Sunday, 21 November 2021

Brnjac Announces National Reforestation Project at EU Ministerial Meeting

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - Addressing an informal online meeting of EU tourism ministers last Tuesday, Croatian Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac spoke about a new Croatian reforestation plan that is being launched by three ministries.

In line with the Paris Agreement, the EU has pledged to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and of the numerous projects to be launched by the Croatian government, one of the first projects is related to tourism. A reforestation project for the period until 2030 is expected to result in the planting of around one million trees every year to compensate for a portion of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by tourists arriving by car, said Brnjac.

The reforestation project is being launched by the Tourism and Sports Ministry in cooperation with the ministries of economy and sustainable development and agriculture.

Brnjac also said that the making of a joint long-term plan of work of the EU must be accompanied by the availability of specific and continued EU funds for the sustainable development of tourism.

The informal meeting of EU tourism officials, held as part of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, focused on plans for activities and the adoption of a European Agenda for Tourism 2030-2050.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

HSU: Claim That Anti-Epidemic Rules Are Against Freedoms Is off the Point

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) says the claims by anti-COVID certificate protesters on Saturday that the certificates allegedly restrict freedoms and rights are off the point and questionable, since it is the right to health that is affected when hospitals are overcrowded due to the pandemic.

Following Saturday's protest in Zagreb that brought together thousands of anti-vaxxers and protesters against COVID certificates from whole Croatia, the HSU stated on Sunday that the developments prompted it to respond publicly, without any wish to deepen divisions in the society.

"We must emphasise that one of the main reasons cited by the protesters for their demonstrations -- the restrictions of human rights and freedoms -- misses the point," says the party.

We would like to underscore that one disregards the fact about the restriction of the right of many to health, due to the epidemic, and this right is one of the fundamental human rights.

It is clear that living in an organised community such as a state includes also responsibilities alongside the exercise of many rights.

The freedom to public assembly is one of many benefits for those living in a democracy, however, many times public assemblies have political goals, the party added.

Instead of claiming that the anti-epidemic rules deny their rights and freedoms, it is better that individuals admit that they are simply afraid of vaccination.

The HSU went on to say that fear is "a normal human reaction" and one should only admit that.

The party also points out that some citizens do not get vaccinated out of fear and some out of egoism waiting for others' full vaccination to see what will happen.

It calls on the general public to follow the solutions found by the scientific community.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Police Searching for Anti-Vaccine Certificate Rally Organisers, Reporter’s Assailants

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - A police official in the Zagreb police department, Davor Posilović, said on Sunday that the police were intensively searching for the organisers of Saturday's march staged by anti-vaccine certificate protesters, since the rally was not officially reported.

The police are also searching for assailants who physically attacked a reporter of the RTL commercial broadcaster while he was covering the demonstrations

Intensive actions are being taken to identify potential organisers and to take appropriate steps against them, Posilović told a press conference in Zagreb on Sunday afternoon.

The failure of organisers to report the rally in advance amounts to the violation of the legislation on public assembly.

The police official added pyrotechnic devices had been used during the rally, the organisers failed to bring security guards and the decision on the restrictions of public assembly was breached.

A report on verbal and physical violence against RTL reporter Goran Latković has been lodged with the police in the meantime.

CCTV and video footage of the incident will be examined to identify the perpetrators and the police will interview all witnesses.

 "We are in permanent touch with the Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) and other professional associations," Posilović said, adding that all who have any information about the incident can contact the police.

Posilović said that no other incidents targeted against media had been reported to the police.

Nova TV and HTV crews were verbally assaulted at the rally, while a group of protesters took Al Jazeera reporter Nikolina Zavišić's microphone as she was reporting live.

On Saturday evening a group of protesters moved from Zagreb's central square to the part of the city where the HRT public broadcaster is located, demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live and calling for an end to "censorship" by the HRT.

Dissatisfied with the way the HRT covered their protest in the central city square at 3 p.m., the protesters shouted "We want elections", "Referendum and people's rule", "Thieves", "Treason", "God's law is above all laws", demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live. "This is no vaccine, this is poison", someone in the crowd could be heard saying while some protesters said the world was ruled by "Bill Gates, Talmudists and Soros's followers".

