Tuesday, 17 May 2022

First Prague Regiojet Train This Year to Arrive in Rijeka on June 3rd

May the 17th, 2022 - The very first Prague Regiojet train will arrive from the Czech capital to the City of Rijeka on the Northern Adriatic coast on June the 3rd, but there will be nothing to speak of when it comes to the Polish line to Croatia this year, it seems.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year's first train of the Czech carrier Regiojet to Rijeka and Split departs from the City of Prague on June the 3rd, 2022. Tereza Ptackova, head of international projects at Regiojet, confirmed this for Rijeka portal Novi list, stating that the recognisable yellow Regiojet trains will run again via Zagreb to Rijeka and Split, but will not stop in the Hungarian capital of Budapest this year.

"The trains will run from June the 3rd to September the 26th, with them running on a daily basis throughout July and August, and three times a week in June and September. The route hasn't really changed. We still stop in the capitals of Prague, Bratislava and Zagreb. Some stops within the Czech Republic itself are set to differ from last year, but that is only because of the construction works," Ptackova explained.

The line goes Prague - Kolin, Havlickuv Brod - Zdar nad Sazavou - Brno - Breclav - Bratislava - Zagreb - Ogulin - Rijeka and Split. So, just like last year, the train will part in Ogulin, meaning part of the wagon will go to Rijeka, and part will head south to Split. Upon returning, the wagons will reunite into one composition in Ogulin.

This year, a new line from Poland was set to be launched. However, the events of the war in neighbouring Ukraine have put these plans on hold for now, with the Prague Regiojet train the only one set to run in 2022.

"The line from Poland to Croatia will not start running this year. We hope to start operations from Poland next year. During this extremely difficult situation, we're trying to help as much as possible, so we're transporting Ukrainian refugees from the Polish border town of Przemysl to the Czech Republic. In cooperation with Clovik v tisni, CD Cargo and Rail Cargo Logistics, we're also sending material aid into Ukraine,'' said Ptackova, adding that she didn't expect the war in Ukraine to affect ticket sales from the Czech Republic to Croatia whatsoever.

In terms of capacity, the head of Regiojet's international projects said that the capacity this year is more than 600 passengers per train, meaning that it is, once again, 15 wagons. Wagons with seating as well as sleeping cars will also be available.

“Perhaps the only change is that we've increased the number of so-called ''quiet wagons'' that are suitable for families with small children or the elderly. The trains will once again offer familiar comfort at very popular prices and tickets for the Prague Regiojet train have been on sale since March the 8th this year.

Ticket prices for the Rijeka range from 23.9 euros per seat, or 31.9 euros for a ticket in a sleeping compartment. Ticket prices for Split range from 36.1 euros for a seat and about 44 euros for a ticket in a sleeping car. Free services such as coffee, water, WiFi, an entertainment portal and the like are all entirely included in the ticket price.

This summer tourist season will be an excellent opportunity for people from the Czech Republic and Slovakia to travel to Croatia, but we also believe that the people of Rijeka and Split will use this opportunity to visit, for example, Bratislava or Prague,'' concluded Ptackova.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Split Confectioner Raises Prices, Admits Croats Won't Afford Them

May the 17th, 2022 - Inflation is continuing to place proverbial vices in the pockets of Croatia's residents, with just about every possible item from fuel to lettuce at the market having seen considerable price hikes. One Split confectioner claims that they're more than aware that locals won't be able to afford their products, but that they ''need to survive somehow''.

The criticism of one Split confectioner has been loud, as their prices are deemed extortionate to the local Croatian pocket. They have been accused of catering only to the typically deeper pockets of foreign visitors, but they have defended themselves and challenged all those who have an issue with the prices to go ahead and try to open a shop of their own, so that they might feel on their own skin how difficult it is.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, recently, something as apparently mundane as the prices of ice cream in the very centre of Split was written about rather extensively. Those prices ranged from 10 to a maximum of 15 kuna, which is twice as much as it was seven years ago. Many wrote in their comments that such figures were conditioned by the increasingly challenging and difficult market, higher purchasing costs for ingredients, water and electricity, as well as high rental costs, emphasising that "those in the hospitality industry also need to try and survive".

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that in the meantime, three more confectioneries have opened in the centre of Split, and that one Split confectioner, they recorded the most expensive scoop of ice cream offered so far in the city under Marjan. From 13 kuna for a small portion and 18 kuna for a large portion in a cup with various toppings included.

As for ordinary scoops of ice cream, there's apparently a new record holder in Split as well. This is the Slovenian franchise Aroma, where you will pay 16 kuna for their refreshing pleasure made without any gluten, artificial flavourso or flavour enhancers.

"We're aware that our prices aren't going to be being paid by Croats. But, what can you do, tourists are ready to pay for it,'' one smiling saleswoman explained to the journalists from Slobodna Dalmacija.

