Thursday, 4 August 2022

American Policeman Working in Split Praises Country's Safety

August the 4th, 2022 - An American policeman working in Split temporarily as part of an exchange of officers the Croatian police have been involved in for years now has praised the sheer safety of the country when compared to his homeland.

As Jutarnji list/SD writes, for the first time this summer season, a police officer from the United States was placed to work temporarily here in Croatia. 30-year-old Jacob Bradley, an American policeman working in Split has been participating in international police cooperation as part of the "Safe Tourist Destination 2022" project.

Jacob has been a police officer for the past eleven years across the pond in America, and during his time he has worked in the migration and drugs department, as well as with the local community, according to a report from Slobodna Dalmacija. In addition to gaining more work experience by coming here, his comparison of police work here in Croatia compared to the USA was particularly interesting.

''Here it's completely different. When I'm patrolling, I don't have a weapon, I don't need it at all. In America, I don't go out in public without a bulletproof vest and a weapon on me. Here I just talk to people, they shake hands with us, and people are generally really happy to see us. Over in America, we deal with more violence and armed conflicts, and here I haven't even heard of such a thing, let alone participated in such an intervention,'' admitted Jacob. Participating in the arrest of a person in Croatia also left a special impression on him.

''Here the police say to someone: 'You need to come with us' and he goes without any resistance. Of course, that doesn't happen with absolutely everyone, but just looking at such a situation was incredible for me. This is a very safe place, one of the places I'd definitely visit with my family,'' the American policeman working in Split said with a smile. He will spend a total of two weeks in the City of Split. He has primarily been helping break down the language barrier between visitors from America and the local population or the police.

''It is however much easier for me to talk to Americans and I very quickly come to a solution to whatever the problem might be and we reach an understanding of what led to it. We're here to be there, to promote the fact that we're here and that Split is a great place to visit. There were several interventions, and the cause of some of them was just a misunderstanding,'' said the police officer from the USA, emphasising that he enjoyed his time spent here and plans to return next year.

The representative of the US Embassy, ​​Amy Davison, emphasised that they are very pleased to have become part of the programme that has been going on for seventeen years now.

''Our participation this year is a continuation of 30 years of cooperation with this country, so this is a very nice way to crown such an anniversary. Jacob told me that he learned a lot here, that's why this experience is valuable for him and we're extremely glad that this cooperation has come about,'' said Davison, adding that the American police officer is grateful for the welcome he had and that he was very well received. Jacob can safely say that Split is his absolute favourite city in all of Croatia.

In addition to this American policeman working in Split, t's worth noting that there are currently 20 officers from ten different countries of the world working on the territory of the Split-Dalmatia County police department at this moment in time, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

''For us, all their previous experiences are a confirmation that the project is well thought out and that it will be realised this year as well, in a way that gives us the optimum utilisation of what we have planned. They help us build, confirm and maintain the image of Croatia as a safe destination, and this is exactly the goal of this project,'' concluded Slobodan Marendic, head of the Split-Dalmatia police department.

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

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Croatia Must Upgrade Gas Pipeline to Strengthen Energy Security

ZAGREB, 4 August, 2022 - Croatia must help strengthen energy security by upgrading its gas pipeline, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with the Jutarnji List daily, published on Thursday.

Energy and the issue of secure and reliable energy supply in the context of the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia is currently the main topic probably in all EU member countries.

After the global financial crisis and the health crisis caused by coronavirus, the energy security crisis is a new test for the EU's internal strength and resilience, with crucial decisions in dealing with that crisis being expected from the European Commission.

In the interview with Jutarnji List, von der Leyen spoke about what the EC was doing and planned to do to alleviate the impact of the crisis on citizens' living standards and competitiveness of the business sector as well as Croatia's role.

Asked what should be done to prevent the crisis from causing irreparable damage to the EU economy and way of life, von der Leyen said that short-term as well as medium and long-term measures were being implemented.

