Thursday, 14 October 2021

Journalists Call for Urgent Amendments to Public Broadcaster Law

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - The farcical call for applications for the HRT public broadcaster's director general shows the need for urgently amending the HRT Act, the Croatian Journalists Association's  (HND) Croatian Television branch and the Croatian Journalists Trade Union (SNH) said on Thursday.

They accused the government and Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek of inaction.

The Andrej Plenković cabinet had enough time, the law could have but has not been amended, for which the Culture and Media Ministry, with the minister at the helm, is also responsible, the HND and the SNH said in a press release.

They said they could not support the selection procedure which, after complaints about regularity, consisted of two meetings of the parliamentary Information and Media Committee.

At the first one, on 12 October, before it was made public who the candidate was, two committee members who did not attend deposited their votes, which were declared valid. The ruling majority's claim that the votes of five of the committee's 13 members were enough to choose the HRT head fully reveals the farce. After complaints from the opposition, another meeting was held, the press release said.

Framework must be created to build professional and independent public broadcaster

The HND and the SNH said it was important to create a framework for building a professional and independent public broadcaster.

It's enough to watch Croatian Television's (HTV) feature on the parliamentary committee's 13 October meeting, which made no mention of the opposition's complaints about the selection procedure, the irregularity of the call for applications or the conflict of interest of the ruling majority's candidate for that position, they said.

That is the picture of the HTV's information programme in 2021, the programme which sends the prime minister interview questions in advance, they added.

The selection of the director general has shown the validity of our years-long demands for amending the HRT Act in order to enable its business and programming stabilisation and ensure an independent and transparent selection of the director general without evident political influence, thus opening the door to HRT's transformation from a state into a true public broadcaster, the HND and the SNH said.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Minister: Household Gas Prices in Croatia Will Not Change until 1 April 2022

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić told a news conference on Thursday that household gas prices in Croatia would not change until 1 April 2022.

The correction of the price of gas supplies for households can be expected after 1 April 2022, the minister said, adding that "certain actions in the coming period and bringing more order and stabilisation to gas prices on the global market will result in a much lower gas price rise (in Croatia) than the hikes affecting residents of most EU member states currently."

Asked by reporters to comment on Zagreb's Gradska Plinara, the city-run company that distributes natural gas to users in Zagreb, Zaprešić and Velika Gorica and the municipalities of Brdovec, Pušća, Marija Gorica and Dubravica, to raise gas prices for the business sector, Ćorić said that he could not comment on specific business decisions of individual gas supply distributors.

The Jutarnji List daily reported on Thursday that all businesses that obtain gas from Gradska Plinara Zagreb will face a three- or fourfold rise in the gas price after the company's unilateral decision to increase gas prices, regardless of its contracts with those businesses.

The company decided on this move to avoid a dire financial situation after it had not contracted sufficient gas supplies at lower prices, according to the daily.

We Can! MP urges intervention in gas prices

Earlier in the day, Sandra Benčić, a parliamentary deputy of the We Can! party, said that the government's decision to cap fuel prices was insufficient and called for its intervention in gas prices.

Speaking on behalf of the Green-Left Bloc in the parliament, she said that the intervention concerning gas and heat prices should be conducted through a reduction of Value Added Tax.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatian PM Plenković: Nobody Will Pin Sanader on Me!

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Andrej Plenković said on Thursday he did not intend to apologise for someone else's sins from a time when he was not a member of the ruling party.

"There was one leader, Ivo Sanader, who ran the HDZ, who, it was found in legal proceedings, abused his office, which resulted in the responsibility of the legal person, the HDZ. The one responsible for that should answer for it," he told the press when asked about yesterday's Supreme Court ruling against the HDZ and its former president Sanader.

"I, as president of the party, democratically elected twice... don't intend to utter sentences of apology for the sins of someone else from a time when I was not even a member of the party. No way."

Plenković then commented on criticisms from the opposition, "which has been hysterical since yesterday," notably from the Social Democratic Party and its president Peđa Grbin, saying he would not be lectured "by a tyrant, a despot, a non-democrat" who expelled 18 MPs from the party "because they have different views on something."

"The SDP is showing totalitarian manners in the 21st century," Plenković said. I'm being lectured by a man who is hugging (Stjepan) Kovač... while he is lying that he is being threatened, who hired an officer to lie?"

He also commented on criticisms from the Bridge party, saying they "almost had an orgasm at the Freedom Festival and screech against vaccination," as well as from the We Can! party, saying they were spreading hate against the HDZ and installing people in the Zagreb Holding company "in a way that was... ridiculous."

"We are the NBA for them and they are a local league. No way," said Plenković.

"I understand those who have 12 or 13% (in approval ratings). Now is the time to strike at the HDZ. But people see the difference. What we are doing today and what was from 2004 to 2009 is not the same and is not related at all. There is no chance that the current leadership will assume responsibility for something which the court ruled was due to the personal responsibility of practically one person."

