Wednesday, 6 October 2021

SeneCura Continues Croatian Market Expansion with Bjelovar Business Move

October the 6th, 2021 - The Austrian company SeneCura is continuing its Croatian market expansion by making business moves in continental Croatia, more precisely in Bjelovar.

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes, the international group SeneCura, specialising in care for the elderly and infirm, is continuing with its Croatian market expansion with the acquisition of the Vita Nova care home located in Bjelovar. SeneCura, based in Vienna, has been operating in Austria, the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovenia for more than twenty years, and has been operating in Croatia since 2020. After taking over the Severovic care home in Novaki Bistranski, this year saw further acquisitions.

The latest acquisition is, as stated, the Vita Nova care home in Bjelovar, which has been operating since 2012. Vita Nova has 180 beds in 118 rooms, and the users of this care home are cared for by a professional team consisting of a head nurse, a social worker, an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist, and in addition to providing care, Vita Nova offers its users laundry services and the use of a hair salon. The property also has a restaurant and a park with a lake for residents to enjoy some fresh air.

The SeneCura Group announced that, as always, the high quality of business and customer care at Vita Nova was crucial in making the decision to purchase and integrate the home into the SeneCura Group. The CEO of the SeneCura Group, Anton Kellner, pointed out that the continuation of their Croatian market expansion is in line with the desire to offer the highest quality of care across Croatia according to the standards of excellence of the SeneCura Group.

"We know from experience that each new home we integrate into our Group is special and for that reason each one requires an individual approach to that integration. As before, we'll first get better acquainted with internal work processes, and then adjust the business to SeneCura standards as well as prescribed national norms,'' said Jasna Krijan, Regional Director of SeneCura Homes for the Elderly in Carinthia, Austria and Chief Operating Officer in Croatia.

The SeneCura Group notes that all homes within the SeneCura Group are characterised by the highest standards in the quality of customer care. They're complemented by a variety of programmes, such as scientific pain management, palliative care, occupational therapy, remobilisation, and physiotherapy. They explain that the various activities offered to customers are the most important part of SeneCure's offer, so that the Central Quality Management Department sets and harmonises standards for all markets in which this group is present, so that each institution is an example of best practice in nursing, social care, as well as across wide range of many other services according to customer needs.

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

Friday, 17 September 2021

DANUP-2-Gas Project: Danube Countries United in Introducing Renewable Energy

September 17, 2021 - The DANUP-2-Gas Project, developing renewable energy opportunities for all Danube countries, is set to hold a stakeholder event on September 28 at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FER).

The beautiful Danube region in Slavonia, apart from boasting natural beauty, also has a lot of historical and archaeological significance. This is evident with the European Commission having recognised the ''Iron Age Danube Route'' earlier this year.

That being said, the Danube river also boasts a political and economic factors, the one that unites all the countries through which the Danube flows. One form of such international cooperation is the DANUP-2-GAS project.

''The Danube region holds huge potential for sustainable generation and the storage of renewable energy. However, to date, this region has remained highly dependent on energy imports, while energy efficiency, diversity and renewables share are low. In line with the EU climate targets for 2030 and the EUSDR PA2 goals, DanuP-2-Gas will advance transnational energy planning by promoting generation and storage strategies for renewables in the Danube region by coupling electric power and the gas sector,'' says the official website of Interreg Danube which is handling the project.

In an effort to achieve their goals, the DANUP-2-Gas project aims to bring together energy agencies, business actors, public authorities, and research institutions to join the cause.

The project started on the July 1 2020, and it will last until the end of 2022. So far, 24 institutions from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and of course Croatian partners have begun cooperating for DANUP-2-Gas, united by the geographical fact that the Danube connects them all. The Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP), the International Centre for the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, and the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) are the project's Croatian representatives. Check out the full list of partners in the project here.

As (EIHP) reported on its website, September 28 will be an important date for the DANUP-2-Gas project as FER will hold a stakeholder event from 09:30 to 12:30, the lectures held in English will explain the potential of the project, as well as the uses and benefits of renewable energy in the hope of encouraging more support.

The event is imagined as a hybrid event, being held partly online and partly in person, but as EIHP warns, there is a risk of the event ending up being held entirely online, depending on the epidemiological situation.

''Based on the platform developed during the DTP project ENERGY BARGE, it will incorporate all pre-existing tools and an atlas, mapping previously unexamined available biomass and energy infrastructure. Further, a pre-feasibility study utilising an optimisation tool for efficient hub design will identify suitable locations for sectors coupling hubs and a combination of two idle resources in the Danube region.

