Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Varazdin Company Koka First to Receive Proven Quality Label for Poultry

January the 24th, 2023 - The Varazdin company Koka has become the very first company based in the Republic of Croatia to receive the Proven quality - Croatia (Dokazana kvaliteta - Hrvatska) label for its poultry meat.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Varazdin company Koka was the first to receive and use the aforementioned label for its poultry meat, which proves that the product was really produced within the framework of Croatian fattening capacities and the animals were fed with purely domestic grain.

Upon visiting the Varazdin company Koka's factory, Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic noted that the first applicants for the same label were Croatian apple producers, followed by associated producers in the vegetable sector, egg producers, and those in meat processing.

"Producers in the pork sector are still in the process of getting their products marked with this label, and I'm looking forward to the readiness of our internationally recognised producer Vindija to take over and develop the Proven quality - Croatia label for domestically produced milk," said Vuckovic.

She also stated that the label that Koka's products carry from now on is indisputable proof that everything within that product has been produced right here in the Republic of Croatia according to exact and stringent specifications, from the breeding to the laying of the eggs to one-day-old chicks and their fattening up, all the way to the raising of the birds and food that they were fed on.

"It's a ''from field to table'' concept that promotes short supply chains and offers honest information about quality food to all consumers," emphasised Vuckovic, stating that slightly less than 700 million kuna has been contracted in the area of Varazdin County from the Rural Development Programme which offers funds for different investment projects and various types of support.

For more on Croatian companies and products, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Croatia Beats Bahrain, Needs a Miracle from Egypt for World Handball Championship Quarter-finals

January 23, 2023 - Croatia beat Bahrain 43:32 in their last match of the second round. They now need a miracle from Egypt tonight for a chance at the World Handball Championship quarter-finals. 

Croatia met Bahrain in their last match of the second round on Monday in Malmo, Sweden. While Croatia can only theoretically advance to the quarter-finals, a win was crucial for the Olympic Games qualifiers.  

Hrvoje Horvat's team needed a convincing victory against Bahrain to catch up to Denmark. And in addition to a win, Croatia also needs Egypt to beat Denmark tonight at 8:30 pm. Denmark currently has a goal difference of +39, and Croatia +17. 

It is important to note that Egypt has already secured a spot in the quarter-finals because it is in first place with eight points, while Denmark has a point less.

As mentioned above, with a victory of any kind, Croatia secures a place in the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games. Croatia can thank their outstanding game against Denmark for that. 

Lineups

Croatia: Šunjić, Kuzmanović; Duvnjak, Gojun, Kraljević, Šarac, Karačić, Musa, Šebetić, Cindrić, Grahovac, Martinović, Šušnja, Šipić, Glavaš, Jelinić

Bahrain: Eid, Al Salatna, Al Samahiji, Ali, Isa, Qambar, Abdulredha, Fadhul, M. Ali, M. Ali, Alzaimoor, Mahfoodh, Ali, Mohamed, Mohamed, Al Sayyad

Match recap 

Bahrain scored the first goal of the game before Croatia equalized in the 2nd minute for 1:1. Martinovic scored for 3:3 in the 3rd and Sarac for 3:3 a minute later. Both teams had used every attack by the 5th minute - 4:4

Cindric and Martinovic made it 6:5, but Croatia's defense was having trouble. Bahrain was going goal for goal. While Bahrain went ahead for a few minutes, Karacic brought Croatia back to 8:8 in the 14th minute. 

And by the 17th minute, both teams were still equal - 11:11. 

Croatia finally went up by two goals in the 20th minute, but by the 22nd, Bahrain returned for 13:13. 

Croatia got it together in the final five minutes of the first half and was up by three goals in the 29th minute. But Croatia only went into halftime ahead by one goal - 17:16. 

By the 34th minute, Croatia went up by three goals again, and by the 39th minute, it was 22:19. Martinovic made it 24:19 in the 40th. 

It was 28:20 for Croatia in the 44th minute and 29:22 in the 46th. 

Croatia's attack was playing well, and Cindric scored for 31:23 with 12 minutes to go. 

Croatia went up by ten goals in the 51st minute and up by 12 goals with two minutes to go! It was 41:29 with a minute and a half left. 

The match ended 43:32 for Croatia. Martinovic was named the man of the match. 

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

Employment in Croatia on Record High Levels, Job Ads Popping up Daily

January 23, 2023 - Good trends in the Croatian labour market. One million and 617 thousand residents are currently working, with the level of employment in Croatia last being that high back in 2008. In addition, the country marks record low unemployment, equal to the average of the European Union: 121,189 residents.

