Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Fines For Failing to Separate Zagreb Waste as of 1 October Revealed

September the 28th, 2022 - The fine amounts for those who fail to separate their Zagreb waste as of the 1st of next month when the new system comes into force have now been revealed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of October the 1st this year, a new system for the separation and disposal of Zagreb waste will finally be launched, which is a new way of municipal waste collection service spanning the area of ​​the City of Zagreb.

The move has been made because of two main things, namely that the city's problematic waste containers will finally be under the control of their users and that a system will be introduced that encourages users to separate their waste, and then they'll only pay for the amount of mixed municipal waste that they actually produces, Davor Vic, the director of Zagreb's Cistoca, said for Dobro jutro, Hrvatska/ Good morning, Croatia.

"With the appearance of official, standardised bags in stores, counterfeit bags have now also appeared. Creating these was a criminal act," he emphasised, adding that the original bag has been protected. When asked how it will be possible to get the yellow bags intended for separating plastic and metal, Vic said that they will continue to be available as they have been until now. The distribution of new bags will start in October, and people can also come to Zagreb Holding on Vukovarska (Vukovar street), where they can pick up these bags for themselves, as well as buy the new standardised blue ones.

What will the fines for the improper disposal and separation of Zagreb waste under the new rules amount to?

When asked what the fines will be for people who don't behave in accordance with this new decision, Vic said that the fines will be 500 kuna for individuals and 1,000 kuna for legal entities, adding that the City of Zagreb has created a price list of services where the relationship between the minimum public service and the variable part is high. This relationship must encourage users to properly separate their waste.

"The more people separate their waste, the lower their bills will be. Today's system doesn't encourage this at all and we expect that we'll manage to reach the required percentages so that people don't need to pay fines,'' he pointed out in an interview with HRT, emphasising that discounts are being provided in the form of additional bags that won't come at a cost for people who need to dispose of diapers, as well as for households with small children up to three years old. More detailed information about this can be found on Zagreb Holding's website.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Air France Offering Flights from Zagreb Airport at Lower Prices

September the 28th, 2022 - The very well known air company Any France is launching flights from Zagreb Airport to various international destinations at slashed prices over the coming days.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year, the airline company Air France is offering a large number of destinations for travellers from Zagreb Airport at reduced prices in the company's brand new Le Rendez Vous campaign.

Ticket prices for long-haul destinations across the pond in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have been reduced. Promotional destinations include major metropolises such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, but also exotic destinations such as Mauritius, Cancun, Saint Martin and Bangkok.

If you have always wanted to visit a faraway or exotic destination or perhaps take advantage of a weekend tour of one of the European destinations in Air France's promotional campaign, it is now easy and much cheaper to do so from Zagreb Airport.

The Air France Le Rendez Vous promotional campaign is set to run from September the 27th to October the 6th, 2022, and tickets can be used until March the 31st, 2023. The offer is also valid for return tickets, and the price includes all taxes.

For more on where you travel from Zagreb Airport, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Rijeka Boat Show Begins This Friday With Record Number of Exhibitors

September the 28th, 2022 - The Rijeka Boat Show is set to begin this Friday with a record number of exhibitors set to be present, according to yesterday's press conference.

As Morski writes, this year's Rijeka Boat Show was officially presented to the media yesterday, and over the three days of the fair, from September the 30th to October the 2nd, at the Karolina Rijeka Quay, about eighty exhibitors will present attractive brands from the nautical world, Croatian shipbuilding and a variety of related equipment to visitors.

The media was first addressed by Jana Sertic, head of the Department for Entrepreneurship of the City of Rijeka, who stated:

'''Rijeka needs a strong and relevant nautical fair such as this one. The Rijeka Boat Show is growing, it survived the pandemic and the potential for further development lies in the context of the development of the construction and commissioning of the Porto Baros marina. We're witnessing the transformation of Rijeka into a nautical destination, and the city is increasingly opening up to the sea. Therefore, the support of the City of Rijeka to the Rijeka Boat Show is unquestionable, and I hope for further cooperation in the years to come.''

