Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Roma MP, Ex-President, Zagreb Mayor Address Press after Uštica Commemoration

ZAGREB, August 3, 2022 - After a commemoration for the WWII Romani victims of genocide in Uštica, near Jasenovac, on Tuesday, Roma MP Veljko Kajtazi said that this was the first time Roma were starting to speak publicly about the suffering of the Roma people.

He noted that today's commemoration was attended by many young Roma people, and that the most senior state officials now attended the commemorative event as well.

Asked if he expected an apology from President Zoran Milanović for his latest statements about Roma, Kajtazi would not give a straightforward answer.

"I stand by what I have already said and I will always advocate the interests of the Roma community. I am not into high politics, Roma interests are my primary concern," said Kajtazi.

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić said that Milanović's statements were inappropriate and that it would be good for him to apologise.

Criticising the government's energy saving scheme last Thursday, Milanović said that if air conditioners would need to be set to 25 degrees Celsius, they had better be sold to Roma. "They will make a profit out of it. Roma are very skilled in these matters," he added.

Mesić recalled that crimes against Roma in the WWII Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia were committed also in Orahovica, where he was born.

"The local Roma were hard-working craftspeople and workers and they just disappeared one day, and Roma and Jewish children did not show up for school because they had all been taken away one night," said Mesić.

"I think that the Roma minority should be helped and given a chance to show their abilities," Mesić said.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said that the city administration was advocating greater rights for all ethnic minorities in Zagreb, including Roma.

"We have carried on with all good projects (intended for ethnic minorities), all residents of Zagreb must be equal. Of all the cities (in Croatia) we have the highest scholarships for Roma students," Tomašević said, noting that today's commemoration was not an occasion to make political statements.



Wednesday, 3 August 2022

61-Year-Old Man Indicted for War Crime in Baranja

ZAGREB, 3 August, 2022 - The County Attorney's Office in Osijek has indicted a 61-year-old Croatian citizen for a war crime committed in March 1992 in the village of Vardarac in Baranja against a civilian who was aged 47 at the time.

The prosecutor's office reported that the 61-year-old man is charged with having acted contrary to international humanitarian law.

The 61-year-old is charged with attacking the 47-year-old along with two other suspects, who hit the victim in the head and chest and threatened to kill him.

One of the three suspects, who is no longer alive, stabbed the 47-year-old several times in the neck and upper chest, causing his death.

The prosecutor's office said the investigating judge had ordered pretrial detention for the 61-year-old due to the risk of escape.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Croatian Journalist Association Demands Strong Response over Attack on Reporter

ZAGREB, August 3, 2022 - The Croatian Journalists Association has welcomed the fact that persons involved in an attack on Maja Sever, a reporter for the HRT public broadcaster and president of the European Federation of Journalists, have been taken in for questioning, demanding a strong response by state institutions.

The incident happened on Monday on the island of Tijat, where, according to the media, Sever was attacked while photographing the usurpation of the shore and public property.

"We should note that police on Monday said that (the incident) did not involve elements requiring police action, but they have evidently changed their mind after the story made a splash," the Croatian umbrella journalists association, which goes by the acronym HND, said in a statement on Tuesday.

It noted that Sever was attacked while on duty and that the attack on her constitutes criminal coercion against a person who is doing a job in the public interest or works in public service.

Sever was attacked while photographing the usurpation of the shore and the public property on the island of Tijat.

Accompanied by Judge Sandra Artuković, Sever went to see if the Spirito restaurant on Tijat was open. The restaurant was recently closed by the state inspectorate because it did not meet the minimum technical requirements. According to Sever, she and Artuković were attacked by the restaurant's owner, who seized their cell phone and threw it away.

"The man shouted and was rude. He jumped onto our boat and took our cell phone and ordered me to delete the photos taken," Sever told reporters after the attack.

The HND said it expected an unequivocal and strong response by the government as Sever was physically and verbally abused only because she tried to report about violation of law and violence towards nature.

The silence of state institutions has encouraged various offenders who verbally and physically attack our colleagues because they do their job, the HND Executive Committee said in the statement signed by HND president Hrvoje Zovko.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Wildfires in Šibenik-Knin County Contained

ZAGREB, 3 August, 2022 - Firefighters have contained several fires that broke out in Šibenik-Knin County around noon on Tuesday.

