Saturday, 25 June 2022

Croatia's COVID-19 Update: 1,087 New Cases, One Death, 398 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours there have been 1,087 new cases of the infection with coronavirus, one COVID patient has died, and 394 patients have recovered, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

There are currently 3,598 active cases of COVID-19 disease in the country, and 210 of them are hospitalised patients ,including five placed on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the infection with the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, as many as 1,145,053 cases of the infection have been diagnosed. To date, 16,049 patients have died of the disease, and there have been 1,125,407 recoveries, including 398 in the last 24 hours.

Nearly 69% of adults have fully been vaccinated.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Split Is Holding Snap Mayoral and Local Polls on Sunday

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - Early elections for the mayor and the city council will be held in Split on Sunday, slightly more than 12 months after the ordinary local elections which were held throughout Croatia in May 2022.

The snap polls in the second biggest Croatian city were called after Mayor Ivica Puljak and his two deputies, who were elected in 2022, tendered resignation on 8 April following a scandal involving Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivošević who threatened a local reporter and was subsequently indicted for intimidation. The Office of the State Prosecutor (DORH) in Spit issued the indictment on 23 March.

Upon their resignation, also members of the 31-seat City Council stepped down, paving the way for an early election for the town's legislative council.

On Sunday, the nine mayoral candidates will vie for the position: Ivica Puljak of the Centre party, Zoran Đogaš supported by the HDZ and the HSS parties, a former mayor Željko Kerum supported by his HGS party, Josip Markotić of the Bridge party, SDP representative Davor Matijević, an independent Ante Franić, Kristina Vidan of the Smart (Pametno) party, Tamara Visković of the We Can and the New Left parties and Aris Zlodre of the Homeland Movement.

Since Croatia gained independence, Puljak has been for the shortest period in the mayoral position of this Adriatic city, only ten months.

The election of the mayor in the first round of the polls requires the support of 50% plus one ballot. If none of the candidates manages to pass this threshold, the mayoral runoff will take place between the first two vote-getters in two weeks' time.

Ten slates have applied for the polls for the city assembly.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Pahor Says Blocking Croatia's EU Entry Talks Hardest Decision in His Career

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - Slovenia's President Borut Pahor said on Saturday that the most difficult decision which he had made in his political career had been to block Croatia's EU accession negotiations in his capacity as Prime Minister in 2008.

"Blocking Croatia was my most difficult political decision," Pahor told the Slovenian national broadcaster in his interview on the occasion of Slovenia's Statehood Day, observed on 25 June.

In December 2008, the Pahor cabinet vetoed the opening of new policy chapters in Croatia's EU accession negotiations over the border dispute between the two neighbouring countries.

The blockade was lifted only after Croatia's government led by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor acceded to Slovenia's request to sign an arbitration agreement in late 2009.

Slovenia joined the EU in 2004, and Croatia in mid-2013.

In 2017, Croatia's government and parliament decided on withdrawing from the arbitration procedure after it was compromised by some of the Slovenian protagonists in the process.

Pahor's second presidential terms expires this year.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Law on Personal Assistance to Increase Number of Beneficiaries and Wages of Personal Asisstants

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - The law on personal assistance, which is likely to be enacted in Croatia in 2023, will very likely increase the wages of Personal Assistants (PAs) by 50% and also an estimated 15,000 persons with disabilities will be entitled to use the services of personal assistants.

"The new law will improve the quality of life of persons with the highest disabilities, as they will be entitled to more hours of personal assistance services and thus they will manage their time better, " Marica Mirić, a vice president of the Croatian Union of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (SOIH), Marica Mirić.

Furthermore, services of personal assistance also ease the burden on the families, she said in an interview with Hina.

The new legislation will pave the way for higher employment rates among persons with disabilities.

According to a time frame for the adoption of the law, the draft bill is to be forwarded to the government this autumn, and the parliament is expected to adopt it until the end of the year, according the information provided by the Labour, Family Affairs and Social Policy Ministry.

Awareness has been raised for years about the need for the adoption of legislation on personal assistance, and the issue has recently grabbed public attention when a former member of parliament, who is a person in wheelchair, went public with her unfortunate experience when her personal assistant attacked and robbed her in her flat.

There are several types of personal assistance services: services for persons with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities, personal attendants for visually impaired persons, communication assistants for deaf persons and assistants for deaf-blind service (DBS).