Vedran Babic, a representative of the organisers, recalled the long tradition of nautical fairs in the City of Rijeka, which began as far back as 1984, and added:

''The success of a fair project is measured, among other things, by the number of exhibitors. When we started, in 2019 there were 25 exhibitors at the fair, all of whom are going to be present this year as well. Today there are as many as 80 of them, so we had to expand the exhibition area, which we're very satisfied with.''

Marko Mikasinovic, head of product development of the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka, is happy about the significant destination potential of the city, which the Rijeka Boat Show fits perfectly into. He believes that we're sailing on a good course, and that the effects for tourism will be greater.

Drazen Tomic, director of the Legal Affairs and Human Resources Department of ACI d.d. noted that the Rijeka Boat Show is a fair whose importance has grown significantly in previous years, which has also been confirmed by the fact that back during previous seasons, despite taking place in the challenging conditions of the global coronavirus pandemic, achieved significant sales results.

''One of the most significant investments in nautical tourism in Croatia, the construction of ACI Marina Rijeka, can certainly give the fair even greater momentum and further strengthen it. We believe that in the coming years, both ACI Marina Rijeka and the Rijeka Boat Show will grow together and profile the City of Rijeka as a relevant nautical destination,'' he concluded.

The director of the commercial affairs department of the Rijeka Port Authority, Captain Rajko Jurman, spoke about significant investments in the port basin and the development of the Port of Rijeka into a modern transport "hub" with the help of funds from the European Union (EU) funds programme.

The organisers expect over 10,000 visitors over the three fair days on the 5,000 m2 surface. The working hours of the fair are on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, and on Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30. Ticket prices are 15 kuna for visitors aged 10 to 18, 30 kuna for adults, while children under 10 can enter for free.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Croatia Beats Denmark On Penalties for U21 Euros Spot!

September 27, 2022 - The young Croatia national team is going to the Euros! Croatia beat Denmark on penalties on Tuesday, securing their spot at the 2023 U21 Euros. 

The U21 Croatia national team faced Denmark on Tuesday for a spot at the 2023 European Championship. Four days ago, Igor Bišćan's side won 2:1 against Denmark in Pula, and today in Vejle, they played the return match of the additional qualifications.

The young Croatia team was after their third consecutive European tournament. In 2019, Croatia did not make it out of their group, and Spain was better in the quarter-final last year. 

The match on Tuesday ended with Denmark winning 2:1, and as Croatia celebrated an identical result in the first match last week, the game went into extra time. As the match remained 2:1 at the end of extra time, the winner was decided by a penalty shootout. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski was the hero, saving shots from Thomas Kristensen in the fourth round and Mathias Ross in the sixth round. 

Denmark took a 2:0 lead with goals from Matthew O'Riley (10) and Morten Frendrup (19), but Croatia brought the match to extra time with a goal from Igor Matanović in the 84th minute.

Croatia has thus qualified for its fifth European Under-21 Championship and the third in a row. In their four attempts so far, Croatia had gotten out of the group stage only once, in 2021, when they were eliminated in the quarter-final. 

The Euros are scheduled from June 21 to July 8, 2023, and will be played in eight stadiums in five cities. Matches will be played in the Romanian cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca and the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi. Romania will host the opening match, and the final will be played in Georgia.

The group draw is scheduled for October 18 in Bucharest, and the national teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each.

The three best national teams from the Euros will qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As the host of the Olympics, France has already secured their place. 


Denmark: Hermansen - Carstensen, Kristensen, Ross, Kristiansen - O'Riley, Frendrup, Kjaergaard - Isaksen, Tengstedt, Daramy

Croatia: Kotarski - Hodža, Vušković, Soldo, Čolina - Pršir, Franjić, Sučić - Vidović, Beljo, Šego

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Virovitica-Podravina County Invests in Geothermal Power Plant

September 27, 2022 - The energy crisis is proving to be an excellent opportunity for some. In the Virovitica-Podravina County in the municipality of Čađavica, a significant investment in a geothermal power plant has been launched.

As reported by SiB, the geothermal power plant should start operating in two years. Drilling is currently in process, where 3,200 meters have been reached. The main goal is to reach 5,000 meters, at which depth the water has a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius.

RTL's Boris Mišević spoke about it with Igor Andrović, the prefect of the Virovitica-Podravina County.

