Thursday, 23 June 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Book Eastbourne International Semi-final!

June 23, 2022 - The Croatian doubles side will play in the Eastbourne International semi-final match today around 1:30 pm. 

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play in the doubles semifinals at the ATP tournament in Eastbourne, where they beat the American-French doubles side of Maxime Cressy - Hugo Humbert 7-6 (9), 6-1, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

This was the sixth consecutive victory for the current Olympic and Wimbledon winners who started their series last week at London’s Queen’s Club. In the first set, the Croatian duo missed the break advantage (4-3), and in the tie-break, they saved two set points (6-7, 8-9). In the second set, Mektić and Pavić took a 3-0 lead, and Cressy and Humbert only managed to catch a consolation game.

This is Pavić's tenth consecutive victory on grass. Before the title in London, he won the tournament in Stuttgart with partner Pole Hubert Hurkacz.

For a spot in their sixth joint final in 2022, and the 18th title match since they merged at the start of last season, Mektić and Pavić will play against Briton Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares, who were better than the British-Finnish side of Glasspool - Heliovaara 6-4, 7-5. The Croatian side won against Glasspool - Heliovaara in Sunday's final at the Queen's Club.

Recall, after clinching the title in Rome and Geneva this year, Mektić and Pavić won the Queen's Club last weekend for their 12th joint title and 15th victory in the last 16 matches. The duo awaits Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season where they will work to defend the title. Last year, not only did these two win Wimbledon before celebrating in the historic all-Croatian doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics, but they finished the year as the best doubles team in the world. 

Ivan Dodig and his American partner Austin Krajicek will also fight for a place in the final. The Roland Garros finalists reached the semifinals by defeating French duo Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-2. The semi-final rivals of the Croatian-American team will be Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Australian Luke Saville.

Source: HRT

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

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

New EFJ President: Security and Strengthening Rights of Journalists Priority

ZAGREB, 22 June 2022 - Croatian Journalists' Union (SNH) leader, Maja Sever, who was recently elected president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), has said in an interview with Hina that her priority will be strengthening the safety and security of reporters and their struggle for free media.

"Unfortunately, today the priority of an organisation such as the European Federation of Journalists is the safety and security of journalists and their protection. Our colleagues are dying in Ukraine, but journalists are also the target of other attacks - physical and online. There is also the issue of protecting and strengthening their labour rights to ensure their existential security, because only then can journalists write freely," said Sever, who was given broad support from European colleagues at the EFJ assembly in Izmir, with 137 of the 144 members of the European Federation of Journalists voting for her.election as the new head.

In her inaugural speech then, Sever said that the new goal was to get a strong European law on media freedom, to continue the fight for copyright protection and to strengthen the legal framework for the protection of quality journalism.

A vicious circle of pressure from politicians and advertisers

In the interview with Hina, she stressed that on the "domestic battlefield" she will continue to advocate for strengthening the independence of the Croatian media - independence from economic and political pressure. That also means continuing to fight for high-quality professional and free media which is something domestic professional journalist organisations such as the Croatian Journalists' Association and the SNH have been advocating for years. The situation in Croatian journalism is becoming increasingly difficult, said Sever, assessing that the "vicious circle of pressure" by politicians and advertisers was becoming stronger.

“We are witnessing this from the local level, where local media outlets are dependent on co-financing by political stakeholders who in turn are practically seeking political propaganda in local media, on to the national level where a very unusual system has also been established. A system in which the government, ministries, state institutions abundantly co-finance and enter into arrangements with mainstream media, who organise conferences, events and presentations of the results of European projects. That, de facto, binds and pressures them. How will the media freely criticise if they have just signed an agreement on, say, five 'events' in which they will publish the results of their project," Sever wonders.

She added that the situation of labour rights in Croatian media outlets is becoming more difficult. There are more and more freelancers, atypical workers who do not have collective agreements and have very weak protection of labour and social rights.

On the other hand, she underscored, her election as president of the European Federation of Journalists is a sort of message to social partners, and to Croatian politicians. It is also recognition of the struggle by domestic professional journalist organisations to improve the rights of Croatian journalists and encourage quality and professional journalism. 

