Sunday, 17 October 2021

HNL Round 12 Recap: Rijeka and Dinamo Finish 3:3, Šibenik Tops Hajduk

October 17, 2021 - The 12th round of the Croatian First League was held from October 15 to 17, 2021. This round featured the thrilling 3:3 derby between Rijeka and Dinamo, while Šibenik upset Hajduk 2:0. Here is our HNL round 12 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Lokomotiva (2:2)

Dragovoljac and Lokomotiva opened the 12th round on Friday, October 15, 2021, in front of 83 spectators. 

Kulenovic scored the first goal of the match for the Lokomotiva lead in the 9th minute. Kacavenda made it 0:2 in the 17th. An own goal by Mersinaj gave Dragovoljac hope in the 30th minute at 1:2 before Lukic equalized in the 58th for 2:2, which was the final score. 

Pasaricek was shown a red card in the 78th minute, forcing Dragovoljac to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 


Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 10 points, while Lokomotiva is in 6th with 15. 

Gorica v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Gorica and Istra met on Saturday, October 16, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

Mlinar scored an own goal in the 12th minute for 1:0 Gorica. Bande didn't equalize until the 53rd for 1:1, which was the final score of the match. 


Gorica is currently in 5th place with 17 points, while Istra is in 8th with 11. 

Rijeka v. Dinamo (3:3)

Rijeka and Dinamo met on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Rujevica Stadium. 

Drmic and Velkovski made it 3:0 for Rijeka already at halftime with goals in the 7th, 38th, and 41st minutes. Dinamo woke up in the second half as Petkovic scored a penalty for 3:1 in the 58th minute, another penalty less than 10 minutes later, and Adric scored the equalizer for 3:3 in the 82nd minute which was the final score. 


Rijeka is currently in 1st place with 24 points and one game less, while Dinamo is in 3rd with 23 and two games less. 

Slaven Belupo v. Osijek (0:2)

Belupo and Osijek met on Sunday, October 17, 2021, in Koprivnica. 

Hiros scored for 0:1 Osijek in the 22nd minute, before Nejasmic made it 0:2 just before the halftime whistle. 


Belupo is currently in 9th place with 6 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 24. 

Sibenik v. Hajduk (2:0)

Sibenik and Hajduk closed out the 12th round on Sunday, October 17, 2021, in Sibenik. 

Mina scored the first goal for 1:0 Sibenik in the 25th minute. A penalty for Curic made it 2:0, which was the final score. 


Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 13 points, while Hajduk is in 4th with 20 and one game less.

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Study Reveals Significant Inequalities in Access to Social Services

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - The first national study on access to social services shows that members of different vulnerable groups in Croatia do not have equal chances of obtaining quality social services, with inequalities being greater at regional and local levels.

The study was conducted by the Stress and Trauma Rehabilitation Centre and the Zagreb Law School Social Work Study Centre in the period from March to May 2021 and it covered 395 cities and municipalities.

Data was collected from two sources - representatives of local government units and representatives of providers of social services in local communities (431 local professionals).

The study covered access to social services for various vulnerable groups: children and young people at risk, families at risk, poor citizens, persons with physical and mental disabilities, elderly and infirm people, and members of ethnic minorities and refugees.

The study confirms unequal access to social services and lack of access to individual services. Its findings reveal poor availability of social services for young people, families at risk, persons with physical and mental disabilities, members of ethnic minorities and refugees.

More available are social services for children, poor citizens and elderly people but it could not be concluded for most of these services either that they are generally available.

Significant regional and development-related inequalities were identified as well, with citizens who live in smaller, rural areas under the national development average having less access to social services on which their health, wellbeing and social inclusion depend.

Social services least available in Pannonian Croatia

Social services were the least available to people in Pannonian Croatia, which covers local government units with the lowest development index.

Experts believe that it is necessary to invest in the development of risk-prevention services and services that facilitate social inclusion, activation on the labour market and psychosocial empowerment once risks emerge, for all groups of users. They consider as less necessary services related to the provision of accommodation in their communities, the exception being accommodation for elderly and infirm persons.

