the journey and experience of migration.

''My mother, Marija, was from Blato on the island of Korčula. Her childhood was impacted by the Second World War when her village was occupied by the Italians and then the Germans'', recalls Gavranich. ''Her older sister joined the Partisans as a code breaker for General Tito while Marija and her younger sister secretly helped the Partisans hiding in the hills. After the war, she agreed to a proxy marriage to my father, a sugar cane farmer in Australia. He had left the village as a child. A life in Australia with a husband she did not know was a risk worth taking and she left her family, friends, culture, and all she had known and traveled alone by ship to this foreign country. This is a story of a new migrant and the life she made for herself''.

croatian-diaspora-book-3-1.jpg

The town of Blato, on the island of Korčula; Marija's birthplace.

The Croatian diaspora book is called ''The girl who left'' and is published by Wild Dingo Press. It was released in August 2021 and has already sold thousands of copies. Aside from numerous launches in Australia, it was also launched in Blato, her mother's birthplace, on August 19th. ''There is a lot of interest in this book in Australia by the Croatian diaspora as well as the general public and the feedback has been wonderful'', adds Debra, who's been interviewed by several media. You can listen to her interviews with ABC Radio Australia from September 3rd, 2021, and September 24th, 2021.

''My publisher is currently searching for Croatian publishers so that this story can be translated and published in Croatia. I am hopeful. This story is representative of many of the Croatians that left their homeland and a little bit of their hearts behind as they made new lives in Australia'', says Debra.

To learn more about the Croatian diaspora, be sure to check our dedicated section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Rijeka-Belgrade Flight to Connect Krk with Several International Destinations

January 21, 2022 - The return of the Rijeka-Belgrade flight is already great news, but also because it allows travelers to connect to numerous destinations around the world. 

After the announced return of Ryanair and Condor, another very important airline that operated to Rijeka in the pre-pandemic period - Air Serbia - is returning to Rijeka Airport, reports Novi List.

After cutting the direct line to Belgrade in 2020 after the pandemic, Air Serbia returns to Krk with the Rijeka-Belgrade direct flight. The first flight is expected on June 15, and flights will run until September 17, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Tickets went on sale in the middle of the week, and the price of a one-way ticket is currently only 374 kuna, while the return ticket is 676 kuna. The flight lasts an hour and 20 minutes, and ATR72 aircraft will operate on this route.

Air Serbia launched flights to Rijeka in June 2019. The last flights ran in December of that year, after which they were suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. In that year, the direct line between Rijeka and Belgrade was established after thirty years, with the proviso being year-round, so even in winter, it was possible to fly to Belgrade. After the line was canceled due to the pandemic, there was talk that it would be permanently abolished, but, fortunately, those announcements proved wrong.

"Air Serbia offers good connections from Rijeka, via Belgrade, to Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Dusseldorf, Milan, New York, Oslo, Paris, Podgorica, Rome, Stockholm, and Tivat, as well as to Rijeka, via Belgrade, from Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels, Zurich, Frankfurt, Milan, Podgorica, Rome, Stuttgart, and Tivat," according to the Serbian national airline.

"We are happy to significantly improve and diversify our network by carefully selecting new destinations, following the wishes of passengers and strategic plans for future expansion," said Boško Rupić, sales manager at Air Serbia.

Commenting on the introduction of the new line, Irena Peršić Živadinov, director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, reminded of the importance of this market for the region and pointed out that the significance of this line is that the Serbian partner has several connecting flights. 

"It is an important market for us anyway. Guests from Serbia traditionally love Kvarner and are excellent consumers. They spend when they visit, considering that the upper class visits us. Moreover, they often come for extended weekends, so in that sense, the air connection from Belgrade to Rijeka will undoubtedly make their arrival easier. Another key feature of this line is that it has a lot of connecting flights, either with Europe or with further destinations such as New York or Moscow.

Therefore, this line is important to us not only for connecting with the Serbian market but also for easier access from several other markets. So we had the Belgrade-Rijeka flight set on the days of the week when the connecting flights were in Belgrade.

We have many additional airline connections with several countries," said Peršić Živadinov, adding that partners in Air Serbia are optimistic about the new route, especially since, for example, the route from Belgrade to Pula last year proved extremely popular.

Serbian tourists were loyal to Kvarner during the pandemic. According to the Kvarner Tourist Board, there were even more overnights by Serbian tourists in Kvarner in commercial accommodation last year than in the pre-pandemic 2019. Specifically, in 2019, about 21,000 guests from Serbia arrived in Kvarner, who spent about 111,000 nights, while last year, about 20,000 Serbian tourists arrived, who spent about 114,000 nights. If those in non-commercial accommodation, i.e., in cottages, are taken into account, overnight stays are doubled. In 2019, 206 thousand overnight stays were realized in commercial and non-commercial accommodation, and last year 190 thousand overnight stays.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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