Saturday, 21 May 2022

Croatian Hospitals Costs Are Five Times Higher than Last Year

May 21, 2022 - The costs of Croatian hospitals have skyrocketed. Bills are up to five times higher than last year, so an additional 3.5 billion kuna provided to the Croatian healthcare system from the recent rebalance of the state budget won't be enough to cover expenses.

Even after the rebalance of the state budget, which will provide the healthcare system with an additional three and a half billion kuna this year, which means that instead of the planned 32 billion it will now have 35 and a half billion kunas, hospital directors still say that this will be a difficult year with much uncertainty due to a lot of unknowns in expenses, reports

Namely, the recent warning of wholesalers that debts for medicines continue to grow despite last year's injection of 6.3 billion from the state budget and that they reached as much as six billion kunas, of which four billion are due, is the reason for this early rebalance. Two billion is intended for Croatian hospitals, and one and a half billion for the Croatian Health Insurance Fund for the settlement of old debts.

Bills are five times higher than last year

For now, it is certain to say that 35.5 billion kunas for this year will not cover all costs, which is confirmed by Croatian hospitals bills from the first four months of 2022. They stand out especially for energy, food, and medicine, which in some cases are five times higher than in the same period last year. Therefore, it is not surprising that the losses of the system on a monthly basis are between 400 and 500 million kunas, which could mean a hole in the health fund of at least five billion kunas by the end of the year.

"Our costs increased in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year by a total of 5.52 percent. But worrying is the fact that energy costs increased the most, by as much as percent, or from 7.8 to 15 million kunas. The cost of food products grew by 8.4 percent, and compared to 2020 by 40 percent, which is a huge increase'', said Dr. Alen Ruzic, director of KBC Rijeka.

Medicines haven't kept the previous numbers of consumption either, so in the first four months, they were 7.76 percent more expensive than last year, and by almost 20 percent compared to 2020.

In the largest Croatian hospital, KBC Zagreb, costs increased by 6.5 percent or HRK 71 million from January to the end of April compared to the same period last year, as it increased from HRK 1,099 billion to HRK 1,171 billion.

During the pandemic, KB Dubrava was a COVID hospital, so some data from last year jumped out of the usual amounts, such as spending on drugs, which were lower than spending in previous years when the hospital was operating at full capacity for all patients. But it is clear that this hospital pays for the largest energy guild, especially the one for gas.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Zagreb Culture of Tourism Project Continues Involving City's Youth

May the 21st, 2022 - The Zagreb Culture of Tourism project is continuing to involve the capital city's youth with the systematic education of high school students.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb (TZGZ) in cooperation with the City Office for Education, Sport and Youth is once again implementing the Zagreb Culture of Tourism project. This is a project where the systematic education of high school students, for whom tourism and hospitality are not primary subjects, seeks to raise their awareness of their own city and introduce young people to the tourist, cultural and natural potential of Zagreb.

This year, six schools participated in the Zagreb Culture of Tourism project, and the final presentation of the project will be held on Monday, May the 23rd, 2022, at 11:00 at the Zagreb Dance Centre at Ilica 10.

"We're very proud of all the students who are researching the touristic side of the city within this project and considering the possibilities of evaluating the existing tourist offer, as well as the development of a new one. In this way, students have the opportunity to get to know their city from a slightly different perspective and give their own views and ideas for the City of Zagreb as a tourist destination.

The Zagreb Culture of Tourism project seeks to involve young people in programmes to preserve ethnological, historical and cultural heritage, protect the environment, and raise the level of hospitality and create a welcoming climate, which should leave a mark on Zagreb's tourism and, in general, development of Zagreb,'' said Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board.

It's worth noting that the Zagreb Culture of Tourism project is a project that the Tourist Board started way back in the academic year of 2010/2011. Every year, during a one-semester extracurricular activity, students from selected Zagreb high schools have the task, in agreement with project managers, to design and implement projects with a tourism theme, which they then present publicly.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Could Pula Arena Become Host of Fight Nation Championship This Summer?