The protesters were met by riot police, with a dozen police vehicles blocking access to the HRT building.

Posilović said that demonstrators in the main square also burnt a flag of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) during the protest and that an investigation in this case was under way.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Regulator: Croatia’s Insurance Market Increases by Mere 0.1% in 2020

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - The insurance market in Croatia in 2020 with total gross premiums of HRK 10.68 billion (€1.4 billion) written by insurers, slightly increased by HRK 12.9 million (€1.72 million) or 0.1% year on year, the Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN) reported on Friday.

"Compared to 2019 when they amounted to just over HRK 10.66 billion, in 2020 a stagnation in gross premiums was registered. When a precise analysis is conducted, only a symbolic growth of HRK 12.9 million was registered in gross premiums written or by a mere 0.1%" AZTN said following a survey which indicated that 15 insurance companies did business on the domestic market,  tweo fewer than the year before.

For the sake of comparison, in 2019 insurance companies registered an increase in gross premiums of 6.5% year-on-year, AZTN noted whose survey is based on publicly released data by the Croatian Insurance Bureau (HUO) and the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA).

The largest market share, of 25.1%, was held by Croatia Osiguranje.

It was followed by Euroherc, which along with Adriatic Osiguranje and Agram Life, are part of the Agram conncern. Together they account for 25.6% of the market with a growing trend. In 2019 they accounted for 23% of the market.

Allianz Hrvatska ranked third, accounting for 10.7% of the market. The Wiener Osiguranje VIG with a share of 9% and Generali with 7.3% of the market follow.

In 2020 a  total of seven insurance companies registered an increase in written gross premiums on the year, including two companies that do business via their branch offices Sava Osiguranje and Adriatic Slovenica.

That is considerably less compared with 2019 when there were as many as 14 insurance companies on the market.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Average Take-Home Pay €948 in Croatia, 1 in 10 Workers Earns Below €514

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - The average net wage earned in Croatia in September amounted to HRK 7,108 (€948), and over the period of one year, the average take-home pay has risen by 361 kuna (€48), however, the latest monthly average pay decreased by 10 kuna (€1.3) on the month, the Večernji List daily reported on Sunday.

According to DZS data, the median net pay in September was HRK 6,017, which means that half of the people employed earned wages below that amount and half earned wages above that amount.

Also, an estimated 136,000 workers, that is 10% of all employees in the legal entities, earned less than 3,854 kuna (€514), reported the daily newspaper.

Rise in wages in the IT and hospitality sectors

Broken down by the sectors, the biggest rise (+9%) in the average monthly salaries over the last year was seen in the IT sector and the tourism and hospitality industry.

In the public sector, salaries in the healthcare sector increased 6.5%. The daily reports that the average monthly wage in Croatian hospitals is HRK 9,600 (€1,280).

In the social welfare sector, the average monthly wage is HRK 6,100, and in primary schools, HRK 7,800, while the average monthly wage for employees in secondary schools is HRK 7,900, and the average salary paid by universities is HRK 11,000.

The average net salary in the state administration is below HRK 8,200.

The average wage in the manufacturing sector has risen by about hundred kuna to HRK 6,572.

Low tax ethics

A survey conducted by researchers Josip Franić and Stanislaw Cichocki show that every one in four employees in Croatia (27%) actually receive  higher amounts of monthly wage than the salary reported to the relevant institutions.

The survey conducted in September 2019 shows that every one in seven employees in the European Union has nothing against the cheating in the reporting a lower tax base so that they can get actually a higher monthly pay off-the-books.

"One in seven fully declared EU workers would have nothing against receiving one part of their wages off-the-books," according to the research.

