Friday, 10 September 2021

Milanović: We're Fed up with COVID Frenzy, Life Should Go Back to Normal

ZAGREB, 10 Sept 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Friday that the media frenzy over COVID-19 was grating on people's nerves and that things should start going back to normal.

"We should know the aim of all this frenzy. If anybody tells me that the aim is to completely eradicate coronavirus, I will tell them that this is insane. It is impossible. What matters now is adjustment and resumption of normal life," Milanović told the press in his office.

The story with coronavirus will be over the moment we have more vaccinated people than those who are not vaccinated, he said.

"The media frenzy over coronavirus is starting to grate on people's nerves."

"Everything has been said. Those who have got vaccinated, have solved their problem. If you get vaccinated, you do not stand any chance of developing serious symptoms or consequences. It is then like the flu," the president said.

He also finds it insane to advocate the "obsessive culture of safety".

"No one can be absolutely safe and secure, there is no life without any risk or disease," the president underscored.

Commenting on the high prevalence of this topic in foreign media outlets, such as CNN, Milanović said that each day he wondered "whether he is normal or whether they have gone mad."

"This amounts to sowing panic, and they are not the only ones to have been doing that since the beginning (of the pandemic). Simply, there is no absolute safety that excludes any possibility of getting sick. People develop thousands of more serious diseases, while we have been commenting on COVID for a year and a half."

In response to the comments from the press that Croatia's vaccination rate has not exceeded 50%, Milanović said that he did not care any more about that, since this was a sufficient rate of vaccination.

"Everyone knows that... there is no chance of putting those people at risk," the Croatian president said.

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Saturday, 4 September 2021

Corona Crisis Causes Losses to Cattle Farmers, Milk Producers – Večernji List

ZAGREB, 4 Sept, 2021 - Cattle farmers lose HRK 4.75  per kilo per head due to the corona crisis, the Zagreb-based Večernji List (VL) reported on Saturday.

Findings of a study, conducted by Osijek researchers Krunoslav Zmaić and David Kranjac, show that the corona crisis has caused disruption on the market.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, fodder made up about 50% of the material costs in businesses led by cattle farmers. However, cereals and oil crops' price hikes have raised this percentage to 80%.

The average price of soybean skyrocketed 50.49% this year in comparison to their five-year average, and maize prices increased roughly 36%, whereas fodder barley prices went up 19.5%.

For instance, milk producers lose HRK 1.02 per litre due to the crisis.

The researchers warn against excessive imports of meat and milk at dumping prices, and they propose stringent restrictions on this import.

 They also suggest short-term state support schemes.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

Croatia Registers 184 New COVID Cases, 7 Deaths

ZAGREB, 10 June 2021 - In the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 184 new COVID cases while seven people have died, the national COVID-19 response team said on Thursday.

There are currently 1,290 active cases in the country, including 482 hospitalized patients, 48 of whom are on ventilators.

A total of 358,245 cases of coronavirus have been registered since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020 and 8,110 people have died. A total of 348,845 people have recovered, with 217 of them recovering in the past 24 hours.

Currently, 6,865 people are in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 2,065,437 people have been tested for the virus, including 5,435 in the past 24 hours.

By 9 June a total of 1,986,929 doses of vaccines were administered. So far 1,370,306 people have received at least one dose while 616,623 have received both shots.

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centers and vaccination points across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Croatia Registers 375 New Coronavirus Cases, 10 COVID-Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 27 May 2021 - Croatia has registered 375 new cases of coronavirus infection and ten more infected people have died in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team said on Thursday.

There are currently 2,968 active cases in the country and 968 hospitalized patients with 95 of them on ventilators.

To date, a total of 1,994,545 people have been tested for the contagion, with 6,319 tests conducted in the past 24 hours and the share of the positive tests being 6%.

As of Thursday, 1,645,332 doses of vaccines have been administered. To date, 1,221,109 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine while 424,223 have received both shots.