As for short-term measures, which concern preparations for the coming winter, EU member-states on 26 July reached agreement to coordinate action to reduce gas demand at the EU level in a bid to remove Russia's threat of a complete cessation of gas supply.

EU countries' assuming a common obligation to cut gas demand by 15% is an exceptionally important part of the agreement as it will help the EU replenish stockpiles before the winter and help stabilise the market, von der Leyen said.

She noted that the agreement would also help create a safety net for each member state, thus enabling the full implementation of the principle of energy solidarity that is part of EU treaties.

We are determined to resolve the issue of energy security at the EU level, she said.

EU countries understand that their economies are so much interconnected that any disruption of supply in one country would have detrimental effects on the whole EU economy, which is why it is important for all EU countries to reduce demand, increase stockpiles and be ready to share gas with other members, von der Leyen said.

As part of the European Green Deal we have taken care that everyone benefits from transition to renewable sources of energy, which includes support from the proposed Social Climate Fund, designed for vulnerable consumers, von der Leyen said in the interview.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

HND and SNH Concerned over Mass Dismissals at Una TV

ZAGREB, 3 August, 2022 - The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) and the Croatian Journalists' Union (SNH) have expressed regret over mass dismissals of reporters, camera operators, sound engineers, producers and other workers at the Zagreb office of Una Television.

"We share the concern for the livelihoods of about thirty of our colleagues, all well-respected media workers who have not breached any professional standards in their work," the two organisations said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Announced as a major regional project based in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Una TV started operating last December. However, it is not broadcasting in Croatia because the management has failed to sign an agreement with any of the telecommunications operators.

The management has told the public that they had several meetings with the HT and A1 operators, but despite verbal promises, no deal was reached.

Una TV has been issued a broadcasting licence by the Croatian Electronic Media Agency, which indicates that there are no obstacles to its operation in Croatia.

Although the two telecommunications companies are privately owned and need not explain their business decisions, the HND and SNH believe that they should take into account the fact that journalism is a public good and that there is a justified public interest for the media content which for some reason citizens cannot consume. They said that they will ask HT and A1 to explain why Una TV cannot broadcast news programmes on their platforms despite the licence from the Electronic Media Agency.

Una TV is colloquially called "Dodik's television" because its ownership is tied to Igor Dodik, the son of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik. Our colleagues should not suffer the consequences of the publisher's ownership structure. The only interest of the HND and SNH is in preserving jobs, because Una TV has been present in Croatia for nearly a year now, paying taxes, the HND and SNH said.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

General Government Debt Exceeds HRK 356 bn

ZAGREB, 4 August, 2022 - The general government debt at the end of April 2022 was HRK 356.1 billion, 18 billion or 5.3% more than in April 2021, show data from the Croatian National Bank (HNB) while analysts of Raiffeisenbank (RBA) expect the debt to continue growing due to growing needs for financing.

The year-on-year increase in the general government debt is due to an increase in both domestic and foreign debt, with domestic debt going up by HRK 7.6 billion or 3.5% compared to the end of April 2021 to HRK 225.9 billion, while foreign debt increased by HRK 10.4 billion or 8.7% to HRK 130.1 billion.

Foreign debt growth was due to a euro bond issue on the international financial market in April, in the total nominal amount of €1.25 billion.  

The general government debt consequently rose also month-on-month, by HRK 13.55 billion.

RBA analysts say that considering that the euro bond issue was used to refinance a euro bond due on 30 May 2022, a decrease was expected already in data for May.

Year-on-year, however, they expect the general government debt to continue growing due to growing needs for financing, primarily due to trade unions' demands for higher pay in the context of growing inflation, as well as due to fiscal measures designed to alleviate the impact of rising prices on consumers and the business sector.

"Nonetheless, the continuation of economic recovery will keep the debt-to-GDP ratio moving downward this year and in the years ahead. Even though fiscal risks are growing, we expect the general government deficit to stay at 3% of GDP," the analysts said.