For instance, in Croatia 17.6% of the respondents said they had nothing against receiving one part of their wages off-the-books, and in the Netherlands, this percentage stood at 25%, whereas Portugal had the lowest number of workers who are willing to opt for wage under-reporting.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Croatia’s Coronavirus Update: 4,262 New Cases, 60 Deaths, 5,376 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, of 11,125 tests performed for coronavirus, 38% of them (4,262) have turned out to be positive, and 60 more COVID patients have died, raising the death toll to 10,303, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Sunday. 

There are now 33,708 active cases, and of them 2,568 are receiving hospital treatment. As many as 323 patients are on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the infection with the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, over 3.35 million tests have been conducted showing that 570,380 people have contracted the virus. Of them, 526,369 have so far recovered, including 5,376 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

 62.5% of adult Croatians get vaccinated

More than 3.98 million vaccine doses have been administered under the vaccination rollout plan in Croatia where 52.32% of the total population or 62.47% of the adults have been given at least a shot.

As many as 56% of the adults have fully been vaccinated to date.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Climbing Volcanic Jabuka Island: First 4K Drone Footage Ever! (VIDEO)

November 21, 2021 - Ante and Gajo of the CroDreamz team from Trogir are the first to get aerial footage climbing the volcanic Jabuka Island! 

You may not know that Croatia has a few volcanic islands, one of which is Jabuka, which sits about 70 km northwest of Komiza on the island of Vis. 

While it's tough to consider Jabuka an easily accessible island, Ante and Gajo of the CroDreamz team decided to tackle Jabuka's 97-meter-high pyramid-shaped cliff - all while capturing the first-ever drone footage climbing the island. 

"We love to do different kinds of activities, adventures, fishing, and enjoy nature as much as possible. Our main goal is to raise awareness regarding overfishing and to protect our surroundings better. Fish stocks in the Adriatic are at an all-time low, which is highly alarming and sad. There needs to be a way smaller fishing zones are protected along the Croatian coast. The protection of only Jabuka is not enough by a longshot," said CroDreamz for TCN. 

"If future generations want to enjoy the Adriatic Sea, changes are necessary. Also, people throwing garbage into the sea is another problem that needs to be addressed. So next year, we will release some new videos, and at the end of every video will be a reminder that change is a must," the CroDreamz team added. 

Ante and Gajo said that they are often near Jabuka for fishing. Last year, they decided to climb it. 

"Since the climb was never filmed from above, we thought it would be fun to see it from a different perspective. But the climb in itself is not fun, and it can be dangerous. So Gajo, my friend, went up and I stayed and filmed as my shoes were not suitable for the climb. It is very steep, and there are a lot of loose rocks. The climb back down is the scariest part," said Ante. 

"We would only recommend it if you have good climbing shoes and if you take it slowly, step by step. It is not for everyone!" CroDreamz concluded for TCN. 

You can check out the stellar video below! 

 

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

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Ombudswoman Deplores COVID Demonstrators’ Assaults Against Reporters

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter on Saturday evening condemned in the strongest terms the violence and assaults against TV crews that were covering the march organised by anti-vaccine certificate protesters in Zagreb earlier in the day.

Šimonović Einwalter said in a press release that she condemned attempts by demonstrators to prevent reporters from doing their job while they were covering the rally in Zagreb's main square.

She also urges the authorities, including the law enforcement authorities and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH), to thoroughly investigate the incidents and violence so that perpetrators can be held to account. In this way, the society will receive an unequivocal message about zero tolerance to violence against anybody, particularly against persons who do their job in the interest of the public, Šimonović Einwalter said.

The freedom of expression and particularly the freedom of he press is guaranteed by the constitution, she recalls.

Freedom of assembly and the right to to peacefully assemble do not exclude other human rights and they also do not justify verbal, physical and other violence, she writes in the press release.

A reporter of the RTL commercial broadcaster, Goran Latković, was attacked by two unidentified persons from behind as he was covering the rally, and they slapped him across the face twice, while a third person hit him in the rib cage.

Also, Nova TV and HTV crews were verbally assaulted at the rally, while a group of protesters took Al Jazeera reporter Nikolina Zavišić's microphone as she was reporting live.

