Thursday, 10 September 2020

Split-Dalmatia County Extends Coronavirus Measures until September 24

September 10, 2020 - Split-Dalmatia County extends coronavirus measures until September 24 as the county continues to record the most cases in Croatia.

On Wednesday, necessary epidemiological measures introduced on August 27 for Split-Dalmatia County have been extended until September 24, 2020, by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.

On August 31, the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, at the suggestion of the Split-Dalmatia County Headquarters, revoked the decision to suspend the work of gyms, fitness centers, and other forms of recreation, noting that special attention will be paid to training and sports and recreational recommendations, activities in closed sports facilities, but also other prescribed epidemiological measures.

Necessary epidemiological measures are:

- mandatory face masks or medical masks indoors in catering establishments until food, drinks and beverages are consumed;

- a maximum of 50 people can be present at wedding ceremonies;

- a maximum of 20 people may be present at other private ceremonies and celebrations;

- a maximum of 50 people can be present at funerals, without maintaining gatherings, and condolences to the bereaved must not be expressed through close contact;

- at all social gatherings (events, performances, masses, rituals, exhibitions and other social gatherings), it is obligatory to adhere to all prescribed epidemiological measures, and if they are held indoors, it is obligatory to wear face masks or medical masks and maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters;

- organizers of all social gatherings and owners of catering facilities are obliged to perform intensified supervision of compliance with the prescribed epidemiological measures;

- sports competitions can be held only without the presence of spectators;

- visits to and departures from nursing homes and other social welfare institutions are prohibited, and it is recommended that work be organized in shifts, whenever possible.

After the number of new coronavirus patients jumped to 341 on Wednesday, and Zadar County counted 18, at the suggestion of the local Civil Protection Headquarters, the Chief of National Headquarters and Minister of the Interior, Davor Bozinovic, extended some measures in Zadar County until November 1.

Until then, there is a ban on visits to nursing homes, holding organized entertainment gatherings on boats, and wedding ceremonies with more than 50 people.

It was added that "a maximum of 25 people can be present at other private ceremonies, celebrations, and gatherings".

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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Wearing Face Masks in Croatian Parliament Mandatory as of Wednesday

ZAGREB, September 1, 2020 - Wearing face masks in the Parliament chamber will be mandatory as of Wednesday, and not more than 41 MPs will be allowed to attend per session, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Tuesday after a meeting of the Parliament Presidency.

"We have decided that masks will be mandatory for plenary sessions, and we will strictly abide by this. This will no longer be a recommendation, but an obligation," Jandrokovic told the press, stressing that the decision was made unanimously.

He said that the decision was made in accordance with the recommendations of the Croatian Public Health Institute and medical organisations because of the current epidemiological situation and the fact that one MP was positive for the coronavirus.

Any MP not wearing a face mask will first be cautioned by the chairperson and if they refuse to put it on, they will be asked to leave or face being escorted out by security. "We will not be aggressive, but we must protect MPs' health. We will not wear masks just for our own sake, but to protect others as well," Jandrokovic said.

The new parliament will return to the work regime that had been in place during the previous parliament, that is only 41 of 151 MPs plus the chairperson will be allowed to attend per session.

This number was arrived at by dividing the number of members of each political group by four, as a result of which the ruling HDZ party will be entitled to have 16 MPs present, the Social Democrats nine, the Homeland Movement three, Bridge and the green-left bloc two each, and the other groups one each.

"In that way we will ensure a sufficient physical distance," Jandrokovic said, adding that the option of electronic voting would also be used.

Parliament begins an extraordinary sitting on Wednesday which will last until the end of next week, while it will sit regularly as of September 16.


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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Croatian Micro-Enterprises Begin Applying for 2000 Kuna Per Worker

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes on the 7th of July, 2020, there is a deadline from the 7th to the end of this month for submitting applications for a new type of financial support, which is envisaged for Croatian micro-enterprises (as small employers) affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the amount of 2,000 kuna per worker for the month of July.

According to the projections of the Ministry of Labour, the new measure of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) for preserving jobs could be used by small employers in relation to 100,000 workers.

It is also important in their particular case that this support is accompanied by contributions that need to be made in the appropriate amount, so their beneficiaries should also count on that part of the financial assistance.

According to State Secretary Dragan Jelic of the aforementioned ministry, as employers, Croatian micro-enterprises are considered the most vulnerable to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

"This is an attempt to avoid the dismissal of workers, ie, the sudden entry of former employees into the unemployment register, and the closure of these companies," explained Jelic. Additionally, the new measure includes members of the company in the position of director if they too are technically employed.

The new measure can be used by all eligible employers who have registered their activity by the end of February 2020 and are properly registered in the HZMO system. This support is provided by workers listed by the employer at the time of application, but not by employees listed after the 30th of June. No support can be obtained for them, and the same is the case with some of those who outgrow the framework of what a Croatian micro-enterprise is supposed to be because they employ a total of 10 or more workers through several entities of the same founder.

In addition, non-payers of wages, as well as renters of private accommodation and family farms that aren't in the system for the payment of profit or income tax, will remain without support.

The criterion for Croatian micro-enterprises is a decrease in revenue by at least 50 percent in June 2020 when compared to June 2019, based on the VAT return for those months, while Croatian micro-enterprises who aren't in the VAT system, this needs to be evidenced based on a table of their revenue decline. If the employer has been operating for less than twelve months, then the decrease in turnover is determined in relation to February 2020.

For employers who employ more than 10 workers, part-time support has been introduced, which covers a potentially larger number of beneficiaries than the previous sub-measure did, and is calculated for between 100 and 150 thousand workers. About 400 million euros are available for this measure through the EC's Sure programme.

This aid is granted for the temporary introduction of full-time work for workers with certain additional requirements, but not less than half, and up to a maximum of 2,000 kuna per month net per worker.

As the director of the CES, Ante Loncar, pointed out, the Institute tries to process requests for these measures within 10 days of receiving a request with all of the necessary and completed documentation, and, after a positive assessment of the request, make the actual aid payments by the 20th or 30th of the month for the previous month.

In addition, after three months of the temporary suspension of the remaining measures of the active employment policy from July the 1st, they are active again, and this includes perhaps the most popular measure of all - support for self-employed people.

"This measure was reactivated with certain changes in the criteria necessary for the quality selection of aid beneficiaries who really want to go into entrepreneurship and for the better use of aid funds, all with the aim of stimulating economic activity," stated Loncar.

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