The study was financed by the Active Citizenship Fund in Croatia, through financial mechanisms of the European Economic Area and the Kingdom of Norway.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Minister Attends Course in Medical Response to Major Incidents

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš on Sunday attended a course in medical response to major incidents at the "Dr. Josip Benčević" Hospital in Slavonski Brod, saying that the course integrated the competence and experience of the entire health system.

It is excellent that the course is being held in Slavonski Brod but we must train experts in other regions as well, Beroš said, announcing that the Croatian Emergency Medicine Institute would finance ten such courses across the country in the next two years.

Beroš recalled that a result of training of Croatian medical workers was also the timely response to an accident that happened this past summer, when a bus with Kosovo registration plates overturned on a highway in Croatia. The accident resulted in a large number of injured passengers and 10 fatalities.

The natural disasters that have hit Croatia over a short period of time also point to the importance of enhancing the competencies of the emergency services, he said.

"In this hospital courses like this one have been held for 15 years. So far 449 professionals have attended them and an additional 60 are attending this course," he said.

The Slavonski Brod course is a post-graduate course of the European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery. It has been organised for the eighth year by the Health Ministry, the Croatian Institute for Emergency Medicine and the Slavonski Brod-based Croatian Society for Disaster Medicine.

The director of the "Dr. Josip Benčević" Hospital, Josip Samardžić, said that the hospital has competent staff as well as experience from the 1991-95 war, which it has transformed into a modern response to major disasters.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Šuica Calls on Croatians to Participate in Discussions about EU More

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica of Croatia believes Croatians are insufficiently interested in participation in the Conference on the Future of Europe, launched by the EU to convince citizens of its 27 member-states that their opinion, too, is important in decision-making.

Numerous citizens believe they have no influence on decisions made by EU politicians and bureaucrats so the EU's three main institutions - the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament - have launched an online platform where citizens can offer their proposals on topics important for the bloc.

"More is expected of Croatia and Croats because so far they have reported 25 events and made 500 proposals and around 100 comments on our platform," Šuica, Commissioner for Democracy and Demography, told the Yammat FM radio station.

She considers these figures to be low.

"We (Croatians) like to speak when it is too late," she said, calling on Croatian citizens to present their ideas on the Conference on the Future of Europe website.

Debates can be organised by citizens and groups of citizens at county and local levels and conclusions can be reported on the digital platform by the end of the year.

"Their ideas will be taken into account in an analysis next spring," Šuica promised.

On Friday, she opened in Strasbourg the last of four panels at which randomly chosen EU citizens discuss topics relevant for the EU.

Among the 200 EU citizens whose travel and accommodation expenses as well as daily allowances have been paid for are three Croatians - two pensioners and a student, from Istria and Zadar- They will present their opinions on the EU in the world and migration at the panel, to last until Monday.

In September and October, 800 EU citizens have taken part in the panels, after which additional online panels will follow. Their proposals are expected to be formulated into a proposal to the European Commission in spring.

Šuica claims that the EC will take those proposals into account, mostly when making laws.

"The main purpose of this conference is to debunk the myth about the Brussels bubble and make EU citizens participants in the creation of European policies, so they can see that they themselves can influence the final outcome," she said.

"Until now people thought that that was not possible or happened only here. That's not true but such is the perception," she said.

Fifty-eight percent of Croatians do not trust the EU and only 38% trust it, shows a survey by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, conducted in September 2020.

On average, 47% of EU citizens trust the EU while 45% do not.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Vagrancy in Croatia Increases by 20% This Year - Večernji List

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021- A recent court ruling under which a 55-year-old man from Knin was found guilty of vagrancy and given a conditional sentence of 15 days in prison has brought attention to the issue of vagrancy in Croatia, which has increased by 20 percent this year compared with last year, Večernji List newspaper said earlier this week.

According to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior, 408 persons were reported for vagrancy and begging in 2020, while 490 such cases were recorded in the first eight months of this year, the newspaper said, noting that vagrancy is an offence under the Public Order and Peace Offences Act.

