Saturday, 22 January 2022

Marin Čilić Knocks Out Andrey Rublev for Spot in Australian Open Last 16!

January 22, 2022 - Marin Čilić is in the Australian Open last 16 after beating one of the world's best tennis players, Andrey Rublev, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3!

Marin Čilić easily won the first two sets, complicated the following two, but ultimately served for the match and victory. Marin will face Félix Auger-Aliassime next. 

“I enjoyed every single second of the match. I had so much fun and played great tennis. I tried to be aggressive, you can’t give these top guys the chance to hit – and I think it worked. I’m feeling really excited, it’s going to get tougher," Čilić said after the match, as reported by The Guardian.

Petra Martić and American tennis player Shelby Rogers will play in the third round of the women's doubles competition after beating 11th seeded Ukrainian Lyudmila Kichenok and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. For a spot in the quarterfinals, they will face the 5th seeded Chilean Alexa Guarachi and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

The mixed doubles tournament also started, in which Ivan Dodig and French partner Kristina Mladenović reached the second round with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 10-3 victory over the Belgian pair Kirsten Flipkens - Sander Gille.

Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo did not advance in the men's doubles tournament, losing 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the second round to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

The world's best doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić lost on Friday in the second round of the Australian Open to Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (8), 3-6 in a match that lasted an hour and 36 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić lost the serve at the beginning of the match, but they managed to get it back in the next game, and then broke for a 4-2 lead. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios immediately came back and the first set went into a tie-break. In the 13th game, the Croatian duo managed to save three set points, but the Australian side managed to realize the fourth.

The sixth game of the second set was fatal for Mektić and Pavić, in which they managed to save two break points, but not the third. Kokkinakis and Kyrgios took a 4-2 lead. By the end of the match, the Croatian duo did not have the opportunity to return and the Australians were able to celebrate their spot in the third round.

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

Saturday, 22 January 2022

UEFA Futsal Euro 2022: Croatia Opens with Victory against Poland

January 22, 2022 - The Croatia national futsal team defeated Poland 3:1 (3:1) in the first round of the UEFA Futsal Euro 2022 Group C in Amsterdam and made a big step towards the quarterfinals.

Matej Horvat (8), Antonio Sekulić (14), and Franco Jelovčić (18) scored the goals for Croatia, and Patrick Holy (14) scored for Poland. 

The Croatia futsal team, led by coach Marinko Mavrović, thus opened the Euros with a victory, beating Poland, a direct competitor for second place in the group and a place in the quarterfinals.

The first goal for Croatia was scored spectacularly by Olmissum player Horvat in the eighth minute, during Poland's attack and aggressive pressing. Horvat tricked the goalkeeper and another player and attractively hit the back of the net for 1:0. 

In the 14th minute, Horvat lost the ball as the last player, leaving Holy alone in front of Croatia's goalkeeper Luketin to equalize.

Only 15 seconds later, Croatia retook the lead after another player from Omiš, Olmissum's Sekulić, cleared the rebound after Suton's shot. Then, two minutes before the end of the half, captain Jelovčić scored from a solo action, almost from a dead angle.

Mavrović's team started the second half worse and was saved by goalkeeper Žarko Luketin after two dangerous Poland attacks. However, Croatia's defense withstood all challenges and reached an important victory in the first big competition in six years.

In the second match of the group, Russia defeated Slovakia 7:1.

Croatia will meet Russia next in Amsterdam on January 25 and Slovakia in Groningen on January 29 in the group stage.

POLAND - CROATIA 1:3 (1:3)
Futsal European Championship, Group C.
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam.

Judges: E. F. Coelho, M. Castilho (Portugal)

Scorers: 0:1 - Horvat (8'), 1:1 - Holy (14'), 1:2 - Sekulić (14'), 1:3 - Jelovčić (18')

Yellow cards: Sekulić (25')

Poland: Kaluza, Grubalski, Zastawnik, Lutecki, Kriezel; Nawrat, Kubik, Madziag, Holy, Smialkowski, Solecki, Leszczak, Marek, Wojciechowski. Coach: B. Korczynski.

