Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Average Pay for May Down 2.3% in Real Terms

ZAGREB, 20 July 2022 - For May 2022, the average monthly net earnings per person in paid employment amounted to HRK 7,690 kuna, nominally 8.2% higher and really 2.3% lower as compared to the same month last year, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

Month on month, this was a nominal increase of 1.9% and a real one of 0.5%.

The real decline year on year is due to the high inflation, which has exceeded10% in recent months.

Median net earnings for May 2022 amounted to HRK 6,490.

The highest average net monthly earnings for May 2022 were paid in air transport (HRK 12,202) and the lowest in security and investigation (HRK 4,905).

The average monthly gross earnings per person in paid employment for May 2022 (HRK 10,440) were nominally 9.3% higher and really 1.4% lower as compared to the same month last year. Month on month, this was a nominal increase of 1.9% and a real one of 0.5%.

The highest average monthly gross earnings per person in paid employment for May 2022 were in extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas activities, amounting to HRK 17,889, while the lowest earnings were paid in manufacture of wearing apparel activities and amounted to HRK 6,309.

For the period from January to May 2022, the average monthly net earnings per person in paid employment amounted to HRK 7,538, which represented a nominal increase of 6.6%, but a real decrease of 1.2% as compared to the same period of 2021.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Dalmatian Dog: Croatian National Bank Issues Special Motif Kuna Coins

February the 22nd, 2022 - As Croatia's accession to the Eurozone approaches, special motif kuna in gold and silver will be issued by the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB) showcasing the Dalmatian, a much loved dog breed which originates from Croatia's gorgeous Dalmatian coast.

It won't be long before the Croatian national currency, the kuna, is rendered invalid and sent to the history books as the country enters the Eurozone, a move it had to promise to make in order to gain EU accession. The only countries which didn't have the make that promise and enjoyed opt-outs were Denmark and the United Kingdom. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the author of the conceptual and artistic design of these special motif kuna gold and silver coins is Nikola Vudrag, and the coin which celebrates the clownish and much loved Dalmatian dog breed was made in the Croatian Mint.

The Croatian National Bank will issue a gold special motif 1000 kuna coin in a quantity of not more than 101 pieces, another gold special motif 250 kuna coin in a quantity of not more than 2,000 pieces and a silver 20 kuna coin in a quantity of not more than 500 pieces. Back in November 2021, the CNB issued two gold coins and a silver coin with the same special motif.

The sale of these gold and silver coins will be performed by the Croatian Mint, and the initial selling price is expected to be around 16,000.00 kuna without VAT for the first 1000 kuna coin, and about 3,800.00 kuna without VAT for a gold 250 kuna coin.

The initial selling price for the silver 20 kuna coin will be around 1,592.00 kuna without VAT. The final selling price of gold and silver special motif kuna coins will depend on the movement of gold and silver prices on the open market as time goes on.

Those interested can purchase these commemorative coins as of now, and more about ordering and purchasing them can be found on this website.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Croatian National Bank Investigating Stolen Croatian Euro Coin Kuna Design

February 6, 2022 - The Croatian National Bank is consulting with legal experts about the potentially stolen Croatian euro coin kuna design by Stjepan Pranjković, which is oddly similar to a photograph of a kuna animal found on the Internet by British photographer Iain H Leach.

The CNB will publish its comment on Monday, writes Večernji List.

The author of the photograph, Iain H. Leach, was not asked for permission to use his photograph.

"Yes, it looks like someone took my photo without my permission and used it to design a new Croatian coin. They told me it was a competition and that design won. I also heard that the winner received a cash prize. I didn't get anything. He's a thief. He took my photo and picked up the prize. I think that those who organized it should withdraw the cash prize and name the real author of the photo on which the Croatian coin was made," Leach told 24 Sata.

"I am amazed at the interest from Croatia. A lot of good people from Croatia contacted me about this, and I didn't hear anything about it until two days ago," stated Leach for N1

“I don’t mind the photo being used as a motif for the coin and I would be glad to see it there. However, I would like to be officially recognized as a photographer and receive a usage fee. Also, I don't think that the person who stole my photo should be rewarded with almost 10,000 euros for something that was copied," concluded the photographer for N1. 

The Government told N1 that the competition to select the winning designs was led by the CNB from the beginning to the end.

"The competition for selecting the design was led from the beginning to the end by the CNB, through the Selection Committee (with external members) and the CNB's Permanent Money Commission, which otherwise decides on the design of commemorative coins. All contestants had to submit a statement guaranteeing that they are the owners of the copyright of the artistic solution that they applied for," the Government said for N1.

