Friday, 20 May 2022

Šibenik's Cultural Heritage Presented in New York

May 20, 2022 - Representatives of the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac - President Nikola Grubić and members Jolanda Krnić Zmijanović and Deana Karađole Radovčić, and senior curator of the Šibenik City Museum Marin Lambaša, presented Šibenik's cultural heritage in New York as part of the project 'Šibenik - Cultural Heritage through Globalization'.

The project was approved and financed based on the Public Call for Proposals for Cultural Promotion, Public Diplomacy, and International Recognition of the Republic of Croatia, implemented and organized by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and diplomatic and consular missions.

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The Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac (http://www.jurajdalmatinac.com/) was founded on June 9, 2011, as a non-governmental and non-political organization with the aim of caring for the heritage and promotion of Šibenik. It currently has more than 300 members, most of whom are from Šibenik, but also from other parts of Croatia and the world.

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Exhibition “Šibenik through the Centuries” presented the history of the city and the Society's projects (reconstruction of fortresses, revitalization of the city center, Geonucleus and magazine Juraj) at the celebration of Statehood Day and the 30th anniversary of Croatia's membership in the United Nations last Friday. The exhibition was attended by the Consul General in NY Nikica Kopačević and numerous employees and guests of the consulate in the exhibition space of the restaurant Dubrovnik (https://www.dubrovnikny.com/), and the evening was enhanced by the klapa Astoria.

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With the same exhibition, the Society and the Museum presented themselves at the Croatian Center of St. Nikola Tavelić after Sunday Mass in the Croatian Church of St. Cyril and Methodius. The exhibition brought together parishioners, including many people from Šibenik who live in NY, and the musical atmosphere was again provided by the klapa Astoria.

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During their stay in NY, members of the Society and representatives of the Museum also visited the UN headquarters, where Minister Adviser Dijana Delaye, from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN, introduced them to the work of the UN bodies.

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The Society and the Museum thank everyone who contributed to this beautiful promotion of Šibenik in the world.

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

Friday, 20 May 2022

Koprivnica City Council Introducing Penalties for Improper Waste Disposal

May the 20th, 2022 - The Koprivnica city council is set to introduce harsh cash penalties for those cause dumping waste in inappropriate places (fly-tipping) and disposing of waste in an inappropriate manner in the provided containers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, cash penalties are being prepared for individuals and households in Koprivnica who don't comply with the decisions on municipal waste collection. The proposal of the new decision specifies exactly what the punishments will be, and what they'll be issued for exactly. Changes with contractual penalties have yet to be approved by the Koprivnica City Council, and should take effect on August the 1st, 2022, as reported by local portal Danica.hr.

The Koprivnica City Council penalties explained:

- If a user doesn't hand over the municipal waste collected via the appropriate waste container at least once in two months, a contractual penalty shall be charged in the amount of 0.10 kuna per litre of the contracted container's capacities.

- If a user doesn't allow Komunalac (the communal company) full access to the waste container at the agreed location from which waste is taken away when that place is not in a public area, a contractual penalty shall be charged in the amount of 100 kuna for each unrealised removal time.

- If the treatment of waste collected endangers human health or leads to the scattering of waste around the container or causes discomfort to another person due to the smell of said scattered waste, a contractual penalty will be charged in the amount of 100 kuna for each such treatment of the waste at the billing point.

- If a user acts irresponsibly with the waste container (such as causing damage to or destroying the container), a contractual penalty will be charged depending on the volume: for a container of of 80 l and 120 l, the fine will stand at 350 kuna; for a 240 l container, the fine is 400 kuna; for a 360 l container, the fine is 750 kuna; for a container of 1100 l the fine is 2100 kuna in total.

Biowaste

- If the user fails to hand over hazardous municipal waste separately, to the recycling yard or mobile recycling yard, or does not handle it in accordance with the regulations governing the management of a special category of waste, the contractual penalty is charged in the amount of HRK 500 for each such case

- If a user fails to hand over mixed municipal waste, recyclable municipal waste, bulky waste or biowaste at the place of origin separetely, or doesn't classify the waste in the containers in accordance with their purpose, a contractual penalty is charged in the amount of 250 kuna for each case of incorrect classification

- If a user doesn't compost biowaste at the place of origin, and it is stated that they compost it, a contractual penalty shall be charged in the amount of 250 kuna.