It's now certain that the (over) inflated rental prices (from which a mere handful profit, and most citizens of Split simply can't afford, for example, a scoop of ice cream) dictate that you'll now spend almost 50 kuna for three scoops of ice cream, and that if this is a path they really want to go down, those in the catering and hospitality sector, and the likes of this Split confectioner, should settle for a winter period in which business turnover in ice cream parlors is almost non-existent.

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

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Croatian Luxury Tourism Becoming More and More Popular

May the 17th, 2022 - Croatian luxury tourism is becoming more and more popular with visitors from across the globe owing of course to Croatia's stunning coastline, but also because of one other important factor.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Eastern European agents now consider rich and untouched nature, as well as fresh clean air a huge advantage when it comes to luxury tourism and what those with deeper pockets are on the lookout for. Croatian luxury tourism is, as a result, very much on the radar globally.

The segment of so-called luxury tourism has proven to be the most resilient to the crisis which the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic caused. Although it occupies only a small share in the total traffic, the revenues from this type of tourism are very noticeable, as reported by HRT.

"We noticed that not only Dubrovnik but the whole of Croatia is becoming increasingly popular as a place for luxury holidays. We realised that this is the right time to promote it as a luxury destination,'' said Alexander Vanyukov, the organiser of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 event.

"For this luxury segment, we're still not an expensive destination, we're still cheaper than Italy, I don't know, Sardinia, Spain, the French Riviera, we're still cheaper than all these destinations," said Iris Domazet, the owner of a travel agency in Dubrovnik.

"Safety, comfort, good service, this is what our clients most often ask for and they can find it all in Dubrovnik. In addition, Azerbaijan has its own sea, but it is completely different from this beautiful one here,'' said Rufat M. Hajiyev, President of the Board of the Association of Travel Agencies in Azerbaijan.

Back in pandemic-dominated 2020, a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian guests was recorded in the Republic of Croatia, especially those with higher purchasing power. Clients of Ukrainian agencies may have now left the war zone that Ukraine has tragically become since February, but not the habit of travelling.

"Most of them, mostly women and children, have now left Ukraine. They found accommodation elsewhere in Europe. Certainly, when the school year ends, they will want to go somewhere on holiday somewhere because this is something which is completely normal for all of them during the summer,'' said Anastasia Netrebchuk.

Meetings of hoteliers and travel agents as part of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 conference, which will be held in Istria next year, could soon open some new markets to see Croatian luxury tourism as a lucrative segment for the future.

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

Monday, 16 May 2022

Ministry: Procedural Omissions at Two Hospitals in Čavajda Case

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - The Ministry of Health said on Monday that a health inspection had been completed, with regard to the case of pregnant patient Mirela Čavajda, at the KB Sveti Duh Hospital and the Sisters of Charity Hospital in Zagreb and that procedural omissions had been established.

A health inspection by the Health Ministry was conducted at the KB Sveti Duh Hospital, the Sisters of Charity Hospital, and the KB Merkur Hospital. After the entire documentation was reviewed and talks were conducted with the employees of the hospitals, it was established there were procedural omissions at the KB Sveti Duh and Sisters of Mercy hospitals, and the health inspectorate will take further measures, the ministry said in a press release.

It was determined that the patient was provided with all available healthcare in accordance with the profession and legal provisions in Croatia.

Inspection also at private healthcare facility that provided pregnancy care

In order to establish all relevant facts in this complex case, the health inspectorate decided it was also necessary to conduct an inspection at the private healthcare facility where the patient was provided with health services during her pregnancy.

With regard to the irregularities at the KB Sveti Duh Hospital, non-compliance with the legal procedure of the first-instance commission was established, which was subsequently corrected and sent to a second-instance commission at the KBC Zagreb Hospital. At the Sisters of Charity Hospital, which the patient contacted via her attorney, upon making the first-instance decision, there was a failure to inform the patient of her right to contact the KBC Zagreb Hospital as a second-instance body.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

PM: Constitutional Court's Ruling is as Expected

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader, Andrej Plenković, said on Monday that the Constitutional Court's ruling on the Bridge party's referendum question was as expected.

Earlier today, the Constitutional Court ruled that the questions in the two referendum petitions launched by the opposition Bridge party - to abolish mandatory COVID passes and transfer the powers of the national COVID response team to Parliament - were not in line with the Constitution.

"We had no idea what the decision would be," said Plenković after a session of HDZ party's Presidency and National Council, dismissing claims that the Constitutional Court was "someone's puppet".

"To anyone who had read the request to assess the constitutionality, such a decision is not a surprise," added Plenković, pointing out that the Constitutional Court's decision was well-argued ed and reasoned.

He said that the entire thing was too politicized and that the initiative was led by anti-vaxxers.