"I should congratulate the investor for having the courage to take on such a risky project. We don't know what they might find at 4,500 to 5,000 meters, but we do believe that the plans will continue developing as it was imagined, that there will be hot water, as well as water flow. This power plant running on geothermal resources is the largest in Europe, reaching 20 megawatts, and it could supply half of the county. It is a big thing when you are energy independent, when you have a crisis, and you have your own resources. There is a possibility that an entrepreneurial zone can be developed here, that the business plan might change, as there will be a surplus of thermal energy that can be used for production so that it is used more," said Adrović for RTL.

He also said that owing to the geothermal power plant, the price of electricity will be more favourable than if it were imported.

"Here, you have your own resources 24 hours a day; you don't depend on the wind or the sun, the level of the rivers. Here you have a 24-hour flow of hot water, and this will certainly make energy much cheaper," said Adrović.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Days Left Until Royal HeadOnEast Festival Celebrating Croatia's East

September 27, 2022 - We are counting the days until the fourth edition of HeadOnEast. This spectacular event delights even the most demanding hedonists who will seek happiness this weekend in the east of Croatia. Yesterday in the Osijek-Baranja County, the entire program of this now traditional festival was presented.

SiB writes, "HeadOnEast is not only becoming recognisable in Croatia, but beyond. Both as a festival, and as a brand of eastern Croatia that visitors can enjoy all year round. In cooperation with the Tourist Board, Osijek-Baranja County will present the best of everything it has to offer during the two-day festival created four years ago, during the Croatian Tourism Day in the east of Croatia," said prefect Ivan Anušić. This year's HeadOnEast takes place on September 30 and October 1 with the support of the City of Osijek. So hurry up to book a good party in the city on the Drava, because according to the tourist numbers, the accommodation capacities are almost full. After two pandemic years, Osijek-Baranja County saw record numbers, just like in 2019.

"HeadOnEast truly offers the best that we have, and that's why this festival has become recognisable in such a short time. I thank the Osijek-Baranja County for its excellent organisation because Osijek also records excellent tourism results, to which such festivals certainly contribute," said Dragan Vulin, deputy mayor of Osijek.

In the most beautiful parts of the city of Osijek, the festival of hedonism wearing royal clothes will shine at several city locations. During two days, they will become kingdoms with the majority of events taking place in the parks of King Petar Krešimir IV and King Tomislav Park, and King Držislav Park.


Festival programme, Visit Slavonija Baranja

"Every true hedonist enjoys life like a king. That's why we're starting the event at Kraljica Pija, where a royal breakfast for hedonists awaits us in cooperation with our partners HAPIH and the Regional Centre of Competence of the Hospitality and Tourism School in Osijek, followed by the Cooking show "The best fish are in the east" with fresh ingredients from our market," said Ivana Jurić, director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board.

We will continue with the classics in Sakuntala Park and the Avenue Theatre, in one of the most beautiful parts of the city, the Art Nouveau European Avenue. The program then moves to the City and University Library, where we will discuss new books and play in the royal playroom. Across the street, at the Museum of Fine Arts, we have a rich music program, and all of that as darkness falls is accompanied by the Houses of Light in European Avenue and the main HedOnEast zones.

In Kraljevina (the Kingdom), we will drink top wines, and in the King's Park, we will play the royal game with our partner associations Dokkica, Breza, and Đola - making cloaks, crowns, and swords, everything that a real kingdom must have. This part is dedicated to children because they are the kings of the game.

"Beercuz also waits with craft beers, Labos with brandies, gin and domestic whiskeys, and the unmissable street food. An evening walk under the lanterns awaits us on both days, followed by a rich music program. From Nera & Updown, Filip Pavić and the Jazz Quartet, Fluentes, Gelato Sisters, Meritas, Massimo, DJ Vladimir Božić, Croatian Funk Delegation, Surogat, Ida Prester and Lollobrigida, Daleka Obala, to Z++. Saturday morning is booked for the antiques fair and another Cooking show, "Where do the black pigs go," at Kraljica Pija, as well as several playrooms, story rooms, and exhibitions in several locations," Jurić added.