In Croatia, vagrancy is punishable by a fine of between 25 and 100 euros or a prison sentence of up to 30 days. The Knin man was given a conditional prison term of 15 days, but he will not go to prison if he does not repeat this or similar offence over the next year. The 60 kuna (8 euros) he "earned" by begging was taken away from him and will be returned to the injured parties. Because of his financial situation, he was exempted from paying court costs, Večernji List said.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Children’s Film “My Grandpa Is an Alien” Wins Two Awards at Film Festival in Iran

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - The children's film "My Grandpa is an Alien" ("Moj dida je pao s Marsa") by Dražen Žarković and Marina Andree Škop won two awards at the 34th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, which took place in the Iranian city of Isfahan.

The film won two Golden Butterfly awards, as the best film chosen by the young jury members and as the best artistic achievement of directing, the Croatian Audio Visual Centre (HAVC) reported on Thursday.

To date, the film has been screened at over 50 international festivals and it has won 16 awards.

In addition to being distributed in all seven co-production countries, "My Grandpa is an Alien" has been internationally distributed in a total of 26 countries, including the US, Russia, Japan, Spain and Ukraine.

The film was produced by Zagreb's Studio Dim in cooperation with the Croatian Radio-Television, Luxembourg's Wady Films, Norway's Filmbin, Czech MasterFilm and MagicLab, Slovakia's Artileria, Slovenia's Senca Studio and Art Rebel 9, and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Fabrika.

The screenplay was written by Pavlica Bajsić Brazzoduro and Branko Ružić, based on motifs of the story by Irena Krčelić.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Plenković Says Intraparty Elections in HDZ Democratic, Transparent

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - Prime Minister and HDZ party leader Andrej Plenković said on Sunday that intraparty elections at which the leaders of the HDZ's city and county branches will be elected, were democratic and transparent.

"Anyone who wanted to run as a candidate could do so, and the process has been transparent and democratic. I do not see any relevant objections or anything that is not in line with democratic standards," said Plenković, who cast his vote in regular intraparty elections.

He expressed hope that local HDZ branches, which are to elect their presidents and vice-presidents today, would contribute to their local communities as well as the HDZ's national policy.

HNB governor should explain his statement about loan installment increase

Plenković was also asked to comment on Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujčić's warning in an interview with the Novi List daily that loan installments of debtors with long-term loans approved with a variable interest rate could increase from 10% to as much as 20%. Vujčić did, however, note that that scenario was not very likely.

"I have not read the interview, he should explain what he meant. As far as I understand, that is not a very likely scenario. If he has an opinion on the matter, he should make a statement," Plenković said.

In a comment on the International Day to Eradicate Poverty, which is observed today, Plenković said that the government's national development strategy stated that maximum effort should be invested to reduce the number of Croatians who were at risk of poverty or were poor.

"The 20% rate is still very high, as an EU country we must reduce it, not only through social policy but through a policy that enables wage growth and a general atmosphere of equal opportunities," he said, adding that his government would continue working towards that goal in the next three years.

Plenković believes that the progress made in the past five years in the fight against poverty is visible, albeit not as great as one would want it to be.

He wondered what the percentage of people at risk of poverty would be if the government had not intervened with job-keeping measures during the coronavirus crisis.

Asked about the investigation into police violence against migrants on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenković reiterated that the case was contrary to the government and Ministry of the Interior's policy, that it was an isolated incident and that the government would do its best to prevent any similar incidents.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Zagreb for Digital Nomads: A Destination on the Rise

October 17, 2021 - Word is getting out - Zagreb for digital nomads. A look at the rising popularity of the Croatian capital, recently featured in the top 5 most-liked cities in a Nomad List survey

It is almost 2 years since I wrote my first article on the potential of digital nomad tourism in Zagreb. Rereading Why Zagreb is Increasingly Attractive to a Growing Number of Digital Nomads 21 months later, it is interesting to note how much has changed, and how much has not changed. 

The ten key reasons cited back then all remain compelling reasons why digital nomads will find Zagreb to be attractive - its proximity to the Schengen border, excellent Engish language, safety, accessibility, affordability, a thriving tech scene, a great tourist destination, great food and wine, world-class medical tourism for your budget, and a relaxed cafe lifestyle.

And yet so much has changed.