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

EU Summit: Support to Croatia for the Euro, Ukraine and Moldova's Candidate Status

BRUSSELS, 22 June - The leaders of the EU member states will gather on Thursday and Friday at a summit to support the recommendation on Croatia's entry into the euro area and to decide on the candidate status for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

The European Council welcomes Croatia's fulfilment of all the convergence criteria set out in the Treaty. It supports the Commission's proposal that Croatia adopts the euro on 1 January 2023 and calls on the Council to swiftly adopt the relevant Commission proposals, a draft conclusion said.

This is the second-last step in the decision-making process on Croatia's accession to the euro area. The last step will be the adoption of three legislative proposals on Croatia's entry, which will take place at a meeting of the Economy and Finance Council on 12 July.

The main topic of the summit is enlargement, and giving candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, while Georgia should receive a promise of its European perspective, which roughly corresponds to the status of a potential candidate.

So far, there are no indications that anyone will oppose candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.

Western Balkans

EU leaders will also discuss the Western Balkans and reiterate their full and unequivocal commitment to the membership prospects of the countries in the region and call for speeding up the accession process.

Ahead of the EU summit, a meeting of EU leaders with their counterparts from the Western Balkans will take place on Thursday morning.

Three member states are asking for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be granted candidate status, but I do not see a consensus on that, said a senior EU official, well versed in the summit's preparations.

The same source says that in 2019, the Commission published an opinion on the candidacy of Bosnia and Herzegovina with 14 key priorities that the state should meet in order to obtain candidate status.

But since then we have not seen any reforms or any progress in BiH, the source said.

They underscored that European Council President Charles Michel recently received the leaders of the parliamentary parties from BiH, who agreed on a text entitled "Political Agreement on Principles for Ensuring a Functional Bosnia and Herzegovina Advancing on the European Path."

A senior diplomatic source said that the text was not acceptable to two parties from Republika Srpska and that one other party leader did not come for reasons for which I still have no explanation.

HDZ BiH President Dragan Čović did not appear at the meeting of party leaders and members of the BiH presidency.

Recently, the French presidency has been trying to resolve the issue of Bulgaria's blockade by opening talks with North Macedonia. It is still unclear whether these efforts will bear fruit. The Bulgarian parliament will take a vote of no confidence in Kiril Petkov's government on Thursday morning.

Bulgaria demanded that issues related to the common history, language and national identities be included in the negotiating framework for North Macedonia as a precondition for removing the blockades.

Given the great pressure by larger EU member states, particularly in light of the Russian aggression on Ukraine, there have been some indications from Sofia that it could make some concessions, which is why the government is experiencing internal problems.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi on Wednesday thanked the main opposition party's leader, former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, for "making necessary proposals to the parliament today so Europe can move forward." 

European (geo) political community 

As part of the "Wider Europe" debate, leaders will discuss the EU's relations with partners in Europe.

Earlier last month, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the creation of a "European political community" to boost EU cooperation with other European countries as those countries' EU accession is not realistic in the near future.

Shortly afterwards, Charles Michel, proposed the creation of a European geopolitical community and the gradual involvement of the Western Balkan countries in certain EU sectoral policies, in line with their progress in the accession process.

Country aspirants fear that this new framework for cooperation could be a substitute for full membership.

The draft conclusions explicitly state that such a framework will not replace existing EU policies and instruments, in particular enlargement.

In the conclusions on Ukraine, the leaders will once again reiterate their strong support for the country and promise to continue providing economic, military, social, financial and humanitarian assistance.

The summit will also discuss food security, which is threatened by Russia's aggression against Ukraine because millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain cannot be exported due to the Russian blockade of Black Sea ports.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Minister: Croats Among Victors of WW2, Tuđman Proposes 22 June as Holiday

ZAGREB, 22 June - Addressing the central commemoration of Croatia's Anti-Fascist Struggle Day in Brezovica near Sisak on Wednesday, Justice Minister Ivan Malenica said that the Croatians were among the victors at the end of the Second World War.

The Partisan movement brought together many Croatian citizens of different ethnic backgrounds and different religious confessions who were united by their wish to defeat Fascism and ensure peace said Malenica, who attended the event as the government and PM Andrej Plenković's envoy.

"That joint goal was also recognised by the first Croatian president, Franjo Tuđman, who himself was a member of the resistance movement (in the 1941-1945 war) and in 1991 he proposed that 22 June should be observed as a national public holiday," said Malenica.

