Friday, 19 November 2021

Croatia Logs 65 COVID-19 Deaths, 2,234 New Infections

ZAGREB, 19 Nov 2021 - In the past 24 hours Croatia has registered 65 COVID-19-related deaths and 2,234 new infections, the national COVID-19 response team said on Friday.

The number of new infections is lower as is the number of tests conducted - 5,626, considering that Thursday was a public holiday.

A total of 2,539 COVID patients are hospitalised and 327 of them are on ventilators.

There are currently 34,973 active cases of the infection and 24,381 people are in self-isolation.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020, there have been a total of 560,504 registered cases of the contagion and 10,178 people have died.

A total of 515,353 people have recovered, including 6,230 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 51.73% of the population, that is, 61.79% of the adult population, has received at least one vaccine dose. 55.67% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.

Friday, 19 November 2021

12 Weekly Turkish Airlines Flights to Zagreb and Dubrovnik in December

November 19, 2021 - Twelve-weekly Turkish Airlines flights to Zagreb and Dubrovnik have been announced in December, with 10 to the capital and 2 to the Adriatic pearl! 

Star Alliance member and Turkish national airline Turkish Airlines has announced its December flight schedule, with operations to Zagreb and Dubrovnik up to 12 times a week on these two routes, reports Croatian Aviation.

Compared to November, Turkish Airlines will have only one less flight a week to Zagreb in December, but this will also be offset by the use of higher capacity aircraft between Istanbul and Zagreb. 

Istanbul - Zagreb - Istanbul
Turkish Airlines plans to operate 10 times a week between Zagreb and Istanbul in December, one flight less than in November. On a large number of flights (25 of them), Turkish will send Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft to Zagreb, and often A321 and B737-900ER aircraft. MAX9 aircraft have also been announced for two flights in December, but for now, there are no announcements of wide-body aircraft, as was the case in November. As was later confirmed, A330 Turkish Airlines came to Zagreb because of the cargo and not the passengers.

Turkish Airlines will operate twice a day on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and once a day on other days in December, totaling 10 weekly flights.

Thus, Turkish will offer a total of 14,846 seats on 46 return flights between Zagreb and Istanbul in December. 

Istanbul - Dubrovnik - Istanbul
The line between Dubrovnik and Istanbul also continues to operate in December, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. So far, Turkish has canceled only two flights to Dubrovnik in November.

According to current announcements, there will be 9 return flights between Dubrovnik and Istanbul in December, with A320 announced for 7 flights and smaller A319 aircraft for only two flights.

Turkish will offer a total of 2,646 seats between the two cities in December, which is enough this winter season with fewer tourists. 

Turkish Airlines plans to operate both to Dubrovnik and Zagreb for the rest of the winter. 

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

Friday, 19 November 2021

Rijeka Winter Pass Allows Offseason Visitors Free Entry to Best City Attractions

November 19, 2021 - The Rijeka Winter Pass is given to all visitors who book accommodation in the city for more than two nights, allowing them to explore a number of the city's best attractions for free! 

All visitors to Rijeka who stay in the city for two or more nights until March 31, 2022, have the opportunity to receive a Winter Pass, which allows them to visit the included attractions and facilities completely free of charge. Namely, it is a winter extension of the Rijeka Tourist Card, which will be available from April 1, 2022.

In addition to two major traditional events - Rijeka Advent and Rijeka Carnival, tourists can visit all museums, Art Quarter, Astronomical Center Rijeka, and Kantrida Pools for free.


As for museums, visitors can visit the City of Rijeka Museum, i.e., its exhibits in the Palace of Šećerana, Kockica, and Žabica, where there is an exhibition on the Rijeka torpedo, MMSU, Natural History Museum Rijeka, Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka, JGL Pharmacy Museum, Peek & Poke - Museum of Childhood and Museum of Informatics and Trsat Castle.