The Croatian government expects the share of public debt in GDP this year to be at 76.2%, which is 3.6 percentage points less than in 2021.

(€1 = HRK 7.513581)

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Number of Outdoor Space Fires Higher than in 2021

ZAGREB, 4 August, 2022 - The number of outdoor space fires in the first seven months of 2022 was 46% higher than in the same period of 2021 while the number of wildfires was up by 70%, the Croatian Firefighters Association said on Thursday.

The area consumed by fires in the first seven months of 2021 was 16,153 hectares while in 2022, 51,962 hectares of land have already been consumed by fires, an increase of as much as 221%. Last year, 8,833 fires were reported while this year there have been 11,323 fires so far, an increase of almost 30%.

The number of persons injured or killed in fires has increased this year compared to 2021 - last year there were 16 fatalities and this year there have been 25 fire victims, including a fireman.

The number of persons injured in fires has grown by 42%, from 77 in 2021 to as many as 110 this year.

Last year 15 firefighters were injured while putting out fires, while this year 10 were injured in the first seven months.

The number of times firefighting planes were used to help firefighters in the first seven months of this year was 30% higher than last year and this year Croatian firefighting forces have also helped out their colleagues in Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This year increases have been reported in all categories except indoor fires, the Croatian Firefighting Association said, calling on citizens to act responsibly as the current period of very high temperatures without precipitation is continuing and the fire risk index is very high.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Veterans Minister Issues Message for Victory Day

ZAGREB, 4 August, 2022 - War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved on Thursday issued a message on the occasion of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, saying that Operation Storm heralded peace and an end to the 1991-95 Homeland War.

"As we remember the days that heralded peace for our people, we provide consolation and express immense respect to all those for whom the end of the Homeland War did not bring final peace - the families of Croatian defenders gone missing in the war," the minister said in his message.

Croatians owe the freedom they live in today to Croatian defenders, and one of the symbols of the freedom won is the moment when Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman kissed the Croatian flag hoisted on the Knin Fortress, Medved said in the message.

"That symbolic and historic act heralded the end of the war, the Croatian Army's victory and the restoration of the Croatian constitutional and legal order in the formerly occupied parts of our beautiful homeland," Medved said.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Vukovar Public Pool to Close Down in the Middle of Summer?

August 4, 2022 - Vukovar's only public pool, the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon, it seems, might not remain one for long. Costs are rising, and the institutions can't keep up. It is not set in stone, but the pools might close sooner than anyone hoped.

As Glas Slavonije writes, it sounds strange because August has just started, so many Vukovar residents and visitors to the city spend part of their free time at the pool looking for escape from the summer heat and a place to have fun and socialize with family and friends, but the news has been verified and it's not just behind-the-scenes stories. Apparently, the city on the Danube has been talking about the closing of the swimming pool for the last ten days. The closing dates have even been mentioned, so you could hear that the indoor swimming pools will only be open until August 15, and the outdoor swimming pools for two weeks longer. Glas Slavonije inquired about the truth of those stories at the Public Institution Sports Facilities Vukovar, whose director Ivan Szabo said that all options remain open.

“We still don't know anything precise. Public tender for electricity and gas is in process, which should end on August 12, and further work will depend on the prices we receive. In general, the situation regarding the payment of energy products is terrible and we will have to react. We will not allow our overhead costs to accumulate for months and thereby increase our debt, and we are aware that we do not have the necessary funds secured in the budget - Szabo confirmed for GS, adding that as responsible people, they must make rational decisions no matter how unpopular or disapproved by the general public.

According to him, at the beginning of the year they started to implement certain savings, but if costs need to be reduced by 10-15 percent while at the same time the amounts they are billed could be many times higher, the savings  are not enough.

“Indeed, all options remain open. When we see the results of the tender for electricity and gas, we will take certain steps in agreement with the City. Other institutions and establishments in our city are also faced with the problem of enormous price increases, and it is up to each of them to make the decision they think is the best. I repeat, we will be guided by what is rational, because I believe that accumulating debt that we cannot pay off is not an acceptable option”, he explained.