Croatia observes 22 June as a national public holiday in memory of 22 June 1941 when the first Partisan detachment and the first anti-Fascist unit in this part of Europe was founded near Sisak.

Tuđman's efforts to define the fundamental elements of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia also sent a clear message that anti-Fascism is part of our identity and the history of the Croatian people, which is inbuilt in our statehood, said Malenica.

Accepting both one's own good and bad things in the past is a sign of the maturity of a nation, the minister added.

Unfortunately, some of the Croats took part in the Ustasha movement and cooperated with Nazis and Fascists who caused unthinkable suffering and left behind consequences we are ashamed of when looking backwards, said Malenica explaining that during the Ustasha-led Independent State of Croatia (NDH), many atrocities were committed against Jews, Roma, Serbs and those Croats who opposed the Ustasha regime.

Commenting on mass murders in the wake of WW2, the minister said that "extrajudicial mass killings and removal of different-minded people cannot be justified with ideals."

"Those crimes cannot be eliminated from collective memory. They cannot be erased from our past. We must speak about that and those crimes must be unequivocally condemned," said Malenica.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

PM Says Croatia Can Expect Decision on Entry Into Schengen in Autumn

ZAGREB, 22 June - Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the Council of the EU would next week send a draft decision on Croatia's admission to the Schengen area on 1 January 2023, and the final decision could be adopted this autumn.

Next week the Council of the EU will send to the European Parliament a formal proposal for Croatia's accession into the Schengen, the Croatian PM told the European Parliament.

The decision on the entry into the Schengen area is adopted unanimously by the Council of the EU, and the procedure also includes the request for the opinion of the EP before a final decision.

Plenković says he hopes that the European Parliament will soon vote on its position on this proposal and that during the Czech presidency of the EU this autumn, the final decision on Croatia's membership of the Schengen zone will be adopted.

Thus, at the start of 2023, Croatia is likely to join both the euro area and the Schengen zone.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia to Compete at Mediterranean Games in Oran with 55 Male Athletes, 50 Female Athletes

June 22, 2022 - At the XIX Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria (June 25-July 6), Croatia will be represented by 105 athletes in a delegation of a total of 172 people.

Croatia will compete in 17 sports (athletics, badminton, bocce, boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, sailing, judo, karate, 3x3 basketball, fencing, volleyball, swimming, handball, archery, shooting, and taekwondo).

Most Croatia representatives are in volleyball (36), which plays in both competitions with quite strong teams. The Croatia women's handball team will also play in team sports. These two women's teams significantly affected the gender balance of Croatia's competitive delegation, which, with 55 male athletes and 50 female athletes, came close to an almost equal representation.

Oran-2022.jpeg

Croatian colors at the Mediterranean Games will be defended by the Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo Matea Jelić and bronze medalist Toni Kanaet (both from taekwondo), and most of our trump cards (karate, judo, wrestling, boxing) come from martial arts. Silver gymnast Olympian Tin Srbić will also compete in Oran, as well as his representative colleague, currently in excellent shape - Ana Đerek.

Croatia will have exceptionally high hopes in archery, led by Miran Maričić and the Glasnović brothers, and we must not neglect Croatia's bowlers because they brought a gold medal from the last Games (Pero Ćubela and Nives Jelovica), as well as sailors led by Olympian Elena Vorobev.

The result expectations are within the framework of Croatia's overall ranking so far in the competition of 25 Mediterranean countries, and this means a place in the Top 10 rankings of medal winners.

Recall, at the last Mediterranean Games in 2018 in Tarragona (Spain), Croatia's 99 athletes won 17 medals, of which nine were gold, five silver, and three bronze. At the same time, both Croatia national teams in team sports - volleyball and handball - took gold, and Croatia took ninth place in the list of countries that won medals. 

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

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

PM Phones Zelenskyy to Convey Croatia's Support to Ukraine's EU Membership Bid

ZAGREB, 22 June - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to express support to Ukraine ahead of the European Union's decision to grant the candidate status to Ukraine.

The European Council will convene for 23-24 June in Brussels to discuss the wider Europe, Ukraine, EU membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, economic issues, the Conference on the Future of Europe and external relations.