However, as Poslovni / HRT report, long-term unfavorable trends are still present. The aging population and the outflow of working-age people to other European countries. The ratio between employees and pensioners is still unfavorable - the number of workers per pensioner is 1:1.32. The job market opportunities, though, are changing faster than ever before.

Living in Croatia and working remotely for an employer who may not even be in the same time zone is an increasingly popular form of work in the country. Globalization has also affected Croatia. Employers based in the country have fewer and fewer professionals at their disposal because it is more profitable for such workers to be self-employed and freelance.

Labour market

"This means significant support for foreign employers, who are not registered in the Republic of Croatia, which means that the high subsidies given for independent work should be abolished compared to work based on an employment contract," said Hrvoje Balen, the president of Algebra's Board of Directors and president of the Executive Board of HUP ICT.

The demand for labour is still very strong. For example, employers in tourism are starting to look for workers earlier every season. Last year, 120,000 permits were issued to foreign workers, while at the same time, we have an equal number of unemployed people.

"We certainly expect growth; I think this is a strong growth that will not be pronounced in the future; we expect an increase of twenty to thirty percent, it is difficult to estimate at this moment because a lot of these work permits are extended permits for people to stay and work in Croatia," said Ivan Vidiš, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

There are more and more job ads, with a 22 increase in their number compared to 2019 on the Moj Posao portal alone. However, job advertisements from foreign employers do not follow this trend.

"Unfortunately, our market is exhausted, and in principle, there is a reduction in foreign advertisements in Croatia. Simply, so many people have moved out of Croatia that now it is more difficult for foreigners to find them, and they are looking further south, further east, on other continents", said the director of the Moj Posao portal, Igor Žonja.

Experts expect that there could be a slowdown in economies this year, which will also affect the labour market.

"We can see a certain slowdown, a cooling of the economy, and the labour market will feel this trend with a small lag; maybe sometime in the spring, slightly lower demand for work will be felt. It all very, very much depends on how much this recession in our foreign partners will hurt Croatia, how deep it will be, and how long it will last", stressed Dr. sc. Marina Tkalec, Institute of Economics, Zagreb.

In addition, due to inflation, higher wages will be in demand. Although we have more money in our wallets, it is worth less because inflation has grown faster than wages.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

The Future is Here: Insect Flour Approved for Sale in Croatia

January 23, 2023 - Some new, unusual products will start appearing on the shelves of Croatian shops from January 24. The European Food Safety Agency approved it, concluding that the consumption of insect flour is not only 100 percent safe but also healthy.

Can you imagine a grasshopper, a mealworm, or a house beetle on your plate? From next week, in the form of insect flour, you'll be able to find them on the shelves of shops throughout Croatia, writes Dnevnik.

The European Food Safety Agency has approved insects as a food product and included them in the "novel food" category. This approval could pave the way for other insects, such as grasshoppers, ants, crickets, flies, and larvae.

"First, we had to get approval at the level of regulatory status to call it a new food," explained nutritionist Darija Vranešić Bender and pointed out: "They contain a lot of protein, from 55 to 85 percent of protein in 100 grams, which would be significantly more than compared to meat, beef, chicken and so on.''

Aleksander Gavrilović is the owner of the first certified insect factory, and his flour is waiting to be sold. The taste, he says, can vary: "If you feed the animal with chocolate the day before, you will get a chocolate flavour. Give them chocolate, apples, blackberries - you'll get all those flavours. You can use the flour to make anything - pancakes, bread, cakes.''

It is quite powdery under your fingers, it looks similar to cocoa powder, and the smell is pure chocolate, Dnevnik Nova TV reporter Sara Duvnjak described her impressions.

Vranešić believes that no matter how traditional Croatian people are, they are becoming more and more open to new cuisines: "If we look at other civilizations, they have consumed such foods in abundance for quite a long time. We call it entomophagy.

In certain Asian countries, insects are used as a crunchy dessert that, most importantly, does not cause weight gain. The nutritionist explains why: "They are of a relatively favourable fat content, which is approximately 20 to 30 percent, and a lot of that are unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are also beneficial for our health''.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

Croatian Radio New York Launches Podcast Called Study in Croatia

January the 23rd, 2023 - Something new for the diaspora across the pond in the United States of America which aims to keep them connected to the homeland of their parents or grandparents. Croatian Radio New York's new podcast is likely to attract many.