Along with the City of Osijek, the Tourist Board of the City, the Croatian Tourist Board, the Cultural Centre, the Market, HAPIH, the Museum of Fine Arts, the City and University Library, the Hospitality School, the associations Đola, Breza, and Dokkica, and Adverta, there are new partners who have recognised the value of this event. Croatia osiguranje and Ledo will support this year's royal HeadOnEast.

Osijek is about to become a big stage that will fill all the senses, even for the biggest hedonists, on September 30 and October 1. During the two-day festival, it will summarise to its visitors all the hedonistic benefits of the Osijek-Baranja County that you can experience 365 days a year.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Project “KRAVATA” is underway as a symbol of Croatian culture

CroDiaspora and the American Croatian Congress designed and launched the “Kravata” (Necktie) project to present the necktie as a symbol of Croatian culture, but also to highlight and promote the influence of Croatian emigrants through the presentation of their contribution to emigrant communities, Croatia and the world. The collection of ties, scarves, and CVs with the signatures of those who wore them is underway. All exhibits will be presented at the project's traveling exhibitions at universities around the world and at the UN and EU institutions. 

“Kravata” team members are Nada Pritišanac Matulich (Project Manager and Coordinator), Ana Katalinić (Key Account Manager), Branka Bezic Filipovic (Key Account Manager, South America), and Mate Pavković (Public Relations Manager).  



The first exhibit will be at Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia Dubrovnik Campus from June 8 – 11, 2023, which will be a symbolic exhibit as it will namely showcase Dubrovnik’s diplomatic tradition. The exhibit will then travel to Aspira University College Split on June 15, 2023, before heading to the Zagreb School of Economics and Management on July 7, 2023, in conjunction with the 7th Annual ACAP Conference. From Zagreb, the exhibit will travel to other Universities and institutions around the world.  


At the end of the project, organizers intend to create a necktie museum in Zagreb where tourists, as well as Croats and their children, will have the opportunity to learn about influential and successful Croats from the Croatian diaspora who have contributed to creating a positive image of Croatia and the Croatian people abroad. If you would like to donate or contribute to project “Kravata”, reach out to organizers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Alenka Jurasic: Dear Croatia: It is Not Me, It's You

September 27, 2022 - Not all Croatian returnee stories are happy ones. Alenka Jurasic with a very candid overview of making the switch from Toronto to Volosko. 

Dear Croatia:

It’s not me, it's you...

After leaving my job of 20 years in the hospitality business in one of the best bars in Toronto, I made my way to Volosko, Opatija in June. Notice given and accepted, legendary goodbye party in the books, apartment sublet for 3-6 months, bags packed, triple vaccination certificate in hand, I made my way to my home for the summer, what I hoped would be my home for the future, Croatia.

First and foremost, there was more than one reason for me to make this move. It was not sudden or out of the blue. The move came through a series of breadcrumbs that led me here to this point in time. I had an apartment my mother left me in one of the most beautiful seaside villages I had ever seen. The sprawling place had been her very happy home for 20 years of retirement, and the view from the balcony was something I had never experienced on a daily basis before. I had a whole brood of cousins living across the street who I adored, and then the sea, ah the beautiful sea, was a 5-minute walk from my front door. After 2 and a half years of lockdowns, shutdowns, mask mandates, vaccination requirements, capacity mandates, and everything being closed for months on end in Toronto, I began to really consider what I wanted my life to look like… and it was not looking like Toronto was the place for me anymore.

Plus, with my dad being very ill with stage 4 cancer and in a home in Croatia. I figured this would be an opportunity to spend the summer not only on one of the most beautiful coastlines I had ever seen but also to help him through his last days of life. Nothing seemed more reasonable to me, and the breadcrumbs led me to Volosko in June 2022.

I took a plane, and bus taxi, entered my inherited home, dropped my bags, and sighed as I quickly changed into a bikini, grabbed a new book and a towel, and made my way down to the sea. I had arrived. All my Croatian friends congratulated me on the move well done, if not way too late. My family welcomed me with open arms and open bottles of Pelinkovac. My father somewhat stubbornly remarked, what took you so long, but conceded he was happy to have me so close by.