"Ahead of the meeting of the European Council I spoke on the phone with President  Zelenskyy to convey our support to Ukraine in obtaining the status of EU candidate. We grieve the deaths of many innocent victims and we continue providing assistance to Ukraine that is defending its freedom and the values of the whole Europe," the Croatian PM wrote on his Twitter account.

The support to Ukraine's prospective status of candidate for EU membership has already been expressed by the leaders of Germany, France and Italy who together visited Kyiv last week.

While a majority of the EU member-states express the support to the future status of candidate for Ukraine, the Netherlands and Denmark and some other countries seem reserved about those prospects.

The decision on granting candidate status has to be adopted unanimously.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

81st Anniversary of Foundation of 1st Partisan Unit Marked in Brezovica Forest

ZAGREB, 22 June - Wreath-laying ceremonies were held at the Brezovica Memorial Centre on Wednesday on the occasion of Croatia's Anti-Fascist Struggle Day, observed on 22 June in memory of 22 June 1941 when the first Partisan detachment and the first anti-Fascist unit in this part of Europe were founded near Sisak.

President Zoran Milanović, who laid down carnations in front of the "Debeli Brijest" monument, said in his speech that anti-Fascism had deep roots in Croatia.

"It is a feeling, emotion, it is an integral part of Croatia's journey and one of the segments that make up our roots," said the president who underscored "No to fascism, freedom to the people!", alluding to the "Death to fascism, freedom to the people!" salute used by Tito-led Communist Partisan units in the Second World War.

Milanović said that Croatia's path in WW2 and after that was "just and successful".

Justice Minister Ivan Malenica, who laid a wreath on behalf of the government, said that anti-Fascism is part of the identity and past of the Croatian people, it is deeply intertwined in Croatia's statehood, and accepting both one's own good and bad things in the past is a sign of the maturity of a nation, the minister added.

It is a historical fact that Croatia's nation was among the victors at the end of the Second World War, the Croatian people were among the members of the anti-Fascist coalition, he said.

Sisak Count Prefect Ivan Celjak said that soldiers in the Homeland War made it possible for Croatia to see its dream of independence come true, and the borders of the country were defined by anti-Fascists and the anti-Fascist Struggle in the Second World War 

The head of the Alliance of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia (SABA RH), Franjo Habulin, said being anti-Fascist is not a political orientation but a human one.

"Anti-Fascism is alive and never surrenders," he said.

In attendance at the ceremonies were also two former presidents, Stjepan Mesić and Ivo Josipović, Deputy Sabor Speaker Davorko Vidović, Labour Minister Marin Piletić, Supreme Court President Radovan Dobronić, Sisak Mayor Kristina Ikić Baniček, and Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia Ready to Receive Another 60 Irregular Migrants

ZAGREB, 22 June - Croatia has applied for reception and accommodation of another 60 irregular migrants who can be relocated and is one of the few EU member-states that have expressed willingness for welcoming an additional number of migrants.

Irregular migrants should be relocated from Italy, Greece, and Cyprus to other EU member-states, the Večernji List daily recalls.

Apart from Croatia, the other four countries where more migrants can move in are France, Germany, Portugal, and Ireland.

Voluntary applications for welcoming irregular migrants who should be resettled can still be lodgedCroatia also supports France in its broad initiative to reform the asylum-seeking system, says the daily.

During its recent meeting, the EU Homes Affairs Council, under the French presidency, "very broadly supported the first step of the gradual approach to migration and asylum proposed by the presidency, including the screening regulation, the Eurodac regulation, and the solidarity mechanism," according to the information on the French presidency's web site.

A declaration on assisting the countries that bear the brunt of the arrivals of EU-bound irregular migrants and asylum seekers was adopted at the last meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg, says the daily.

During that meeting, the EU countries were offered two options: to take in additional migrants or to provide them with financial assistance.

According to the state of affairs in applications, an estimated 8,000 applications have so far been lodged for taking in migrants. Germany and France are on the top of the ranking with the highest number of applications.

A provisional plan is to ensure the relocation and resettlement of about 10,000 migrants annually.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 834 New Cases, Four Deaths

ZAGREB, 22 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours, there have been 834 new cases of infection with coronavirus, and four more patients have died, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 2,834 active cases, and 188 patients are receiving hospital treatment, including four patients on ventilators.

The infectious disease has taken 16,039 lives in the country so far.

In the last 24 hours, 140 persons have recovered from the disease.

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

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