Closing the swimming pool or reducing its operation, as well as all other facilities offered to visitors, will certainly be difficult for everyone who has been trying for years to position this institution not only on the map of Vukovar, but also on the map of Croatia. It is known that numerous official competitions were held at the swimming pool, water polo and swimming clubs used it for preparations, many non-governmental organizations (especially those that work with children) are regular visitors to the swimming pool, and the number of users is growing year by year. In addition, in case of closure or reduction of the scope of work, it is questionable how the salaries of the employees will be provided.

There is no doubt that the potential decision to close or drastically reduce their volume, which at this moment seems completely realistic, presents a series of questions to the authorities that must be addressed in due time. Those who have been closely following the events in Vukovar in recent months will not be surprised by the (temporary) closing of the swimming pool. GS reminds that Mayor Ivan Penava recently told his fellow citizens that they have decided to return to the model of trying to defend the positions of the City, in terms of protecting the living and social standards of citizens, which - as he emphasized - will be extremely difficult.

It was announced that after the reduction of public lighting, more radical savings measures can be expected, without excluding the possibility of reducing and suspending the work of certain institutions and establishments.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Croatian Astronomical Society Call for Turning off Lights for Perseids

August 4, 2022 - Warm August nights in Croatia are a blessing in areas where the air is clean, the surroundings are calm, and there is no light pollution. The country kids know it, rare are the activities that could match lying down with snacks and drinks to watch the Perseid meteor showers. The Croatian Astronomical Society calls for lights off to make a beatiful summer night even better.

As Glas Slavonije writes, like every summer around the memorial day of St. Lovre (August 10), the maximum activity of the Perseid meteor shower occurs. This year, according to forecasts, the maximum will occur on the night between August 11 and 12. Astronomical societies, united in the Croatian Astronomical Union, are organising various astronomical activities, because apart from the most beautiful meteor shower of the year, telescopes will be able to view Saturn and Jupiter, as well as the Moon. The Orion Astronomical Society and the Croatian Astronomical Union are inviting cities and municipalities to turn off public lighting between August 11 and 12 from midnight to morning, so that the residents can enjoy this celestial spectacle as much as possible.

“We invite all citizens to a joint observation from the location of Bajera from 10 pm, in addition to which an observation of the night sky with a telescope will be organized. As the 12th ARLA Festival, whose theme is space, will also take place at that time, we ask the City of Đakovo to turn off public lighting on August 12 from 10 pm, in order to continue the observation from the lawn below Strossmayer Park. An average activity of about 140 meteors per hour is forecast, and the conditions for observation will be reduced by the fact that the Moon is almost full”, points out the president of the Orion Đakovo Astronomical Society, Danko Kočiš.

Kočis also provided instructions for observation. “Do not look directly at the radiant (starting point of the meteor shower), you will notice the least meteors there, no special equipment (telescopes, binoculars, etc.) is needed to observe meteors, because meteors are observed with the naked eye lying on the ground, and it is necessary to spend at least 30 minutes in the dark to allow your eyes to adapt to the night conditions. You need to move away from the area where there is lighting and light pollution into as good a darkness as possible. Also, you need a mat, a deck chair, or a sleeping bag on which you can lie down during observation”, instructs the president of the Astronomical Society Orion Đakovo, Danko Kočiš.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Water Tower Race Vukovarskih 198 to Finish on Top of Famous Monument

August 4, 2022 - Vukovar is fast becoming the place to go for events and activities. After an eventful summer, it will welcome autumn with a unique sports event, a Water Tower race. To date, more than 150 participants have registered.

As Glas Slavonije writes, the Vukovar Athletic Club is organising a race up the stairs of the Vukovar Water Tower called Vukovarskih 198 (The Vukovar 198).