Croatian Radio New York launches a podcast ‘Study in Croatia’. The aim of this podcast is to inform high school students, their parents, relatives and friends about the possibilities and admission processes for studying at the Croatian universities and colleges. During the first two podcasts, six higher education institutions were presented. Podcasts were hosted by Joseph Bogovic, senior at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, Srecko Mavrek, Croatian Radio NY host, Sara Skoda, college counselor at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, and Petra Pesa, Croatian Radio NY president and host. Boris Vilic, dean of the School of Professional Studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania, gave his introductory and final remarks to the podcast participants. He also introduced his voluntary work as a chair of the charitable foundation of the Association of Croatian American Professionals, ACAP, through which he led the creation of the Domovina Birthright Summer Program and several collaborations with institutions in higher education in Croatia.

Podcast Study in Croatia 1

Studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia (RIT Croatia) was presented by dean Don Hudspeth, a Canadian that has been with RIT Croatia since the beginning and lives with his family in Dubrovnik, and Ivan Smoljan, Recruitment and Enrollment Specialist. Valentina Vucenik, RIT Croatia freshmen, described her experience and student’s life in Zagreb.

Izabela Oletic Tusek, Head of International Department at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics (FOI) in Varazdin, and prof dr. sc. Violeta Vidacek Hains, Head of Student Research Symposium in collaboration with Universities in USA and College Professor, introduced studying options at the FOI. Students Jerry John Antolos and Erik Duranec described their views and excitement about studying at the FOI in Varazdin.

Dean Dr. Sc. Mato Njavro introduced the Zagreb School of Economics and Management (Croatian: Zagrebačka škola ekonomije i managementa, abbreviated as ZŠEM), which is a private business school located in Zagreb. Founded in 2002, ZSEM provides undergraduate and graduate education in economics, management, finance, marketing, and accounting. ZSEM has been voted the best business school in Croatia for five consecutive years, most recently in 2012, and is Croatia's largest private institution of higher education. In 2013, the Zagreb School of Economics and Management became the first business school in Croatia to receive AACSB accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as AACSB International, is an American professional organization. It was founded as the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business in 1916 to provide accreditation to schools of business, and was later known as the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business and as the International Association for Management Education. Ruzica Lipovac, student at ZSEM, was born and raised in New York. She moved to Zagreb and followed in her older brother’s footsteps to enroll in the Zagreb School of Economics & Management. As a former International Baccalaureate student, with all her studies being in English, she wanted to continue having a global learning experience. The knowledge obtained has given her the expertise to help run businesses in the US and Croatia.  

Lovre Kolega, ZSEM alumni, is from the USA, specifically Florida. He moved to Croatia in 2013 to attend high school and continued studies at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management - completing the undergraduate program in Economics and Management. During studies at ZSEM, with the support of ZSEM's Career Center he got an internship at Rimac Technology, where he was immediately hired after graduating and where he is currently continuing his career path as a Project Coordinator.

The University of Rijeka is in the City of Rijeka, the third largest city in Croatia and the main Croatian port. As one of the largest universities in the region, it comprises 12 Faculties and 4 Departments, which offer more than 172 accredited study programs. University of Rijeka welcomes international students through student mobility stays, degree study programs or research/guest activities. To support mobility, the University has signed more than 600 bilateral Erasmus agreements with 30 countries and takes part in various bilateral and multilateral ventures in higher education. Students who wish to enroll in full degree study programs at University of Rijeka have the possibility of choosing study programs in English and Croatian language, attainable on undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate study level. Podcast speakers from the University of Rijeka were:

Prof Dr. Sc. Marta Zuvic, vice-rector for studies, students and quality assurance University of Rijeka

Marija Spoljaric  - Student International Business at Business College at University of Rijeka, student ambassador on the Ambassador Platform

Tyler Zanki – alumni born and raised in New Jersey to Croatian Parents. Graduated with a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering in May of 2020. A year ago, he moved to Croatia, and now is studying at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology at the University of Zagreb. 

