Tuesday, 15 February 2022

EU Funding Granted for Use of Chemical Toilets After Zagreb Earthquake

ZAGREB, 15 Feb 2022 - The Croatian Civil Protection Directorate has been granted just under HRK 80,000 from the EU Solidarity Fund to cover the costs of rental and maintenance of chemical toilets and sanitary containers used after the March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb.

The Directorate said on Tuesday that HRK 79,351 has been approved based on the application for the operation "Provision of logistical support for earthquake relief efforts".

The funding will be used to cover the costs of rental and maintenance of chemical toilets and sanitary containers used by rescue services and for the temporary accommodation of people, as well as to cover the purchase costs of materials used by response teams.

About 100 civil protection personnel set up tents for 500 people left homeless by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake that struck Zagreb on 22 March 2020.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Croatian Companies Suing State Over Civil Protection Directorate Decisions

November the 8th, 2021 - Five Croatian companies are suing the state as a clap back against the epidemiological decisions made by the National Civil Protection Directorate in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Tomica Drvar from the Svikoncerti (Allconcerts) agency said on Dnevnik Nova TV that they're seeking compensation for what he believes are ''double standards''.

''For example, we as travel agencies didn't receive any compensation for any drop in traffic we had, but only for preserving jobs,'' explained Tomica Drvar, who will sue the state because he believes that the government's economic measures and the way they're handed out is not fair. Tomica's travel agency's traffic has dropped 97 percent over the last two years, and the loss stands at about three and a half million kuna of revenue per year.

"It's difficult for us to say how much we would be satisfied with. All Croatian companies have their individual own revenues and expenses, but I must emphasise that our state has done absolutely nothing to compensate its businessmen and company owners,'' he added.

In addition to Tomica, four other Croatian companies are filing a lawsuit against the state with the same request. They're playing the card that the state has violated the constitutional rights of business owners with the decisions made by the National Civil Protection Directorate, but also in the way they have introduced economic measures. Specifically speaking, they're referring here to articles that say that no one can be brought into a position in which they're being discriminated against. All of this is going ahead with the support of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (Udruga Glas Poduzetnika).

“So, they gave people grants to preserve jobs, but that all went on workers, and the compensation that Germany or Austria gave to their companies was simply lacking in Croatia,'' explained Branka Prislic from the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association.

The state rejected a peaceful solution to the dispute, according to them. There has so far been no comment on the matter released from the Ministries of Justice and Labour so far, which is not surprising given the statements of their boss on this issue.

"I think we've done everything that the state could have done in these circumstances," Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said back in July.

Rejecting that claim, the heads of five Croatian companies say they are ready to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights on this issue. They haven't specified the exact financial amounts they're seeking, but as has since been found out, it is at least hundreds of thousands of kuna in compensation per company.

For more, make sue to check out our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

International Search and Rescue Dog Day, April 25

April 25, 2021 - Search and rescue dogs were deployed after the 29 December earthquake in Petrinja, and 18 dogs of the HGSS mountain rescue service helped locate six people under the rubble, the Ministry of the Interior Civil Protection Directorate said on International Search and Rescue Dog Day, April 25.

The International Search and Rescue Dog Organisation in 2008 declared the International Search and Rescue Dog Day, which has been observed every year on the last Sunday in April.

A dog used in search and rescue operations replaces up to 30 people who would be needed to search an area in the same period, the ministry said.

It recalled that on 26 November 2019, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Albania, Croatia sent to that country a search and rescue team with 15 members of the Civil Protection Directorate and eight search and rescue dogs.

A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times better than that of a man, and they hear and see better than humans. These traits make dogs man's best friends and well co-workers in crises. Search and rescue teams, consisting of a dog and its handler, are exceptionally important in civil protection forces and are indispensable in rescue operations.

Search, and rescue teams save people's lives in urban areas when earthquakes, explosions, and large-scale disasters happen.

Search and rescue dogs easily locate the place where a person is trapped, regardless of the distance and obstacles between them and the victim. They can search 1,000 square meters of rubble in only 20 minutes, the Civil Protection Directorate said.