Croatia: Luketin, Matosevic, Jelovcic, Marinovic, Novak; Primic, Kanjuh, Djuras, Suton, Jurlina, Postruzin, Cekol, Horvat, Sekulic. Menu: M. Mavrović.

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

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Prof Bruno Barsic of KB Dubrava: Only Two Measures Make Any Sense

January the 22nd, 2022 - The director of the covid ward of KB Dubrava in Zagreb, Prof Bruno Barsic has stated that with the emergence of the highly infectious but far milder variant of the novel coronavirus, Omicron, only two measures make any sense. The rest are quite pointless.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prof Bruno Barsic of Dubrava Hospital's covid ward pointed out to Index that because of the Omicron variant, we have a large number of infected people, but the pressure on hospitals isn't what it was. He stressed that Omicron patients aren't putting any pressure on the hospital and hoped that it would remain like that.

From Thursday the 27th of January, wearing masks in the United Kingdom will no longer be mandatory, working from home will no longer be officially recommended, and covid certificates (NHS covid passes) will no longer be required to enter nightclubs and partake in certain larger gatherings, according British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was recently busted for having parties during the harsh UK lockdown and is being pressured to step down.

The abolition of covid certificates is also being seriously considered in Israel, where Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman has risen up against their continued use. He said that they have no health purposes and that they contribute to creating even more issues and panic.

Cyrille Cohen, one of the Israeli government's vaccination advisers and head of the immunology department at Bar Ilan University, told UnHerd yesterday that covid certificates had become "irrelevant" now Omicron is dominant, and that he expected them to be abolished soon.

“When it comes to the Omicron variant, we don’t see virtually any difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and both can become infected by it more or less equally,” he said.

"That's logical. It's going in that direction. If you have 50 percent of those tested returning a positive result, then what's the use of testing? It seems logical to me that we are going in that direction in this country as well,'' said Prof Bruno Barsic.

He also commented on other epidemiological measures that are in force in this country and pointed out which ones he would drop if he was in charge. "Of all the measures, I would keep those that limit mass gatherings and wearing masks. So far, masks are very important because we can see how rapidly and easily Omicron spreads and infects people,'' he said.

Prof Bruno Barsic also stated that the elderly population still needs to be vaccinated.

"And that's it. It seems to me that the need for less measures is slowly emerging. But I'm not an expert in epidemiology, so I'd leave it to those who are to make those decisions,'' concluded Prof Bruno Barsic.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Feel Croatia Project Promotes Domestic Products, Services and More

January the 22nd, 2022 - The Feel Croatia project (Osjeti hrvatsku) has been launched, placing a focus on Croatian products, services, producers and local communities.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Croatian economy is extremely vulnerable, and at the same time, in true Croatian paradoxical style it is brimming with potential. It relies heavily on personal consumption and tourism, therefore requiring some new ways to identify opportunities on both the domestic and on foreign markets.

Therefore, a group of about 30 experts and entrepreneurs launched the Feel Croatia project, which aims to educate young people to understand why it's important to buy local, and promote product quality and innovation here on the Croatian market.

They also launched the eponymous digital platform www.oh.hr, which has been launched and created a group of exceptional experts and professionals experienced in several areas of economic activities - market communications, tourism, economy, journalism, presales and sales, marketing and digital marketing, and of course - entrepreneurship - to help Croatian businessmen, producers and service providers in one place.

The Feel Croatia project grew out of economic activities that took more than seven years to build through the NGO Centre for Entrepreneurs www.poduzetnica.hr, a former Women's Entrepreneurship Centre boasting more than 2,300 members and 128 members from 2015 to 2021.