When I wrote this article in January 2020, few people were very familiar with the digital nomad concept in Croatia. For this was before a certain Dutchman elevated the discussion to a national level by successfully inviting the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, to introduce a digital nomad visa for Croatia. Along with a number of initiatives, the introduction of the new permit on January 1, 2021 helped focus global attention on Croatia as a new DN hot spot. And while the initial expectation may have been that all nomads would be flocking to the coast, the fact is that there have been a growing number heading to Zagreb instead. 

And they are liking what they are finding. 

At this point, I should point out the role of the Zagreb Tourist Board. Together with Dubrovnik, Zagreb has been incredibly receptive and supportive of initiatives to promote Croatia as a DN destination. When I first pitched the idea of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week (ZDNW) back in June last year in partnership with Saltwater Nomads, the concept was agreed immediately, and had it not been for the pandemic, it would have taken place as part of Advent in Zagreb last year. 

In the event, Zagreb Digital Nomad Week took place in June, 7 days with 7 themes, in multiple locations all over the city. Although it was a hybrid event, several keynote speakers jumped at the chance to come to Zagreb and attend their first conference or public event in over a year.  Among them was Nimrod Dean Kuchel, an Israeli world traveller with his own DN community of 25,000 people.

His presentation, which you can see above, was one of the highlights of the week. And for a man who has visited over 100 countries in the last 8 years, his was a persepctive that I was keen to hear. Just how was Zagreb doing as a DN destination, and what was it missing?

"Zagreb ticks all the boxes," commented Dean at the end of the week. "The only thing missing here is more digital nomads."

To prove his affection for Zagreb and its potential was genuine, Dean was back a couple of months later as the official Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for September.  An extension of ZDNW, the ambassador project, in partnership with Doma Zagreb Aparthotel, has been bringing in an international digital nomad for a month from July until December. 

Each ambassador comes from a different background and engages in Zagreb in a different way. Dean was extremely active, organising events with the Digital Nomad Facebook group which now numbers an impressive 7,000 members. At the end of his stay, Dean caught up with TCN before heading off to speak at the Budva Cross Border Coworking Conference earlier this month. 

For a man who can't stop travelling, he clearly was not so keen to leave. His reflections on the month in Zagreb are interesting, and they mirror some of the same messages coming from previous ambassadors - the outstanding English, safety, excellent WiFi, great coworking spaces, a green and very walkable city with a fantastic food and wine story, full of friendly locals and just a short drive to the coast. 


Veronica Mulhall, the first official Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador in July, had similar feelings. She loved the walkability of the city, often taking meetings on the phone, and deemed Zagreb the perfect training ground for her planned climb of Kilimanjaro. 


Both she and partner Julian fell in love with a city that they did not know anything about before Veronica applied. And now they are considering buying property in Zagreb and making it a part-time home. Julian also gave a very interesting interview, including his experiences in the city as a black tourist in the interview above. 


August brought Rudi Witkowsky from South Africa, who put Zagreb's gyms and outside spaces through its paces with his fitness regime. 

All these ambassadors have helped to add to a story which is growing nicely, and the wider Zagreb population is beginning to grasp the DN opportunity. Tanja Polegubic, CEO of Saltwater Nomads and the architect of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, has noticed the progress. 

"Zagreb has really made a mark in 2021 as a digital nomad destination. The regular feedback I hear from digital nomads there is the sense of constant discovery - which is getting rarer these days. There's something happening everywhere you go, and a real diverse offer of food and entertainment. The Croatian capital really does win over many a remote worker's heart." 

Zagreb is well on the way to establishing itself as a leading DN destination not only in Croatia and the wider region, but also in Europe (it was the only European city in the top 5 Nomad List survey, for example). Here are just a sample of things that have happened to the Zagreb digital nomad story since that first article 21 months ago:


There is a really good energy in Zagreb at the moment, one which I think will only improve as more nomads discover it and add to the community. Why not come and visit and check it out?

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.  

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Interior Renovation Work on Count Jelačić’s Birth House in Petrovaradin Starts

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - Serbian Culture and Information Minister Maja Gojković and Croatian National Council (HNV) leader Jasna Vojnić on Friday launched work on the interior renovation of the birth house of Count Josip Jelačić, the Ban (governor) of Croatia (1801-1859) in Petrovaradin.