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Monday, 4 January 2021

Croatia Civil Protection Authority Gives Instruction for Aid Delivery from Abroad

ZAGREB, 4 January, 2021 - Croatia's Civil Protection Authority on Sunday presented instructions for better organisation of the delivery of humanitarian aid from abroad.

Donors and organisers of relief aid shipments are asked to provide their data on the e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. before they depart for Croatia.

They are kindly asked to give information about the identity of drivers and other persons engaged in the transport of the aid as well as the registration numbers and kinds of vehicles they are using for the transport.

For instance, the information on whether vehicles are higher than four metres is also necessary.

The providers of the assistance are also asked to announce the border crossing they are going to use as well as the date of the of their planned arrival and departure from the country.

Also, information on the route to their destination is necessary for the better organisation and smooth traffic as well as for the exemption of aid delivery organisers from toll payment.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

COVID Inspectors Issue Fines Worth €200K in 10 days, Daily Says

ZAGREB, December 6, 2020 - In the period from November 23 to December 3, State Inspectorate representatives, members of the Civil Protection and police officers carried out 10,130 inspections of business entities and issued 242 warnings, the Jutarnji List daily said on Sunday.

Forty-eight misdemeanor warrants have been issued, totalling HRK 1,440,000, due to failure to comply with the measures, Minister Davor Bozinovic said at the last two government sessions, the daily said.

The value of misdemeanor warrants does not mean that so much money will be paid into the state budget. It will be known how many fines will actually be charged after the final verdicts of misdemeanor judges.

Inspectors, Civil Protection members and police officers have been patrolling shops, hospitality establishments, social and health institutions for months, monitoring the implementation of decisions by the national COVID-19 crisis management team.

According to data from the State Inspectorate, from March 15 to November 29, a total of 12,961 inspections of business entities were conducted.

From March 15 to November 15, tourist inspectors carried out 1,791 inspections of the application of anti-COVID measures in hospitality establishments. It was established that there were 352 violations of the national COVID-19 crisis management team decisions.

Following the introduction of stricter anti-epidemic measures, tourist inspectors carried out 1,129 inspections from October 14 to November 29, and it was established that there were 43 cases of hospitality establishment owners not complying with the measures.

The State Inspectorate said that their sanitary inspectors had carried out 9,600 inspections since the introduction of epidemiological measures, as carried by Jutarnji List.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Another Coastal County Restricts Number of Attendees at Weddings, Funerals

ZAGREB, August 27, 2020 - The civil protection authority in Dubrovnik-Neretva County on Thursday recommended that the national authority adopts a measure restricting the number of attendees at weddings, funerals and commemorations to 50 people and that other celebrations be attended only by family members with up to 20 people.

In addition, performances, religious rites and so on need to be held according to all the epidemiological measures if they are held outdoors. If they are held indoors, face masks need to be used and a distance of at least two metres kept.

The owners of hospitality premises are responsible for organising the implementation of these measures and enhanced inspections need to be organised by local response teams.

These measures will apply as of Monday 31 August for a period of 14 days.

Similar measures were recommended on Wednesday in Split-Dalmatia County.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

COVID-19 in Croatia: Civil Protection Weighs In on Lockdown Potential, Local Measures

August 25, 2020 - Croatia has recorded an increased number of coronavirus infections in the last ten days. However, on Monday, 136 new cases were detected, which is significantly less than in the past few days. The latest on COVID-19 in Croatia.

Index.hr reports that the National Civil Protection Headquarters, along with several scientists, believes that in the autumn, the symptoms will be significantly more severe compared to the symptoms in those infected this summer. In this context, new measures are being prepared, and the leaders of the National Headquarters have repeatedly described what the rules should look like in autumn.

In short and most importantly, there should be no new lockdown. Not all cafes, schools, restaurants, shops should be closed, like in the spring. There should be no passes, bans on leaving the place of residence, or most of what we have witnessed already. However, as Bozinovic emphasized, strict national measures are not completely ruled out, and everything will depend on the situation.

The measures to be adopted should be local. Although a ban on cafe work is currently in force throughout the country, no matter how many people are infected in each area, the Headquarters says that measures at the national level should be an exception.

