Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Croatian Ecological Awareness has Highest Growth in Central Europe

January the 19th, 2022 - While it might not seem to be the case when watching people fail to separate their waste or constantly use single use plastics, but Croatian ecological awareness is the highest among five Central European countries.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, when compared to five other Central European countries, the strongest increase in support for nature care was recorded among Croatian residents, according to a study published in the Journal of Sociology.

The work of sociologists Bruno Simac, Tijana Trako Poljak and Vladimir Ivanovic from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb analyses data from the European Social Survey from 2008 and 2018 and compares trends in expressing concern for the environment. This rise in Croatian ecological awareness is more than encouraging given the EU's strong focus on the green transition, in which the environment is being placed first.

They chose Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, explaining that they share a similar geopolitical position, historical heritage and socio-cultural miles, and there is a thesis that as post-communist nations, they support environmental protection less than advanced democracies typically do. The strongest increase in aid for care for the environment and for nature during the aforementioned period is related to Croatia, which, along with neighbouring Slovenia, had the highest result related to nature care back in 2018.

Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic recorded stagnation in their results, and Hungary has shown an unfortunate and significant decrease in the same aid from between 2008 and 2018.

Croatia had one of the lowest results way back in 2008, but while Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic didn't move forward much at all until 2018, Croatia took second place, surpassed only by Slovenia. The research used the so-called Schwartz's values ​​that emphasise the importance of society, and thus the whole "universe" over individual interests, which provides a new dimension for the interpretation of environmental attitudes in these countries.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Croatian Taxi Market to be Regulated by Constitutional Court

January the 19th, 2022 - The Croatian taxi market is set to be regulated by the Constitutional Court following a considerable amount of time spent in turmoil following a law change made back in 2018.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after the government managed to appease crises in the dynamic Croatian taxi market with the new Road Traffic Act 2018, the market has been relatively calm recently. However, the coronavirus crisis reduced the so-called market ''cake'', and back in 2020, taxi drivers started with the turmoil and protests once again due to certain provisions of this law, and at the end of last year, the state made a concession to taxi drivers regarding the age of the vehicle fleet and postponed stricter regulations until the year 2023.

Now a new dawn of sorts has arrived where traditional taxi drivers who are members of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) are asking for a review of the constitutionality of the law which came into force back in 2018. Namely, as was explained by HOK, it is disputable that, although the law provides the cities and municipalities in whose territory this transport takes place to make some rules, decisions can ultimately be made by the relevant ministry.

HOK pointed out that the introduction of paragraph 14 in Article 47 of the Road Transport Act restricts or deprives local self-government and regional self-government units of their rights, which violates one of the highest values ​​of the constitutional order of the Republic of Croatia as is proclaimed in Article 3 of the Constitution.

“The provision of Article 47, paragraph 13 of the Road Transport Act stipulates that the competent administrative body of the local self-government unit, ie the City of Zagreb, is obliged to decide on the application for a car taxi permit and issue that decision within 15 days. With this provision, the legislator gave local self-government units, ie the City of Zagreb, the authority to independently decide on the issuance of licenses for autotaxi transport in accordance with Article 129 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia. However, paragraph 14 of the same article stipulates that if the competent body referred to in Article 13 does not decide on the request within the specified period, the Ministry will act on the request and issue an appropriate decision within the next 15 day period.

This provision implies that it restricts the right of local self-government units given to them by the provision of paragraph 13 so that it prescribes the return of authority by transferring it again to the state body or the competent ministry if the local self-government unit doesn't provide a response to the request within the prescribed timeframe,'' said Dragutin Ranogajec of HOK. He added that such a legal expression is a precedent in Croatian legislative practice because its general and wide application would mean derogating from administrative supervision, ie administrative procedure as an instrument of control through a two-stage procedure.

