Saturday, 12 September 2020

Journalism Proves to be of Exceptional Importance in COVID-19 Crisis, Hears Panel

ZAGREB, September 12, 2020 - Journalism has proven to be of exceptional importance in the coronavirus epidemic and it has shown the importance of timely and accurate information, it was said at a round table discussion, held as part of the 6th PRESS Film Festival in Zagreb on Friday.

"Journalism has proven to be of exceptional importance in the current crisis, it has shown the importance of timely and accurate information given that we are being bombarded on a daily basis with numerous conspiracy theories," Croatian Journalists Association (HND) president Hrvoje Zovko said.

Speaking at the panel, dedicated to media in global crises, journalist Hrvoje Simicevic expressed confidence that media worldwide would not have it easy in the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which, he said, had sped up the decline of a large part of the traditional media sector.


Freelance reporters most affected group

Quoting the findings of a survey, Simicevic said that 80% of freelance reporters had been left without key income following the introduction of restrictions designed to fight the coronavirus.

Journalist Kresimir Zupcic said the survey, conducted by the HND and the Journalists Union, showed that 28.7% of external contractors in the media sector had been left without all of their assignments since the start of the crisis, 26.2% had lost most of their jobs and 15.9% had lost half of their previous jobs.

That means that around two-thirds of freelancers had been left without any, most or half of their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. It is alarming that one in three freelancers have been left without any income and only 14% have managed to keep most of their previous assignments, said Zupcic.

The PRESS Film Festival, which is usually held in Hrvatska Kostajnica, is organised by the HND and the EKS nongovernmental organisation. The festival, which lasts until September 13, is taking place at the HND offices in Zagreb.

The festival selector is film director Daniel Pavlic.


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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

FinMin: Keeping Jobs Is A Priority

ZAGREB, Sept 2, 2020 - Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Wednesday after an inner cabinet meeting that keeping jobs is a priority and that support measures for sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis, such as hospitality and transport, will be made known in the next few days.

Maric made the statement while responding to reporters' questions about the continuation of measures for the hospitality sector, which Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac had announced earlier, saying that they were on the table and being taken care of.

He said that internal consultations were ongoing and recalled that the government had generously financed support for the economy, however, he noted that everything has its fiscal repercussions and fiscal possibilities.

"This year the budget result is not a priority, however, in these circumstances it is necessary to find funds and ensure budget sustainability for this year and the years to come," said Maric.

Keeping jobs is a priority, he said, recalling that the government had presented a shorter working week and that the recently approved SURE program would provide a little more than €1 million in loans for Croatia.

Intensive talks are underway regarding the generous envelope that is part of Europe's recovery plan, Maric said, adding that testing was already underway regarding the use of support in hospitality.

Maric added that he understands the problems faced by the occasional transport sector whose representatives earlier in the day handed out leaflets to lawmakers listing their problems.

We have embarked on horizontal measures and have continued to support tourism and transport and everything will be made known in the next few days, he said. 

Our priority is to keep jobs and we are willing and ready to do the best we can, he added.

Maric explained that there had not been any money in the budget for the first round of support either, however, the money was eventually found and efforts would be made to continue to preserve jobs.

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Friday, 28 August 2020

Croatia's Q2 GDP Contracts by Record High 15%

ZAGREB, August 28, 2020 - Croatia's economy in the second quarter of 2020 contracted by a record high of 15.1% compared to the same period last year, this being its biggest fall since Croatia started collecting data on GDP, caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) released its initial estimates on Friday according to which GDP in the second quarter fell by 15.1% on the year, falling for the first time since mid-2014.

This is also the greatest fall since 1995 when the DZS started collecting data on GDP. Until now, the highest ever drop in GDP was recorded in Q1 2009, at the start of the global financial crisis.

The fall in GDP in Q2 this year is greater than analysts had expected.

Six analysts polled by Hina expected GDP to drop on the year by an average 13.9%, with their estimates ranging from 12% to 17%.

The sharp decline in the economy in the second quarter is the consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictive measures introduced to curb the pandemic, which paralysed commercial activities from mid-March until the end of April.


Sharp fall in consumption, investments, exports...

Due to the pandemic a sharp fall was recorded in personal consumption.

Household consumption plunged by 14% in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019.

Gross investments in fixed capital contracted by 14.7% year on year.

The export of commodities and services sunk by 40.6%.

The exports of commodities was 10.9% while the export of services plummeted by 67.4%. The import of commodities and services contracted too, by 28.1%, with commodity imports contracting by 25.3% and imports of services by 42.5%.

State spending however increased in Q2 by 0.7% on the year.


Figures poorer than EU average

According to seasonally adjusted data, GDP in Q2 fell by 14.9% compared to Q1 and by 15.1% on the year.

These figures are poorer than the European Union average. According to Eurostat data, GDP in the EU fell by 11.7% compared to Q1 and by 14.1% on the year.

DZS said that due to the circumstances related to the coronavirus crisis, some data may not be precise.

"Difficulties in gauging economic growth, particularly in service activities, might result in a potentially greater revision of GDP figures for the quarter," DZS said.


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