What it should look like in the future, Bozinovic explained at Monday's 2 pm conference.

"We emphasized that the system will make every effort to avoid closures, to keep it active as much as possible, and for local and county headquarters to detect hotspots more accurately. This would mean that National Headquarters' decisions would not affect the same activities throughout Croatia, but would be aimed at a segment or a specific legal entity where measures of the Croatian Institute of Public Health are not applied as prescribed," said Bozinovic.

He explained that this means the more precise extinguishing of hotspots, which will give local headquarters more work, and expressed the expectation that some local headquarters will soon come up with concrete measures.

"If we see that the majority has similar requirements, a measure can be adopted that will be valid for the entire territory of Croatia. This is the best way to leave as much as possible to function, and to deal with emerging hotspots at 14-day intervals," Bozinovic said. 

Bozinovic emphasized that the meeting with the local headquarters aimed to encourage them to give the National HQ more information so that it could react.

"We deeply believe that we will not enter another lockdown, and we need to report in time for the hotspots so that we do not have to take decisions beyond what is necessary and possible at a given moment," he said.

Speaking about the hotspots, Bozinovic said that weddings spread the virus, but should not be generalized. "There are 300 or so weddings a week in Croatia and not all of them are a source of infection. They will react where something appears, try to fix it, and where we have a favorable situation, let life go as normally as possible," he said.

Bozinovic was also a guest on HRT, where he explained everything a little more. He says that local measures are nothing new, and they were adopted, for example, on Brac and Murter. One such measure is now in force in Imotski.

"This is nothing new, such measures have been so far, but there have been fewer. At the initiative of local, county headquarters, we have always responded, knowing that people in the field have a better insight into the situation and the potential hotspots because from the national level, you can't have such an insight, " Bozinovic told HRT.

Bozinovic admits that national measures have major shortcomings.

"On the other hand, the fact is that when decisions are made at the national level, they are applied indiscriminately to all activities. This was justified during the lockdown, and horizontal measures were taken. However, we now know more about the virus and how it can be can be significantly reduced by responsible behavior.

Given that there is no more lockdown, that there is no intention to close everything, that there is not even a need if the measures are applied, then we will, and we have already announced this, rely on this data from the field.

If local headquarters, which are not only the county but also city and municipal, report that something is happening in certain facilities and activities, we will quickly make decisions that will be applied. That means a lot of decisions. However, it is better to make a lot of decisions that are more precise than one that can hit indiscriminately," says Bozinovic.

Large gatherings and nightclubs are often a source of infection. Bozinovic was asked whether some measures will be adopted at the Croatian level.

“It is not our intention, nor would it be proportionate to make a decision that would hit someone who has been adhering to HZJZ measures all along,” he says.

Bozinovic says the National Headquarters cannot monitor all these gatherings at the local level.

"That is why the responsibility lies with the local headquarters, because they all, especially the county headquarters, have the task of including epidemiologists who know the job, as well as those who are in the National Headquarters," he said.

Bozinovic was asked what if there are 500 newly infected people a day.

"As long as it is possible, and I hope it will always be possible, these measures will be adopted locally, regionally. But we do not exclude national measures either. It is difficult to predict now. I am sure that if everyone engages to the maximum, we will achieve results," said Bozinovic.

The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, was a guest on RTL Danas. He also commented on this new approach, which will be based on stronger localization of measures.

Asked if he had confidence that the local headquarters would make recommendations validly and promptly, Capak replied that the goal of the meeting and agreement with local headquarters was to lower the level of "snapshots of epidemiological assessments to the local level".

"We believe that those who are on the spot can best identify the problem and the source of the infection and best direct a certain measure to reduce that source of infection and solve the problems. When we have information from local headquarters about it, then the National Headquarters can take more targeted measures. So far, when we have adopted horizontal measures that apply to all counties, there is always the possibility that for someone, this measure may be too strict or they do not need it," he said, adding that the situation is always better somewhere and worse elsewhere.

"This way, we will now have the opportunity to focus on measures where the problem exists and try to solve the problem at its source. Local headquarters always have a member of the epidemiologist," Capak said.