May the 21st, 2022 - Could the stunning Pula Arena become the backdrop of the Fight National Championship or something very similar in future?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Wednesday, the first man of the Fight Nation Championship, Drazen Forgac, and Matej Filipcic, the director of marketing and martial arts promotion, visited Pula, local portal Glas Istre reports.

The kickstarter was a conversation with city's leading names in the company of Zelg Galesic, the coach of the Pula Trojan, and the reason was the desire of the organisers of martial arts events who are continuing to break all ratings records in the entire region, to hold something similar in the Pula Arena.

The date of September the 3rd has been set, and since the City of Pula gave its full support to the event behind which American investors are ready to invest a lot of money in the organisation to make the Pula Arena look spectacular that day, we should expect official confirmation of this event to come in soon.

On the sporting side of the matter alone, it would definitely be a hit, because through several editions of ''Gladiator Fight Night'' in Pula and Medulin we could see precisely how many freestyle wrestling fans there are in this area, and with the Fight Nation Championship as a strong support, it would all rise together to another, much higher level.

Quality fighters would perform in the unique ambience of the ancient Pula Arena, and an additional lure for visitors would be Daniel Bazant. The member of the Pula Trojan should have his first defense of the Fight Nation Championship lightweight champion's belt in Pula, which he won two months ago in Zabok by defeating Brazilian Rony Mariano Bezerra.

"If the Fight Nation Championship comes to the Pula Arena, Bazant will certainly perform, and his opponent will be a well-known face from martial arts. I wouldn't want to come out with the name of said individual because the contract hasn't been signed yet and so far everything has only been agreed orally, the only thing I can say is that he is a former UFC fighter,'' said Zelg Galesic, revealing that Bazant will not be the only ''Trojan'' in Pula's fight card.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

The Times Publishes Lucie Grace's List of "Must Go" Croatia Locations

May the 21st, 2022 - The highly respected British publication The Times has published a list compiled by writer Lucie Grace on eleven ''must see'' Croatian locations.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the British The Times has published an article by journalist Lucie Grace in which the author reveals eleven beautiful locations across the Republic of Croatia that guarantee an unforgettable and authentic holiday without the crowds, according to Darija Reic, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Office in London.

These are locations and experiences which are quite popular among the local population. The potential and specifics of Samograd bay on the Central Dalmatian island of Korcula, the source of the Ombla river near Dubrovnik, the Stari Fijaker restaurant in Zagreb and the Kozlovic winery in Istria are highlighted, as is the beauty of the Krka National Park's stunning waterfalls and the islands of Sipan and Mljet. The ferry ride from Orebic to Korcula, a tour of the Zagreb Cathedral, the Dragon's Furrow in Motovun and the Cingrija villa in Dubrovnik are also all recommended, writes local Dubrovnik portal, Dubrovacki.

“The recent publication in the Sunday Times, which included Croatia in the list of the best and most favourable destinations that provide quality conditions and low living costs, also contributed to Croatia's visibility on the British market. This is a publication created as a result of the cooperation of the CNTB Office in London with journalist Liz Rowlinson and Michael Freer, the director of Digital Nomads Associations (DNA) for Croatia, who lives and works in Kastela and who compared costs and lifestyle in Croatia and the United Kingdom.

By being included in this list, Croatia is being ranked next to Spain, Portugal, France and Turkey, and the greatest advantage of Croatia, with its low living costs, is the beauty and preservation of nature within which you can lead a pleasant, active and dynamic life, they stated from the CNTB.

