Sunday, 12 June 2022

Croatia Airlines, Trade Air Awarded PSO Contracts for Internal Croatia Flights

June 12, 2022 - The latest Public Service Obligation PSO contracts for internal flights in Croatia have been awarded once more to Croatia Airlines and Trade Air.

Although Croatia Airlines is the dominant airline on domestic routes in Croatia, one of the great discoveries of this year so far has been the service offered by another, lesser-known, Croatian airline - Trade Air. 

While Trade Air operates mostly outside of Croatia, it does operate some passenger services within Croatia, as part of Croatia's PSO programme, where flights are subsidised to connect various airports within Croatia. When I finally got to looking into what was on offer, I was very pleasantly surprised, as well as a little annoyed with myself that I had not discovered the service sooner. Flights from Zagreb to Osijek taking less than an hour for around 30 euro, only slightly more than the bus. And my favourite - Dubrovnik to Osijek, via Split and Rijeka, for 60 euro, but delivered safely in just 3 hours and 40 minutes, despite the big detour and two stops at other airports. You can read about the experience in Affordable, Useful, Stunning Daily Croatian Internal Flights, And It is Not Croatia Airlines.

The last round of PSO contracts expired a few weeks ago,and these very useful internal connections have been on hold until the new contracts were announced. As ExYuAviation reports, that has now happened, with Croatia Airlines and Trade AIr winning the contracts again, despite some speculation that some non-Croatian airlines might be awarded at least some of the contracts this time. The new contracts are set to run from July 4, 2022 to March 28, 2026. Although the exact routes operated by each airline are yet to be publicly defined, they are expected to be the same as last time, with the prime Zagreb to Dubrovnik route once more operated by Croatia Airlines. According to ExYuAviation:

"Under the previous deal, Croatia Airlines received roughly 11.4 million euros in annual compensation, while Trade Air approximately 2.5 million euros per year according to the European Commission. The routes which will be subject to the latest PSO funding are: Dubrovnik - Zagreb – Dubrovnik, Split - Zagreb - Split, Zagreb - Zadar - Pula - Zadar - Zagreb, Zagreb - Brač - Zagreb, Osijek - Dubrovnik - Osijek, Osijek - Split - Osijek, Osijek - Zagreb - Osijek, Rijeka - Split - Dubrovnik - Split - Rijeka, Osijek - Pula - Split - Pula - Osijek, Rijeka - Zadar - Rijeka and Osijek - Zadar - Osijek."

For more information about flight news to Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.


Sunday, 12 June 2022

Croatia Logs 204 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 12 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours, 204 coronavirus cases, out of 1,654 tests, and three related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 1,896 active cases, including 153 hospitalised patients, five of whom are on ventilators.

To date, Croatia has registered 1,139,816 coronavirus cases, the death toll is 16,019, and 69.70% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Could Croatian Bus Companies Introduce Smarter "German Model"?

June the 12th, 2022 - Could struggling Croatian bus companies, who have had very little help from the state and have been in troubled waters ever since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic at the start of 2020 introduce the so-called German model? It seems the will is there.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ever since June the 1st this year, the German Government has been testing out a special model in which it has decided to stimulate public transport use and has offered a ticket of 9 euros per month for the use of both buses and trains. The reaction of the German people was rather unsurprisingly fantastic and the tickets quickly sold out.

Public transport is the only real alternative to travel during these times in which we've seen such drastically rising fuel prices, and the examples of Germany and even neighbouring Slovenia show how this can actually work excellently.

The German Government's idea for bus transport pricing through the aforementioned special model saw tickets sell out rapidly because for 27 euros, people can literally use these services as much as they want. If a bus ticket is bought in Hamburg, for example, it can be used without any problems in Berlin or any other German city, it can also be used on some of Germany's DB intercity trains.

"Public transport is the only alternative to travel for many people with such high fuel prices and this is being widely recognised by European countries. We hope that the example of Germany will show the way this should be handled to the Croatian Government and the relevant ministry in order to help people out, because this is the only real solution,'' said Hrvoje Mestrovic, president of the Coordination of Public Liner Carriers at the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP).