In order to avoid such situations in which local self-government units are stripped of their powers, the Constituent Assembly enacted a provision of Article 130 of the Croatian Constitution which stipulates that local and regional self-government units are independent when it comes to performing tasks within their scope and are subject only to the constitutional and legal review of authorised state bodies. In the case prescribed by paragraph 14, as those affected have duly pointed out, it isn't about the supervision of authorised state bodies over the work of local and regional self-government units, but instead about limiting or depriving them of a right granted to them by law, which violates one of the highest values ​​of the constitutional order proclaimed in Article 3.

"The Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts considers that the goal of the provision of paragraph 14, which presupposes speeding up the procedure for issuing licenses for autotaxi transport, is not a sufficient legitimate reason to limit the rights of local and regional self-government units, thus violating the provisions of Article 130 and Article 3 of the Constitution,'' believes Dragutin Ranogajec, head of the Chamber of Crafts.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Croatian Youth Leaving Country Because They Can't Leave Parental Home?

January the 19th, 2022 - There are many things responsible for the ongoing Croatian demographic crisis, from corruption to salaries to a bad economy, the list goes on and on. Croatian youth typically live with their parents for far longer than we see in most other European countries (with the exception of a few similar ones), could this be why they'd rather take their chances abroad?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, in the media presentation of the results of last year's damning census, the increase in housing units was singled out as a surprise, but this is not really unexpected.

In the previous census, the one from back in 2011, the same thing happened, the number of inhabitants of the country dropped, and the number of residential buildings increased. The difference is that the then smaller decline in population was accompanied by significantly higher growth in the number of real estate.

Specifically, in 2011, a total of 4.285 million inhabitants were counted in Croatia, ie 153 thousand less than ten years earlier, while in that interval the number of housing units increased by 370 thousand, to 2.247 million buildings.

The latest census recorded 3.889 million inhabitants and 2.350 million housing units.

However, the first data doesn't really give us a complete picture because, according to the president of the Real Estate Association, Dubravko Ranilovic, further processing has yet to reveal whether the reconstruction of the housing ''stock'' has finally begun and then we need to be given an accurate picture of the size, quality and purpose of these facilities. Reconstruction of the housing stock, he says, has been lacking so far.

In addition, the picture will be framed by data on the age structure of the population, as well as how many members of what we consider the Croatian youth have an apartment. So far, the population has been aging, and entering the EU acted as a "booster" for the emigration of Croatian youth.

The previous census from back in 2011 determined the average age of the country's residents to stand at about 42 years, which was three years more than in 2001. Now, of course, ''we'' will be even older, the only question is by how much.

92 percent of men and 84 percent of women under the age of 29 still live with their parents.

Dwellings are important in the overall picture, because one of the most cited problems in the emigration of Croatian youth was their inability to provide housing, independence and leave their parents' home. According to recently published Eurostat data, many households in Croatia are overcrowded, and the amount of Croatian youth still living with their parents is incredibly high.

In Croatia, 36 percent of the population lives in overcrowded homes, although 91 percent of people live in their own property, but these properties are too small, have too few rooms or too many household members. By comparison in the EU, the least overcrowded households are in Ireland, Malta and the Netherlands, where less than 5 percent of the population lives in overcrowded properties/homes.

When looking at the percentage of young people aged 16 to 29 living with their parents, Croatia is the EU record holder, because in those years, most Croatian youth still live with their parents. 92 percent of Croatian men and 84 percent of Croatian women still live ''at home'', while the EU average is 74 percent of men and 64 percent of women.

This matter will be made even clearer if it is known that apartments in Croatia make up only a quarter of the properties in the country, which might come as a surprise to some, so it is even clearer why young people find it much more difficult to stand on their own two feet and become independent.

Eurostat also found that from 2010 to the end of the third quarter of 2021, Croatian property prices, both for purchase and rent, were significantly below the EU average. Croatia is therefore among the countries with the lowest growth, and interestingly, the largest increase was in countries where Croatian youth tends to migrate, such as in Germany and Austria when it comes to selling prices, and Ireland when it comes to rent.