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

Saturday, 21 May 2022

German Desire for Croatian Holidays Enormous According to Tour Operators

May the 21st, 2022 - German desire for Croatian holidays as we approach the height of the summer season is enormous according to happy tour operators who are glad to be back to normal after two unstable and depressing pandemic-dominated years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, record inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine don't seem to be having any particular affect the desire of Germans to finally book their Croatian holidays, reports Deutsche Welle. Multiple tour operators are happily reporting a large influx of summer arrangements, and the number of Croatian holidays sold to German tourists already exceeds the figures that prevailed before the coronavirus crisis broke out in Europe at the beginning of 2020.

Another trend is noticeable among German tourists in 2022, it seems the people looking for a holiday this year are no longer looking at the price as much as they did before, and are also buying arrangements from the more expensive sector.

"People are looking for longer holidays in better hotels," said the largest German provider of travel arrangements, TUI.

"After a long period of giving up travel and tourism, Croatia is at the top of the German wish list. Even strong inflation and rising prices aren't negatively affecting this trend,'' said Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Tour Operators Association (DRV). It seems, according to Fiebig, that Germans are no longer looking at every euro they might spend this year when planning a holiday. Despite the general increase in prices, trips this year aren't significantly more expensive than they were last year.

Stable prices - for now

Many tourist companies leased hotel and transport contingents at the prices stated last year, which explains the stable prices. But the closer the summer season gets, the more expensive the arrangements get.

“This year, those looking for bargains could end up surprised,'' believes TUI director Fritz Joussen.

According to a survey commissioned by the Bavarian Tourist Board (BZT), 69 percent of those surveyed this year intend to go somewhere on holiday regardless of the situations which might play out, so they won't be spending their time off at home as was mostly the case during the coronavirus pandemic. One third of the respondents who haven't yet decided where to go on holiday, still state the price as the basic criteria when choosing an arrangement or destination.

Croatia remains one of the favourite destinations of German travellers

Those who decide on a spontaneous flight to their destination must in any case count on higher fuel prices this summer, which have risen significantly since the start of the war in Ukraine. Price increases have already been announced by companies such as Lufthansa and KLM.

The FTI Group says that after the start of the war in Ukraine, there was a delay in the purchase of tickets, but in the meantime the market has very much recovered.

"Reservations for the entire period from Easter to autumn for people's usual favourite tourist destinations exceed the figures from pre-pandemic times," said FTI Director Ralph Schiller. This, in particular, applies, he said, to destinations such as Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

“Over the summer, we expect a big rush to these destinations so not everyone will get to their desired place on the plane,” Schiller says. Alltours reports similarly. They are talking about an "enormous increase in demand" that could exceed the demand from pre-pandemic 2019 by 40 to 80 percent.

Packages containing luxury hotels and offers are especially sought after. All companies emphasise that the increase in kerosene prices will not affect the prices of purchased arrangements. But despite huge demand, the turnover of travel companies overall still lies below the level of the last year before the pandemic (2019).

"Despite a very good summer, we still aren't expecting to achieve the total annual turnover from the period before the pandemic," said the umbrella organisation DRV. As for 2023, the industry is cautiously optimistic, despite the unpredictable development of the situation around the war in Ukraine, as well as ongoing inflation.

For more, check out our travel section.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Incredible Ivan Šapina Wins European Taekwondo Gold for Croatia!

Maya 21, 2022 - Ivan Šapina from Marjan Split is the new European champion in taekwondo in the category up to 87 kilograms, while Nika Klepac returns to Zagreb with the silver! 

The Croatia taekwondo team thus reached their fourth and fifth medals at the senior European Championships in Manchester after only two days of competition, reports HRT.

Šapina, a 2020 Tokyo Olympian and a native of Zagreb who competes for Marjan Split, continued to win medals at major competitions after winning bronze at the 2019 World Championships and 2021 European Championships, adding the third medal in a row - his first senior gold medal in major competitions. Šapina celebrated all three fights to the final with over 20 points.

In the round of 16, he defeated Cypriot Andreas Theocharous 26:0. In the quarterfinals, he was better than Ukrainian Vladyslav Bondar by 24:4, while in the semifinals, he defeated Slovenian Patrik Divković by another 24:4.