It didn’t take long for things to get “tough,” but I had anticipated this, somewhat naively, I can now admit. Language barriers, culture barriers, and lifestyle barriers hit me straight in the face like a flying bat in baseball.

First, it was the prices…how did everything all of a sudden get so much more expensive? From food to drinks to excursions - nothing was as cheap and cheerful as I remembered it. And speaking of cheerful? To get a warm greeting or a smile from a hospitality worker or someone in the service industry was very few and far between. Going out to eat went from being a joyful experience to one of frustration and disappointment. Having been in the service industry for my entire life, I couldn’t fathom how a country that lived solely off tourism could provide such a terrible experience again and again and again. Mediocre food for fine dining prices. Now, I must admit I am a pretty picky restaurant-goer. I believe and respect the experience - sometimes more than I respect the quality of the product. So I have to say that I am extremely disappointed with my overall Croatian dining experience. Like wtf. I have waited 10 -15 minutes just to receive a menu. Then I have waited an indiscriminate time for my drink to arrive. I have been overcharged and ignored, and I seem to feel like I am in the waiter's way and not that they are there to give me quality service and an experience. I am a bother, not a valued guest spending hard-earned money.

Transit tickets are more expensive than taking the transit in Toronto (where the median salary is 5 times higher) for a system that is beyond in need of maintenance and upgrading.

3.25 CAD for a ride in Toronto to wherever you want to go and 3.45 CAD for a ride only in a 3-zone range. I’ve been on buses when it was so over capacity that it was dangerous, and young girls were fainting from the heat and nowhere to move. Long distance buses hours late with no one to tell you what is going on and when they might be expected. This is at bus stations with no seating or adequate washroom facilities. I have taken the same route to the same stop and been charged three different fares. When questioned, no driver knew the reason why it was so. I have not gotten change back and been charged a full rate and given a ticket for a cheaper rate so the driver could pocket the extra kunas. I have never in my entire life living and taking transit in Toronto ever seen a young generation more rude while on the bus. Teenagers and young adults nab the seats, and senior citizens and older folks with groceries are left to stand the entire way to their stop. It is not just sometimes; it is every day. My Croatian mother would have bopped me over the head had I not given up my seat to someone who looked even 10 years older than me. The kids scream and joke and goof around and get on without paying, while Nona and Nono are left to hold on tight to the railings through the hairpin turns. Disgusting. I am embarrassed for this new generation. I have argued with bus drivers, been talked down to, cheated, and dismissed. When I asked for my change once, I was told he did not have it, and it was not much anyway, so not to worry about it… the Canadian in me is appalled.

Trips to social security have left me dreading having to go back. One time I knocked politely on the door and waited - only to have the doorman/guard open the door begrudgingly a few minutes later, admonishing me as to why I did not just enter- that he was not a butler! I explained to him that in times of pandemic and covid, it was expected not to barge into an office but to wait politely outside in case they were at capacity. He grunted. I was surprised he knew the word butler.

Being a pedestrian in this country is like taking your life into your hands every time you step outside. Cars parked belligerently on every sidewalk, so you are forced to walk on the very busy small road hoping that traffic will not smash you to bits.

Trying to navigate the health care system is another nightmare that not only a foreigner but every Croatian who cannot afford paid healthcare has to go through. How many trips to the hospital with my very sick father ended up with me in an argument as to why I don’t have the proper forms and that I need to go here for this and here to pick up that and wait hours to see a doctor in a waiting room teeming with sick folks waiting for their blessed turn to please see someone to help them feel a bit better. One building for the test, then you have to pick up the results yourself to bring to the next building, and so on and so on and so on. It was so confusing and difficult that my poor, very sick father gave up, and I had to fly over from Canada to help an 81-year-old man to get to see someone to help him deal with cancer. It took 7 weeks in total to get a diagnosis and to get treatment started. I myself saw a chiropractor for major lower back pain, and to be told it's 80 CAD dollars for 15 minutes of work, and no he does not take credit - cash only. He scoffed when I asked to pay with a card. Cash only, cash only, cash only. Words that you will hear in many places around this tourist-based country.