The name of the race is due to the fact that the Water Tower has 198 steps, and each competitor will also run 200 meters of the memorial path, which means that the finish line of the race will be at the top of the famous structure in Vukovar. Daniel Lovrinović, the secretary of the Vukovar Athletic Club, who runs recreationally, is the initiator of this specific race.

“Every morning I get up at five o'clock and go for a run before work, because I consider it mental hygiene. As I’ve regularly passed by the Water Tower, even while it was being renovated, I thought it would be interesting to organize a race in it. I have participated several times in the "Zagrepčanka" race in Zagreb, and running up the stairs fascinates me. As far as I know, no race has been organised in a monument such as the Water Tower, and I believed that it would attract a large number of participants”, Lovrinović told us, explaining that it is not only important to organise the race for its own sake, but also to promote the Vukovar Athletic Club, which started working actively with children this year, and will soon have activities for recreational athletes.

The organiser's wish is that Vukovar benefits from the race, because those who come from outside the city will stay for a day, two or three, which means that they will sleep in Vukovar, maybe try some local specialties, visit museums or other interesting locations. Ultimately, it will help the promotion of the city on the Danube. All those interested can apply online until August 31, and Lovrinović pointed out that more than 150 participants have registered so far out of 240, which is the maximum number.

“We cannot accommodate more runners because the Water Tower is open and we managed to reserve it for the race on September 17 from 8 am to 1 pm. We want the race to become traditional. So far, we’ve had applications from many Croatian cities, literally from Vukovar to Dubrovnik, but also from abroad - France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany. The principle of the race itself is quite simple. The second runner will follow 60 seconds after the first, and when the eighth competitor reaches the top of the Water Tower near the flag, we will take a minute or two break, until the first seven reach the elevator that will take them down. When they reach the elevator, the next runner will start and so on until everyone has completed the planned course”, he explained.

This is the minimum start time difference between participants because the staircase is narrow and it is not possible to get around the runners in front who may need more time to reach the top.

For more, check out our Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

The Guardian's Best European Beaches of 2022 Ranks 3 Croatian Beaches

August the 4th, 2022 - The Guardian has once again showcased its love for Croatia with a new list of the best beaches of 2022, a list on which three gorgeous Croatian beaches have found themselves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, The British publication The Guardian has compiled yet another list of 40 of the best beaches of 2022, which included three Croatian beaches. Croatian beaches are by no means strangers to such lists compiled by various publications and portals from around the world, and this time, travel writers have singled out locations in Losinj, Peljesac and the Pakleni islands near Hvar.

When it comes to Losinj they highlighted the stunning Krivica bay, for which The Guardian writes:

“Maybe the special thing about the pebbled Krivica beach lies in the fact that you have to walk along a stone path for 30 minutes - and back again. The reward for this is clear, deep, turquoise water in the bay surrounded by pine trees, and the only company here is sailboats in a narrow channel. Losinj, a long, unusual island in Kvarner bay, is one of the most heavily scented places in Croatia, with an incredible abundance of wild plants.''

For the beautiful beach on the Peljesac peninsula, it is stated that its name is very much justified because it really is beautiful - Divna beach.

“This beautiful beach is located on the northern coast of the Peljesac peninsula. A small pebble bay surrounded by hills overgrown with pine trees. There are several shady places, and the area between the beach and the islet is great for diving,'' The Guardian writes.

The top three Croatian beaches also included the bay of Mlini, which is part of the Pakleni islands which lie just away from the shores of the Central Dalmatian island of Hvar.

“Those who visit Hvar and want a change in the environment should take a water taxi to Mlini bay on the islet of Marinkovac. The pebble beach with the smell of pines provides a wonderful relaxed atmosphere, along with [the possibility of] rental deck chairs and a beach restaurant. As is the case with all Croatian pebble beaches, scuba shoes will make things more comfortable on your feet, and the incredibly clean blue-green water sees people diving for hours,'' The Guardian's travel writers said.

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

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