Aspira University College is a private college and a nonprofit institution, which organizes and conducts professional studies of Sport Management, Computer Science – Program Engineering, International Management in Hospitality and Tourism and Hospitality and Tourism Management. Aspira was presented by the following speakers:

Petra Mandac – Assistant Dean of International Cooperation

Josip Radic – International Relations Coordinator

Laura Mishevska - student

Algebra University College offers to the next generation of its students a possibility to study in English on validated bachelor study programs in the fields of computing, design and management and a unique chance to receive a Dual Degree from AUC and Goldsmiths, University of London. Algebra University College is the flagship of largest private educational organization in Republic of Croatia and the region (Algebra group), present today in more than 20 cities across Croatia. Founded in 1998, they currently have more than 150 full-time employees and more than 600 associated experts and higher educational faculties employed also in industry. Algebra is located in historic CUC campus in the heart of Croatian capital Zagreb, while adult education and training programs are conducted also in: Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Varazdin and Dubrovnik, as well as in more than ten other smaller cities. Algebra University College was presented by:

Hrvoje Josip Balen – President of the Board of Trustees at Algebra University College   and

Lidija Šimrak - Head of the International Office at Algebra University College.

“It was a great pleasure to moderate this informative podcast together with Joseph, who is such talented young man. Valentina was also a great contributor to discussions. I strongly believe in a big potential of the young people. My hope is that studying in Croatia will strengthen the ties between Croatia and Croatian communities around the world and develop solidarity among Croatian youth from many diaspora communities and homeland”, said Mavrek.

Podcast Study in Croatia 3 2

For more on the Croatian diaspora, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Fantastic Donna Vekic Advances to Australian Open Quarterfinal

January 32, 2023 - Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic advanced to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open after defeating the 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova in the fourth round with 6:2, 1:6, 6:3 after two hours and seven minutes of play.

As Index writes, Donna Vekic played the first set brilliantly against the young Czech, hitting winners from all positions, but in the second part of the game, there was a big drop in the game of this 26-year-old Osijek player.

She lined up with unforced errors, so the third set decided the winner. Before the final set, Vekic went to the dressing room and took almost ten minutes of rest, which had a positive effect. For Vekic, this is her second entry into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament after the US Open in 2019.

Her opponent will be fifth seed Arina Sabalenka, who knocked out Olympic winner Belinda Bencic 7:5, 6:2 in the fourth round. Vekic and Sabalenka have played six times so far, with the Croatian tennis player winning five times.

They met in the quarterfinals of San Diego (2022), at the Olympic Games (2021), in the semifinals of San Jose (2019), in the second round of Cincinnati (2017), and the first round of St. Petersburg (2016), and in the semifinals of the same tournament (2017).

"This is the first time I feel like I can win a Grand Slam"

Vekic knocked out Oksana Selehmetova, Ljudmila Samsonova, Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, and Linda Fruhvirtov on her way to her biggest success at the first Grand Slam of the season. Here is what Donna Vekic stated before the match with the Czech player:

"Everything started to fall into place at the end of last year. I played really well after the US Open; I improved a lot in Thailand and San Diego, where many wins inspired a lot of confidence. I saw that I could play at the top level again. After the surgery, it took me a year to get back to that level, and I'm glad it continues at the beginning of 2023."

"Perhaps because of all the difficulties I had with injuries, I now appreciate it more when I have the opportunity to play, especially in the biggest stadiums and tournaments. Of course, it's even better if I win; I have a clear goal in my head, tennis fulfills me, and I'm completely dedicated to achieving that goal," said Donna Vekic, then explained what that goal was.

"Every tennis player's goal is to win the Grand Slam, but the difference is that for the first time in my life, I believe I can do it," concluded the currently 64th player in the WTA ranking. The best ranking in her career was 19. She won three singles tournaments, where she earned almost 5.7 million dollars.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

The Vegliot Dialect - The Krk Romance Language Extinct Since 1898

January the 23rd, 2023 - The Vegliot dialect, which is also often referred to as Vegliotic, is a now extinct Romance language once spoken on the island of Krk. The last speaker of the Vegliot dialect was Antonio Udina (Tuone Udaina), who passed away in June 1898. Little is known about the dialect named after the Italian name for Krk (Veglia).

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian

A brief history of the Vegliot dialect

Of the now extinct languages once spoken on modern Croatian territory, we've looked into Istrian-Albanian, which became extinct in the nineteenth century after being introduced to parts of Istria by ethnic Albanians settled there by Venice who spoke in the Gheg (or Geg) variety of modern Albanian. Now we'll jump back into our linguistic time machine and head back into the island of Krk's past, during which the Vegliot dialect was spoken all the way until June 1898, when the last person to speak it died.