Croatian bus companies have, as has been mentioned, been dealing with an extremely unfavourable economic situation for a very long time now, with little to no attention having been paid by the state, in their opinion. Trying to balance business and preserve thousands of jobs continues to be a huge burden. Mestrovic pointed out that the state also has a clear benefit from introducing such a plan for Croatian bus companies because the money will be returned to the state treasury for a large amount of the tickets sold, which we have witnessed in both Slovenia and Germany.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Future ACI Marina Rijeka to Transform Entire Kvarner Region

June the 12th, 2022 - The Kvarner of the Future conference was held in Rijeka recently, where the upcoming extremely modern marina, ACI Marina Rijeka, was discussed.

As Morski writes, a large conference was held at the Rijeka terminal where experts from the maritime industry, shipbuilding, digitalisation and other key people in Croatian tourism and maritime affairs gathered. They were led by representatives of the Lurssen Group and ACI, who presented projects whose implementation will change the face of Kvarner in the next few years.

One of the most important topics was the future ACI Marina Rijeka, which will be the largest investment in nautical tourism in the Republic of Croatia so far and which will create more than 130 new jobs within the functioning of the marina itself.

The first panel paid special attention to the digital age and the impact of the introduction of digital technologies in the maritime industry, as well as the impact of technologies that are being rapidly implemented, and need to be mapped, analysed and implemented in good time.

The second panel opened up some other important issues related to the use of hydrogen and the benefits of developing the potential of a hydrogen economy that is in line with the objectives of the European Hydrogen Strategy. The key topic was the establishment of the Northern Adriatic hydrogen valley by Croatia, Italy and Slovenia with the aim of developing the potential for the production and use of renewable hydrogen.

''The realisation of a cross-border hydrogen valley will represent a transition to an integrated energy ecosystem that will include the energy, industry and transport sectors. Cooperation on joint innovation projects will lead to the accelerated development of hydrogen technologies and the creation of value chains,'' said Stephen Taylor, coordinator of the Working Group of the Hydrogen Valley IT-HR-SLO and Deputy Director of Area Science Park in Trieste, Italy.

The Kvarner of the Future conference was concluded by the third panel, which focused on the future ACI Marina Rijeka. The president of the management board of ACI, Kristijan Pavic, and member of the management board for Investments, Marketing and Retail of ACI d.d., Josip Ostrogovic, both emphasised that the future ACI Marina Rijeka will set new standards in the entire region when it comes to building nautical tourism ports. One of the key development potentials in this regard is certainly the development of new technologies.

The future ACI Marina Rijeka will be a green and fully digitalised marina and a centre for the development of new technologies that will be applied in the future in nautical tourism, both on board vessels and in the marinas themselves.

Provided that everything goes according to plan and without any unforeseen circumstances cropping up, the start of construction work could be in the middle of next year. The sea part of the marina could be opened in 2024, and the entire marina in 2026.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Friend of the Sea Certificate to be Given to Beloved Pula Aquarium

June the 12th, 2022 - The much loved Pula Aquarium is set to be handed the prestigious Friend of the Sea certificate in just a few days.

As Morski writes, the Pula Aquarium will receive the prestigious "Friend of the sea" certificate of self-sustainability from the World Sustainability Organisation on Friday, June the 17th, 2022.

The main goal of the World Sustainability Organisation is to encourage the development of companies in a sustainable direction, and by receiving the "Friend of the sea" certificate, Pula Aquarium has very clearly shown that it is well and truly committed to social responsibility and active involvement in breeding programmes for endangered species, all to preserve wild populations of various marine animals and marine ecosystems through their own business.

In addition to its core activities, the Pula Aquarium directly contributes to the protection of nature and sensitive and endangered marine species, which is why it has been recognised by national and international institutions, primarily for carrying out activities to protect sea turtles and other reptiles, not to mention the critically endangered noble pen shells, the population of which across the Mediterranean is dwindling.