"I'm looking forward to being the first user of the services of the team of experts and the Feel Croatia project and I'm also looking forward to the cooperation that is coming to us in this new year. In my range of entrepreneurial activities, I have a whole range of originally Croatian tourist, health, medical products and services, which have long since crossed the borders of Vukovar-Srijem County and my city of Vukovar, where I work. I'm sure that with the Feel Croatia project and these exceptional project experts, I will ensure a proper market position, clients, sales, promotion, but also recognition within the borders of our beautiful country, but also outside it, which is why I gave them my trust,'' said Dr. Mirjana Semenic Rutko , an entrepreneur from Vukovar.

"For many years, I've been watching everything that has to do with Croatia being 'devastated', and everything that comes from abroad is being put on a pedestal, praised and appreciated. We all know very well what is true, which is that domestic production, services and activities must not be neglected and devalued. Croatia certainly has something to offer. I'm glad that I was among the first to recognise the Feel Croatia project and that I'll be able to participate in it as an innovator, and an entrepreneur who appreciates Croatian products and services, but also provides them,'' said Davor Kovacic, an entrepreneur and innovator.

“The Feel Croatia project isn't only a new dimension for communication for presenting, connecting and promoting Croatian producers and products and service providers, the local community, as well as everything on the Croatian market, it's also systematic work done in order to raise awareness of domestic customers and all users on the Croatian market who will have a number of projects on offer. We'll do a lot of things that should further strengthen the market and develop domestic potential economically.

We want to work effectively on organic growth and development through numerous examples of success from across all parts of Croatia, from small family farms (OPGs) to large food giants and from the ordinary man to the world stars with Croatian roots because only then can we get the best Croatia and offer that to those who are the only ones competent to evaluate it - and these are our current and future customers and consumers,'' concluded Sanela Dropulic, the co-founder of the praiseworthy Feel Croatia project.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Sljeme Adrenaline Parks, Bike Paths and More Above Zagreb?

January the 22nd, 2022 - Could Sljeme adrenaline parks and bike paths, as well as much more, ever come to be? This idea for year-round fun on the mountain which towers of the City of Zagreb has certainly attracted public attention.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec wrires, Sljeme adrenaline parks at two locations at the bottom of Crveni spust in the area of ​​the ski Complex within the Medvednica Nature Park, bike paths and a permanent bobsled track were ideas which were all brought to the public's keen attention by a current debate on the ski complex on Medvednica.

Known for the famous ski competition "Snow Queen", this gorgeous mountainous area above the Croatian capital opens up new opportunities for recreation enthusiasts because it creates spatial and planning prerequisites for the spatial, purposeful and technological expansion of the ski area into a unique ski-wire system with other accompanying facilities.

The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property, which is responsible for drafting the entire plan, says that the improvement of the excursion and recreational function as the primary function of the Medvednica Nature Park is the goal of drafting these amendments. They say that it is about enabling the improvement and development of recreational and sports facilities throughout the year.

The timing of this public debate, as well as all of the preparations for new projects and interventions, is difficult to currently assess, because the process of drafting spatial plans doesn't actually determine the financial aspect or the procedure of the further implementation of the intervention, which the department responsible duly noted.

Therefore, in the public speaking phase, proposals and opinions are being collected until February the 8th, 2022, followed by the preparation of a report, part of the timetable envisaged by the Croatian Government's decision from back in 2020.

The study and summary of the spatial plan can be found and read on the competent ministry's website, the Institute for Physical Planning of the City of Zagreb is the expert author of the UPU amendment, and a public presentation was held yesterday at the competent ministry.

The current UPU planned for a route for summer tobogganing on the Red, Green, Blue and White downhill trails on Sljeme which would have be around 1824 metres long, designed as a single-pipe assembly-disassembly structure that could have been installed or dismantled with the changing of the summer and winter seasons.

That idea sadly didn't come to life as it was assessed as technically non-functional and burdensome for the space. The new solution defines a new route and the area of ​​the toboggan run route which would be called "Sljemeski bob", with new technical and performance solutions (building of the upper and lower station in the function of bobsleigh), without additional environmental impact.