Written warnings from the Koprivnica City Council

The amount of a certain contractual penalty will be shown on the public service bill when it arrives. When several users use a common container for waste (such as in the case of residential buildings), the payment of the fine, in case the responsibility of a single individual isn't determined, will be borne by all of the users of the service who use a common container in accordance with the shares in the container's use, reports Danica.hr.

If it is determined that the user of the service has committed several ''offences'' for which the obligation to pay a contractual penalty is prescribed, Komunalac will calculate and charge them a contractual penalty for each one of these offences.

The communal company may also issue a written warning to the user instead of a penalty, but only in case of first non-fulfillment, ie improper fulfillment of the obligation for which a contractual penalty is usually imposed or in case there are circumstances that justify such an omission, and which circumstances the user must prove.

At the next session, the Koprivnica City Council should make a decision to amend the current Decision on this matter which will put these new rules into force.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Lack of Croatian Labour Causing Huge Issues for Tourism Employers

May the 20th, 2022 - The lacking Croatian labour force and the situation of just ''not being able to get the staff'' is having a seriously negative effect on tourism employers across the country. Some are having to close their doors.

We recently wrote about the Croatian tourism sector lacking enormous numbers of workers for the rapidly approaching summer tourist season, and it seems that the situation is being felt up and down the country in areas which would usually be rubbing their hands in excitement for a decent post-pandemic season.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Northern Adriatic region of Kvarner has always been among the tourist champions, but now it is among those in the worst situation in terms of a total lack of Croatian labour. Nikola, a local restaurant owner, had to close one of his restaurants in Rijeka because he had no one to employ to work there, which is absolutely disastrous considering the sheer importance of the tourism sector for the Croatian economy and the nation's overall GDP.

"Every now and then someone would leave, they'd receive immoral offers both in terms of working for the summer season, as well as for some other variants of employment. They'd leave Croatia, there would be a huge amount of dissatisfaction among workers and we were simply forced to close our doors, we could not stay open and run properly with only half the number of workers we need,'' said the president of the National Association of Caterers, Nikola Eterovic.

Some are also trying to patch things up in more innovative ways. Although he is the owner, Nikola also works as a waiter himself to try to make things run smoothly in his facility.

Most of the facilities that have operated before, will open this year, but the thing is that they will work with a reduced number of staff and an inadequately educated workforce, which can only result in poorer service and less customer satisfaction.

The Croatian labour market has been depleted owing to demographic trends, and the procedures enforced by MUP are still too complicated and go on for too long when it comes to trying to hire foreign (non EEA) workers from neighbouring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, RTL writes.

"In some places, work permits are waited on for three to four weeks, and in some places we have the situation in which employers are forced to wait for MUP to deal with their request to hire foreigners for four to five months,'' warned the director of the Croatian Tourism Association, Veljko Ostojic.

For more on the Croatian labour force, or the lack of it, check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Construction of 2nd Croatian Underground Gas Storage Facility Begins

May the 20th, 2022 - The construction of the second Croatian underground gas storage facility is now underway following approximately sixteen very long years of discussions on the matter.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after almost sixteen years of discussions and plans to build the second Croatian underground gas storage facility (PSP) Grubisno Polje (GP), the war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis have suddenly made such strategic facilities very desirable and deeply necessary.

Although activities on the project began in parallel with the Russian attack on Ukraine back in February, the start of works on the new Croatian gas storage facility were inaugurated just a few days ago in Grubisno Polje by the new Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Davor Filipovic.

Unlike the existing "large" gas storage facility, PSP Okoli, with a capacity of about 550 million cubic metres of gas, PSP GP will be smaller, about 40 million m3, but it will be a flexible, or peak, storage unit.

The concession is relatively small, which in practice means that despite the large storage capacity, it will take a long time, especially if its occupancy falls below half, to release this gas into the Croatian energy system. The PSP GP will be developed in two phases and the total estimated value of the project is around 500 million kuna. It is estimated that the new Croatian gas storage facility could be in operation by the year 2027 at the very earliest.

Vlado Vlasic, the director of PSP, pointed out that currently, this project, both for PSP and for society as a whole, is the most important development and investment activity in Croatia.

"After a full 35 years since the commissioning of the storage facility in Okoli, the company PSP, as the operator of the Croatian gas storage system, is building another Croatian gas storage facility. Today, when the whole of the EU is dealing with the issue of providing people with the necessary energy sources, we're here to mark the beginning of the construction of a strategically important energy project.