As for the statement by President Zoran Milanović that the Constitutional Court should be abolished and that the decision was a coup d'etat, PM Plenković said that this was "yet another brilliant claim".

He also said that Milanović's statement in which he asked the Croatian State Attorney's Office (DORH) to "imprison" Defence Minister Mario Banožić was unacceptable and unheard-of He added that it was unimaginable that anyone could incite DORH against a minister.

Plenković on SDP initiative for new abortion bill

The prime minister also commented on the abortion bill, saying that the initiative of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was "a lightning-fast transformation of a personal tragedy and health situation into a political initiative".

He recalled that the issue of termination of pregnancy had not been on HDZ's agenda or coalition agreement and that it was back "on the table" following a decision by the Constitutional Court after 26 or 27 years.

"We have a coalition in which there is the HDZ, some other center-right parties, as well as liberal parties and ethnic minorities, and this is an issue on which it is extremely difficult, I would even say nearly impossible, to reach a consensus within our parliamentary majority," Plenković said, recalling that the Constitutional Court did not task the government but the parliament to adopt a new law.

Last week, members of the parliamentary majority could vote on this ideological question in line with their program and values, Plenković said, noting that the HDZ understood the message and that it was a signal of caution.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Milanović Sees Constitutional Court's Decision as Coup D'Etat

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - President Zoran Milanović said on Monday that the Constitutional Court's ruling on the Bridge party's two referendum questions was "trampling on the Constitution and an act of a coup d'etat!".

Earlier on Monday, the Constitutional Court concluded that the questions in the two referendum petitions launched by the opposition Bridge party - to abolish mandatory COVID passes and transfer the powers of the national COVID response team to Parliament - failed the test of constitutionality. 

"What these ten judges did today is a coup d'etat. That court needs to be abolished by a referendum so they can see what the will of the people means when 400,000 people consciously sign a petition. They dared check the mental state and sobriety of 400,000 Croatian citizens who clearly called for amendments to the Constitution," President Milanović said in the town Petrinja.

Milanović recalled that former President Ivo Josipović gathered constitutional experts in 2015 to recommend changes to the Constitution and that one of them was that the notion of epidemic should be entered into the Constitution.

The current president added that today that issue is no longer relevant because the epidemic has passed.

"The Constitutional Court does not have the right to question the constitutionality of the question to amend the Constitution if conditions stipulated by Articles 86 and 87, paragraph 3 are met regarding the number of signatures. That has been met! The Constitutional Court needs to be informed of that. Anyone who requests the opinion is violating the Constitution and that is the parliament belonging to the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) ," said Milanović.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Leaders of 3 Minor Croat Parties Support Milanović's Policy for Croats in BiH

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - The leaders of three Croat parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Monday supported President Zoran Milanović's policy considering the issues burdening Croats in that country, including his idea to block Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO unless the election law in BiH is amended.

Earlier on Monday Milanović called on representatives of Croats in BiH to clearly state if they agree with his policy so that he can continue pursuing it.

"I support President Milanović's policy and call on institutions in Croatia to help in finding a solution to the Croat issue in BiH and to take all the necessary steps, regardless of how difficult they may be," the leader of the HDZ 1990, Ilija Cvitanović told the Bild.ba web news portal.

He added that this was a 'historic moment' for Croats in BiH and that it has to be utilized.

The leader of HSS BiH, Mario Karamatić posted on Facebook that he can see "the point, interest and advantage' in what Milanović is doing and asked that he continued doing so.

"Mr. President, please do not give up from us too, like many others who have done so for whatever reason," Karamatić wrote.

Leader of the Republican Party Slaven Raguž said that "over the past 15 days, Zoran Milanović has done more to internationalize the Croat issue in BiH than HDZ has in the past 20 years."

Milanović has been repeating for days that Croatia should block Finland and Sweden's accession to the alliance until the election law in BiH is amended in an attempt to prevent the more numerous Bosniaks to outvote Croats in that country at the October election.

However, Croatia's Prime Minister and leader of the HDZ, Andrej Plenković, has accused Milanović's rhetoric saying that it has damaged attempts for an agreement to be reached over the election reform.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

ZSE Indices Slide

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices slid 0.2% on Monday amid cautious trading.

The Crobex decreased by 0.22% to 2,077 points and the Crobex10 by 0.25% to 1,238 points.

The industry index saw the biggest decline, of 0.96%, while the construction index rose by as much as 15.13%, thanks to a jump in the price of the stock of the Institut IGH construction company by nearly 28%, to HRK 110 per share.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 5.8 million, or HRK 1.1 million less than on Friday.

The only stock with the one million kuna turnover mark was that of the Croatian Postal Bank (HPB), which turned over HRK 1.14 million, closing at HRK 910 per share, down 0.55%.