The final was dramatic though it was nothing for Šapina, who has encountered several nail-biting fights in recent years. After 11-11, the final against the Spaniard Raul Martinez Garcia went to the extra round for a golden point. However, there were no points even after the extra round, so the winner was decided by several attempts by Šapina in the extra round.

Šapina is already the eighth senior European champion from Marjan Split after Ana and Lucija Zaninović, Toni Kanaet, Lovro Brečić, Matea Jelić, Bruno Vuletić and Lena Stojković, which speaks volumes about the systematic work that continued in Split after the departure of the Zaninović sisters.

The silver medal was won by Nika Klepac, a member of Medvedgrad Zagreb, who won in the 73 kg category against the excellent Dutchwoman Reshmia Oogink with a 4:0 golden point and then beat German Alema Hadžić 4:2 in the medal fight. Nika defeated Paule Marie Ble in the semifinals with an incredible 15-8 fight and advanced to the European Championship final against another Frenchwoman who was still too strong. Laurin took the gold to France (16:0).

Nika Petanjek was close to the medal, which started in the round of 16 with a 9:6 victory over Spaniard Tania Castineira. In the quarterfinals, Nika started great, leading 4:0 and holding the advantage until the last few seconds when the experienced Pole Aleksandra Kowalczuk turned the fight around and went to the semifinals, winning 5:6.

With the gold at the President's Cup in Albania, Ivan Šapina secured Croatia extra spots in the category up to 87 kilograms, which was completed by his club colleague Josip Bilić Pavlinović. In the first round, Pavlinović won against the Romanian Snacov 23:5, and in the next round, he lost to the third seed, German Bachmann, 9:29.

In the category up to 58 kilograms, Fran Šerer from Ion Zagreb competed in the round of 16 and was stopped by Spaniard Adrian Vicente Yunta (34:14).

The Championship ends on Sunday.

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

Friday, 20 May 2022

Matej Periš Farewell Held Today at Church of St. Anthony in Belgrade

May 20, 2022 - The body of Matej Periš was taken to the Church of St. Anthony in Belgrade at around 2 pm on Friday, where a mass was held, followed by a farewell to his native Split, where he will be buried. ''It's over, I'm going home with my son'', said his father Nenad.

A large number of citizens from Belgrade gathered in front of the church to pay their respects to the man from Split who, under as yet undetermined circumstances, died in the Serbian capital, reports

According to the preliminary results of the autopsy, Periš drowned in the Sava on a fateful night, and his body was found only on Wednesday, almost five months later, in the Danube near Ada Huja.

Nenad Periš, the father of Matej Periš, was the first to arrive at the church.The Holy Eucharistic Mass at today's farewell from Belgrade in the church of St. Anthony of Padua was led by the Archbishop of Belgrade Stanislav Hocevar, and in a farewell speech, he was joined by the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) Patriarch Porphyry.

On behalf of the Diocese, a bouquet of 27 white roses was placed on the coffin, symbolizing the years of Matej Periš.

''All of us will, sooner or later, follow the path that Matej took from this world, but that path is not determined by us, this path is God's will'', said the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

"I thank Belgrade for its great heart, regardless of the fact that my son's life ended there. The heart given to me by the people of Belgrade in these 139 days helped me to feel the human care that I needed in these moments'', said Nenad Periš.

He also thanked the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, emphasizing that he had ''human and professional contact'' with the police officers.

''I would like to say thank you to every cop. I would also like to thank the Croatian Ministry of the Interior, which has also done an amazing job. Thanks also to the BiH Ministry of the Interior. Thanks to all the journalists, and cameramen. I think you have shown that you are human and that in such difficult situations you know the difference between news and pain'', he continued.

''Thank you to every man in Belgrade, regardless of whether he is a believer or not. It has come to an end, I am going home with my son, and I am turning a new page that will be printed in Belgrade. After this, I think I will be a much better man. I think that God's call has a deeper meaning ', said Periš.