Market disturbances

Over more recent years, the energy market has become very flexible through stock exchanges, enabling a secure and mostly cheap supply of gas, oil and electricity itself from global sources. As a result, strategic gas storage facilities have become questionable, as was the case here in Croatia last year.

However, situations such as Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the West's reaction to it by imposing sanctions have called the security of the supply into question, and prices have increased several times over. That said, the war in Ukraine will not last forever, and energy traders are aware of that.

Owing to all of these variables, it's almost impossible to estimate what the situation on the gas market will be by 2028, when PSP Grubisno Polje will certainly be in operation - both in terms of the security of supply and prices on the global market, and in terms of increasing energy transition in which there is less and less space for gas.

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

Friday, 20 May 2022

Dubrovnik Super Yachts Lacking, Turkey Set to Profit in 2022

May the 20th, 2022 - The classic sight of Dubrovnik super yachts which could be seen each and every summer in the Pearl of the Adriatic is severely lacking this year, with rich Russian yacht and villa owners avoiding Croatia entirely owing to sanctions. It seems Turkey is set to make the profit this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a couple of years ago, there were no cruisers, but there were Dubrovnik super yachts that chose Croatia's southernmost city as their favourite destination, and spent up to half a million euros in Croatia in just three weeks. These were the absolute guests, especially last year when Croatia set a record in the number of yacht arrivals, so many that Dubrovnik has already been called the Croatian Monte Carlo, writes local portal Dubrovacki vjesnik.

However, this year no yacht owner has decided to go down to Dubrovnik, except for the one that was on a winter berth in the Port of Gruz. Whether the problem is the fact that the owners of luxury yachts are often Russians who will, understandably, avoid parts of Europe where they may have their property confiscated or something else, Dubrovacki vjesnik tried to find out from yacht managers.

Russian oligarchs have been left without their villas, yachts and money: "This war is a disaster for them"

"The reason for the absence of yacht owners is primarily the situation due to the war in Ukraine, and a large number of yacht owners across the Mediterranean have always been Russians. We don't expect them anywhere in the Mediterranean, not even in Croatia. Turkey will certainly benefit from this because many Russian-owned vessels are already in Turkey and so that country will definitely have a better season than us.

It's hard to predict how many there will be across the Mediterranean. So far, we're doing well, but I expect it will be a little less this season than the previous two pandemic-dominated summers. What the numbers will be, we'll see at the end of the season. This year there will also be fewer Americans because of the war in Europe,'' Dorijan Dujmic, the director of BWA Yachting Croatia.

Compared to 2021, there have been fewer private planes landing Dubrovnik Airport as well, and the reason is certainly the same - rich Russians are now bypassing Croatia, and Americans looking at a map of Europe still believe Croatia is too close to the ongoing conflict, as it seems only a few inches away from Ukraine on paper.

“Since the beginning of this year, about 247 business and general aviation flights (private flights) have been in operation at Dubrovnik Airport. Compared to last year during the same period, there was an increase in the number of aircraft operations (flights) of about 13.83 percent,'' said Ivan Maslac, the commercial director of Dubrovnik Airport.

Last year, a significant part of general and business aviation traffic was made up of larger privately owned aircraft (Bombardier Global Express, Gulfstream V, etc.), and Dubrovnik Airport expects a large number of general and business aviation traffic this year as well, which will more than likely be of the same profile. Of course, due to the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine, we expect a smaller number of Russian passengers,'' he concluded.

For more, check out our travel section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Two-Weekly Aegean Airlines Zagreb Flights from Athens in June!

May 20, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as two Aegean Airlines Zagreb flights will run weekly from Athens from June 15!

Greek national airline Aegean Airlines will operate on a regular seasonal route between Athens and Zagreb from mid-June, reports Croatian Aviation.

Namely, the Star Alliance alliance member is renewing the line between Athens and Zagreb as of June 15. Two flights a week have been announced, every Wednesday and Saturday, and A320 aircraft will operate on the route.

Recall, Aegean introduced a regular line between the two cities in May 2018 with three flights a week in traffic, but with a smaller capacity aircraft type DashQ400. The line operated until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then the airline announced its return to the Croatian capital in the previous two summer seasons, though never fulfilled its promise. 

Given that there has been a significant increase in market demand, especially compared to the previous two seasons, the Greek airline will still operate on this route this summer, twice a week, and the first flight was announced in less than a month.