As mentioned above, the Vegliot dialect is named after the Italian name for Krk - Veglia, and its closest ''relative'' is believed to be Istro-Romanian, another Romance language once spoken more widely spoken across the Istrian peninsula, more precisely in the nothwestern parts near the Cicarija mountain range. There are two groups of speakers despite the fact that the language spoken by both is more or less absolutely identical, the Vlahi and the Cici, the former coming from the south side of the Ucka mountain, and the latter coming from the north side.

This language has been described as the smallest ethnolinguistic group in all of Europe, and without a lot more effort being put into preservation, the next few decades to come will almost certainly result in the complete extinction of the Istro-Romanians and their language.

A  Western Italian dialect of Dalmatic, the Vegliot dialect was once spoken by a group of Morlachs (pastoralists) who were engaged in herding. As each of these individuals passed away, the last remaining was speaker was the aforementioned Antonio Udina, who was often affectionately called Burbur.

Antonio Udina (Tuone Udaina)

Udina was born in 1823 on the island of Krk, and died on June the 10th, 1898, losing his life in a road mine explosion and taking the Vegliot dialect with him into the beyond. Nicknamed Burbur, Udina is deemed the last person to fluently speak in the Vegliot dialect, but he was in actual fact not a native speaker of this language. He had learned the dialect (or language, for argument's sake) from his parents who both hailed from the island of Krk and spoke it as their native tongue.

Well known Italian linguist Matteo Bartoli wrote a paper on Dalmatian/Dalmatic language(s) way back in 1897, in what was to be the final full year of Udina's life. At that time, Udina had not spoken in that language for around twenty years, and he had also suffered dental issues so severe they had affected the movements of his mouth and as such he speech, and on top of that - he was also deaf.

Despite being deemed the last speaker of the Vegliot dialect, he is not considered a reliable source in regard to this language owing to his health issues. That said, after Udina was killed in a road mine explosion, the Vegliot dialect also died and is unlikely to ever be heard again.

 

For more on the Croatian language and the many dialects and subdialects spoken across this small but diverse country, make sure to check out our lifestyle section. An edition on language is published every Monday.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

More Questions on Missing Russian Yacht Irina Vu in Croatia

January 22, 2023 - The story surrounding the missing Russian yacht Irina VU is getting weirder and weirder. There are many questions, these are the most important by Vedran Salvia for Index.hr

TODAY's statement by the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, has deepened the issue of the sailing of the Russian yacht under the sanctions of Irina VU, and not resolved it.

She had to go through police and border control in Dubrovnik

What we knew until today is that the luxury yacht Irina VU, owned by the wife of Russian oligarch Ališer Usmanov, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was under EU, US and UK sanctions and was prohibited from sailing.

She was anchored in Betina on Murter, and according to the information from the website, she sailed from the Betina marina on October 6 at 10:14, and on October 9 around 12:00, she was in the Turkish port of Didim. In order for the yacht to leave Croatian territorial waters, it had to go through police and border control and control by the Port Authority in Dubrovnik.

Let's also recall the words of Frano Matušić at the beginning of the text, that is, on July 13, a decision was made to freeze the yacht. How did something like that get around the police? I guess that should be more important than the remark of one employee of the port master's office to other port masters' offices.

After all, what about the employees of the marina and shipyard on Murter? How did they not see that there was no yacht that was under sanctions and how was no one informed about it for three months? Furthermore, the people in charge at the marina and the boathouse had to give permission because a yacht that is in dry dock cannot be launched just like that.

To put such a vessel into operation, as we have learned from unofficial conversations with port and marina employees, a crane must be raised, the ship lowered into the sea according to someone's request, the crew must be notified. So, you need to do some paperwork, do all those actions that precede her sailing.

How did the crew know the surveillance system didn't see the blockage?

All the entities mentioned in this text were contacted by Index, looking for answers, which apparently are still not available to the public. We did not receive answers to written inquiries, and phone calls, as usually happens on Fridays in state institutions and companies, did not bear fruit. We were only answered by SOA, writing that they cannot comment on this case.

The most important questions are the ones we asked Butković's ministry. We were interested in who was supervising the yacht in the Betina skver (we asked the skver himself), but also who issued the order to lower the yacht into the sea, as well as whether permission was issued for it to set sail.

We asked this ministry, as well as the MUP and the Dubrovnik police, how the ship passed the border control in Dubrovnik. Finally, we were also interested in how the crew knew that the surveillance system did not see the blockage that Minister Butković was talking about today.

If they had known this, some logic dictates, they would not have gone to the border control, which they obviously had to cross. We were also interested in who made up the crew and what the sealing of the vessel implies, i.e. whether it also means a mechanical ban on driving the vehicle.