Expects authorities to find out who radicalised youth who attacked gov't building

Plenković also commented on last year's attack on the government building during which a police officer was wounded.

"I expect the police and DORH (State Attorney's Office) to do everything so that we find out who radicalised the young man who committed a terorist act, from whom he got the gun, who taught him to use that weapon. That doesn't happen spontaneously, that someone aged 22, unprovoked, should commit such an act and almost kill a Croatian policeman."

Plenković said his statement was not pressure but a call on DORH and the police, an expectation from the authorities because, he said, the chapter was not closed and additional steps forward were necessary.

"I believe it was a terrorist attack. He didn't shoot at a bar, a restaurant, but at the building of the Croatian government. He shot at a number of police officers, he shot at windows, at the Legislation Office where lawyers sit," he added.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatian Government Limits Petrol to HRK 11.10, Diesel to HRK 11.00

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - The Croatian government passed a decree on Thursday limiting the retail price of petrol to HRK 11.10 (€1.48) per litre and the price of diesel to HRK 11.00 (€1.46) per litre for the next 30 days.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the aim of this move was to protect consumers.

"Considering the present economic situation, the unpredictability of petroleum prices on the global market and the impact of fuel prices on total economic activity and citizens' living standards, and in order to ensure further economic recovery, the government has decided to make use of the option to stabilise petrol and diesel prices over the next 30 days based on the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Market Act," the prime minister said at a cabinet meeting.

He added that the government would be closely monitoring the situation and trends on global markets and take further steps as necessary.

Fuel prices increased considerably in Croatia on Tuesday. According to the website cijenegoriva.info, the price of Eurosuper 95 rose by HRK 0.26 on average compared to last week, the price of diesel rose by HRK 0.40, and the price of autogas went up by HRK 0.13.

Eurosuper 95 now costs HRK 11.35 per litre at INA petrol stations, HRK 11.36 at Lukoil, HRK 11.39 at Tifon and HRK 11.40 at Petrol. Eurosuper 100 is sold at HRK 11.99 per litre.

Eurodiesel costs HRK 11.40 per litre at Crodux, HRK 11.42 at INA and HRK 11.43 at Lukoil, while the prices of autogas range from HRK 5.62 to 5.89.

The rise in fuel prices is due to the rise in petroleum prices on global markets and the high US dollar exchange rate.

(€1 = HRK 7.510550)

Thursday, 14 October 2021

CIHT Conference to Gather International Health Tourism Experts in Crikvenica

October 14, 2021 - The region's most influential health tourism conference, the Crikvenica International Health Tourism Conference (CIHT Conference), will be held on November 4 and 5, 2021, for the ninth year in a row at the Hotel Katarina in Selce.

The organizers are the Crikvenica Tourist Board and the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster. This year in a hybrid edition, the conference is traditionally held in English and will bring together world-renowned experts in the fields of health, tourism, marketing, and education, to review the latest trends in health tourism, exchange experiences, and find new ways to communicate in these pandemic times, reports T.portal.

"Although this year COVID-19 fills newspaper columns and front pages of portals, in our environment, the need for health services and health tourism, in general, does not cease, and Kvarner and Crikvenica have much to offer everyone who needs recovery, rich sea air, and mild climate. Business conditions and promotions fully take on solutions and views on the settings and development of a diverse tourist offer, especially health tourism. Distinguished speakers will share their knowledge and experience," said Dr. Vladimir Mozetič, president of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, which will be attended by, among others, Dr. Mario Škugor, endocrinologist and director of education of the prestigious American Clinic Cleveland, Velimir Šonje, economic analyst, and many others.

Over the years, CIHT has hosted excellent experts from all over the world who, with the amount of knowledge and experience, make a valuable asset in further progress and promotion of health and health tourism in the region. This year's ninth CIHT conference continues to contribute to applying current theoretical knowledge and trends in practice, emphasizing the strategic importance of the development of health tourism in Croatia with an efficient connection to foreign and domestic markets. Along with top lecturers, the conference's priority is the best possible quality of content that abounds in interesting, educational, innovative, and current topics and workshops.

The director of the Crikvenica Tourist Board, Marijana Biondić, and the leader of the CIHT conference pointed out that she is incredibly proud of another edition of the conference, which will be the best so far:

"This tourist year has confirmed the position and importance of Kvarner as a favorite EU destination. Safe, reliable, with an increasingly high-quality offer of accommodation and experiences, the Crikvenica Riviera is in full swing, and health tourism has the opportunity to lead this trend."

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Tastes of Croatian Tradition Days Return in November, 110 Restaurants Participating

October 14, 2021 - Tastes of Croatian Tradition returns for its second edition next month after the pandemic brought the culinary event to a halt last year. 