The Rijeka Winter Pass works in such a way that after booking accommodation for two or more nights in Rijeka, visitors will receive their Winter Pass upon arrival at the selected accommodation. The Winter Pass consists of a voucher with a QR code and will be sent to the visitor's e-mail. In addition, free entrance to selected sights is achieved by presenting a QR code at their entrance.

A Rijeka Winter Pass breakdown

  • Book accommodation for two or more nights in Rijeka and receive a Winter Pass as a gift from the Rijeka Tourist Board.
  • You will receive your Winter Pass upon your arrival at your chosen accommodation.
  • Your Winter Pass consists of a voucher with a QR code. The voucher will be sent to your e-mail address.
  • Show the QR code at the entrance of the selected landmark and get free entry.

In April, the Rijeka Tourist Card will take over from the Winter Pass, also providing the best discounts for the most important city attractions.

According to the Teaching Institute for Public Health PGC, all tourists can also receive rapid antigen testing for only 40 kuna, a practice that has been done since August 6, 2021. 

Tourists can still be tested at the Teaching Institute in Opatija, Crikvenica, Krk, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Rab, and Delnice, and at the headquarters of the Teaching Institute in Rijeka (at the address: Krešimirova 52a, Rijeka).

Tourists who have a voucher or a certificate from eVisitor showing their overnight stay, proving that they have stayed in a commercial accommodation facility for at least 3 nights, have the right to use this testing discount. In addition, tourists can get a residence permit in the facility where they are staying (hotel, camp, household facility, etc.).

More information on the Winter Pass can be found here

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 19 November 2021

No. 1 Seed Mektić and Pavić Move to Nitto ATP Finals Semi-Finals in Turin!

November 19, 2021 - The No. 1 doubles team in the world, Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, advanced to the Nitto ATP Finals semi-finals in Turin!

In the last match of the Green Group, they defeated Croatian tennis player Ivan Dodig and his Slovak partner Filip Polašek 6-4, 7-6 (6).

The Tokyo Olympic gold medalists thus remained in the competition to win their tenth tournament in 2021.

A break at 2:2 was enough for Mektić and Pavić to win the first set. With a 4:2 advantage, Mektić and Pavić had four consecutive break points and a 5:2 advantage, but Dodig and Polašek combined a few great points and stayed in the game.

And it nearly paid off for them, because with the Croatian duo's 5-4 advantage, Dodig and Polašek had two chances to equalize, but Pavič nailed two great serves to win the first set. 

Dodig and Polašek started the second set better and took the serve from Pavić for 2:0, but the Croatian aces immediately returned on Dodig's serve. By the end of the set, Pavić excelled with three fantastic returns in the tie break. With one, Pavić secured the second match point.

With two victories and one defeat, Mektić and Pavić took second place in the Green Group. Their semifinal opponent, which will be the winners of the Red Group, will be learned on Friday.

Dodig and Polašek finished third in the group with one win and two defeats.

First place in this group was secured by Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentinean Horacio Zeballos with victories against Dodig and Polašek and Mektić and Pavić in the first two rounds. On Thursday, they lost an unimportant duel to German Kevin Krawietz and Romanian Horia Tecau, who remained last in the group despite the victory.

The Nitto ATP Finals crown the end of the ATP Tour season, featuring only the world's best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams. The tournament is held at Turin’s Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena, from 2021-2025. 

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

Friday, 19 November 2021

Price Hike for ZET Tickets? Tomislav Tomasevic Hints at Increase

November the 19th, 2021 - ZET tickets could be a target for an increase as things in Zagreb's city administration shift considerably under a mayor who is very different indeed to the late Milan Bandic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the budget of the City of Zagreb next year should end with a surplus of 300 million kuna. This is perhaps the biggest sensation for the capital's budget, which was presented recently by Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic.

The budget will total 15 billion and 120 million kuna, which is an increase of one billion and one hundred million kuna when compared to last year. The reason is the costs of loans, interest and loans to banks and the state, which are 700 million kuna higher than last year, and the city government intends to cover those 700 million kuna with savings. The largest of them is the abolition of the parent-educator measure, and the plan there is to save as much as 283 million kuna. Other savings will be spent on salaries, fees, IT equipment, and material costs.