No one will tell you that there is not a common taxi system here like there is in most modern countries - a standard fare and commute. I learned that the hard way. What was usually an 80 kuna ride, I was charged 140 kuna and the taxi driver told me that they were a private company and could charge what they meter. Cash only. So in a city of no Uber I learned that you have to ask what the fare will be upfront so as not to be shocked when you step out. My ride from the airport to my friend's place taught me that. I nearly fell out of the cab in shock when I arrived and was told a 15-minute ride cost me almost 80 dollars.

Jebiga, jebote and kurac are all I heard when I tried to explain my experience to others. If they are rude to you, be rude to them is what I was told. But it is not in me to be rude. Today I went to pay a bill at the Fina, and the cashier pushed it back to me. And I pushed it back to her. And she impatiently said (hearing that I was a foreigner with my thick accent) that I needed to fill out a payment slip which she pushed across the desk to me. Not knowing the language, I painstakingly filled out the form myself while she sat there and sighed and was impatient with my ineptness. I don’t need to be bowed to and coddled or handled with kid gloves; I just need a bit of patience and kindness and help. I want to be here, I want to belong. I want to pay my bills fast and take the bus without hesitation and not dread dealing with rudeness or animosity. But those experiences are few and far between. And when you find one nice experience, it can change your day by God!

Funeral expenses _ cash only. Who pays cash for a 2500 $ funeral? Getting a new remote for my garage door - cash only and no receipt. Over and over in a system that has no system. Maybe I am too Canadian and too “nice” as we Canadians are known, but when has nice ever been a detriment to society?

I will never forget my first argument in the hospital with the receptionist when I came from Canada to help my dad get care. We had an appointment with the throat specialist. We waited. We were called, and I handed over the form my dad's family doctor had given us. It was the wrong form, and I was told to get another form and come back. I said no. She said what. I said no, I was not coming back, that we had an appointment my dad had social healthcare and that we wanted to see the doctor. She asked me if I understood her, and I said yes, but I did not understand why we could not see the surgeon if we had an appointment he had his medical card, and I had come from Canada to get him this help. So NO, I was not leaving and getting another form, and I did not understand and we were going to see the doctor. The horror! After much hesitation and annoying looks, she spoke to the surgeon, who took us immediately as my father's case was urgent. I had to promise to send the right form the next day. Now getting to see my family doctor was another thing, You can call and call and call but never get through to make an appointment because no one really answers the phone there. You have to show up and wait and then get admonished for not making an appointment, but you had tried for hours and days on end. And so on and so on and so on.

One thing after another, and I tried and tried. Is it me? No, it's not, it is you Croatia. Unfortunately for us both. Not only did you not make it easy, you made it really hard.


Thanks, Alenka!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Istrian Camps and Hotels Breaking Records in Post-Season

September the 27th, 2022 - Istrian camps and hotels are continuing to break records during 2022's post-season, despite the poor weather conditions which are currently causing issues in that and other parts of the country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, even the bad weather over the last few days hasn't succeeded in spoiling the excellent tourist results for Istrian camps and hotels during the post-season. For the whole year, compared to the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019, the number of overnight stays is now only 3% behind. Of the 350,000 tourists currently staying in Croatia, about 100,000 of them are on the gorgeous Istrian peninsula, as reported by HRT.

There are now much smaller crowds, the sun is still warm but not brutally hot, and the sea hasn't cooled down all that much either, meaning swimming is still very much a possibility, this combination is ideal for guests from the north. The Fazana camp is still half full, and among the 2,000 guests, the majority are retirees, parents with small children and school groups on trips away.

"The season is better than that of 2019. I can say that cumulatively, in total, the whole year will end with some 10% plus compared to 2019," said Roland Cinkopan, the director of the Bi-Village camp in Fazana.

Even in the camp in Pula, the cottages are still full, and the rent of several hundreds of euros per night is now half the price. "We wanted to stay a few days, but it's beautiful, especially with this view, so we're staying the whole week," said Paola from Germany, and that view extends to a luxury hotel with all the accompanying facilities. Although it has just been renovated, it was immediately recognised on the market and will not be closed even over winter. In the coming months, it will host congresses, and now individual guests, mostly Austrian nationals, are staying there.