Hajdaš Dončić: There is no system, no control

Another state secretary, the one in the relevant ministry of the sea, Alen Gospočić told Slobodna Dalmacija that this is pure theft, so it is unclear how it was not reported as such, which is actually the story's context.

He also said something interesting to Slobodna Dalmacija - that they cannot have security guards in the ports and that it is an open marina, where everyone can come without any problems. "In the port of Betina, everything is open to anyone's access. Both you and I can come there, walk along the waterfront and jump on any yacht that is moored there.

The Ministry informed the port that the yacht was blocked, the harbor master issued an instruction to the authorities that the yacht should not be accessed in any way, and the Ministry does not hire security services for 24-hour guarding of other people's property, nor does it plan to do so, because such a system is unsustainable ", says Gospočić.

After all, Slobodna Dalmacija rightly asked itself how it is possible for the company Brodogradilište i marina, whose founder is Adut Konzalting, a company from Split, to let a ship leave without paying its bill. Especially the one that is under sanctions and is 35 meters long.

We also called the former line minister Siniša Hajdaš Dončić. "My brown yacht sails in the basement under the manhole, that's how one could characterize the total absence of a control system in Plenković's, sorry Luj 14 administration.

The harbor master should have been informed of the seizure and then the harbor master's office cannot issue a navigation permit. As I said, there is no system, no control," said Hajdaš Dončić briefly.

Former captain Obradović: I was on two sealed ships, there were armed security guards around us

We had a long talk on this topic with the former Dubrovnik sailor, long-sea captain Đorđe Obradović, who twice found himself on ships that were sealed by the port authorities. His statements actually best suggest what kind of procedure is involved in serious countries.

"Due to debts owed to suppliers of fuel and supplies, the ship I was sailing on was sealed by the port authorities in the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. We were tied to the waterfront for about a month, and the ship was guarded by two security guards armed only with pistols, who among other equipment had portable radio devices.

The ship was sealed very simply by placing a seal similar to the ones used on electricity meters in apartments on the cabinet with the ship's master certificate and important documents.

No one was allowed to enter the ship except for the crew who were allowed to go out, but only with a port pass, while passports and seaman's books were on board, in a sealed cabinet with other documents. From time to time, the control of the security company and the port authorities would come and tour the ship. When the company settled the debt, the port authorities unsealed the ship and allowed it to sail," he says.

He said more about the second case.

"The second time I was on the ship was in Galveston, Texas, when the company sold the ship to another owner. The US Coast Guard took away the ship's most important certificates and documents, and they put seals on the helm on the bridge and on the handle to start the main engine in the engine room There were security guards on the ship and next to it.

The sealing of the ship itself is a symbolic act and in some countries it can be a simple piece of paper prohibiting sailing. The actual seizure is taken care of by the authorities of the state that seizes the ship for various reasons, and in addition to the security guards who physically guard the ship, the most important thing is radar navigation surveillance, which identifies vessels, monitors their movement and takes the necessary actions, from permission to prohibition of navigation," he said.

"The seal can be removed, but no one would dare to do that"

Was it possible to remove these fillings?

"Of course, with slightly stronger pliers, but no one would dare to do that. Not only would the security guards alert the coast guard, but the coast guard would detect even the slightest movement of the ship with radar tracking.

Another reason is that none of the crew would dare to do something like that in America, because they would be blacklisted, lose their certificates and the right to an American visa, which were then mandatory, which would mean that they would not be able to board anywhere in the world. and work as a sailor.

As soon as the new company paid all the expenses the ship had from the sale to the takeover, the certificates were returned and it was allowed to set sail," said former captain Obradović.

We ask him how the seized Russian yacht Irina VU was able to set sail.

"It is really difficult to answer that question. A detailed investigation will show that, but considering the whole strange situation, it is possible that it was a combination of unfortunate circumstances for the Croatian authorities or a well-planned action by the shipowner with the help of someone from Croatia.

Everything was certainly well planned, but the question arises as to how they dared to take away the confiscated yacht, i.e. how did they know that the other harbor authorities were not informed about the seizure, so the Irina VU sailed from the Adriatic, even though she was spotted and tracked by radar and properly signed off before leaving Croatian waters.

If other harbor authorities, except the Šibenik one, had known that it was a seized vessel, the Irina VU would not have been able to leave the Adriatic. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure must investigate everything that happened and provide answers to your questions, because this is of interest to the public, and causes astonishment among seafarers," he added.