Total revenues will be higher by as much as one billion and 500 million kuna, and the biggest item in the increase in revenue is the sale of city property in the amount of 680 million kuna. Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic spoke about everything recently as a guest on RTL Direkt.

"In four years, the previous government has accumulated a deficit of 1 billion and 300 million kuna and now we have to accumulate a surplus of 300 to 300 over the next four years to reduce any late payments because the accumulated deficit turned into overdue liabilities that we inherited. To reduce delays we need to go into a surplus. This is the first time the city budget has even planned a surplus,'' he said, adding that Zagreb needs to find room for a surplus to offset the accumulated deficit.

When asked about potential ZET ticket price increases, he said that his new administration would get to that and that huge subsidies were planned for ZET, the city's public transport system.

“We finance almost 80 percent of ZET's costs from the city budget. There will still be free tickets for socially vulnerable groups of pensioners and students,'' he said.

That said, it looks like ZET tickets are due to be more expensive.

"As for ZET tickets, we'll wait for the new management of ZET to come into the story. The budget includes investments, we're going to purchase 20 low-floor trams that we plan to finance from the NPOO, which is a value of 300 million kuna in the next four years,'' Tomasevic stated.

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

Friday, 19 November 2021

Does Government Have Plan for Continuation of Borovo's Business?

November the 19th, 2021 - The Vukovar-based company Borovo, which has always been synonymous with Croatia's Hero City, has been suffering with issues since long before the coronavirus pandemic struck. But does the government have a plan?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, yet another year has passed, and the restructuring programme of the Vukovar footwear manufacturer Borovo still hasn't been placed on the agenda of the Government and the Assembly. It's a complex issue and because of the area in which this once large industrialist is located, it's also a sensitive case involving a problematic state-owned company which has already passed the stages of pre-bankruptcy settlement and financial consolidation.

A new plan to save production, which still employs about 600 workers, has been in the works for a long time for Borovo. At the beginning of last year, the consulting company KPMG began preparing the restructuring programme, which was requested by the majority owner of the Centre for Restructuring and Sales (CERP). More precisely, as explained by Borovo's management, KPMG has arranged the framework of the programme. The first phase included looking deeply into the current situation, the second phase involved the analysis of the future situation and proposing business improvement measures, but the third phase, which is crucial for implementation, has yet to be determined or confirmed. It envisages the recapitalisation of Borovo that would be carried out by the state, but the details on it haven't been published.

"The model of refinancing our liabilities and recapitalisation is an integral part of the restructuring plan, which is in the final phase of the agreement and we can talk about it more precisely after its adoption," said Gordana Odak of Borovo. However, she hasn't offered much of a glimpse into the reasons as to why the case hasn't yet found itself firmly on the table of the government.

All that has been stated is the expectation for the plan to be completed by the end of the year, so that it can be adopted and implemented at the beginning of the year. It sounds incredible, because neither the City of Vukovar, nor the state, nor the programme of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, have come up with a final solution to this case, which is obviously less than comfortable for any government to try to deal with. The weak point they refer to in closer circles is the question of whether this restructuring programme should be sent to the European Commission for approval before adoption. Meanwhile, the company, which is already struggling to maintain its business, is additionally struggling in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the report for the last business year, Borovo's management states that the company "isn't able to independently settle all of its regular due liabilities and independently maintain and finance current operations". This burden has been inherited, as have the emerging problems from lengthy lawsuits. The pandemic is yet another weight to carry. One of the details from the list is that Borovo has an unresolved property issue in the amount of 150 million kuna, of which a significant part is the issue of interstate agreements. The biggest "weakness" are liabilities to Croatia Osiguranje (Insurance) for a loan of 6.1 million kuna.