Areas for the arranging and building/reconstruction of buildings in the function of ski resorts include the upper stations of Crveni and Zeleni spust: a four-seater cable car is planned at the location of today's Zeleni spust lift, with the extension of the route to the bottom of Plavi spust. Sljeme adrenaline parks and bike paths, as well as an overall improvement in the ski offer above Zagreb would certainly allow for the boosting of year round tourism as more and more international visitors discover the bustling Croatian capital.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Boris Vujcic Reveals All Locations for Kuna-Euro Cash Exhange

January the 22nd, 2022 - Boris Vujcic has revealed all of the locations at which the Croatian kuna can be exchanged for the euro as the country edges closer to Eurozone entry.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and CNB Governor Boris Vujcic addressed the public at a recent session of the Council for the Introduction of the Euro as the Official Currency, held at the National and University Library.

Plenkovic: There are many advantages for citizens

"Why is the introduction of the euro good? There are benefits for our citizens. Currency risks will disappear. The euro will bring with it a great impetus to the international exchange of goods and services,'' explained Plenkovic.

“Euro deposits account for more than 76 percent of total time and savings deposits with banks, and 50.3 percent of total bank placements are euro placements. We intend to highlight several fundamental principles of this process which are included in the bill. The first and most important thing is consumer protection, we must prevent any situations that would take advantage of the introduction of the euro to the detriment of consumers,'' added the Prime Minister.

"The intention is that in the beginning the prices will be expressed twice, both in kuna and in euros. Throughout the whole of 2023, after the introduction of the euro, prices will also remain highlighted in kuna. So, first we'll pay in kuna and see the prices in euros, and then we'll pay in euros, but we will also have the prices visible in kuna,'' he said.

After Plenkovic, CNB Governor Boris Vujcic spoke, HRT writes:

"The most important thing in the law is that it contains the principle according to which the existing contracts stating the reference to the kuna are still valid. We're removing any possibility of legal uncertainty during Croatia's changeover to the euro,'' he said.

"When it comes to the process of exchanging the kuna for the euro, consumer protection is important. Converting kuna into euros will be done by and in banks automatically and without any incurred costs,'' assured Boris Vujcic.

"As for deposits and loans, people don't need to worry, the conversion into euros will be done automatically on the day of the introduction of the euro in Croatia at a fixed conversion rate and without any cost. Agreements on all loans and deposits will continue to be valid,'' he added.

"As for interest rates, the rule is that fixed interest rates will remain fixed, and when it comes variable interest rates, if the variable parameter needs to be adjusted when introducing the euro due to rounding, this law stipulates how this adjustment will be made," Boris Vujcic said.

"The consumer must not be put in a worse position than they were in before"

"Again, the important principle is that the consumer cannot be in a worse position than they were in before. If there are any differences in the second decimal, it will be at the expense of the bank, not at the expense of people. When exchanging kuna cash, about 36 billion kuna is in circulation at the moment, it would be good to deposit as much of that money in banks as possible this year in order to logistically facilitate the conversion itself,'' noted the governor.

"Those who fail to do so will have a chance after that, for one year at Fina, in banks and at Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta) offices, and banknotes will be able to be exchanged forever at the CNB, and the same will be made possible for kuna coins for the next three years," concluded Boris Vujcic.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle and politics sections.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Serbia Keeps Insisting on Dual Heritage of Dubrovnik Literature

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - Serbian media outlets on Friday cited excerpts from a statement by Serbia's ministry of culture and information which insists on the dual heritage of Dubrovnik's literature, with Belgrade interpreting it as something that does not negate the fact that it also belongs to the Croatian heritage.

Serbia recently passed a law on cultural heritage which lays claim to the literature created in the 1358 -1808 Republic of Dubrovnik.

The adoption of the law was met with condemnation in Croatia. Today, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said that Serbia would suffer in its EU accession negotiations the consequences of appropriating the Croatian cultural heritage.