So far personal assistance services have been organised through programmes and projects of civil society associations, which are funded by the European Social Fund and the state budget.

The adoption of the law will regulate this area better, and define the models and contents of the services, entitlements to the services, qualifications for employment of personal assistants, monitoring and supervision of provision of services, possibilities for compensation for damage and financing.

In March this year, Croatia had 612,212 persons registered with various kinds and degrees of disabilities.

According to the social policy ministry, 2,312 persons with physical or mental disabilities used services of 2,292 personal assistants, according to a state of affairs registered in May.

Furthermore, 3,654 beneficiaries used services of a total of 99 communication assistants.

There were 67 personal attendants for 1,537 beneficiaries with visual impairment.

According to the ministry, the allocation set aside annually for all those services is HRK 148 million (approximately 20 million euros).

The ministry estimates that the potential number of users of personal assistance services can rise to 15,000 upon the adoption with the law.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Zagreb Through the Eyes of a Sixteen Year Old Expat

June 25, 2022 - Zagreb, Croatia’s prized northwestern capital, has gained quite the attention recently – with its captivating architecture and an abundant amount of summer activities. But is it exciting to live in for teenagers? Does it truly have a lot to offer to the vast number of youthful souls living there? Find out in the first of a new TCN series - Zagreb Through the Eyes of a Sixteen-Year-Old Expat. Prepare yourself for the culture that I have experienced as an expat living in Croatia’s most important transport hub! In today’s episode, meet the art culture of Zagreb.

From charming scenery to a distinguishable amount of greenery, offbeat entertainment, and a low crime rate, Zagreb has grown detrimentally on me during the single year I spent here (with one more to conquer before leaving for university).  Nothing about this city seemed appealing to me when my parents unexpectedly told me that, in the next few weeks, we are moving abroad for their work.

Leaving my close ones. Having to carve out a new social life. Finding a new school. It was all out of my comfort zone – which I very rarely challenge. I was not prepared to be thrown into an entirely unfamiliar community but found comfort in the fact that no one ever is. And so, with time I found myself falling in love with the medieval “old city” with contemporary Croatian culture and art.

Although Zagreb’s established reputation as a destination of culture, music, and art becomes notorious throughout the summertime, it still exudes everything it has to offer on a day-to-day basis – no matter the season. During my time here I have noticed several events provided by the city to its citizens, such as the Advent, the festival of lights, and several museums hosting gatherings for art enthusiasts. With smiling faces all around you, excited laughs from children running by, and an intoxicating atmosphere spreading with each passing second, Zagreb knows how to bring people together and have them share a memorable experience with one another.

advent-g7e3e65ae4_1920.jpgMoreover, the city’s combination of modern pleasure with historic architecture seems to divulge contrasts unlike anything else. For example, the Croatian National Theatre (1895) has shown generations of artists showcasing contemporary beauty on multiple occasions – bringing entertainment to all age groups living in the city of Zagreb. Additionally, the National Museum of Modern Art and the Ethnographic Museum of Zagreb both interpret and spread numerous museum activities aimed to promote the culture of the past and present.

Overall, I believe the diverse experience provided by Croatia’s cultural centre nurtures and promotes art in all kinds of forms. It encourages us citizens to discover various talents and institutions that mirror how culturally rich the city is. From my experience, all the events seem to grant a large number of locals and visitors the ability to view such creations from various open spaces – providing a level of fulfilment to all who attend!

Do not miss out on the opportunity to discover the city’s distinct personality by finding out more about the art culture it is exceptionally known for and the enviable summer programme that has recently started.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb Route to End Two Months Early, Plans to Return Next Year

June 25, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb route will end on July 31st this year instead of the originally scheduled end date of September 29. The airline still plans to return to the Croatian capital next year. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that the Finnair Helsinki-Zagreb route will end on July 31, which is two months ahead of the originally scheduled end date. The final flight will be operated by Nordic Regional Airlines with its 100-seat Embraer E190 aircraft. The Finnair seasonal route was meant to run until September 29 and no reason has been given for its cancellation. The Helsinki-Zagreb route was launched on May 1 with three flights a week, operated on Airbus A319 aircraft. 

However, Finnair plans to return to Zagreb next year, on April 30, with three flights a week on the same line. It is interesting to note that Finnair is the only airline to operate the Helsinki-Zagreb service. While Croatia Airlines ran summer flights between Helsinki and Zagreb in 2017, the line was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to be restored, and without any plans to re-launch the service. Finnair will continue to operate to Split and Dubrovnik until October 29, or the end of the summer flight schedule. 