Recall, earlier this week, the Croatian Government presented the winning designs for the new Croatian euro coins. Various motifs were chosen - the coat of arms (šahovnica), a map of Croatia, a kuna (marten), Nikola Tesla, and the Glagolitic alphabet.

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.17.png

The kuna design, however, is familiar to a photograph of a kuna by a British photographer Iain H Leach. Many comments on social media pointed out the similarities between the kuna on the coin and the outline of the kuna in the photograph, primarily noticing the similar pose, the branch, but also smaller details, such as the position of the tail or the white color found on the animal's neck.

 

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.06.png

Leach also joined the discussion on Twitter.

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.52.png

"I hope the author of the Croatian euro coin design contacted you and paid you for the rights to the photo because the coin looks the same as your photo," one person wrote on Twitter, and he responded quickly. "Thanks for letting me know. Not sure what I can do, maybe they'll send me a free coin," Leach said. Twitter users soon began advising him to file a lawsuit.

This photo can be found in the photographer's kuna gallery on his website and around the Internet. This photograph is also provided by Google if "pine marten side view" is entered in the search engine. Pine marten is the English name for the kuna. 

The author of the Croatian euro coin design received HRK 70,000

The kuna motif will be on the 1 euro coin, and next to it will be the word "Croatia," and the year they introduced the euro - 2023. The author of the best design for this coin is Stjepan Pranjković, Master of Applied Arts.

Pranjković received HRK 70,000 for his winning design. His other two solutions won second place, receiving HRK 35,000. In total, he received HRK 140,000.

There are also posts on the Internet in which Pranjković asked for help in a group on Facebook on how to process a photo for a coin.


Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.15.30.png

By the way, 295 design proposals were accepted for the kuna coin. The Croatian Commission for the Selection of Artistic Design Proposals selected the nine most successful proposals and submitted them to the CNB. Finally, in the second round of the tender, the CNB's Money Commission selected the three most successful design proposals.

The CNB published a document in which they explained the awarded works. Among them, they explained the motif of the kuna that will adorn the 1 euro coin, which is identical to the British photographer's image.

"The author of the award-winning work decided on a realistic depiction of the kuna animal. He very successfully graphically highlighted the figure of the kuna using a different surface texture, which contributed to the realistic depiction.

The author skillfully used the relationship between the given elements, so he uses straight and sharp chessboard lines as a frame of motifs and contrasts them with wavy lines in depicting the marten animal and the branch on which it stands. The position of the obligatory elements, which are placed along the edge of the inner part of the coin, additionally frames the motif and emphasizes its position," explains the CNB.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Stolen Croatian Euro Coin Design? Kuna Image Copies British Photographer

February 6, 2022 - Is the kuna image on the new Croatian euro coin design stolen from a British photographer? A closer look. 

Earlier this week, the Croatian Government presented the winning designs for the new Croatian euro coins. Various motifs were chosen - the coat of arms (šahovnica), a map of Croatia, a kuna (marten), Nikola Tesla, and the Glagolitic alphabet.

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.17.png

The kuna design, however, has caused a bit of controversy. Namely, the kuna on the euro coin looks oddly familiar to a photograph of a kuna published on the Internet. It didn't take long to cause a social media storm, reports Index.hr.

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.06.png

Many comments mostly point out the similarities between the kuna on the coin and the outline of the kuna in the photograph, primarily noticing the similar pose, the branch, but also smaller details, such as the position of the tail or the white color found on the animal's neck.

"Are you contacting me about stealing my photo?"

Index.hr contacted the author of the photograph, Iain H Leach, who has only briefly answered with a counter-question.

"Are you contacting me about the new coin stealing my photo?" said Leach. Judging by his statement, he did not seem to be aware that anyone was using his photograph for these purposes, and no one asked him for permission.

Leach also joined the discussion on Twitter.

Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.11.52.png

"I hope the author of the Croatian euro coin design contacted you and paid you for the rights to the photo because the coin looks the same as your photo," one person wrote on Twitter, and he responded quickly. "Thanks for letting me know. Not sure what I can do, maybe they'll send me a free coin," Leach said. Twitter users soon began advising him to file a lawsuit.

This photo can be found in the photographer's kuna gallery on his website and around the Internet. This photograph is also provided by Google if "pine marten side view" is entered in the search engine. Pine marten is the English name for the kuna. 

The author of the design received HRK 70,000

Recall, the motif of the kuna will be on the 1 euro coin, and next to it will be the word "Croatia," and the year they introduced the euro - 2023. The author of the best design for this coin is Stjepan Pranjković, Master of Applied Arts.