"Appropriating the Croatian cultural heritage is not in line with European values and the prospect Serbia has opted for, and there will certainly be consequences when certain chapters that are key to that, such as education, are opened," Grlić Radman told the press.

However, the Serbian Ministry of Culture issued a press release in which it insists on Dubrovnik's literature as an example of dual heritage and "the joint linguistic past and attitude towards the literary heritage," adding that such an example "recognizes the European values and prospects of good neighborly relations."

The adoption of the controversial law prompted the Croatian Embassy in Belgrade to send a protest note to the Serbian government due to its unacceptable attempt to usurp the Croatian cultural heritage and demanded a meeting with Serbian Minister Maja Gojković.

"We expect a response from the ministry and a meeting to be arranged," a source from the embassy told Hina.

Serbia's attempt to usurp Croatia's literary heritage is seen as mythomania and a perfidious act

Croatia's Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek has stated that the recent adoption of the Cultural Heritage Act by Serbia, which lays claim to old literature from Dubrovnik, was scandalous, calling on Belgrade to refrain from usurping Croatia's territory and cultural heritage.

"This is mythomania, this need to usurp Croatian cultural heritage, notably literature from Dubrovnik. That is unacceptable and professionally unfounded. They included in their law provisions according to which the Dubrovnik literature predating 1867 has some sort of dual affiliation, both Croatian and Serbian, which of course is complete nonsense," Obuljen Koržinek said last Sunday.

She said she expected Serbia to do away with such legal provisions and to "stop once and for all laying claim to our territory and our cultural heritage."

Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler (HDZ/EPP) on Wednesday called for the European Commission to react to Serbia's Cultural Heritage Act.

Ressler said that was an obvious attempt to appropriate Croatia's cultural heritage and he has informed Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and Culture Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. Ressler called for Croatia's heritage, as a member of the EU, to be protected and for a review of Serbia's compliance with obligations under Chapter 26 - Education and Culture - in its EU accession negotiations.

Serbia's authorities have been "perfidiously implementing a hybrid version of Serbia's policy towards its neighbors from the 1990s". If Serbia does not free itself and its people of "such poisonous reflexes," it will distance itself more and more from the European Union and European civilization," Ressler underscored in the press release.

The Croatian Language Institute condemned in the strongest terms the passing of Serbia's Cultural Heritage Act on 23 December, specifically the part on "old and rare library material" which consists of "Dubrovnik's literary editions which belong to both the Serbian and the Croatian culture up to the year 1867."

"Although the Serbian cultural and political public has often expressed the wish and need to lay claim to Croatian cultural assets," the institute said, making this stand official by law is "an additional aggressive step in laying claim to the Croatian cultural heritage."

It is a continuation of administrative, legal, and political procedures aimed at diminishing and laying claim to the Croatian linguistic and cultural heritage as part of common cultural assets, the institute said.

Other associations and cultural institutions, such as Croatia's PEN International Centre, also protested against the Serbian law.

"Croatia's International PEN Centre protests against Serbia's Cultural Heritage Act which lays claim to all of Dubrovnik's literature until 1867. The provisions under which literature from Dubrovnik belongs equally to both Serbian and Croatian culture are unfounded and unacceptable, as is the constant laying claim to Croatia's cultural heritage and space," the center said in a statement.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

ZSE Indices Fall Sharply

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices fell sharply on Friday, weakening for the second consecutive day.

The Crobex on Friday declined by 1.86% to 2,164 points, weakening for the second day in a row, and it ended the week in the red, decreasing by 0.31% on the week and ending its eight-week winning streak.

The Crobex10 fell by 1.3% to 1,323 points, but it went up by 0.23% on the week.

All sector indices slumped on Friday, with the construction index dropping the most, by 4.12%.

Regular turnover surpassed HRK 16 million, which is about HRK 3.2 million than on Thursday.