Representatives of ten counties attended the council for "Tastes of Croatian Tradition," hosted by the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board and held at Salaš Savus in Bukovlje near Slavonski Brod. After a one-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was agreed at the session that the Taste of Croatian Tradition Days will be held from November 15 to 28, 2021.

As expected, in this second edition of the event, about 110 catering establishments bearing the Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard from 13 Croatian counties will be included. During the fourteen-day duration of the event, they will offer guests two menus consisting of at least three courses of local traditional dishes. Furthermore, restaurants will design the offer of their choice in one of four price groups: from 75, 95, 125, or 195 kuna.

The second Tastes of Croatian Tradition Days will be presented at a press conference in Zagreb in early November when the first national Tastes of Croatian Tradition labels prepared in digital and printed editions will be presented.

The Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard was received by another catering facility in the Brod-Posavina County area, which met the high criteria to be awarded the prestigious standard. Namely, Ružica Vidaković, director of the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Office, awarded the label to Kuća Piva restaurant in the town of Slavonski Brod, and it was received by the owner of the facility, Željko Špalat.

This standard is held by fourteen restaurants today in the Brod-Posavina County area. In 13 Croatian counties, the Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard is carried by almost 130 restaurants that offer at least six traditional dishes (of which two main dishes with side dishes are required) and at least six labels of local drinks, of which four are wines.

Source: HRTurizam

You can read more about the project HERE.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 14 October 2021

23rd Restaurant Week in Croatia Delights Foodies from October 15 to 24

October 14, 2021 - The 23rd Restaurant Week in Croatia returns on Friday, October. 15, where participating restaurants around the country offer 3-course menus for promotional prices! 

Restaurant Week returns to Croatia for its 23rd edition on October 15, 2021. The special event is a chance for foodies around the country to enjoy three-course menus at various participating restaurants for 100/125 kuna, during both lunch dinner. The 23rd edition of this event will be held from October 15 to 24. 

So, what is Restaurant Week anyway?

Restaurant Week is the idea of Željka Marjanović and Ozren Drobnjak, who wanted to find a way to promote Croatia’s culinary scene in cooperation with its catering establishments. Restaurants participating in the campaign meet the needs of guests through a special promotional offer. The concept is modeled on capital cities around the world and is adapted to the Croatian market. During the event, participating restaurants offer various three-course menus at promotional prices. It is held twice a year, usually in late February and late September, but in this case, in October.

For example, the Croatian capital has 17 participating restaurants this time around (though they had about 30 last October), while Split welcomes the same number of participating restaurants this year. 

Split Riva institution Brasserie on 7 is a loyal Restaurant Week member and won't miss out this autumn, either. Visitors can enjoy a 3-course menu of their choice, including: 

Starters

Beef Carpaccio - sliced ribeye, lentils, truffles & parmesan

Beetroot and cherry salad - roasted beetroot, red onion, radish, ricotta mousse, cherry & pistachio vinaigrette

Sweet and ginger soup - sour cream with vanilla and pepper & walnuts

Mains

Pork Belly - Slow roast pork, red cabbage, pickled beets & jus
Bouillabaisse from Lubin - sea bass, squid, mussels, potatoes, red pepper & bouillabaisse soup
Cassoulet - duck drumstick confit, bacon, sausage & bean ragout

Dessert

Blanc-noir - digestive biscuits, white & dark hazelnut cream

B7 cheesecake - digestive biscuits, cream cheese & crumble
Vegan tart - oatmeal, walnut & chocolate ganache

Many new restaurants are participating in the event for the first time this year, like the Central Hotel restaurant in Split's Pjaca. 

Here, guests can choose from 3 different set menus:

Menu I

Starter: Cream of shrimp, broccoli, and chili soup

Main: Swordfish fillet in caper and tomato sauce, flavored polenta

Dessert: Semifreddo of figs in zabajone sauce

Menu II

Starter: Cold roast beef on arugula

Main: Dalmatian pasticada, homemade gnocchi

Dessert: Chocolate terrine in forest fruit sauce

Menu III

Starter: Cheese dumplings, fresh salad, aurora sauce

Main: Tagliatelle with homemade broccoli and pine nut pesto

Dessert: Carrot cake

All menus all around Croatia can be explored on the official Restaurant Week website.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 14 October 2021

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Has So Far Costed HRK 2.1 bn, Health Minister Says

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said in Parliament on Thursday that HRK 2.31 billion had been paid from contributions for compulsory health insurance for COVID-19 testing and treatment in the period from the start of the coronavirus pandemic to the end of August 2021.

HRK 2.31 billion was paid by the Croatian Health Insurance Institute, Beroš said while presenting a quarterly report on measures taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting on concern about the nation's state of health, the minister said that contacts between citizens and their general practitioners had dropped by only 1.9% and that the number of phone contacts and e-mail messages had increased while prevention measures, notably for cancer patients, were largely proceeding normally considering the circumstances.