However, the prices themselves, although lower in Croatia than in Western European countries, are not crucial, according to Ranilovic, because it is noticeable that they fell in the areas from which the most people emigrated in recent years, and in those areas there were fewer transactions anyway. In addition, Ranilovic stated that as many as a quarter of Croatian property purchases, about 7,000 of them, were made by foreigners in Croatia last year.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Ex IT Wizz Zeljko Brigljevic Creates Furnace That Breaks Down Plastic

January the 19th, 2022 - Former IT king Zeljko Brigljevic has created something quite impressive indeed - a furnace that breaks down environmentally harmful plastic and warms up the room.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Zagreb-based company Makro Gradnja, with Zeljko Brigljevic at the helm, has been carefully developing this innovation that is now available on the market for a decade now - Macro Converter, a specially designed biomass stove that, simply put, heats the space while removing plastic and creates fuel, which makes this Croatian product unique.

According to Zeljko Brigljevic, it could cheaply heat family hotels, mountain lodges, family farms, nursing/care homes, churches, health centres, and at the same time work to clean up the environment and create energy suitable for purchase.

"We've combined biomass heating, which is very popular in more developed countries, with the simultaneous decomposition of plastics, ie ''pyrolytic depolymerisation'', which produces energy. Simply put - we designed a biomass or wood chip stove, which is practically everything that burns - from abandoned Christmas trees, furniture scraps, seagrass, agricultural scraps - and added the possibility of plastic pyrolysis. Such a furnace provides the most favourable heating because fuel is found everywhere, and at the same time it removes plastic from the environment and produces pyrolytic oil from it. The pyrolysis process can also convert rubber.

Excellent fuel can be obtained from old trainers. The oil can be delivered for further processing to industries, such as a small refinery, and such fuels on the free market reach purchase prices of up to ten kuna per litre, which also gives the user the opportunity to earn some money,'' explained Zeljko Brigljevic, who was the head of MakroMikro for 25 years, engaged in the sale of IT products.

He sold the company to Stublic Impex in Sesvete near Zagreb seven years ago, but while he was its director, the idea of ​​the Macro Converter was born. He said he noticed a growing pile of unusable plastic, toner cartridge cases, ink cartridges - that needed to be disposed of responsibly, and that the disposing of this form of waste cost almost more than buying a brand new product. That's how he came up with the idea of ​​a furnace that wouldn't only solve the problem of properly dealing with plastic waste, but go a step further at a time when renewable energy is an imperative in the world, and he realised everything through the company Makro Gradnja.

''The key advantages are the most favourable type of heating, the removal of plastic from the environment and all this with the possibility of making a profit by producing energy from waste. In short, in winter, everyone has to warm up at home. With the explosion of energy prices, biofuel heating is the safest, leads to long-term self-sustainability and independence, and reduces the risks of rapid increases in energy prices, such as gas. It also provides the opportunity to make money by selling pyrolytic oil. Most importantly, it is useful for the planet in order to reduce the amount of plastic lying around harming the environment,'' explained Zeljko Brigljevic.

The price of one furnace would range between 25 and 35,000 euros, depending on the level of the equipment required, and buyers can expect a return on investment between two and four years, depending on how often pyrolysis is used for heating. The product is suitable for all who have 12 m2 to accommodate the containers with the ovens and storage for the wood chips. It is ideal for farms, households with more buildings or larger houses, greenhouses, small and medium enterprises that have halls, warehouses, institutions, smaller hotels, or in short - all buildings up to 1000 m2.

Zeljko Brigljevic is being assisted in his venture by his son Boris, who, while developing the Macro Converter, graduated from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology and also ''cooked'' the first batch of pyrolytic oil back in 2011 from old toner cartridges. He accepted, as Zeljko Brigljevic himself says, his father's "totally crazy idea", which then matured after the World Expo held in Las Vegas. Along with his son Boris, Brigljevic is especially grateful to the machinist, turner, welder and constructor Vlado and electronics and power engineer Perica.