Former head of SOA Letica: There is probably corruption here

Former head of SOA operations, Ante Letica, said that several elements probably came together in this case.

"It is probably, I will not say about some negligence, but indolence of state bodies and organs, there is probably also corruption in this and that is why it is necessary not only that the port captains, the port authorities, the police and so on, but also the SOA , to investigate it, to see what is negligence, irresponsibility, indolence, and what is corruption. Someone will have to answer for that," said Letica.

He pointed out that it is strange to him how the yacht got into the sea from dry mooring.

"Then the crew was there and they sailed to Dubrovnik, completed the details that needed to be done - approvals from the port authorities, refueled, and it sailed out of Croatian territorial waters. That needs to be seen and I think that the State Attorney's Office will give the legal qualification of that act. We need to see where there is indolence, irresponsibility, negligence of state bodies, and where there is corruption, bribery and so on, and everyone should be held accountable according to their part of responsibility," said Letica.

He expressed the hope that everyone in the decision-making chain woke up because of this case and noticed the irregularities and gaps that need to be filled. "Now those yachts are better guarded, there are supposedly sailors there all the time who take care of maritime safety, there are also security guards, and I hope that this has now been raised to a higher level," said Letica.

Usmanov: I'm no longer married to Irina

The reaction of Alisher Usmanov's public relations office has since arrived following the publication of this article, we'll transmit that press release in its entirety:

"Mr. Usmanov and Irina Viner are no longer married. Furthermore, Mr. Usmanov is not the owner of the yacht Irina VU and is in no way connected with the vessel's disappearance from the Betina marina.

Mr. Usmanov is not an "oligarch" either - a term used to refer to businessmen who have profited through ties to the state and, more specifically, to those who participated in the privatisation of Russian state assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union. None of this applies to Mr. Usmanov, who made his fortune by creating his own companies and making very successful deals and investments on the open market."

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Snow on Islands, Chaos on Roads in Croatia

January 22, 2023 - After a very mild couple of weeks, snow has blanketed much of Croatia, causing chaos on the roads, reports Index.hr

A sudden cold snap in Croatia has covered much of the country in snow, including Dalmatian islands such as Vis, Brac, Hvar and Korcula (see Korcula in the video below), causing multiple problems on Croatia's roads.

The latest update from HAK (Croatian Roads) offers this advice (you can find the updated news on this link):

Throughouth the interior and in Dalmatia traffic is flowing with delays due to snow. Roads are very slippery too. Along the coast strong wind is blowing.

 

Due to very strong wind passenger traffic is allowed only:

  • on the DC25 Gospić-Karlobag state road;
  • on the section of the DC8 Adriatic road Karlobag-Sveta Marija Magdalena.

On the A7 Draga-Šmrika motorway there is a traffic ban on: doubledeckers, trailers, motorcycles, on the part of the DC8 Adriatic road Bakar-Karlobag, on the DC99 Križišće junction-Križišće state road and on the LC58107 Kraljevica-Križišće local road on the delivery vans and vehicles with covered cargo area too.

 

At Krk bridge traffic is suspended for: motorcycles, campers, campers with three or more axles, vans over 1,9 m of height, doubledeckers and passenger vehicles with a one-axle-trailer.

 

Due to winter driving conditions there is a traffic ban on freight vehicles with trailers and all other vehicles have to use the winter equipment on the following roads of

Gorski kotar mountain area:

  • Karlovac-Zdihovo-Delnice-Kikovica;
  • most state, regional and local roads in the area of Čabar, Vrbovsko, Delnice, Gornje Jelenje;

Lika mountain area and in the central parts:

  • DC1 Vaganac-Korenica-Gračac-Knin;
  • DC6 Jurovski Brod-Karlovac-Vojnić;
  • DC23 Duga Resa-Generalski Stol-Josipdol-Kapela;
  • DC25 Korenica-Lički Osik;
  • DC27 Gračac-Zaton Obrovački;
  • DC42 Josipdol-Plaški-Saborsko-Kuselj;
  • DC50 Žuta Lokva (DC23)-Lički Osik, Sv. Rok-Gračac;
  • DC52 Špilnik-Korenica;
  • DC204 Pribanjci border crossing-Bosiljevo junction;
  • DC217 Ličko Petrovo Selo-Ličko Petrovo Selo border crossing;
  • DC218 Bjelopolje-Donji Lapac-Užljebić border crossing;
  • DC220 Tijarica (Vukina Strana)-Kamensko;
  • DC228 Jurovski Brod (DC6)-Kamanje-Ozalj-Karlovac (DC1);
  • DC429 Selište Drežničko-Prijeboj;
  • DC522 Udbina-Gornja Ploča;
  • DC541 DC6-Novigrad junction (A1)
  • ŽC5144 Sveti Juraj-Krasno;
  • ŽC5140-Krasno-Otočac;
  • regional and local roads in the county of Ličko-senjska.