Pranjković received HRK 70,000 for his winning design. His other two solutions won second place, receiving HRK 35,000. In total, he received HRK 140,000. Index.hr has sent a message to Pranjković through social media, but he has yet to answer. Should he reply, Index will publish the response. 

There are also posts on the Internet in which Pranjković asked for help in a group on Facebook on how to process a photo for a coin.


Screenshot_2022-02-06_at_09.15.30.png

Index.hr also contacted the Government to comment on this potentially embarrassing situation, but they have not yet responded.

By the way, 295 design proposals were accepted for the kuna coin. The Croatian Commission for the Selection of Artistic Design Proposals selected the nine most successful proposals and submitted them to the CNB. Finally, in the second round of the tender, the CNB's Money Commission selected the three most successful design proposals.

How the design is explained on the CNB's website

The CNB published a document in which they explained the awarded works. Among them, they explained the motif of the kuna that will adorn the 1 euro coin, which is identical to the British photographer's image.

"The author of the award-winning work decided on a realistic depiction of the kuna animal. He very successfully graphically highlighted the figure of the kuna using a different surface texture, which contributed to the realistic depiction.

The author skillfully used the relationship between the given elements, so he uses straight and sharp chessboard lines as a frame of motifs and contrasts them with wavy lines in depicting the marten animal and the branch on which it stands. The position of the obligatory elements, which are placed along the edge of the inner part of the coin, additionally frames the motif and emphasizes its position," explains the CNB.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Campaigners Have to Collect 368,867 Signatures for Euro Referendum Petition

ZAGREB, 24 Oct, 2021 - The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration sated on Sunday that the campaigners who are against Croatia's plan to switch to the euro have to collect at least 368,867 valid signatures for their petition for the referendum initiative "Let's Preserve the Kuna".

One of the conditions for calling a referendum is that at least 10% of eligible voters sign the referendum petition, and on 24 October, the ministry established that there were 3,688,671 eligible voters in the country's electoral rolls, which means that the 10% quota is 368,867.

The organising committee for the referendum initiative on the preservation of the kuna as the sole legal tender has already announced the start of its campaign to collect signatures for the referendum petition. 

Currently, the euro (€) is the official currency of 19 out of 27 EU member countries which together constitute the Eurozone, officially called the euro area.

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Sunday, 21 March 2021

Over 233,000 Consumers Owing HRK 16.9 Bn Subjected to Debt Enforcement in February

ZAGREB, 21 March 2021 - At the end of February this year, 233,736 consumers in Croatia were subjected to debt enforcement proceedings for HRK 16.9 billion owed, as were 15,504 business operators owing HRK 15 billion, according to the data from the Financial Agency (FINA).

The number of consumers in debt fell by 6,151 or 2.6% compared with February 2020, while their debt principal increased by HRK 100 million or 0.9% to HRK 16.9 billion.

The majority of consumers, or 103,050, owed less than HRK 10,000, while 100,904 consumers owed amounts ranging between HRK 10,000 and 100,000. On the other hand, the smallest number of consumers, i.e. 1,537, owed more than HRK 1 million, and their share in the total debt was 38.48%.

The bulk of consumers' debt, HRK 5.1 billion without interest, accounted for debt to banks as creditors, while debt to all financial institutions totalled HRK 5.9 billion.

The number of business operators in debt declined by 2,619 or 14.5% compared with February 2020. Their debt principal amounted to HRK 5 billion, down by HRK 730.9 million or 12.7%.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Should Croatia Introduce a Digital Kuna? A Look at the Advantages...

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of February, 2020, the Chinese are already testing out the digital yuan and are closest to launching their own national digital currency, the European Central Bank has therefore stepped up preparations for the digital euro, and the Fed has asked the US Congress to move in the same direction. Would the introduction of the digital kuna be worthwhile?

Although the Croatian Government is preparing to join the Eurozone and with that replace the kuna with the euro, it is a pity that the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB), Hanfa and the Ministry of Finance aren't currently using the heated debate on central bank digital currencies (CBDC) to open up more new business opportunities in Croatia.

According to the current view of the CBDC, the digital kuna should be the same as the normal kuna as we know and love it, only in digital form. Therefore, the CNB would play the same role in its creation as it does with regular coins and notes and ensure its stability. The digital kuna would also be issued in parallel with paper money. Digital kuna, on the other hand, would be easier to use, much like virtual cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

However, the main advantage of the digital kuna would be that transactions with it would be cheaper than they are with cash, so, for example, in tourism, Croatia's major cash-dependent industry, as well as in trade, the CNB and the Ministry of Finance would give entrepreneurs the opportunity to make significant savings because of the high cost of manipulating cash.