The unused organic residue (e.g., straw) will be processed to biochar for easy transport along the Danube river and as the basis for synthesis gas generation. Adding hydrogen produced from surplus renewable energy allows for the upgrading of this syngas to a renewable natural gas. This will enable the storage of surplus energy in the existing gas distribution grid, increasing energy security and efficiency. All of the resources required for this process are available in the Danube region and the ten partner countries,'' the Interreg Danube website stated, elaborating the positive changes it is attempting to achieve.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Documents Confiscated From Dubrovnik Archives Returned

ZAGREB, 23 June, 2021 - Documents that were confiscated from the Dubrovnik State Archives and were found in the Salzburg Diocese Archives were handed over on Wednesday in the presence of Croatia's Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek and Croatia's Ambassador to Austria Danijel Glunčić.

The operation ended successfully with the return of Croatia's cultural heritage, Minister Obuljen Koržinek said, noting this isn't the first or last time this has been done.

Ambassador Glunčić underscored that the Salzburg Diocese had full understanding that the medieval documents could not be considered to be part of Austria's or Salzburg's history.

The documents involved are two pontifical documents which the diocese was immediately prepared to return to Croatia, and this was also approved by Austria's state authorities, he said, adding that the documents will be placed in Dubrovnik's Archives.

Police working on issues related to cultural heritage

Police Director Nikola Milina said that the police were working on cultural heritage issues, adding that they have had good results so far.

A soon as the information was released, the Croatian police contacted the police in Austria and the documents were quickly identified which led to them being returned, he said.

Digitalisation to facilitate return of other missing documents

Director of Dubrovnik State Archives Nikolina Pozniak is convinced that digitisation will contribute to other documents that have gone missing from the archives and other institutions to be returned.

The head of the archive's collection, Zoran Perović, explained that the documents returned today are two pontifical bulls dated 1189 and 1252. The first notes that the Pope is deploying Archbishop Bernard to Dubrovnik while the other bull refers to the appointment of an archbishop to be a judge in a dispute between the Bar and Dubrovnik Archdioceses.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

JANAF, OMV Sign First Oil Storage Contract

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - The JANAF oil pipeline and storage system said on Wednesday it had signed its first contract with Austria's OMV Supply & Trading Ltd for storing up to 99,000 cubic metres of crude oil at the Omišalj Terminal for a period of two years.

Management said the contract confirmed JANAF's strong export orientation, adding that the company generated over 60% of its revenue from foreign clients.

The new contract ensures the further use of our storage capacity and stable business in the longer term, Management Board chairman Stjepan Adanić and Board member Vladislav Veslica said.

For more about diplomacy in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Sunday, 14 March 2021

Kurz Criticises EU Vaccination Process, Sticks Up for Croatian Cause

March the 14th, 2021 - The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has spoken out against the EU´s unfair vaccination rollout, standing up for the Croatian cause as the country is repeatedly left in the minus in terms of the number of vaccine doses it is owed and deserves.

It has already been noted on several occasions in the Croatian media that Croatia is being left for dust as the vaccine rollout across the bloc continues. The country could have advanced far further than it has now and Kurz has some harsh words for the powers that be in the European Union and the European Commission as he sticks up for the Croatian cause among others, including Bulgaria.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Austrian Chancellor Kurz suddenly convened a press conference recently during which he fiercely criticised the distribution of the vaccine across the European Union, calling out countries who have got it better than others without having a justified reason for it.

He said that if this continues, the vaccination process in the European Union will not be over until the autumn, which would be absolutely dire for Croatia as it relies so heavily on tourism during the warm summer months. He cited Malta as a prime example, which, according to the current distribution rules, will receive three times more doses of the coronavirus vaccine than Bulgaria will by the summer in relation to its number of inhabitants, while the Netherlands will receive twice as many doses as Croatia by the summer, Kurz pointed out.

A clearly disillusioned Kurz warned that if things keep going on this way, some member states will be able to vaccinate their residents long before others, and he has firmly demanded much more transparency from the European Union, as 24sata reported.

Kurz sees the ¨secret negotiations¨ of individual EU member states as the reason for this deeply unfair vaccine distribution. He also called on the European Commission for transparency and asked to find out which countries have signed additional agreements, and why they are deviating from the European goal of the fair distribution of these all-important vaccines.

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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Suddeutsche Zeitung on Croatia: Article Talks "Red List" Placement

A journalist writing for the German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung has criticised the Austrian prime minister and the Austrian authorities for their attitude towards Croatia in the coronavirus era.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 31st of August, 2020, the Republic of Croatia has unfortunately found itself placed on the red lists of numerous European countries as an epidemiologically insecure country, and as such has been the subject of many media outlets in our neighboring countries over recent days - which is not surprising, because Croatia ''reddened'' in August, in the heart of the tourist season when the country still had a very large number of tourists within its borders.