To the additional question that the local headquarters had epidemiologists so far and whether the meeting took place too late, Capak answered that they had communicated with them in the same way so far.

"However, we have now clearly presented this possibility of working to apply the principle of subsidiarity, record the problem and direct the measures where they are most needed," Capak said, adding that the National Headquarters has supported the proposed measures of the local headquarters. He reminded of the cases of Vukovar-Srijem County and weddings or quarantine on Murter, where they obeyed local headquarters in the past.

Asked again if everything could have been done earlier, Capak replied: "We have always reacted by supporting the local headquarters. I think it is not too late. But now we have presented this possibility to all headquarters, that it exists, and that we will we certainly support when they spot a problem and give us suggestions."

Minister Vili Beros also commented on this new approach for Dnevnik N1 television. He says there will be no such closure because the economy could not stand it.

"Measures used to be general and focused on the entire territory of the country, but we have already announced that the measures will be regional and focused on hotspots. That is why we emphasized the role of local and county headquarters, because they know the situation in their areas best and give a framework, but they should detect problems locally and emphasize to us those issues that will fit into the measures," said Beros.

"There were many unknowns in the first part of the battle, but now we know the clinical picture, a number of elements are better known than before. Such closure is not even possible, and the economy would not tolerate it. By selective measures and finding ways to coexist in the second, we will learn to live with that virus as part of the fight," Beros said.

When asked how he evaluates the work of local headquarters, he says that some worked more, some less.

"At the meeting, we emphasized the role of county headquarters. And in Murter, Brac, Istria ... Initiatives were brought at the suggestion of local headquarters. I would not criticize anyone, and we should work in the field and talk to everyone. Communication should be permanent, and the information should be accurate. Some headquarters were more active, some less so, but everyone's task is to prevent the spread of the epidemic and that is why today we have confirmed this once again and consider measures together," the minister said.

Asked if he expects a drop in the number of newly infected, he says he expects it in a week or two, if there are no new epidemiological hotspots because they want to bring the situation under control by the autumn.

"We are currently controlling the epidemiological situation, and our epidemiologists believe that the measures adopted 10 days ago will now show the result and the picture. It is still possible that the number of infected will fluctuate, but that number should start falling. Our goal is to stabilize the epidemiological situation before the school year," said Beros.

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Monday, 13 April 2020

Maja Grba Bujevic of Civil Protection Headquarters: Way of Life Will Change

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has changed not only the way we look at the world, but more introspectively - at ourselves, and Croatia's National Civil Protection Headquarters has been doing a fine job of making us assess our own behaviour.

Our way of life until coronavirus struck was fast-paced and flowed without much of a second thought, but now that we're all stuck behind closed doors and unable to even gather in groups, it's difficult to imagine the carefree life we enjoyed just a few months ago.

As Index writes on the 12th of April, 2020, National Civil Protection Headquarters staff member Maja Grba Bujevic commented on just how our lives will change in the face of the pandemic, and until we manage to find a vaccine against COVID-19.

She told Dnevnik Nova TV what new measures have been introduced in nursing homes to prevent the virus from entering them, following a recent tragedy in which coronavirus managed to break through into one such home full of vulnerable people.

"They are introducing a schedule for employees to work in working isolation. They're housed either in the home itself or in organised accommodation. This protects them from taking the infection home with them and also reduces the possibility of them bringing it with them from outside into the home,'' she explained, showcasing that lessons had indeed been learned from the unfortunate event mentioned above.

When asked how much our lives would need to change until a vaccine for this new coronavirus was found, she replied:

"There's going to be a lot of change. There will be a long-term need for physical distance between us until the vaccine is ready. Some things are good, though - we've quickly solved a lot of things from the digital side of society that we otherwise wouldn't have introduced so quickly. Our way of life will certainly change,'' Grba Bujevic of the National Civil Protection Headquarters concluded.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia and the measures the National Civil Protection Headquarters have introduced, follow our dedicated section.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Civil Protection Exercise Performed in Zagreb

More than 200 members of the Civil Protection Units of the City of Zagreb participated in the civil protection exercise, held yesterday at Jelačić Square.