Last year's revenues totaled 89.5 million kuna and were 28 percent lower than in pre-pandemic 2019. The President of the Management Board says that last year's retail revenues fell by 22 million kuna compared to 2019, and compared to the pre-pandemic results from 2019, these revenues from the first nine months of 2020 were lower by as much as 6 million kuna. The only very slight increase hasn't provided much satisfaction to Borovo, which is aiming for 2019 levels, and there is full awareness that the recovery from the consequences of the ongoing pandemic will take longer than expected.

KPMG's restructuring programme, which refers to the situation and the necessary measures for maintaining business across a five-year period, envisages a reduction in sales outlets and the number of employees, a change in the production process itself in which the leather range should be reduced and an increase the share of rubber products and specialised work footwear should occur.

According to official data, Borovo currently has 74 stores, and the restructuring plan envisages the permanent closure of 10 to 15 outlets that are now unprofitable, and this process would be realised gradually, over a five-year period. The number of employees would be reduced at the same pace, with the figures not being communicated for the time being, but it has been emphasised that this procedure will go through a gradual natural outflow with retirement.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Varazdin Startup Identyum First in Croatia to Get ISO 27701 Certificate

November the 19th, 2021 - The Varazdin startup Identyum is the first and currently the only company in the Republic of Croatia to possess a special certificate, commonly referred to as the GDPR certificate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Varazdin startup Identyum Consortium, the creator of the Identyum digital ID wallet, is the first in all of Croatia to be accredited with the prestigious ISO 27701 certificate, also known as the "GDPR certificate for companies".

It confirms that the Varazdin startup Identyum manages the security of personal data of its users in accordance with best information security practices and is fully compliant with the provisions of the GDPR, ie the General Regulation on Personal Data Protection.

"For Identyum, this certificate is of particular importance because it proves that the protection of personal data of users is an absolute priority, which raises the level of trust of end users that their data will be protected," they said from the startup, which is celebrating three years of business this November.

This latest accreditation is a supplement to the ISO 27001 certificate, which the Varazdin startup Identyum met the criteria for back in August this year. It is designed for companies that manage and process users' personal data, and requires them to address specific risks, including those related to personal data and privacy. ''This achievement confirms the seriousness with which we treat information security within our company. Our internal processes are strictly adjusted to the highest international security standards,'' said Identyum's director Robert Ilijas.

According to the ISO Survey for the year 2020, 321 companies in Croatia were certified to the ISO 27001 standard last year, but so far only Identyum has been certified to the ISO 27701 standard.

Their 21st century digital ID card allows people to sign digital documents using their mobile devices and store personal information. In doing so, Identyum's system is designed so that it cannot access the personal data of users stored in their ID wallets. The specified data is always under the exclusive control of end users because during each storage they are encrypted with the user's PIN, making them inaccessible to anyone, until the user explicitly allows access to that personal data, meaning that they must first give consent and enter the PIN, allowing the decryption of their data for exactly the recipient to whom they allowed access.

Last year, the Varazdin startuo Identyum was also the first in all of Croatia and the region to receive a license from the Croatian National Bank (CNB) to provide account information services. They have thus successfully completed the process of “passporting” their AISP license and enrolling in the EBA Electronic Register. A company licensed as an AISP, after obtaining explicit consent from the end user, may link to their bank account and use their bank details to provide other financial services.

After fulfilling all of the stringent the conditions, Identyum was able to provide information services in 30 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Lithuania , Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and of course Croatia.

They also announced that they will present even more good news in the next few months, and the goal, as they conclude, is to contribute to the ongoing digital transformation of Croatia.

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

Friday, 19 November 2021

Lastovo Underwater Robot to Help Children Explore What Lies Beneath

November the 19th, 2021 - The new Lastovo underwater robot is set to aid children in exploring what lies beneath the surface of the sparkling Croatian Adriatic sea. 

As Morski writes, the Lastovo Elementary School is now richer for an underwater robot with which children will collect valuable information about the marine environment and thus become real little scientists. From this week on, the younger residents of this protected area will have the opportunity to explore their marine and coastal environment and record the changes they see over time, thanks to the project "Civic Science: Measurements and Observations of the Sea".