In 34 rotations, from mid-June to early October, Aegean Airlines offers a total of 12,036 seats between Zagreb and Athens, and A320 and A320NEO aircraft have been announced on the route, with 174 and 180 seats in the carrier's fleet, respectively.

Zagreb and Athens will also be connected by the regular Croatia Airlines line, which will operate from June 2 until the end of the summer flight schedule, i.e., the end of October. It is a long-term seasonal line between two cities with a stop at Dubrovnik Airport, and DashQ400 aircraft with a capacity of 76 seats operate on the line. 

Croatia Airlines will operate a total of 63 rotations on this route in the summer season, offering 10,448 seats, three flights a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

A total of 22,484 seats between these two carriers will be available between Athens and Zagreb this summer, both of which are members of the same aviation association.

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

Thursday, 19 May 2022

HUB Director: We Don't Expect Extremely High Increase In Interest Rates

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - Croatian Banking Association (HUB) director Zdenko Adrović said on Thursday that interest rates were not expected to rise extremely high but at rates that most people would be able to bear.

Responding to questions from the press at a HUB conference on the impact of euro adoption on the Croatian financial sector, Adrović said he did not know at what pace interest rates would grow, citing discussions in the Council of Governors at the European Central Bank.

"Some are calling for a quick and sharp increase in interest rates of 0.5 per cent already in July so that there would no longer be negative rates, while others are advocating a slower and milder increase. We will have to wait for the middle of the year," Adrović said.

He said that interest rates would most likely go up, adding that statistically 39 per cent of all loans were agreed at a floating interest rate and 61 per cent at a fixed interest rate. "This means that nothing will happen to those with the fixed interest rate, while in the case of those with the floating interest rate, the changeable part of the interest rate will change, while the margin will remain fixed."

 "We don't expect an extremely high increase, but one that most people can bear. We advise citizens to check their annuities and talk to their bank about the possibility of fixing the interest rate for a future period of three or five years if they want to avoid this risk," Adrović said.

 

For more, check out our business section

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Split To Hold Early Local Elections On 26 June

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday called snap elections in the City of Split for 26 June.

On 26 June, eligible voters will go to the polls to elect the mayor, the two deputy mayors and a new 31-seat city council.

The snap polls will be organised after Split Mayor Ivica Puljak (the Centre party) and his two deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić -- stepped down recently after an indictment was upheld against Ivošević for threatening a reporter.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Floraart Opens At Bundek Lake

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - The 56th edition of the Floraart flower show was formally opened by Mayor Tomislav Tomašević at Zagreb's Bundek Lake on Thursday.

This year, there are 160 exhibitors with over 100,000 plants.

Mayor Tomašević particularly thanked guests from the Republic of Korea and Korean Ambassador Sung-Wook Hong, for attending the opening ceremony.

Also in attendance was Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković,  who hailed cooperation with Korea.

The minister said that local flower growers, particularly young entrepreneurs in this sector, had been supported under various schemes totalling HRK 15 million (€2 million).

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

PM Says Croatia Can Play Crucial Role In Providing Energy In Europe

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - Croatia can be a crucial country for future energy supply to the countries in its neighbourhood that now fully depend on Russian energy sources, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday commenting on the "REPowerEU" plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels in Europe.

Plenković told a news conference that the REPowerEU Plan, which the European Commission presented on Wednesday as its response to the hardships and global energy market disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, highlights the need to invest in gas and oil pipelines networks.

This is an opportunity for the Croatian companies Plinacro and Janaf, and talks are being conducted with them to see what can be done, said the PM.

Plinacro, a leading Croatian gas transport system operator, and Janaf, which manages the oil transport network, have initial projections of necessary investments, according to Plenković.

The EU has a high degree of understanding for Croatia's crucial role, and the Croatian energy companies "have important roles in the changed energy structure of Europe," he added.

The PM highlighted three aspects of the EC plan: saving energy, diversifying supplies and accelerating the rollout of renewables.

The €300 billion plan consists of schemes for the disbursement of €225 billion in loans and €75 billion through grants.

The investment in gas and oil infrastructure is important to us because they create possibilities for additional investment, enhance our capacity and help Croatia become a strategic country in the diversification of supply routes, said Plenković.

He said that the government was taking necessary steps to fill gas storage capacities, as required by the EU.

For more, check out our politics section.

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