Forty-one stocks traded on the ZSE today, with 16 registering share price increases, 15 recording price decreases and 10 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.526206)

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Croatia Airlines and Lufthansa Technik Continue 30-Year Cooperation

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - Croatia Airlines (CA) and the German aircraft maintenance company Lufthansa Technik celebrated 30 years of successful cooperation in Zagreb on Monday, and that cooperation is continuing and soon a new two-year contract will be signed.

By combining the strengths of employees and professional knowledge from both companies, excellence in technical aircraft maintenance has been reached, which is recognised by our partners across the world. As a result, Croatia Airlines' Technical Sector has become a center of excellence in which the most demanding technical services are provided to domestic and foreign aircraft, said the president of CA management board, Jasmin Bajić.

He said that Lufthansa Technik was a world leader in its field and that CA experts had so far conducted over 210 major inspections of Lufthans aircraft, all of which had begun with the first CA flight to Frankfurt in 1992, when CA procured three aircraft from Lufthansa, also signing a technical support contract for the aircraft.

In addition to that cooperation, in 2001 CA obtained a JAR 145 certificate for an independent base and line maintenance of foreign aircraft at the Zagreb technical center, at Zagreb's airport, where they have three hangars, and their work didn't stop even during the pandemic, when they signed an addendum to all contracts with Lufthansa.

Lufthansa Technik Vice President for Corporate Sales for EMEA, Kai Roepke, also said the cooperation was extremely successful, adding that it was a great example of international cooperation.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Const. Court President Calls On Everyone to Respect Court Decisions

ZAGREB, 16 May 2022 - Constitutional Court Chief Justice Miroslav Šeparović said on Monday that the court's decision on the Bridge party's referendum initiative related to COVID crisis management was not the defeat of that court, and called on everyone advocating the rule of law to respect court decisions.

"This is by no means the Constitutional Court's defeat but it is in line with what the Constitution envisages and that is for the Constitutional Court to decide if a referendum question is in line with the Constitution. I call on everyone who advocates the rule of law to respect the court's decisions. Referendum initiatives are legitimate and for signatures to be collected but the Constitution says that the Constitutional Court decides on constitutionality," underscored Šeparović.

Šeparović said that it was only the Bridge that was trying to exert pressure through the media on this judicial institution and neither the ruling parties nor the opposition tried to pressurize the court. The court president underscored that pressure can never bring any results.

"The court delivered its ruling within the prescribed deadline of 30 days," he added, in reference to the Bridge's accusations that the court failed to hand down the rulings within the timeframes.

"The stories about politicking are old and always come to the fore when someone is not satisfied with a court decision," he added.

Šeparović explained that the Bridge party did not tell citizens exactly what would happen if the referendum managed to amend the Constitution the way the party had requested.

"They probably went toward legitimate political objectives, but they went about it in the wrong way." 

"They claimed that if the Constitution were to be amended the way they wanted then the parliament would have to decide by a two-third majority but they also kept the word that it 'could.' As such, nothing would have changed with the proposed constitutional amendment which in itself is not contrary to the Constitution but is contrary to the rule of law because you cannot tell citizens to go to a referendum and amend the Constitution, but there is no point to do so because the Sabor will not have to decide by a two-thirds majority," said Šeparović.

Šeparović did not wish to speculate why the Bridge launched the referendum initiative and whether they had sought advice in that regard. "They probably had legitimate political objectives but went about it the wrong way," he said.

Šeparović on plans for new law on abortion

Asked whether the right to abortion should be in the Constitution, Šeparović said that the Constitutional Court never gives its opinion in advance or whether something be inscribed in the law or the Constitution as that is a matter for the law-making authorities.

"The Constitution Court assessed that the existing law (on the termination of pregnancy) is in line with the Constitution. As such, there is no legal ban on pregnancy termination and there is no referendum on that issue. Whether the creator of the Constitution wishes to change something is a matter for the legislature and the Constitutional Court will not enter into that. We have said that a new law needs to be adopted, for preventative education to be regulated and for pregnancy termination to be an exception. The Sabor has not respected that and that isn't just undermining the Constitutional Court's authority but also infringe the rule of law," said Šeparović.

"I expect the government to make a recommendation and for the Sabor to adopt a new law on pregnancy termination."

He added that he still expects the Sabor to adopt a new law as ordered by the Constitutional Court and claimed that that was sending a bad message to citizens.

''If the Sabor does not respect the court's decisions how can we expect citizens to. The Constitutional Court does not have the means to make the Sabor adopt a new law. The strongest weapon the court has is to abolish the existing law and determine a deadline when that law would no longer be in effect. In this case, we did not establish that the law was unconstitutional but we did order the Sabor to replace the outdated law which had several problems and for it to be amended and a new law to be passed," said he.

For more, check out our politics section.

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