Since 25 February when the first coronavirus case was detected in Croatia, to date, there have been 355,296 registered cases and 7,981 people have died as a consequence.

A total of 344,347 people have recovered of whom 509 in the past 24 hours.

There are currently 12,259 people in self-isolation.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and test centers up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Financial Stability Council Meets to Discuss Risks to Stability of Financial System

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - Timely and full reporting on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business operations and the materialisation of credit risk in financial institutions is important as some sectors of the Croatian economy are still strongly affected by physical distancing measures, the Financial Stability Council said.

The Financial Stability Council is an inter-institutional body that designs Croatia's macroprudential policy. It consists of representatives of the Croatian National Bank (HNB), the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA), the Ministry of Finance and the State Agency for Deposit Insurance (DAB).

The Council met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of HNB Governor Boris Vujčić to discuss main risks to the stability of the financial system. The meeting also involved Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, HANFA Board President Ante Žigman and DAB Director Marija Hrebac.

Despite the accelerated recovery of economic activity from the consequences of the pandemic, in the circumstances of continued uncertainty regarding a return to usual social contacts and business, the financial system's exposure to systemic risks remains elevated, the Council said in a statement, citing high public debt, the financial sector's exposure to the government, a possible rise in the number of insolvent companies and fast growing housing prices as main risks.

It noted that housing prices had risen by 7.7% in 2020 year on year and surpassed their level in the period preceding the global financial crisis, adding that housing loans were picking up.

Given that some sectors of the economy are still strongly affected by physical distancing measures, the Council said that a premature cancellation of aid could put healthy businesses at risk and increase the credit risk, while extended maintenance of support could keep companies with unsustainable business models on the market and zombify the corporate sector, which would have adverse implications for growth and financial stability, the statement warned.

The Council said the banking sector was highly capitalised and liquid. The volume of loans covered by the loan repayment moratorium continued to fall after peaking in September 2020 and at the end of March 2021 it covered 8.6% of corporate and household loans. The loans covered by the moratorium were mostly aimed at hotels and restaurants.

The Council said that the recovery of the financial markets, which began at the end of last year, had continued in the first half of this year and that nearly all sectors supervised by HANFA were seeing growth.

The positive mood has also affected the financial services sector, whose assets at the end of March 2021 were 3.5% higher than at the end of 2020, accounting for 32.15% of the total assets of the financial system in Croatia, or 61.7% of the nominal GDP, the statement said.

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Monday, 3 May 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 349 New Cases, 36 Deaths, 2,087 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 3 May 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 349 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 36 deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 11,378. There are 2,247 COVID patients in hospitals, 244 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the first confirmed case of the infection in Croatia on 25 February 2020, a total of 335,522 people have been registered as having contracted coronavirus, 7,218 of them have died, while 316,926 have recovered, including 2,087 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 30,225 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,827,068 people have been tested, including 4,193 over the past 24 hours.

 As of 2 May, 908,839 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Croatia, and 708,137 people have been vaccinated, with 504,856 people receiving the first dose and 200,702 receiving both doses. For 2,579 people there is no data on how many doses they have received.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing centres throughout the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Index: Cafe Terraces Open In Two Weeks If Numbers Stay Low

February 17, 2021 – Indoor sports return and cafe terraces open on Monday 1st March if infection numbers remain low, learns Croatian media outlet Index.

By the time spring arrives, Croatian coffee lovers should be back enjoying their drinks outside their favourite cafe bar. Cafe terraces open on Monday 1st March 2021 if Coronavirus infection numbers remain low and stay on their current trajectory, according to Croatia media outlet Index.

Indoor sports will also return on the same date, with the same stipulation that infection numbers remain low. Having cafe terraces open again cannot come too soon for frustrated business owners. At the moment, they are only permitted to serve coffee to go. According to Index, from on Monday 1st March 2021, cafe terraces open and people will no longer need to congregate on the street outside, in parks or on benches to enjoy their drinks.