For example, Kvarner almost reached 100 percent of last year's figures. But non-compliance with anti-epidemic measures and an increase in the number of people infected with the new coronavirus has led to reactions from countries with large numbers of tourists; Austria and Slovenia put the whole of Croatia on its red list, Germany put ''only'' two Dalmatian counties with the largest increase in newly infected people on its red list… All together, this move resulted in a large number of tourists going home overnight, which meant crowds at the borders and at airports.

Over recent days, the chairman of the Supervisory Board and the co-owner of Valamar, the largest tourist group in Croatia, Gustav Wurmböck, criticised the Austrian Government's decision in an Austrian weekly called Profil, pointing out that the Austrian authorities failed to ask anyone about the situation in Croatia's numerous hotels and camps.

''Nobody has been infected in any of Valamar's facilities," he said, adding that the sector had previously called for hotbeds such as nightclubs to be regulated.

The new regime was also commented on by Austrian journalist Felix Haselsteiner in his column for the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. He was actually among the tourists who had to return home due to the new measures. In the article ''The virus in the car'', he also asked the question of whether Austria's move was necessary at all. Namely, he criticised the policy of the Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz towards Croatia. Kurz stated that the virus was ''coming to Austria by car'', and suggesting that this was due to Austrian returnees from Croatia. The journalist said that the Austrian Prime Minister thus denied the reality that the virus had been in Austria since March and that it had no intention of leaving, adding that Croatia had been demonised as a party destination, which wasn't removely true, and that Austrians traditionally come to Croatia to camp.

The return of the virus

"Croatia gets a quarter of its GDP from tourism and they couldn't afford to just cancel the summer season, so they were one of the first countries in Europe to open up to tourists. The virus returned to Croatia as the tourists did. So, to continue with Kurz's metaphor, coronavirus travelled by car for the holidays and then it returned,'' said the journalist from the Suddeutsche Zeitung. The author also pointed out that it would be better if Austria, like Germany, put certain regions on its red list, which would be a real European solution, and that in that case Austria could play a crucial role in the European response to the pandemic. The columnist for Suddeutsche Zeitung believes that revenge will be carried out in some way or another, particularly because many Croats go to Austria to ski.

He also discussed the experiences of some tourists who were more than satisfied with the adherence to the measures in Croatia.

The German RTL also reported on the experiences of a group of German tourists returning home from Croatia. They remind that on August the 20th, the Robert Koch Institute declared the Croatian counties of Sibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia as risky areas. However, tourists said that Croatia was "an idyll without traces of the COVID pandemic".

For all tourists, however, the infuriating issue was the sudden departure home on the orders of a higher political force that didn't sit well with anyone whatsoever. In addition, many tourists had to isolate themselves or have had to be tested for the virus in the last two weeks at their own expense, Novi list writes.

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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac: Austria Could Change Mind Because of New Measures in Croatia

August 19, 2020 - After Austria rejected Croatia's request to introduce testing measures only for certain parts of Croatia, instead of placing the entire country on the epidemiological red list, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac said that she expected Austria to change its mind. reports that on Tuesday night as a guest on Croatian Television (HTV), the Minister commented on Austria's decision that returnees from holidays in Croatia must show a current negative coronavirus test or undergo testing within 48 hours, as well as Slovenia's thoughts on introducing quarantine for all returnees from Croatia this weekend.

She pointed out that nothing is left to chance and that they regularly exchange information and contact Slovenian colleagues, give them transparent data on numbers by counties, so that they can see that not all Croatian counties are in the same situation, i.e., that only two have an increase in the number of patients.

"We expect them to take into account the situation in the counties because these are relevant data and they are familiar with it," said Brnjac. "I think that such a decision could be expected from them," she added.

As for Austria, she says, the list is revised and changed about every two weeks.

"Given the new measures of the Headquarters, we expect that Austria could also change its opinion regarding Croatia," Brnjac said.

Asked whether Croatia would retaliate with the same measures, the Minister of Tourism said that she would not talk about reciprocity. She also said that she had information that there was not a single patient registered in Croatian hotels because everyone adhered to strict epidemiological measures.

She added that the number of sick tourists in Croatia is negligible.

The minister said it helped that Croatia is a car-destination. She also pointed out that Dubrovnik-Neretva County was recording better tourist results in August, adding that the airlines' good announcements for September and October were especially pleasing.

As for sports competitions, Brnjac said they would certainly be held, but the Headquarters has adopted certain measures - a third of spectators may be in the stands, while respecting all epidemiological measures, and the HNL has decided not to have spectators.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Coronavirus: Austrian Media Claiming Croatia is "Dangerous" for Holiday

The situation with the Austrian view on Croatia is changing rapidly as the coronavirus pandemic rears its ugly head yet again in Croatia following an extremely poorly thought out tennis event in the popular Dalmatian city of Zadar.