Late on Tuesday, firefighting vehicles left the fire sites, while firefighters remained on the ground in case further intervention was needed, the Croatian Firefighters Association said.

The area affected by the wildfires is rather large, around 400 hectares of land, which is why caution is needed, firefighting commander Darko Dukić told Croatian Radio.

A large part of the area cannot be accessed by fire trucks because forest tracks are too narrow, Dukić said, noting that the wind frequently changed direction on Tuesday, making the situation on the ground harder for firefighters.

The fires broke out by the main road running along the Croatian Adriatic coast near Vodice and close to the Podi industrial zone near Šibenik.

A hundred firefighters, assisted by seven firefighting planes, were putting out the fires.

The fire at Podi was contained in the afternoon on Tuesday while the fires near Vodice were put under control in the evening.

Owing to a more favourable situation, most of the local roads that had been closed to traffic were reopened in the evening, and according to information available at 2230 hours on Tuesday, the only road that remained closed was the D-27 road.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Uswitch: Zagreb Fifth Worst in Amount of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

August the 3rd, 2022 - The City of Zagreb is the fifth worst in Europe in terms of the amount of available electric vehicle charging stations according to Uswitch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the constant rise in fuel prices led 70 percent of Europeans to choose an electric vehicle as their first choice when buying their next new vehicle, according to research by Uswitch, a platform for comparing energy prices.

Additional research also determined the top list of European metropolises that invest the most in the network of charging stations for electric vehicles they have available to road users, and those that are significantly behind in this segment. The Croatian capital of Zagreb is one of those cities lagging behind quite a lot.

Unfortunately, the City of Zagreb has a mere 43 charging stations available in total for electric vehicle owners according to Uswitch, which is still more than the nearby Slovenian capital of Ljubljana (41) and Vilnius (21) and Sofia, Nicosia and Riga, all of which have a mere 15 charging stations each.

The situation is actually worse when this set of data is put into the context of the spatial size of the city itself, meaning that the Croatian capital city of Zagreb has just 0.07 charging stations for electric vehicles per square kilometre. Still, Zagreb isn't the absolute worst on the list, with the Bulgarian capital of Sofia having just 0.01 per square metre, while the Greek capital of Athens is slightly better than Zagreb with 0.10 charging stations for every kilometre of space.

The capital of neighbouring Hungary, (Budapest) for example, already has 452 stations for electric cars, which is ten times more than Zagreb can boast of. With three million inhabitants, Budapest is, of course, much larger than the Croatian capital city, but the fact that for every 100,000 inhabitants there are 80 percent more charging stations than the Croatian metropolis is quite worrying indeed.

Uswitch has determined that the Norwegian capital city of Oslo (2,481) has advanced the farthest in this segment of environmental awareness, and Oslo's residents have access to almost five and a half charging stations per square kilometre in that city, of which the British capital city of London has the most in total (4,991).

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

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Eurozone Accession: Are Croatian Exchange Offices Doomed to Failure?

August the 3rd, 2022 - Are Croatian exchange offices doomed to failure as Croatian Eurozone accession rapidly approaches, and with the sending of the kuna to the history books set to take place on the 1st of January, 2023?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, six hundred kuna for one hundred euros has become a common amount that is obtained when exchanging these currencies during the height of the summer tourist season when you have to convert money at local Croatian exchange offices. That is all due to alter with the arrival of the euro as the country's official currency, and the need for Croatian exchange offices to exist at all will be greatly reduced. Many will close their doors and never open them again, reports HRT.

If you ask the tourists spending time (and money) here in Croatia themselves, everything is very clear and simple, adopting the bloc's single currency is a good move for Croatia. But when it comes to Croatian exchange offices, most of them anyway, they'll have to think about another business model entirely if they want to survive the introduction of the euro from the first of January next year.

"It will be difficult for Croatian exchange offices who will continue to try to work only in the foreign currency exchange business to survive because 80, 90 percent of the turnover takes place around the purchase and sale of euros, and without this turnover it will be difficult for them to survive," warned Sergi Gabor, president of the Association of Croatian Exchangers.