Finnair also sacked its plans to Ljubljana this year, which ran seasonally until the coronavirus pandemic and was meant to be relaunched this summer. However, the airline should return to Ljubljana from May 2, 2023, with four flights per week.

"Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan", the airline said.

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

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Split International Food Scene: What's New in 2022?

June 25, 2022 - A look at the booming Split international food scene and what has opened this year. 

International flavors have increasingly shown their face in Split over the last few years, but it's hard to say if they've been as prevalent as in 2022. After the tastes of Mexico, China, and Japan became more common to find, this year, Split is alive with new international flair to the delight of tourists, expats, and locals alike. 

Here's a look at what's new in 2022. 

Siam Thai Food

Split finally has a Thai food restaurant! After Siam Thai opened in Kaštela over a year ago, the citizens of Split eagerly awaited its more central location - and this summer, we finally have it. Siam Thai opened in Pohodnik, or the tunnel underneath Split's Green Market (Pazar), offering takeout, delivery, and a handful of tables for those who want to dine in. With authentic pad Thai, curries, and spring rolls, Siam offers the best selection of Thai food favorites with hefty portions at reasonable prices. 

Rooh Indian 

And we finally have Indian food, too! One international cuisine expats especially have been waiting for is finally here. Rooh opened in the heart of Split a few months ago with everything one would expect from a traditional Indian restaurant. With a selection of naan bread, tandoori dishes, the popular honey chili cauliflower, samosas, and biriyani - Rooh has it all. And they know a thing or two about heat! Rooh has both indoor and outdoor seating and is located just off of Marmontova. 


African is a rather unexpected cuisine you'd find in Split, that is, until now. But in an effort to make sure it appeals to more familiar tastes, Zuva mixes the flavors of the Mediterranean with Africa, offering sourdough toasties and shakshuka among their breakfast items to oysters, Cape Malay curry, crispy African 'sadza', chicken, steak, and pasta mains, and sticky malva pudding for dessert. Zuva has a large outdoor terrace just opposite the Cornaro hotel. 

Sanctuary Cantina

Everyone's favorite craft cocktail bar is transforming into a Mexican cantina this summer! Known for whipping up espresso martinis and old-fashioned's, Sanctuary Cantina is a new Mexican restaurant in town, with an extensive selection of tequilas, margaritas, mezcal, and authentic Mexican dishes, like beef barbacoa, ancho chicken, and pork carnitas as the stars of their burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and more! 

Casa de Fuego 

And if you're looking for something a bit more low-key? Casa de Fuego is a new Mexican fast food restaurant in town, where ground beef burritos, hard shell tacos, and churros are king. Casa de Fuego has limited seating inside and is great if you're on the go. 

Pinsa Romana

Considering Romans did rule Split once upon a time, it's no surprise that a Roman-inspired sandwich shop has opened in Split. Pinsa Romana brings Roman street food sandwiches and 100% Italian specialties to the center of town, right across from the famous fish market. Enjoy mortadella sandwiches with pistachio pesto, stracciatella, and the only original parmigiana in town!


Did someone say empanadas? An Argentinian deli has opened in Split in the tunnel next to HNK, offering handmade empanadas, yerba mate, dulce de leche, Argentinian wine, and more. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Wimbledon Draw: Croatian Tennis Players Learn Opponents in 3rd Grand Slam of Season

June 25, 2022 - The Wimbledon draw was held on Friday, revealing the first-round meetings for Croatian tennis players. 

Croatian tennis player Jana Fett, who made it through the qualifications to the main Wimbledon tournament, will play in the first round against the world's No. 1 tennis player, Iga Swiatek from Poland. 

Donna Vekić also got a tough opponent and will play against the eighth-seed American Jessica Pegula. It will be the first time they play each other. 

Petra Martić also drew an American as her opponent in the first round - the 37th tennis player in the world, Shelby Rogers. Martić achieved her two best results at Wimbledon in 2017 and 2019, when she reached the fourth round.

The best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić will play against the 52nd player in the world, American Mackenzie McDonald, in the first round. Čilić and McDonald have played only once, and Marin celebrated at the 2019 Australian Open.

Borna Ćorić will play against the 12th seed Argentine Diego Schwartzman. It will be their fifth duel, and so far, they are 2-2 head-to-head. 