There is interest in stoves, but they have reduced it to individuals who want energy-efficient solutions and who follow global trends in the need to care for nature.

"They've usually got significantly more good wishes than money, but that's also the case here in Croatia. As for our clients, I see people who are aware of the need for self-sustainability and want smarter solutions in the context of waste management. Our plan is to sign a long-term contract with our customers and buy pyrolytic oil and coal,'' he explained.

They are currently in the phase of presenting the Macro Converter to the domestic market, and by testing the echo corrections, they are preparing for serious clients.

"We can only hope that someone will recognise its potential for the environment, the economy and the population. But our focus will be on markets where there is significant interest in similar products, ie in more developed countries. The plan is to make series of products with the existing company,'' Zeljko noted.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Total Financial Assets of Croatian Households Reach €77 Billion

January 18, 2022 - The total financial assets of Croatian households reached HRK 576 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up by 2.2% from the previous quarter, while their liabilities increased by 1.2% to HRK 156 billion, the Croatian National Bank (HNB) said on Tuesday.

As a result, the financial net worth of the household sector increased to HRK 420 billion, up by 2.6% from the previous quarter, continuing the trend of a gradual and steady increase in the financial net worth of this sector.

At the same time, the financial assets of the Croatian economy stood at HRK 2.718 billion, up by HRK 89.1 billion in the quarter concerned and by HRK 211.9 billion in the period of one year.

The financial liabilities of the Croatian economy reached HRK 2.864 billion, up by HRK 53.3 billion in the quarter concerned and by HRK 182.4 billion in the period of one year.

In terms of GDP, the financial assets of the Croatian economy amounted to 650% of the annual GDP, down by 14.4 percentage points in the quarter concerned and down by 1.0 percentage point in the period of one year.

The financial liabilities of the Croatian economy decreased by 25.4 percentage points in the quarter concerned and by 11.7 percentage points in the period of one year, accounting for 685% of the annual GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2021.

These quarterly developments continue the trend of decrease of both assets and liabilities of the Croatian economy in terms of GDP, which started in the previous quarter due to a slower increase in their value compared to the growth of quarterly GDP.

The total financial assets of non-financial corporations stood at HRK 767 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2021, growing by 2.1% from the end of the previous quarter. The financial liabilities of non-financial corporations amounted to HRK 1.151 billion or 0.2% less than at the end of the previous quarter, the central bank said.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

ZSE Indices Continue Moving Upward, Hit New Records

January 18, 2022 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices continued their upward movement on Tuesday, with the Crobex rising for the 18th trading day in a row and the Crobex10 for the seventh day.

The Crobex increased by 0.62% to 2,201 points, its highest level since March 2017, and the Crobex10 gained 0.52% to close at 1,338 points, its highest level since its introduction in 2009.

Turnover at the end of the trading session was close to HRK 9 million, roughly 5.4 million less than on Monday. An additional HRK 4.2 million was generated by a block transaction with Arena Hospitality Group shares at HRK 302 per share.

The highest turnover, of HRK 2.3 million, was generated by the HT telecommunications company, whose price fell by 0.54% to HRK 184.5 per share.

The only other stock to pass the turnover mark of one million kuna was the Podravka food company, turning over HRK 1.74 million. Its price stagnated at HRK 706 per share.

A total of 50 shares traded today, with 22 of them recording price increases, 15 registering price decreases and 13 stagnating in price, which resulted in the ZSE indices increase.

 

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Water Polo World League: Croatia Tops Greece 12:11

January 18, 2022 - Croatia tops Greece in the 1st round of the Water Polo World League in Athens. Croatia faces Russia next in February. 

The Croatia national water polo team has finished preparations and played its first competitive match after the Olympic Games in Athens on Tuesday against Greece. It was the first game of a somewhat rejuvenated, and definitely different national team in which there are no more legendary players like Bušlje, Joković, Lončar, Garcia, and Obradović. 

Croatia thus met Greece in the 1st round of the World League's Group D, a strong rival that won the silver medal in Tokyo, which is the greatest success in the history of Greece water polo. 