Financial experts have hope and believe that most Croatian exchange offices can be transformed and remain in business when the changeover happens, and that not all of them will be closed due to the demand for digital money, as well as savings and exchanges being done in other currencies.

"Perhaps there will be a continuation of turbulent economic trends at the level of Europe or the world, and in that case it will be possible that in Croatian exchange offices, there will be a tendency for people to be dealing with other currencies such as the Swiss franc or the US dollar,'' believes Hrvoje Japuncic, a financial expert.

For more on Croatian Eurozone accession, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Tomislav Fain: Private Renters Not Registering Around 40% of Tourists

August the 3rd, 2022 - Tomislav Fain, the president of the Croatian Association of Travel Agencies, has claimed that private accommodation renters/landlords renting out their properties to tourists during the summer season aren't bothering to register as many as 40 percent of their guests via the eVisitor system at all.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the problem being currently faced by the wider area of Zadar County is illegal accommodation renters and illegal work/earning in this sector. The president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, Tomislav Fain, has recently stated that up to forty percent of guests are staying in the country undeclared, pointing out that it is necessary to strengthen inspection supervision to curb this trend.

Tomislav Fain told HRT that a large number of landlords who have a categorisation on their properties for renting them out to foreign visitors during the summer for some quick and easy cash, do not register their guests via the eVisitor system or even attempt to do it in the ''old way'' with MUP.

"It's very simple, we have a certain number of capacities in a particular place, and when we look at the application that goes through eVisitor, we arrive to some very simple data, that forty percent of guests are simply not being registered at all.

We also need to be aware of the fact that in addition to those renters that aren't registering their guests, but have a categorisation, we also have a certain number of accommodation facilities which don't have a categorisation, and yet they still continue to receive guests and still advertise their apartments for rent on platforms,'' he said.

Tomislav Fain emphasised the fact that this figure is even higher, and creates various problems, from communal ones to the development of a specific destination. Therefore, incorrect data is obtained, and the preparation of upcoming tourist seasons cannot be carried out with quality or accuracy in mind.

''Some individuals who don't register guests don't bother issuing an invoice for the guest either, so they're not in the VAT system, and therefore they're paying less to the state. Some individuals are careless, they simply forget to register their guests and don't do it with any underhand motives in mind. They should be appealed to, to not be so careless,'' he said.

For those who deliberately avoid their obligations, inspection supervision should be strengthened and the proper punishments should be doled out, Fain believes.

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

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Croatian Accommodation and Hospitality Sectors Enjoying More Traffic Than 2021

August the 3rd, 2022 - The Croatian accommodation and hospitality segments of the overall tourism sector are enjoying more traffic than they did last year when concerns about coronavirus restrictions and lockdown worries continued to prevail.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, as usual, the fastest barometer of consumption trends is the Tax Administration's data on the fiscalisation of issued receipts and bills/invoices, and during the height of the summer months, the figures related to the tourist season are always firmly in the foreground.

They, on the other hand, say that tax payers from the tourism and catering/hospitality sector issued bills worth a total of 7.5 billion kuna last month, which is as much as 42.6 percent or 2.24 billion kuna more than back during the same month last year.

Consequences of inflation

Approximately equal turnover was recorded in the Croatian accommodation segment (3.73 billion) and in hospitality and catering (cafes, restaurants, bars and other activities involved in the preparation and serving of food and drink, who reported 3.76 billion kuna), with the fact that the increase (compared to last July) was somewhat more pronounced in catering (+45 percent) than in the Croatian accommodation segment (+40 percent).

As was the case during the first half of the year, such an increase is only partially the result of a higher number of bills and receipts issued, i.e. to a considerable extent it also reflects significantly higher prices.

July 2022, however, greatly exceeded the achievements from the pre-crisis (and record) year of 2019. In the Croatian accommodation and catering and hospitality segments in July 2019, the value of fiscalised bills issued stood at 5 billion kuna (2.4 plus 2.6), which means that this year's result exceeds it by an impressive and far from insignificant 50 percent.