The number of living noble pen shells in the Croatian Adriatic is believed to stand at a mere twenty, with hopes that there are more to be found yet.

The Pula Aquarium also indirectly contributes to the community itself by raising public awareness and restoring habitat and biodiversity. In addition to education, the main goals of the entity are to ensure animal welfare, nature and energy, along with the professional development of employees in each business segment.

With its own development, this aquarium follows many different global trends and carefully selects raw materials in order to use the most acceptable solutions for the environment and sustainability, which are also the reasons for the recognition of the Pula Aquarium as an example of good practice.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Zlarin Island Has Least Plastic, Most Waste Separation on Krk Island

June the 12th, 2022 - Zlarin island has the least plastic waste among the country's many inhabited islands, while the island of Krk does the best job when it comes to waste separation.

As Morski writes, the Sunce Association organised another study trip as part of the project entitled "For Plastic-Free Croatian Islands". This time, the employees of the Sunce Association, along with their project partners, visited the island with the least plastic, Zlarin island, and the island with the highest percentage of waste separation in all of Croatia, Krk.

The first day of the trip was a visit to Zlarin island, which launched the initiative to reduce plastic waste on that particular island four years ago.

''Through the initiative For Zlarin island without plastic, significant progress has been made in reducing pollution as a result of disposable plastic. The project was initially supported by the Tourist Board and the local mayor, and then slowly began to involve local traders, fishermen and other locals,'' said Katarina Gregov, a representative of the Zlarin Tourist Board.

The mere fact that there are no cars on Zlarin island is a sufficient motivator for the local community to continue striving to develop the concept of sustainable tourism by which visitors have the opportunity to experience the island as it always has been throughout time.

''Our goal is to make people aware of being more responsible consumers and not replacing one type of waste with another. In the beginning, of course, it wasn't easy, it's difficult to change people's already well established habits and patterns of behaviour. However, when you provide them with some education, and at the same time an acceptable and affordable alternative to disposable plastic, most of them eventually agree to it,'' said Katarina.

Krk - the island with the highest percentage of separated waste in all of Croatia

The second and third day of the trip saw the aforementioned Association head to the beautiful island of Krk, the most populated and economically developed island in the country, and also one of the Croatian leaders in the share of separation of useful raw materials from waste.

For many years, Krk has been implementing a system of a circular economy, which doesn't discard raw materials, but instead uses them for re-production. This reduces the consumption of limited natural resources (oil, wood, iron) and, consequently, waste.

Waste is collected door to door, and Krk's residents have bins in front of their houses in order to separate plastic, glass, paper, biowaste and mixed municipal waste themselves. However, the door-to-door waste collection system wasn't introduced in the old town due to the mayor's decision not to have bins located there, nor air conditioning, clotheslines, etc. That means that waste from the old town is collected outside the of the walls in special locations.

A large amount of separately-collected recyclable waste comes mixed, so this waste is first taken to a sorting plant where it's further sorted, baled and handed over for further recovery. Additional waste sorting is important when it comes to separating waste that doesn't belong there. In addition, waste sorting plants are important for the future self-financing of utility companies because they further reduce the cost of waste collection.

Krk is also proud of its modernly equipped composting plant, in which about six million kuna was invested two years ago for the modernisation of the plant. The space of the once open composting plant, after the investment, was covered and closed, and a device for machining the imported biowaste was installed in it. Produced compost is 1st class compost used for agricultural purposes, and users of Ponikve Krk's services receive one bag of that compost as a gift, while larger quantities are sold at a very affordable price and brought to the doorstep. Ponikve Krk also plans to produce third class compost from sludge from wastewater in the amount of 676 tonnes of compost per year.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Zadar Digital Nomad Week Diary: Opening and Second Day

June 12, 2022 - After the success of the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week in 2021 and the Work.Place.Culture Conference in Dubrovnik this year, now it's turn of one of the most important cities in the Adriatic and one that continues to attract a large community of digital nomads. A review of the first day of Zadar Digital Nomad Week.