“Measures should be further relaxed throughout Croatia as of March 1, including the much-anticipated opening of cafe terraces,” says the portal. Cafe terraces open and other relaxed measures depend on the prerequisite of figures remaining at the level they are at now. “The share of newly infected in the number tested in recent days is below five percent,” Index adds.

Headquarters and the government had already announced that the next round of concessions could be expected in early March.

restaurant-644504_1920.jpgCafe terraces open in Croatia from March 1st 2021, if Coronavirus numbers remain low, say media outlet Index

Croatian cafe terraces open, the interior of cafes and restaurants remain closed

“As we find out, the terraces of cafes and restaurants will definitely open on March 1,” wrote Index. “However, according to information from a source close to the Headquarters, the closed (interior) parts of cafes and restaurants will not be opened. (This) is realistically expected in April at the earliest.”

“Once cafe terraces open, guests will most likely not be able to enter the interiors of cafes and restaurants, except perhaps for the use of toilets, to prevent indoor parts of cafes and restaurants from being used and guests being served there. Closed spaces are still considered by headquarters (to be) an extremely high risk when it comes to the spread of coronavirus.”

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Further relaxation of Coronavirus measures: Indoor sports to return

According to Index, although the first information received said that from March 1, only indoor sports for children would be opened, the portal has discovered that instead all indoor sports should be opened, with prescribed epidemiological measures. They remind that, according to current measures, only gyms, swimming pools and contactless individual ball sports are allowed.

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Public gatherings / marketplaces / fairs

“There should be concessions when it comes to fairs, but it is not yet completely clear under what conditions,” says the portal. Like supermarkets, open-air and indoor markets are currently permitted to operate. The newly relaxed measures will pertain to similar, but more irregular events at which arts & crafts, books and other goods are on display for sale. The portal say that the vending and consumption of food – which is traditional at such events – will likely not be permitted for now.

“The headquarters is inclined to open fairs where products are sold or exhibited, but the consumption of food and drinks might be limited to prevent excessive gatherings and socializing,” they say.

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Relaxation of Coronavirus measures pertaining to private gatherings

“The allowed number of people at various gatherings should not change significantly, only minor corrections are possible,” claims the portal, adding that the current ban on the gathering of people from more than two households may instead be downgraded to a recommendation. The portal reminds that this measure has not been strictly enforced in any way before.

"To give way on March 1, the numbers have to stay at about the level they are now. But the pressure is great - no one wants to keep something closed that should not be kept closed. Most of it is already open, so there remains a narrow circle of what can still be given,” a source close to the Headquarters is quoted as telling Index.

Friction between regional and national authorities over easing of Covid-19 measures

Even if cafe terrace open on March 1st, Index concludes their article by reminding that a disparity between regional and national authorities is still causing some friction. The friction between two north-westerly regions of the country and national headquarters is specifically addressed.

“The Headquarters believes that the announcement of the Istrian Headquarters that they will open the terraces of cafes and restaurants on March 1 was very incorrect. They (national headquarters) say that this opening is planned at the level of the whole of Croatia anyway.”

“However, the decision of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar headquarters, which postponed the opening of bookmakers and casinos in that county, is perhaps even more critically commented on. The government states that the opening of bookmakers (betting shops) and casinos is a purely financial decision and ironically comments that if the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County wants to leave these facilities closed, they should (themselves) cover the costs that will be incurred,” says the Index article.

Index claims that these moves from Istria and Rijeka (Primorje-Gorski Kotar) are regarded in the National Headquarters and the government as politicking and that they are connected with the upcoming local elections.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Epidemiologist: At This Rate, Vaccination Goal Won't Be Met Until Autumn

February 9, 2021 – In a Croatian media TV interview, epidemiologist of the Croatian Institute of Public Health Bernard Kaić yesterday said the plan to vaccinate half of the population by the summer will be delayed. He predicted that if Croatia continues vaccination at its current rate, the goal would not be reached until autumn, possibly late autumn

Epidemiologist of the Croatian Institute of Public Health Bernard Kaić, speaking to Croatian media RTL, told them the plan to vaccinate half of the population by the summer will be delayed. The epidemiologist predicted that if Croatia continues vaccination at its current rate, the goal of vaccinating half of the population within the country will not be completed until autumn, possibly late autumn.