From not wanting their citizens to travel freely to Croatia to seeing Austrian citizens replace their traditional favourite of Italy as a tourist destination with Croatia, to the Austrian media now claiming it is "dangerous" to holiday in Croatia - it's difficult to try to follow. Another issue is now the apparent question of the Slovene authorities on the potential closing of the Slovenian-Croatian border.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of June, 2020, under the headline "Croatia - Vacation in Danger - Slovenia Considers Closing Border with Croatia" and subtitled "Rising Coronavirus Infections Concern Government", the Austrian dailies Kleine Zeitung and Kurier, as well as some others, quoted Slovenian Health Minister Tomaz Gantar as saying on Wednesday: "As soon as the number of infections in Slovenia increases and it is determined that they were introduced from Croatia or the daily number of newly infected rises to a higher level, that country will be declared a red zone and quarantine will be introduced for all those coming from Croatia."

They add that the Slovenian minister has made sure to warn his fellow Slovenian citizens who are now travelling to Croatia that it could happen that they have to be quarantined upon their return home to Slovenia: "Given that Croatia is in a dangerous area, that danger is real."

Austrian media have also written that "the dream of a vacation on the Croatian Adriatic could be short-lived", because Slovenia is considering closing its borders to that neighbouring country, after "several imported cases of the new coronavirus infection" appeared in Croatia, reports Vecernji list.

To further point out the seriousness of the coronavirus-induced situation, the Austrian media say that during a bilateral visit by Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg to Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital on Monday, his Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar showed "determination to promptly tighten the border regime if necessary".

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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Croatian Tourism: Austrians Replace Italy as Favourite Destination

From not wanting to open their borders to allow Austrian citizens to go on holiday to Croatia freely amid the coronavirus pandemic to Austrian travellers replacing Italy as their number one holiday destination all in a matter of weeks. Could Croatian tourism be in for a welcome boost?

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes on the 22nd of June, 2020, of the foreign destinations available to go on holiday to during this, entirely disturbed tourist season, Croatia is convincingly number one for Austrian nationals, followed by Italy, which is a traditional favourite of theirs.

This information is according to an analysis undertaken by the Gallup Institute, which was conducted per thousand respondents between June the 10th and June the 15th this year, and published in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung. Admittedly, as many as 60 percent of Austrian citizens plan to stay at home this year and pump some money into their own economy despite the borders of their neighbouring countries having been opened.

Only 28 percent of Austrians want to go abroad, and most of them want to go to the coast and to nearby countries, according to the survey. As many as a third of these passengers, or more specifically 32 percent of them, want to or will travel to Croatia and give the Croatian tourism industry a much needed spring in its step.

Croatia is closely followed by Italy, which comes as no surprise as the Mediterranean country has been the favourite destination of Austrian tourists for many years now, but only 15 percent of Austrian citizens claim that they will travel to Italy, which has otherwise had some devastating results in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, this year.

Eight percent of tourists from Austria say they intend to travel to Greece, and seven percent of them will go to neighbouring countries (Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). The same number of Austrians will go to Germany, Spain and the Canary Islands. The fewest Austrians opted for Turkey - a mere four percent of them, and even fewer will go to to other European countries such as Cyprus, Britain and France.

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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Plenkovic and Kurz Agree on Free Movement Between Croatia and Austria

As tportal writes on the 9th of June, 2020, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has agreed with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that Austria would lift restrictions on free movement between Croatia and Austria.

Although Austrians were the most frequent visitors to Croatia last week after Slovenes, Austria hasn't yet officially approved travel to Croatia, nor has the country lifted restrictions on Croatian citizens crossing the border, as they did with their neighbouring countries with the exception of Italy.

Prime Minister Plenkovic announced that this would change soon.

He announced on his Twitter profile that he had talked with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz about preparations for the next European Council meeting and the situation with the coronavirus epidemic. They agreed that the government in Vienna would make a decision tomorrow on lifting restrictions on the movement of people between Croatia and Austria from mid-June onwards.

''Croatia is open to Austrian tourists, they know it and they're coming,'' Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Friday.

''At the moment, behind the Slovenes, the Austrians are our most frequent visitors. Croatia is open in that sense, the Austrians know that and they're coming,'' said Božinovic after the video conference of the European interior ministers.

"I think that Croatia is so recognised, so attractive and known by our neighbours and EU member states that I don't see what will prevent them from coming to Croatia," Bozinovic said, adding that Zagreb was now engaging in bilateral talks with Vienna.

He reported that a video conference showed that there was political will within the EU at the ministerial level to open internal borders around June the 15th, but that epidemiological situations still had to be monitored because the pandemic isn't at the same stage in all countries.

As for the EU's external borders, the Croatian minister pointed out that a coordinated approach would be applied in this regard 'given that coronavirus infection is very intense in various parts of the world,  but that a certain exception can always be made for those countries which have a favourable epidemiological situation, especially in the closer European neighbourhood.

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