Including the first six months, when companies engaged in the business of providing accommodation services were paid with cards or cash in a total of 4.12 billion kuna (compared to last year's 1.72 and 3.32 billion kuna realised in the first half of pre-pandemic 2019), this tourist year obviously will convincingly break the record with revenues.

Of course, for the industry itself, the story is not complete without the cost side of the story, which is also growing strongly owing to ongoing inflation, but that is a separate topic. It is similar when the cumulative results of cafes, restaurants and other such facilities which are engaged in the preparation and serving of food and drinks are in the middle.

They reported 8.23 ​​billion kuna in turnover in the first half of the year, which was almost 120 percent more than last year and a quarter more than what was recorded back in 2019, when bills in the amount of 6.6 billion kuna were fiscalised and issued by the middle of the year.

Tourist movements have a little influence on the fiscalised turnover of a number of other activities. So, for example, enterprises in the transportation and storage category issued receipts and bills worth a massive 542 million kuna last month alone, which is as much as 62.7 percent more than the amount issued last July and a quarter (or 110 million kuna) more than were issued during the same month of 2019.

Those subject to fiscalisation in arts, entertainment and recreation this July reported 310 million kuna in turnover, which is 44 percent more than last July (215 million kuna) and 14 percent more than pre-pandemic 2019. Tourist consumption, of course, is also very important for the retail trade sector across Croatia. Last month, retailers (excluding motor vehicles) issued fiscalised bills worth 12.6 billion kuna in total.

Compared to the same month last year, this is about 1.72 billion kuna or almost 16 percent more. At the same time, the increase is somewhat more pronounced in the case of supermarkets and hypermarkets (so-called non-specialised shops mainly selling food, drinks and tobacco products) which have largely strengthened their network all the way along the coast.

Last month, they issued fiscalised receipts in the amount of 6.74 billion kuna, which has exceeded last year's achievement by almost a fifth, or by more than 1 billion kuna.

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

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Successful Night in Bulgaria for Dinamo Zagreb against Ludogorets

August 2, 2022 - Dinamo beats Ludogorets 2:1 in the first leg of the Champions League 3rd round qualifiers played in Razgrad on Tuesday night. 

Dinamo visited Ludogorets in Razgrad for the first match of the Champions League 3rd qualifying round. Ludogorets has been the champion of Bulgaria for the last 11 seasons.

Recall, Dinamo advanced to the 3rd qualifying round after beating Shkupi on a 3-2 aggregate last week. After 2-2 in Zagreb, Dinamo won in Skopje with a minimal 1-0 to move forward. 

If Dinamo advances past the Bulgarian champion after two matches, the Zagreb club will face the winner of Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt and Lithuanian club Žalgiris in the Champions League play-off. On the other hand, if Ludogorets moves forward, Dinamo will play in the Europa League play-off against the loser of the same pair. 

Due to injuries, Dinamo was without Kévin Théophile-Catherine, Mahir Emreli, Josip Šutalo and Marko Bulat.


Ludogorets: Padt, Cicinho, Plastun, Verdon, Nedjalkov, Jordanov, Piotrowski, C.Souza, Tekpetey, Sotiriou, Rick

Dinamo: Livaković, Ljubičić, Perić, Lauritsen, Ristovski, Ivanušec, Ademi, Mišić, Baturina, Oršić, Drmić

Match report

Ludogorets threatened Dinamo’s goal quickly and recorded their first corner in the 3rd minute. Dinamo was quick to react and took the early lead just 3 minutes later. Lauritsen assisted Perić, who shot from the edge of the penalty area for 1:0. 

Just three minutes after that, Dinamo surprised Lugogorets again. The clumsy reaction of Ludogorets goalkeeper Padto resulted in an own goal to put Dinamo ahead at 2:0 in the 9th minute. Dinamo had another chance five minutes later, but Perić wasn’t as lucky this time. 

Ludogorets reduced Dinamo’s lead in the 22nd minute when Tekpetey left Dinamo goalkeeper Livaković powerless for 2:1. Ludogorets was hungry to equalize for the remainder of the first half, which ended 2:1. 