''Senegalese scientist Baba Dium once said that in the end we'll preserve only what we love, love only what we understand, and we'll understand only what we've been taught. WWF felt that this project was at the core of that thought, so we decided to participate in it in a partnership. Children learn much faster than adults do, and they'll inherit this sea in which our traditions and heritage are deeply anchored,'' said Mosor Prvan, head of the marine programme at WWF Adria.

This project also builds technological literacy and prepares children for 21st century occupations in science and technology.

''This Lastovo underwater robot has the ability to dive to a depth of 100 metres and work for up to almost two hours at a time. The robot is controlled by a mobile phone, can record videos and photos, and comes with a robotic arm that can take samples for research purposes. In addition to the Lastovo underwater robot, we also donated a 3D printer to the school to further interest them in STEM technologies, and encourage children to creatively and independently create various models and shapes with this modern technology,'' emphasised Paolo Zenzerovic, the project manager at IRIM.

In addition to collecting valuable data from the marine world surrounding Lastovo, this experience will build a sense of responsibility towards the sea in young children and create a generation of future citizens aware of the importance of preserving and quality management of the marine environment.

While we all declaratively love the sea, looking at the negative changes happening is a question of how much we truly understand what's going on. Through this project, children will have the opportunity to see and understand the consequences of our activities in the Croatian Adriatic. It will give them the opportunity to, through understanding the changes that are taking place, better get to grips with sustainable sea management, love it even more and preserve it in a far better manner than we were able to,'' concluded Prvan.

The project "Civil Science: Measurements and Observations of the Sea" which is providing the Lastovo underwater robot is implemented by IRIM - Croatian Makers, the European Centre Wergeland (EWC) from Norway, WWF Adria and HGSS (Croatian Mountain Rescue Service).

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

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Lanterns Floated Down the Danube in Memory of Fallen and Missing Defenders, Civilians

ZAGREB, 18 Nov 2021 - Several hundred lit red and white lanterns were floated down the river Danube on Thursday evening in memory of Croatian defenders and civilians killed or gone missing in the defense of Vukovar from the Great Serbia aggression in 1991.

Red lanterns were lit in memory of the missing persons and white lanterns for the fallen defenders and civilians.

According to data collected by the Franciscan monastery in Vukovar, 2,717 persons were killed or went missing in Vukovar in the military aggression of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Serb paramilitary groups.

Another 386 persons are on the list of persons detained or gone missing in the Homeland War, having disappeared without a trace in wartime Vukovar.

On the occasion of Vukovar Remembrance Day, tens of thousands of persons from Croatia and Bosnia, and Herzegovina passed through the city in the Remembrance Procession on Thursday on the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the city's defense, police estimates.

For the latest news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Respects Paid to Vukovar and Škabrnja Victims at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

ZAGREB, 18 Nov 2021- Respects were paid to Vukovar and Škabrnja victims at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and that gesture sends a strong message that the truth about the events of Croatia's Homeland War has crossed Croatian borders, said Defence Minister Mario Banožić, the Ministry of Defence reported on Thursday.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, Remembrance Day for Homeland War Victims, and Vukovar and Škabrnja Remembrance Day, the Croatian flag was flown at half-mast to commemorate all Vukovar and Škabrnja victims.

Minister Banožić said that the gesture sent a strong message that the truth about the events of the Homeland War had crossed the borders of our country, which was an additional motive for continuing to promote the truth about the Homeland War, especially among young people.

"Today we are reminded of the importance of collective security and how much easier it would have been for us to oppose threats to our territorial integrity during the Homeland War if we had been a member of NATO then. Today, the Republic of Croatia and the Croatia Armed Forces are appreciated among their allies and partners, which show how much we have done in the past 30 years and that with will, effort and perseverance there are no impossible goals," said Defence Minister Mario Banožić.

He underscored that Croatia was a responsible ally that contributed to international missions, global peace, and security, the ministry said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.


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