The renovation work, worth €100,000, will be financed by the Serbian government with the support of the government of the northern province of Vojvodina and its capital city Novi Sad, of which Petrovaradin is now part.

After the historical building is fully renovated, it will serve as a memorial to the best known governor of Croatia, the seat of several organisations and a meeting point for local ethnic Croats.

The ceremony of launching renovation work was held on one of the four holidays of the ethnic Croat community - the day of Count Jelačić's birth.

HNV head Vojnić said that the event should serve as an example of how all other outstanding issues related to the Croat community in Serbia should be dealt with, citing in that context guaranteed seats for the Croat community in the Serbian parliament, proportional employment in state institutions, sufficient funding for the work of local councils, a positive image in the media and the protection of cultural goods of the Croat community.

Gojković said the renovation of Count Jelačić's birth house was a true symbol of "our wish to contribute to the preservation of the tradition, customs and culture of the Croat ethnic minority in our country."

"By doing so we are demonstrating our commitment to building better relations and understanding between the Serbian and Croat peoples," she said, among other things.

The event was also attended by an envoy of Croatia's Central State Office for Croats Abroad, Dario Magdić.

"I hope and believe that today's event is a continuation of positive developments that started a year ago, when this building was purchased by Serbia and handed over to the HNV... It shows that we should work and build together, to the benefit of our autochthonous communities and societies," he said.

Those attending the ceremony were also greeted by Vojvodina Prime Minister Igor Mirović.

The birth house of Count Jelačić is located in the centre of Petrovaradin.

Built in 1745, the house was renovated in 2001 on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of Count Jelačić.

The Serbian government purchased the part of the building that was handed over to the Croat community for €600,000.

Petrovaradin is an ancient garrison town and was an important point of military resistance to Ottoman forces during the time of the Habsburg Empire in the 17th century, when it was settled by Croats.

In the early 19th century, Croats accounted for more than 90% of the town's population, but today they account for only 10%.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

Coronavirus Pandemic Affects Students’ Mental Health, Survey Shows

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021 - The coronavirus pandemic has affected the mental health of students, but it has also raised awareness of the importance of social contacts and in-person classes, a survey has shown.

The survey was carried out by the Agency for Science and Higher Education (AZVO) from 2 to 12 September, covering nearly 4,300 university students at all levels from across Croatia. Postgraduate students were asked to complete e-questionnaires.

The survey has revealed that direct contacts have no alternative, which is why it is important to return to face-to-face classes while at the same time complying with the epidemiological measures for the duration of the pandemic, AZVO's acting director Jasmina Havranek said.

In the last academic year, the majority of classes (40%) were taught only online, with 49% of senior graduates and 29% of first-year undergraduates attending such classes. 63% of freshmen said that they did not gain a full experience of studying because of the pandemic.

Over 35% of respondents cited classroom learning as the desired form of learning in the current academic year, while 29% said they preferred online classes.

As for vaccination against COVID-19, 60% of those interviewed said they would not support mandatory vaccination for students and faculty, while 25% said they would.

The survey revealed a considerable level of dissatisfaction among students with their lives compared with the pre-pandemic period, with 59% of them saying they were much less satisfied. Part-time students were more satisfied than their full-time colleagues.

The pandemic has also undermined the sense of belonging to the student community as 73% of students said they did not have a chance to meet new people as before. In post-pandemic life, the majority of students (71%) are looking forward to socialising with their colleagues without restrictions, and as many of them are looking forward to not having to wear face masks.

As many as 52% of students perceived their mental health as being worse or much worse than it was before the pandemic. Students were mostly concerned about the possibility of their infecting people close to them with coronavirus (57%), while they were least concerned about themselves getting infected (17%).

During the last academic year, 50% of students experienced social isolation and loneliness, and as many said they had trouble with their attention span and concentration. 46% felt anxious and 29% depressed, 43% used social networks in an unhealthy way, 32% expressed an interest in in-person counselling, while a quarter of them said they felt much better than before the pandemic.

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