Traffic is suspended:

  • on the DC36 Karlovac-Sisak state road on the section Pokupsko-Hotnja, at Gradec Pokupski and Jamnica (due to flood);
  • on the DC547 Sveti Rok-Mali Alan state road (due to winter driving conditions);
  • on the ŽC5217 Bruvno-Mazin-Dobroselo and ŽC5203 Srb-Otrić regional roads (due to winter driving conditions).

On the DC5 Okučani-Lipik state road traffic is flowing with delays (driving speed limit of 30 km/h).

On the DC47 Trokut-Novska junction (A3)-Hrvatska Dubica-Hrvatska Kostajnica (DC30)-Dvor (DC6) traffic is suspended for vehicles over 7,5 tonnes (driving speed limit of 40 km/h).

 

Drivers are asked to adjust the way of driving and driving speed to road conditions, to keep the safety distance and not to start the journey without the winter equipment!


Difficulties can occasionally occur in roadwork areas.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

SuperSport HNL 18th Round: Hajduk Inches Closer to Dinamo as League Returns after Winter Break

January 22, 2023 - The SuperSport HNL finally returned after a long winter break, with Croatian clubs back in action from Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22. The 18th round brought some unexpected results, making the race for the title interesting as we kicked off the second part of the season. 

Istra 1961 v. Slaven Belupo (0:0)

Istra 1961 and Slaven Belupo opened the 18th round on Friday, January 20, 2023, in Pula, in front of 557 fans. 

The match went without goals, while Istra held more possession (61%) with 15 total shots to Beluop's 5. Istra also had six shots on target to Belupo's 0. 

 

Istra is currently in 6th place with 21 points and a game in hand, while Belupo is in 4th with 27. 

Osijek v. Rijeka (1:1)

Osijek and Rijeka met on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at a snowy City Garden Stadium in front of 2,082 fans. 

The second draw of the 18th round at least featured some goals. Spoljaric scored for the Osijek lead in the 9th minute. Frigan equalized from the penalty spot in the 38th minute for 1:1. Osijek's goal in the 89th minute was called offside thanks to VAR, and the match ended 1:1. Osijek held 49% of possession to Rijeka'ss 51%, with four shots on target compared to Rijeka's 3. 

 

Osijek is currently in 3rd place with 31 points, while Rijeka is in 8th with 16. 

Dinamo v. Gorica (0:0)

Dinamo and Gorica met in the second game on Saturday, January 21, 2023, in front of 3,568 fans who also had to brave the snow.

Not only was this the third draw of the 18th round, but yet another one without goals. Dinamo's goal in the 2nd minute was disallowed due to a foul after consulting VAR. Neither team was able to score for the rest of the match. Dinamo maintained 80% of possession throughout the game compared to Gorica's 20%. Both teams had three shots on target. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 42 points and a game in hand, while Gorica is in last place with 9 points. 

Hajduk v. Sibenik (2:1)

Hajduk and Sibenik met at Poljud on Sunday, January 22, 2023, in front of 9,358 fans. 

Sibenik took the lead in the 13th minute when Arai scored for 0:1. Kalik equalized for Hajduk just before halftime for 1:1. Livaja saved the day in the 85th minute with a goal for 2:1, the final result. Hajduk had 70% possession throughout the match compared to Sibenik's 30%. Hajduk also had seven shots on target compared to Sibenik's one. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 2nd place with 38 points, while Sibenik is 9th with 13 points. 

Varazdin v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Varazdin and Lokomotiva closed out the 18th round on Sunday, January 22, 2023, in front of 785 fans. 

The final draw of the 18th round also saw no goals. However, it was a close match, with Varazdin maintaining 48% of possession compared to Lokomotiva's 52%.  Varazdin had four shots on target compared to 5 for Lokomotiva. 

(no video available)

Varazdin is currently in 5th place with 24 points, while Lokomotiva is in 7th with 19. 

You can check out the HNL table HERE

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

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