Raising the overall level of quality and increasing consumption is part of the strategic plan for tourism development not only in Istria but across the rest of country, crowd reduction is also a top priority.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Association of Pag Cheese Producers Seeks Lowering of VAT

September the 27th, 2022 - The Association of Pag cheese producers are seeking VAT reductions on cheese and milk products from the government, given the fact that Croatia has placed particularly high VAT rates on cheese compared to many EU member states.

As Morski writes, in Italy, this rate stands at 4%, in France 5.5%, in Germany 7%, while in this country, VAT on cheese is a whopping 25%. That is why Pag cheese producers and small dairy farms have sent a request to the Croatian Government in which they're asking for a reduction in what they consider to be too high value-added tax rates. If that happens, the consumption of cheese would increase, and its price for the end consumer would also be lower.

Without tax relief, the business outlook for cheesemakers doesn't look great.

''The Association of Pag Cheese Producers, together with the Association of Croatian Small Dairies, has decided to initiate a request to reduce VAT on cheese and dairy products. Croatia has the highest VAT rate on cheese and dairy products of all EU member states. Just for comparison, in Slovenia, the VAT rate is 9.5%, in Italy and Spain it is 4%, in Ireland the VAT rate is 0%,'' said Martina Pernar Skunca, president of the Pag Cheese Producers Association.

''We propose a VAT rate of 0-5%, so we also accept 5% as a kind of normal VAT rate for dairy products,'' said Sime Gligora, the director of the Gligora cheese factory.

''What's illogical is that the VAT on milk is 5% and the state subsidises milk production and encourages it, while on the other hand, the VAT on cheese and dairy products is so high,'' added Pernar Skunca.

I'm tired of the barren bureaucracy, of all of these piles of paper. Most of this could be reduced, simplified, arranged to be simpler, to be easier. A big problem is created by VAT, which takes most of the income for itself. It's clear to all of us that the state also has to live on something and those institutions that are also at our service, don't get us wrong, but I think that this industry should be protected not only on the island of Pag, but across the whole of Croatia because it's now on the verge of extinction,'' said Sime Pernjak, the co-owner of a cheese factory.

This summer's drought has also left unfavourable consequences. The sheep which graze Pag did not find enough food, so the livestock had to be supplemented, and compared to last year, the costs have doubled.

''From the very start when it comes to livestock, feed prices rose. Fodder rose because artificial fertiliser rose. Fertilizer prices have risen due to energy costs. And therefore the price of milk has also shot up. So, the price of milk is 50% higher than it was last year. Energy prices went up, electricity is three times more expensive, gas is twice as expensive, and the costs of packaging, cardboard, foils all went up,'' said Gligora.

It can't get any worse, Pag cheese producers have warned, aware that they cannot replace the increase in input costs with a higher price of cheese.

''The big thing is that we buy milk with 5% VAT, and the output VAT is 25%. The maths here is crystal clear,'' said Pernjak.

''By reducing the VAT rate on cheese and dairy products, our products would be more competitive on the market, their consumption would increase, and this would be good for everyone because there would be a greater inflow into the state coffers. So we believe that in these difficult conditions on the market and in this situation when everything has become more expensive - both raw materials and energy products - that it is really necessary to reduce VAT because it is the highest in all of Europe. As for Pag cheese, it is a premium product, and the point is that dairy farmers on the island of Pag don't live only on Pag cheese. We also have goats, we buy significant quantities of cow's milk from Croatia and goat's milk which also comes from Croatia. The price of hard cheeses has increased. We've minimally increased our prices. All hard cheeses are more expensive products and you simply have to make a compromise so as not to lose customers. Up to a certain point you can suffer at the expense of your own margins, but then there comes a point where you can't do that. If the dairies aren't operating well, who will pay the farmers for milk but the dairies?'' added Pernar Skunca.

''We bring in milk from Lika, Zagorje, Slavonia, Istria...'' noted Pernjak.

''What is very important is that we're the biggest purchasers of cow's, goat's and sheep's milk and, unlike other dairies, we produce the most products that have this high VAT,'' added Pernar Skunca. That's why only with a lower VAT rate can we overcome this never-worse time for cheesemakers, they explained from the Association of Pag Cheese Producers - now they are already worried about their jobs but also the preservation of the centuries-old tradition of cheesemaking on the island, writes HRT.

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