The highest turnover was generated by the stock of the HT telecommunications company, HRK 2.85 million. Its price remained the same at HRK 185 per share.

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) and Zagrebačka Banka said that on Friday they had concluded a transaction to sell 54.31% of Optima Telekom shares to Telemach Hrvatska, owned by United Group.

The stock of Valamar Riviera turned over HRK 1.96 million, closing at HRK 34.3, down 1.71%.

The Croatian Postal Bank (HPB) stock generated a turnover of HRK 1.6 million. Its price dropped by 5.45% to HRK 780, and it was the biggest loser among the more liquid stocks.

The stock of the Podravka food company also crossed the million kuna mark, turning over HRK 1.43 million, while its price remained the same at HRK 696.

Forty-six stocks were traded today, with only five gaining in price, 28 decreasing in price, and 13 remaining stables.

(€1 = HRK 7.522614)

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

Friday, 21 January 2022

Opatija Again Named One of Most Romantic Destinations for Valentine's Day Getaways

January 21st, 2022 - With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the tranquil coastal town in Croatia is getting featured in international media as a perfect destination for a romantic getaway

When it comes to romantic getaway destinations for Valentine’s Day, Opatija sure seems to be on everyone's minds. This time last year, Forbes magazine included the beautiful town in the Northern Adriatic in their list of the most romantic destinations in Europe.

With this year’s romantic holiday approaching, Opatija gets a nod from the travel magazine Trips to Discover, making it onto their list of 15 romantic travel ideas for a Valentine’s Day escape.

The feature presents Opatija as one of the best places to visit in Croatia and one of the most romantic destinations in all of Europe, with its contrast of turquoise Adriatic waters against the green mountainous backdrop. Among other highlights, Opatija’s grand historic villas and the picturesque waterfront promenade known as Lungomare, as well as the town’s famous chocolatiers - altogether a perfect setting for a holiday centered around romance.

The tourist town is ready to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day, setting the stage for romantic moments with ambiental music, lighting and decor in its pristine parks and along the promenade.

Opatija’s hotels have prepared a range of romantic packages for couples looking to visit in the month of February, reports RiPrsten. A weekend getaway with a loved one is the perfect time to unwind in Opatija’s wellness centres and enjoy a romantic dinner in one of the renowned restaurants in town.

‘If all we need is love, as The Beatles sang, then Opatija offers all we need and more this February’, said Opatija Tourist Board director Suzi Petričić.

‘Our town has a long tradition of a popular romantic destination, and we’re glad that renowned media in tourism have recognised that for the second year in a row. All our visitors can look forward to a truly unique Valentine’s Day atmosphere, where the only thing they need to do is relax and enjoy Opatija’s charms and wonderful moments in the company of their favourite person’, said Petričić.

Apart from Opatija, Trips to Discover’s list of most romantic destinations includes Quebec City in Canada, Iceland, Bermuda, Cape Cod, Strasbourg in France, Lagoa in Portugal, Curaçao, Colorado’s Estes Park, Kauai in Hawaii, Key West in Florida, the Italian town of Lucca, Charleston in South Carolina, and two destinations in Mexico, Merida and Los Cabos.

 

Friday, 21 January 2022

Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Three Times More Positive for COVID

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - A survey of COVID-19 testing in hospitals shows that tests came back positive almost three times more among the unvaccinated staff and that booster shots provide special protection, the Croatian Institute of Public Health said on Friday.

The survey was aimed at establishing the difference in positive PCR and rapid antigen tests between fully vaccinated healthcare workers and those not vaccinated.

The survey covered 1,371 workers in 12 hospitals, of whom 831 were vaccinated (60.61%) and 540  were unvaccinated, and 3.95 tests were done per worker on average.

Among those vaccinated, 57 were positive (6.86%), while among those not vaccinated, 101 were positive (18.7%).

Out of 475 workers who received a booster shot at least two weeks before being tested, 24 were positive (5.77%), while out of 265 who did not receive it, 30 were positive (11.32%).

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

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