On Saturday evening a group of protesters moved from Zagreb's central square to the part of the city where the HRT public broadcaster is located, demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live and calling for an end to "censorship" by the HRT.

Dissatisfied with the way the HRT covered their protest in the central city square at 3 p.m., the protesters shouted "We want elections", "Referendum and people's rule", "Thieves", "Treason", "God's law is above all laws", demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live. "This is no vaccine, this is poison", someone in the crowd could be heard saying while some protesters said the world was ruled by "Bill Gates, Talmudists and Soros's followers".

The protesters were met by riot police, with a dozen police vehicles blocking access to the HRT building.

Violence against reporters condemned by office-holders, associations, political parties

The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) and the Croatian Journalists Union (SNH) on Saturday strongly condemned an attack on RTL reporter Goran Latković at the protest, demanding a prompt police investigation and calling on the government to unequivocally condemn the incident.

The attacks by protesters on media workers were also condemned by the government spokesman, the minister of culture and the Office of the President.

The Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) said on Saturday evening that the freedom to assembly did not include the right to violence and said that the attacks against reporters "resemble dark times" and called on all the political parties to stand up for the protection of the journalistic profession."

For Croatia's latest news updates, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Scientist Says Doesn’t Feel Responsible for Incidents During COVID Protests

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Researcher Gordan Lauc, a former member of the government's Scientific Council, said on Saturday evening that he had not called for protests against vaccinations and COVID certificates in his social networks posts and that he did not feel responsible for the incidents during the protest.

Lauc told the the Nova TV broadcaster on Saturday evening that he actually said in his posts that "COVID certificates are wrong. I told the vociferous majority that their voice should be heard. That they should share my post, that they should write to media outlets to the government, that they should turn out at protest rallies in line with law."

He went on to say that it was not him who called on people to join the protest rally held in Zagreb on Saturday afternoon against vaccines and against COVID certificates and underscored that he did not feel responsible for the incidents which had occurred during the demonstrations organised by anti-vaxxers when protesters were trying to prevent reporters to cover the rally in Zagreb's main square.

Lauc said he was sure that 99.9% of demonstrators had expressed their dissatisfaction in a peaceful and legal manner.

He added that every form of violence, both verbal and physical, should be condemned.

"Things should be settled through institution, the system, the exchange of arguments and by making logical decisions."

He said that the decision on the COVID certificate mandate was wrong. The measure was designed in the European Union, when we believed that the vaccinated people could not spread the virus.

This creates a false feeling of security, Lauc added.

While claiming that the vaccination against coronavirus would not lessen the strain on hospitals, he admitted that he was fully vaccinated after he had recovered this infectious disease.

He explained that he had received two shots to make it easier for him to travel abroad and also due to the fact that he had underlying conditions.

"Vaccination will not halt the spread of the pandemic. Getting vaccinated will reduce the risks of vaccinated individuals. All of us will caught the virus," he said.

Lauc used to be a member of the government's scientific think tank, however, the government decided to dismiss him from that body, after he said that he was against the mandatory COVID certificates for entry into state and public institutions.

The Croatian Chamber of Physicians and some members of the said think tank already warned about controversial statements made by Lauc and the chamber welcomed the decision to relieve  Lauc of the membership of the government's scientific council.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

German Reporter Fined €480 for Unlawfully Crossing Border With Irregular Migrants

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - The municipal court in the Karlovac on Saturday fined a German reporter for having tried to illegally cross from Bosnia and Herzegovina into Croatia with a group of irregular migrants, the local police reported.

The group of eight foreigners, including the 44-year-old German journalist, was caught by the Croatian police while trying to illegally enter Croatia near the town of Cetingrad, and on Saturday, the reporter was taken before the magistrate who imposed a fine of 3,600 kuna (€480) on the offender.

The court upheld the charges for illegal crossing but dismissed the police charges that the German reporter had helped irregular migrants in illegal border crossing. The police said they would appeal the dismissal of those charges.

Apart from the German reporter, the group included four adult migrants and three minors. After they were caught, they said that they would request international protection in Croatia.

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