"I can't say (by) exactly how much,” he told RTL, regarding how much delay will occur, “because we still don't know how many vaccines we'll get in March. And (how much) after March we (still) have no idea.”

“If this pace continues, it would take four million doses to vaccinate half the population. We won't achieve that until autumn for sure, and it’s late autumn,” the epidemiologist said.

According to an article in Index, the epidemiologist said that, as things currently stand, there will be three vaccines used in Croatia - AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech. They will be used concurrently, with vaccinations from all three available in Croatia at the same time.

When asked which vaccine he would choose to be vaccinated with, the epidemiologist answered that he did not know and that he was glad that he did not have the opportunity to choose. "There was only one offered so I got vaccinated,” said the epidemiologist. “It would be really hard to decide."

When asked why some states have given up vaccinating those over the age of 65 with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the epidemiologist explained that in currently available results from clinical studies the messenger RNA vaccine had proven to be somewhat more effective in preventing mild forms of Coronavirus than the AstraZeneca vaccine. Some of the vaccines work in different ways. However, the epidemiologist ultimately said that it was expected the AstraZeneca vaccine would prove to be effective, it was just that this had not yet been proven statistically.

bernard-kaic-e505fb44671c29c2fdonRTL.jpgRTL screenshot

Later in the interview, the epidemiologist was asked “Due to skepticism towards AstraZeneca, many associations in (Croatia's) border areas plan to take pensioners to Serbia for vaccination. How smart is it to accept such an arrangement?”

The epidemiologist replied; “My only fear is that such organized trips do not turn into corona-trips so that people do not get infected on the way back and forth and do themselves harm. I would wait.”

The three vaccines for which Croatia is currently expecting deliveries are now not the only vaccines available. Speaking in a discussion on the same evening on another Croatian media outlet, HRT, Zlatko Trobonjača, an immunologist from the Rijeka Clinical Hospital, spoke about the Russian vaccine.

"Our country is obviously following the EU and its decisions,” he said. “The EU has entered into talks with Russia. It can be expected that these talks will continue. It is a quality vaccine, it provides high protection.”

"As for the quality of the vaccine, we can see that it is not harmful and it could be used in our country. The EU is oriented towards Western companies. And now, they (the companies) did not stick to the agreement," Trobonjača said, adding that he would be vaccinated with the first vaccine that was made available to him.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Jutarnji List: Croatian Cafes Open on Monday 15 February (and Gyms too)?

February 2, 2021 – The wait is over! In less than two weeks, Croatian cafes and gyms will open, if infection numbers continue on their current downward trajectory

With the spring season just around the corner, people will soon be able to once again enjoy coffee on the sun-filled daytime terraces of Croatian cafes. If Coronavirus infection numbers continue on their current downward trajectory, Croatian cafes and gyms will open on Monday 15 February. All businesses will still have to operate under strict epidemiological measures.

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Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff, Davor Božinović, spoke about the forthcoming concessions on Croatian cafes and gyms, but a fuller picture of how the concessions will actually look was discovered unofficially by Croatian daily Jutarnji List. It was published in the evening of Monday 1st February 2021. The good news soon travelled across Croatia. It will come as a great relief to many independent business owners who have not been allowed to operate.

Business owners have been increasingly on edge over recent weeks, with protest openings of Croatian cafes and gyms threatened to take place in defiance of the current ban on operations (indeed, some did). Owners of Croatian cafes were particularly irked by the seeming inconsistencies in current measures – fast food outlets, gas service stations and bakeries were all permitted to sell coffee to go. People took advantage of this and thereafter congregated on the streets outside such businesses to enjoy their drinks. But, Croatian cafes were still not permitted to service people wishing to drink on outside terraces in almost exactly the same manner.