In one of the most ambitious projects of Saltwater Nomads to date, and in collaboration with the Zadar Tourist Board and the Digital Nomad Association Croatia, Zadar Digital Nomad Week presents a week-long program full of cultural and outdoor activities that will allow you to discover in-depth the advantages of being a digital nomad in Zadar. The event kicked off on Friday the 10th with an opening dinner at the Groppo restaurant, where participants and organizers were able to get to know each other better and share more about their stories, experiences, and backgrounds.


Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

The day started in front of the Foša Gate, in the old town of Zadar, where Rudi Witkowsky offered an active masterclass. Rudi, a fitness coach and consultant from Cape Town, South Africa, was Zagreb's digital nomad ambassador last year in August. Rudi has already been able to get to know numerous coastal destinations in Croatia since it is definitely the climate that he pursues as a digital nomad, but he highlighted Zadar as a fitness-friendly city, with enough provision and infrastructure for athletes and physical activity enthusiasts. In his active masterclass, Rudi guided those present to reconnect with their bodies through demanding exercise routines in tune with relaxation exercises, all this under the shade of the trees, taking into account the high temperatures that herald the arrival of summer.


Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

Around noon, we got together for a very interesting activity that tested our knowledge about Zadar: the puzzle picnic. Through very creative clues, the participants were able to walk the ancient streets of the old town of Zadar while we deciphered the way to finally arrive at a location with surely one of the best panoramic views of the city. Under the shade of the trees, a well-deserved tasting session of Croatian prosecco, cheeses, fruits, and sponsored kombuchas appeased everyone's appetite and thirst after a long day of walking under the merciless sun — a proper reward.


Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

There was no better way to end the first day than visiting the surroundings of the historic town of Nin, just 30 minutes from Zadar by car. It's almost seven in the evening, and it's the best time of day to take a bath, but one very different from what we're used to. At Queens Beach, visitors come to cover their bodies with mud well known for its therapeutic and healing functions. Mud baths are very popular in Croatia, especially in this part of the country. It is even known that this activity dates back to Roman times.

On the way back to Zadar, and without planning it, we stopped to take a look at the church of Saint Nicholas, a small church built on a small hill, and that keeps a short but very interesting history. According to tradition, seven Kings were crowned in Nin, and every crowned ruler rode on horseback to the Church of Saint Nicholas, and it was in fact here that he would be presented to the people through a symbolic ritual, where he would point with a sword the four corners of the world.


Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

It was an excellent opening of the Zadar Digital Nomad Week, which presented the city in a great way, and it is best to know that there is still much to enjoy from its rich program. The second day awaits Turkish coffee and baklava, keynote in a kayak, and much more.

Visit the official Zadar Digital Nomad Week website.

For the latest news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Agreements on 45 Croatia-Bosnia Cross-Border Cooperation Projects Granted

ZAGREB, 11 June, 2022 - A total of 45 agreements, worth €1.2 million, on projects for cross-border cooperation between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were handed to the beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Plitvice Lakes on Friday.

The documents were handed by EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Nataša Tramišak, who said that this cross-border cooperation programme regarding development projects in the social, utilities, environmental and cultural infrastructure contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of the Croats in the border area.

This also could help to turn around negative demographic trends in the border areas, she added.

In 2021, HRK 6 million (€800,000) was invested in those programmes and in 2022, the sum has increased to 9 million kuna. 

The minister said that in 2023, the allocation would further rise to 17 million kuna (€2.3 million), due to a rising number of applications for this funding.

The head of the central state office for Croats living outside Croatia, Zvonko Milas, said at the ceremony that the programme  was conducive to efforts to develop cooperation to the benefit of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, their economic recovery, and to make sure that they can enjoy equality and their rights as a constituent people.

"We are one people, we live in the two countries, in the two homelands, we have our joint past, present and also the future, said Milas.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Health Minister Announces Streamlining of Public Procurement, Hospital Management

ZAGREB, 11 June, 2022 - The financially feasible management of hospitals and a new network of public healthcare protection are some of the reform actions presented on Saturday by Minister Vili Beroš in his video message to a convention of journalists specialised in reporting on health topics.