The Barracudas started the new World League season with a victory, winning 12:11 with a great defense with a player less, and an even better attack with an extra man. 

Before tonight, these two teams had met 53 times, with Croatia being much more successful - 37 wins, 9 draws, and only 7 defeats with a goal difference of 490:377. Croatia's last match against Greece before this was at the European Championships in Budapest, in January 2020, when the Barracudas celebrated 14:11. Greece last beat Croatia in the qualifications for the European Cup, in Split in 2018, when it was 6:4 for Greece. 

World League 2022

Group A: Hungary, Romania, Montenegro

Group B: Germany, France, Spain

Group C: Serbia, Italy, Slovakia

Group D: Croatia, Greece, Russia

Each team in the group will play two games (Croatia plays next in February against Russia, in the 2nd round). The two first-placed teams will compete in the final European qualifying tournament from April 14 to 16 this year. From that tournament, 3 or 4 national teams will advance further, depending on whether the final tournament will be in Europe or abroad. If played in Europe, 3 teams move on because the host of the final tournament acquires the automatic right to play.

The final tournament or Super Final of the World League will take place from July 25 to 30. The hosts of these tournaments have not yet been determined.

Source: HVS

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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Finance Ministry Issues HRK 1.7bn in Treasury Bills

January 18, 2022 - The Croatian Ministry of Finance sold HRK 1.7 billion worth of treasury bills at this year's first auction on Tuesday.

They mature in one year and the interest rate is 0.01 per cent. The proceeds will be used to refinance treasury bills falling due.

In advance of the maturity of treasury bills worth HRK 1.7 billion, the Ministry offered HRK 1.3 billion worth of treasury bills for a subscription. Financial institutions submitted bids worth slightly over HRK 2 billion and the Ministry accepted HRK 1.7 billion.

The low-interest rate is the result of a large surplus of liquidity in the domestic financial market, exceeding HRK 77 billion.

The balance of subscribed kuna treasury bills has now decreased by HRK 1 billion to HRK 13.68 billion.

The next auction is set for 8 February.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Croatia logs 7,548 new COVID cases, 55 deaths

January 18, 2022 - Croatia detected 7,548 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours while another 55 people died as a consequence of the virus, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

There are currently 49,528 active cases, including 1,800 hospitalised patients, 220 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Croatia, a total of 826,380 cases of the novel coronavirus have been registered, 13,212 people have died while a total of 763,640 have recovered, including 6,406 in the past 24 hours.

Currently, there are 26,439 people self-isolating.

To date, a total of 4,010,890 tests have been conducted, including 16,768 in the past 24 hours.

As of 17 January, a total of 4,974,705 doses of a vaccine had been administered, which is 56.23% of the total population or 66.94% of the adult population.

A total of 2,281,915 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine while 2,186,570 are fully vaccinated, which is 64.30% of the adult population.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Real Estate Prices Continue to Rise in Croatia

January 18, 2022 - Real estate prices in Croatia in Q3 2021 were 9% up from the same period of 2020, the data from the national statistical office (DZS) shows.

The Q3 2021 rise in real estate prices continues on a year-on-year rise in real estate prices that has been going on since Q2 2017.

The largest increase in real estate prices was reported in Q2 2019, when real estate prices rose by 10.4% from Q2 2018.

According to DZS data for Q3 2021, prices of new flats went up 8.5% from Q3 2020, while prices of resale apartments rose by 9.2%.

Broken down by region, real estate prices in Zagreb grew the most, by 9.6% on average, while on the Adriatic coast they went up by 8.9% up, and in other regions by 8.2%.

Compared to Q2 2021, prices of real estate in Q3 2021 went up 1.7%, with prices of new flats going up by 1.3% on average and those of resale flats by 1.8%.

Compared to Q2 2021, prices of real estate In Q3 2021 were 1.3% up in Zagreb, 2.9% up on the Adriatic coast, and 0.4% up in other regions.

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