Dinamo coach Ante Čačić started the second half with one change. Dario Špikić entered for Luka Ivanušec. Ludogorets, however, made two changes. Cauly Souza and goalkeeper Sergio Padt remained in the dressing room, and midfielder Dominik Jankov and Croatian goalkeeper Simon Sluga entered the match. 

Ludogorets had an excellent chance two minutes into the first half, forcing Livaković to make an incredible save off the goal post. Ludogorets shot over the crossbar less than 10 minutes later. 

Bruno Petković replaced Josip Drmić in the 59th minute. 

Dinamo’s defense had to clear two dangerous attempts by Ludogorets in the 65th and 67th minutes, the latter of which was saved brilliantly by Livaković. Ludogorets continued pressing to get the second goal, even hitting the post a minute later. 

Čačić replaced another attacker in the 71st minute - Menalo was subbed on for Oršić. 

Ludogorets brought on fresh strikers in the 79th minute to increase their hopes of getting a goal. In the 82nd minute, Dinamo’s Menalo was nearly one-on-one with the Ludogorets keeper but shot over to keep the match 2:1 with less than 10 minutes to go. 

Čačić subbed off Baturina for Boško Šutalo in the 86th minute. 

Another dangerous chance for Ludogorets in the 89th minute just missed the Dinamo goal. A minute later, Petković took on three defenders and forced the ball out for a corner which Sluga punched out. The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the match, in which neither team could score. 

The return match will be played in Zagreb on August 9. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

New, Fourth Mammoth Tooth Found in Mohovo near Ilok

August 2, 2022 – Maybe you have never heard of Mohovo, and maybe you know that they keep finding mammoth teeth there... There is really no in-between. A new, fourth mammoth tooth was found on Saturday, 30th July. 

As SiB reports, ten years after he found the first mammoth tooth in his village, Goran Popović from Mohovo found another, fourth, mammoth tooth on Saturday.

He informed his friends and the public about the phenomenal discovery by posting on Facebook, stating that he was filled with happiness, emotions, and optimism.

"I had that instinct again, walked through our beautiful village, and then it happened – the fourth mammoth tooth. All of a sudden, a part of the hill collapsed and the tooth just popped out. Now I'm completely convinced that this is no longer a coincidence", he wrote and invited everyone to join in and help, because a lot of support is needed to start the systematic search of the location.

SiB spoke about this discovery with Goran, who, still under a strong impression, said that not a single find was the result of purposeful digging and searching, but that he found each tooth completely by accident.


Photos by Dolina Mamuta

“Last year, the Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, visited the site of the discovery, the county and city authorities came, and we received promises from all of them that they would do everything in their power to start archaeological research. I know that the activities in the wider Vukovar area focus on Vučedol, but I believe that the finding of another tooth will motivate the authorities to pay attention to Mohovo as well. It would be an important step in the promotion of our small village and it would certainly make it more attractive not only in terms of archeology but also in terms of culture and tourism”, said Popović.

The relevant ministry and the Ilok City Museum were immediately informed about the discovery, as well as the City of Ilok, and the Vukovar-Srijem County. He emphasized that this place with only two hundred inhabitants obviously hides great secrets that experts need to investigate. It all started in the fall of 2012 when, while digging a septic tank in an orchard, he found the first fossil remains of a woolly mammoth, and a discovery was made four years later in another location. Goran states that short research, in addition to the woolly mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros, led to the discovery of fossil remains of a hyena, a wild horse, and a bison. Four years after the second discovery, there was a third one, when the fossil remains of a mammoth were found again near the village pond. Realizing the potential hidden in their village, several young residents of Mohovo founded the association Dolina Mamuta (Mammoth Valley). They organised workshops, installed a straw sculpture of a woolly mammoth, a woolly rhinoceros, and a hyena in the village centre, and launched the events "Advent in Mohovo" and "Mammothfest", the second edition of which is planned for this October.


Photo by Dolina Mamuta

“The creation of a sculpture made of solid material is nearing completion, for which we were provided funds through donations after the straw sculpture was destroyed in a fire.

For the second "Mammothfest", we plan to organize an exhibition about the findings so far and additionally motivate the authorities for systematic research” he stated.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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