He informed the conference, which took place in the Istrian town of Grožnjan, that the public procurement procedures would be streamlined and that the lists of drugs covered by the Croatian Health Insurance Agency (HZZO) would be overhauled.

Beroš said that the reform of the healthcare system would also focus on prevention check-ups, promotion of healthy habits and raising health literacy, stricter control of sick leaves and so on.

Focus will be also placed on strengthening the capacities of day hospitals and on increasing palliative care facilities.

 The hospitals will be rated, and the functional merger will be implemented, among other things.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Plenković Addresses HDZ General Convention

ZAGREB, 11 June (Hina) - HDZ leader Andrej Plenković said at his party's 19th general convention on Saturday that the HDZ was a centre-right party, as defined by its founder, Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman, underlining the importance of political stability and continuing inclusive, tolerant, pro-European policies.

Submitting a report on the party's work since the last convention, held four years ago, Plenković said that the last four years had been very challenging for Croatia and the entire world, citing in that context the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian aggression on Ukraine, and in Croatia's case, two strong earthquakes.

"All of that has resulted in energy, food, security and humanitarian crises. Today's convention is therefore very important... for the HDZ to define a position on all issues of importance for its future and the future of our country," he said.

The HDZ demonstrated its strength again in the 2021 local election, he said, adding that the party had been working on its international affirmation, as evidenced by senior posts held by HDZ members in EU institutions.

In his address, Plenković particularly underlined the importance of political stability, noting that there were constant attempts to destabilise the party, which, he said, were futile because of the trust that existed between partners in the ruling coalition, whose cooperation had resulted in the accomplishment of a number of strategic goals.

In that context, he cited the imminent completion of the Pelješac Bridge, entry to the euro and Schengen areas, and the procurement of multipurpose fighter jets.

"Without political stability today we would not have a floating LNG terminal which secures gas supply in such a way to make us not depend on Russian energy," he said, noting that the party's platform guaranteed a social, developed, healthy, solidary and just Croatia.

He added that at the time of the coronavirus pandemic there were no large-scale layoffs or bankruptcies and that that was owing to his government's timely decisions and actions.

Croatia stands by its heroes

In a comment on Serbia's indictment against four Croatian pilots, charged with war crimes against civilians during the 1995 Operation Storm in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenković said that Croatia would not accept their prosecution by Serbian authorities.

"Serbia cannot prosecute people who are not its nationals for alleged crimes that were not committed in its territory," he said.

"Croatia defended itself in the Homeland War from Milošević's Great Serbian aggression and the government and the HDZ will certainly not allow prosecutors, whether from Bosnia and Herzegovina or from Serbia, to issue indictments, 27 years after the victory in the Homeland War, against Croatian commanders, generals or pilots. The Croatian state and we all stand by our heroes," Plenković said.

On Ukraine

Commenting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Plenković said it had changed the way the world functions.

"We have seen how a big power can make moves that are contrary to international law and principles of global governance, launching aggression and invading a neighbouring country, a sovereign member of the UN," said Plenković, adding that the HDZ felt solidarity with Ukraine because of Croatia's difficult experience in the Homeland War.

Our support to Ukraine is principled, it is of a humanitarian, political, diplomatic, financial and military nature, he said, adding that the government would continue supporting Ukraine.

HDZ will not tolerate accusations of treason

Noting that the party would continue working as a patriotic, Christian Democrat and statehood-building party, Plenković said that the HDZ was often targeted by what he described as brutal and aggressive accusations.

"Those members of the left who are aggressive and uncivilised call HDZ members corrupt thieves while right-wing politicians call them traitors, for example, to Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said.

The latter accusations are aimed at "causing harm primarily to the Croats in BiH, the HDZ BiH... and the HDZ in Croatia," he said, adding that his party would not tolerate such accusations.

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