He pointed out that no public farewell from Matej would be organized in Split, and that the funeral would be held among family and friends.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

ZSE Indices Mildly Rise Amid Modest Turnover

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices -- the Crobex and the specialized Crobex 10 -- rose by 0.39% to 2081.62 points and by 0.37% to 1240.79 points respectively on Friday.

Today's turnover was HRK 4.3 million, a million kuna more than on Thursday.

None of the stocks passed the turnover mark of one million kunas. The highest turnover, HRK 982,300, was generated by the stock of the Valamar Riviera tourism company. It share price rose 2.1% to HRK 34.10 per share.

A total of 40 stocks were traded today, with 15 of them increasing and also 15 decreasing, and 10 remaining stables in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.529183)

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Pre-Bankruptcy Proceedings Opened for Brodosplit Shipyard

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Pre-bankruptcy proceedings have been launched for the Brodosplit shipbuilding company, the Split-based dock confirmed to Hina on Friday.

The application for the pre-bankruptcy procedure submitted by Brodosplit itself was received by Split Commercial Court on 27 April.

According to Brodosplit's management, the company found itself in trouble financially because it could not withdraw in full two loans from the Russian VTB bank after it came under Western sanctions due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The loans were to be spent for the completion of two vessels and other expenses.

Pre-bankruptcy proceedings have also been proposed for Brodosplit's owner, the DIV group because it owed HRK 41.69 million as of mid-April.

During March and April, Split Commercial Court held hearings regarding 11 companies within the Split Shipbuilding Industry. 

The court has received dozens of proposals for bankruptcy proceedings against companies connected with the Split Shipbuilding Industry.

Proceedings have been launched to examine conditions for opening possible bankruptcy proceedings in another 25 companies in the group.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Čović: It Would Be Wrong for HNS BiH to Choose Between Milanović or Plenković

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian National Council (HNS) leader Dragan Čović said on Friday it would be a "catastrophic mistake" for Croat politicians in BiH to choose between Prime Minister Andrej Plenković or President Zoran Milanović, as both advocates the better status of local Croats.

"It would be a catastrophic mistake for representatives of the Croat people in BiH to take that course in pursuing their policy," Čović said.

Being the leader of the HDZ BiH party I could also afford that luxury to connect with the interests of the president of the HDZ in Croatia, which is logical, he told a press conference in Mostar when asked with whom the HNS BiH would side, President Milanović or Prime Minister Plenković.

Earlier this week President Milanović called for Croat parties in BiH to state whether they support his stance to block Finland and Sweden's application to NATO until the election law in BiH is amended whereas Prime Minister Plenković considers that approach is mere exhibitionism and is damaging to Croatia and Croats in BiH.

The presidents of three minor Croat parties, and members of the HNS BiH, supported Milanović's stance.

Čović explained that it is necessary to preserve the unity within HNS BiH, adding that he appreciates Milanović.

"As the president of HNS BiH, it is necessary to take into account all the elements, valuing everything that Croatia's President is doing, whose advocacy corresponds to everything we are seeking here as the Croat people. There is no doubt that sounds good to our people in Croatia and BiH because it has mobilized public opinion to an enviable degree so they can feel this problem," he added.

According to Čović, Prime Minister Plenković has managed to promote the importance of amending the election law in the world and for the legitimate representation and equality of Croats in BiH.

He said that HNS BiH will not influence Croatia's foreign policy, referring to Croatia's position on Finland and Sweden's NATO application.

"It is our opinion that we cannot influence Croatia's foreign policy. According to the Constitution, its foreign policy is co-defined by the president and prime minister. We will agree to whatever they agree to on the foreign policy plan," he said.

Čović added that he would meet with European Council President Charles Michel in Sarajevo on Saturday, adding that the visit would not have occurred without Prime Minister Plenković's lobbying.

For more, check out our politics section.

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