As for the number of ordered COVID-19 vaccines, he explained that it refers not just to this year but also to 2022 and 2023.

Vaccine effective in 75 to 80% of cases involving new virus variants

Speaking of the correlation between vaccination and mortality, Beroš said that the vaccine was effective against new variants of the virus.

"We have to be grateful to science and the medical profession for producing a vaccine that is effective against new variants in 75 to 80% of cases. This vaccine, just as any other vaccine, does not protect 100%," Beroš said.

Speaking of the June-August period, he said that the epidemic was much less intense, which contributed to the excellent tourism results.

In the period covered by the report, the health system adjusted, reduced the number of COVID wards, and increased the provision of medical services to other patients, continuing to intensively implement testing and monitoring of infected patients as well as vaccination, he said.

1.5 million vaccine doses administered over three months

The minister said that since early June, 249 venues had been set up across the country, mostly in the coastal areas, for rapid antigen testing and issuing of COVID-19 certificates, and that in the June-August period 1.5 million vaccine doses were administered.

"Despite a large number of tourists and domestic residents, we managed to maintain a calm and stable epidemiological situation in the country, securing for ourselves the status of the safest Mediterranean destination," he said, adding that in the three-month period 18,622 cases of infection were recorded.

For the latest news on coronavirus in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Opposition Says Croatia Lacks Clear Strategy to Fight COVID-19

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - The parliamentary Opposition on Thursday reiterated that Croatia does not have a clear strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, expressing dissatisfaction with the way the crisis is being managed and calling for changing it.

"The attitude to COVID-19 has to change drastically. If the current situation continues, we will all end up on sedatives," said Marijan Pavliček of the Croatian Sovereignists ahead of a debate on the government's report on the impact of epidemiological measures taken in the period from June to the end of August.

Pavliček believes that over the past year and a half Croatians have been living in a paranormal system and "are going collectively insane."

The national coronavirus crisis management team has made a number of political instead of epidemiologically justified decisions, people are bombarded with the number of fatalities and new infections on a daily basis, he said.

"Do we have an exit strategy for this crisis and is it time we changed our attitude to COVID-19?" he asked.

Davor Dretar (Homeland Movement) claims that the crisis is being managed irresponsibly and irrationally, mentioning a case of a hospital cleaner from Zabok who was dismissed from work because she did not have a COVID-19 certificate and refused to get tested.

HDZ MP: What would have happened if doctors had cited human rights when there was no vaccine?

HDZ MP Željko Reiner confirmed that many people were refusing to get vaccinated and tested free of charge citing human rights and the alleged harmfulness of the vaccine as well as face masks.

"What would society have done if tens of thousands of doctors and nurses had invoked their human rights, fear from disease and death, while there was still no vaccine, and refused to treat patients?" he asked.

He called on Health Minister Vili Beroš, a neurosurgeon, to say what he would do if his colleagues performing operations refused to wear masks, gloves, caps, in the context of claims that it was not proven that they protected patients.

"How would society and the profession react?" he said.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin said he had a different message for Beroš.

"I believe that you want the situation to get better but what you have been doing is not contributing to it. Because of your inconsistency, the figures are as they are," he told Beroš, recalling that on Wednesday Croatia recorded, after a longer time, more than 2,000 new infections.

"That is horrible but so is the minister's statement that he and the prime minister were surprised by those figures. Why the surprise when it is clear that Croatia lacks a clear strategy to fight the pandemic and increase the vaccination rate," Grbin said, adding that 85% of Portugal's adult population were vaccinated because people were not sent confusing messages.

Marija Selak Raspudić of the Bridge party said that the government's report lacked crucial information such as how many citizens suffer from the post-COVID syndrome, what were the criteria for the procurement of vaccines, why exactly 18 million doses were procured and not more or less, etc.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatia Logs 1,851 New Coronavirus Cases, 18 Deaths

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - Croatia has registered 1,851 new coronavirus cases and 18 COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Thursday morning.

Currently, there are 9,620 active cases in the country. These include 871 infected people who are receiving hospital treatment, of whom 122 are placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 422,908 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,847 have died and 404,441 have recovered, including 1,305 in the last 24 hours. 18,890 people are currently self-isolating.

 A total of 2,944,660 people have been tested for coronavirus to date, including 9,484 in the last 24 hours.

As of 13 October, 3,503,116 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 45.88 percent of the total population, or 55 percent of adults, having been vaccinated. A total of 1,861,783 persons have received at least one dose and 1,744,717 have been fully inoculated (1,641,333 persons have received two doses and 103,384 have received the single-dose Jannsen vaccine), which makes up 51.64 percent of the adult population.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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