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will open the doubles tournament against Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Benoit Paire, while Ivan Dodig and partner Austin Krajicek will face Steve Johnson and Samuel Querrey. 

Wimbledon title defender Novak Djokovic will start the campaign for his 21st Grand Slam title against South Korean Kwon Soon-woo in the first round, while second seed Rafael Nadal plays against Argentine Francisco Cerundol, the 42nd player in the world.

The young Spanish rising star and fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz will face German Jan-Lennard Struff at the start.

Looking further into the draw, Djokovic and Alcaraz, and Nadal and Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime could meet in the quarterfinals if they are successful until then. 

Serena Williams, who has not played a single match for a year due to injury, will begin the hunt for her 24th Grand Slam title against French tennis player Harmony Tan, 113th on the WTA list. If she wins, she will face Sara Sorribes Tormo and last year's finalist Karolina Pliškova in the third round. 

You can read more here

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Croatian Police, Dinamo, Hajduk, and HNS Discuss Fan Safety at Croatian Super Cup in Zagreb

June 25, 2022 - The Croatian Police, Dinamo, Hajduk, and HNS discussed fan safety ahead of the Croatian Super Cup in Zagreb between the two clubs on July 9. 

A meeting of the Police Directorate and competent persons was held in front of Dinamo, Hajduk, and the Croatian Football Federation. The first derby of the season is being played as part of the Super Cup on July 9, and the goal is to prevent the incidents that accompanied last season's derbies.

The HNS press release is transmitted in its entirety below:

"On Friday, June 24, 2022, a working meeting was held on the official premises of the Police Directorate to prepare and implement security for the upcoming Super Cup football match between GNK Dinamo Zagreb and HNK Hajduk Split.

In addition to the representatives of the Police Directorate, the persons in charge of security on behalf of the Croatian Football Federation and the football clubs Dinamo and Hajduk participated in the meeting and discussed all segments of security preparation and implementation that affects security in this football match.

Namely, the Police Directorate declared the football match a high-security risk match and all participants in the meeting agreed on the importance of making every effort to play the match in the atmosphere of a football sports spectacle in which sport will be at the forefront with all necessary security measures for all participants and spectators." 

Recall, football fans and Croatian police clashed after Dinamo Zagreb beat Hajduk 3:1 in the final match of the season one month ago. Dinamo celebrated the Croatian championship title in front of their fans at Maksimimr Stadium, as Hajduk fan group Torcida remained outside protesting a new Dinamo banner rule. Later that evening, fans and police clashed at the Desinec rest area along the Zagreb-Split motorway. As a result, four men sustained shotgun wounds, and 35 people were injured. Forty-two people were in investigative custody and only released 9 days ago. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Saturday, 25 June 2022

The Guardian Ranks Lastovo Among Europe's Most Enchanted Islands

June the 25th, 2022 - The British publication The Guardian has made no efforts to hide its love for Croatia over the years, with destinations up and down the country making it to various lists. It has now published a list of the most enchanted, off-the-radar European islands, and the gorgeous southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo is quite rightly on it.

As Morski writes, The Guardian has included beautiful Lastovo on its recently published list of the ten most enchanted, off-the-radar European islands boasting untouched nature, which still aren't as attractive to tourists as other more popular ones might be. A trip from Split to Lastovo takes just under five hours, which is why tourists don't tend to be in any particular rush to arrive at this beautiful haven north of Dubrovnik.

Croatia's islands are no strangers to such lists, and Lastovo certainly deserves special recognition for the incredible combination of pristine vegetation and nature and stunning bays in which a refreshing dip results in a feeling of pure nirvana.

''It may take an arduous four-and-a-quarter hour ferry crossing from Split to reach Lastovo, but this chunky Croatian island is so different from its touristy sister, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Spend your time dawdling through pine forests, admiring the island’s Venetian-style houses, then exploring some of its 38 churches or swimming in the transparent waters off Skrivena Luka Bay. There’s just one hotel – the aptly named Solitudo, whose sea-facing restaurant serves up delicious Dalmatian-style spiny lobster.'' writes The Guardian in its description of this alluring island.

In addition to Lastovo, The Guardian's list also includes the island of Porquerolles in France, Tabarca in Spain, Bozcaada in Turkey, La Graciosa in Spain, Syros in Greece, Cabrera in Spain, Tinos in Greece, Île de Batz in France and Filicudi in Sicily.

For more on Croatian islands, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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