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Monday 15 February has long been announced as the next review date for the imposed Coronavirus measures. But, until now, nobody was certain in which way – if any – measures would be relaxed.

Under unofficial plans, from Monday 15 February Croatian cafes will be able to serve coffee and drinks to be consumed on outside terraces, with strict epidemiological guidelines in place.

Croatian cafes and gyms opening on 15 February will be conditional on a continued downturn in infection numbers and the absence of new Coronavirus strains appearing in Croatia

The re-opening of Croatian cafes and gyms is wholly dependent not only on the continuing downturn in numbers of infected but also on the condition that new strains of Coronavirus - specifically those first detected in the UK and South Africa - do not appear in Croatia between now and then.

"If the indicators are good, if the numbers go down, we will certainly not be reluctant to react,” Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović said, regarding the 15 February review, “our aim to strike a balance between everything - with an emphasis on health care - has brought us to a position where Croatia has the least stringent measures in the EU."

Coronavirus infection numbers in some other European territories remain at an alarmingly high rate, although a corresponding relaxation in measures for some regions of Italy was similarly announced over recent days. This is the second time since the start of the pandemic that stricter measures imposed by the Croatian government – and a widespread public observance of these measures and other guidelines - have successfully produced the intended results.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Miroslav Tudman, son of Franjo Tudman, has died from Coronavirus

February 1, 2021 – Miroslav Tudman, the first child of Franjo Tudman, died in Zagreb from complications caused by Coronavirus. A scientist and educator who followed a route into politics, he bore a striking resemblance to his father, the first President of Croatia

Miroslav Tudjman, HDZ member of parliament and son of Franjo Tudman, the first President of Croatia, died in the evening of Sunday 31 January 2021 in Zagreb. He was 75 years old.

Miroslav Tudjman had been hospitalized in Zagreb at the beginning of December due to complications caused by Coronavirus. He had been placed on a respirator. He sadly lost his fight for life at the Dr. Fran Mihaljevic Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Zagreb.

Born in Belgrade in 1946, the son of Franjo Tudman and his first wife Ankica Zumbar, Miroslav Tudman moved to Zagreb in 1961. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb in 1970 and later became part of the faculty, founding its Institute for Information Studies in 1989.

20150623vrgorac.tudjmanov.arhiv_32122.jpgMiroslav Tudman © HDZ

He took part in the Croatian War of Independence and in 1992 Miroslav Tudman became the head of the Centre for Strategic Research. He took up the role as the deputy head of the National Security Office before founding and leading the first Croatian Intelligence Agency (Hrvatska izvještajna služba, HIS). In 1998, Miroslav Tudman became a tenured professor at the Faculty of Philosophy where he had studied.

Miroslav Tudman had dallied with politics since before the war, but it was only after the passing of his father – who died while in office – that they became a more consuming affair for him. He flitted between running as an independent candidate, within fringe parties and as a member of HDZ, the party to which his father belonged. His longest duration with any party was from 2011 and 2021, during which he was a member of HDZ.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Croatian parliament, head of the Parliamentary Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a member of the Committee on Defence, Internal Policy and National Security, War Veterans and Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation.

Bearing a very close resemblance to his father, Miroslav Tudman was named after Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža who his father adored at the time of his firstborn child.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that he received the news of Miroslav Tudman's death with sadness.

"It is with great sadness that I received the news of the departure of Prof. Miroslav Tudman, PhD, a dear colleague, friend and member of the Croatian Parliament, son of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudman, a prominent politician and a scientist dedicated to protecting national interests," he wrote on Twitter. "In these sad and painful moments, for the Tudman family, I express my sincere condolences and sympathy, on behalf of the government and myself."

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