European fintechs have already shown that the Croatian market is one of the most desirable in all of Europe when it comes to testing financial innovation. The country receives a significant number of tourists, thus generating an interesting volume, but what helps it is that it is not large in terms of population, so every market experiment here is fairly easy to get under control.

It is important to understand that the digital kuna, euro or dollar would not be the same as Bitcoin, as they would still be entirely managed by central banks, not solely by the law of supply and demand as in the case of cryptocurrencies. Back in January last year, the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) published a report: "Proceeding with caution - a survey on central bank digital currency", stating that more than seventy percent of the world's central banks operate on their own digital currency (CBDC).

Despite the proud title of the report, all central banks have indicated that they're working on the study of digital currencies. Half of them have entered the prototyping phase, with one in ten already spinning some sort of pilot. Mostly, this isn't done in public. Central banks, moreover, are increasingly cooperating on such projects.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are working together on the Stella project, and the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of England also have a joint project. The overwhelming interest in digital versions of national currencies has not recently intensified without good reason. Central banks are in awe of Facebook's Libra, which, after losing support from a number of big financial players, is still carrying on strongly. Even Google is worried about it, so it is launching a new chat app, although all of its previous ones disappeared without much notice.

In addition, despite problems with coronavirus over recent weeks, the People's Bank of China has applied for as many as 84 patents for its own CBDC concept. According to financial circles, China is the closest to launching its own national digital currency - the digital yuan. Concerns are growing in the US and in the EU as well, and central banks are now seeking quick answers. In January, the European Central Bank agreed with the central banks of Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom to launch a special task force for the CBDC.

It will outline steps towards the introduction of national digital currencies in Washington in April. The initiative was launched after the European Central Bank introduced EuroChain, a prototype of the digital euro. This week, the Fed has asked the US Congress for support to move in this direction, citing the dangers of Libra and the digital yuan. What is left unsaid is that the US does not want the digital euro to appear before the digital dollar.

The leaders of the central banks of France and Germany are divided over the subject of the creation of a digital euro. In Germany, there is a belief that banks should be pressured to improve their payment services in order to cope with the development of crypto services, the emergence of currencies created by social networks, and think that there should be no fear of China. However, the central bank in Germany supports blockchain and is already testing out this technology to offer such services to commercial banks, but not to citizens.

In France, however, they believe that the emphasis should be placed on a national initiative, that is, to start testing the digital euro or, as they call it, the e-euro. They want to enter the first pilot phase by April. The question, then, is why Croatia should not scramble and become an incubator for the future digital euro. If not instead of France, then with France. The digital kuna project could thus become a template for the digital euro.

It would certainly work as a great template for all non Eurozone EU member states, as the digital kuna would at some point be replaced by the future digital euro. It would also become a template for other countries around the world that want their own national digital currencies. There is no lack of IT knowledge for the digital kuna project.

That knowledge, which would thus accumulate in the financial and IT sectors in Croatia, could later become an important export product, further motivating the employees of the Ministry of Finance, the CNB and Hanfa. It would also give perspective to the strong IT operations of banks in Croatia, such as Erste Bank and PBZ, which develop products that are later transferred to other countries within their groupings here.

The benefits of such a project for the future development of the fintech industry in Croatia and job creation in the financial sector, followed by a wave of layoffs in banks due to digital transformation, go without saying.

These are all the reasons why a digital kuna would be worth investigating, and why it would be good for the Ministry of Finance, CNB and Hanfa to find ways to launch this project. Especially now, when Croatia presides over the European Union and when it itself emphasises that it wants to contribute to the Eurozone.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Have Any of These Croatian Banknotes? You Can't Pay With Them Anymore

Don't worry, the Croatian kuna isn't being phased out in time for the euro's introduction just yet, but there are several old Croatian banknotes, some (but not all) of which might look no different to the usual ones you spend, that are actually no longer legal tender in Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of June, 2019, the Croatian banknotes you need to be checking your wallets, jacket pockets and the crevices of your sofa are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 kuna notes which bear the date of issue as October the 31st, 1993 and January the 15th, 1995, according to vijesti.hr.

While these dates are now a long time ago and you might think that plain old paper banknotes might not have survived for that length of time, it has been reported that as many as nine million and 600,000 kuna worth of kuna banknotes are still in circulation within the country, and as Vecernji list states, it's possible that you have them in your wallet, or under your bed as the case may be.

If you happen to have any of the banknotes mentioned above, you can freely exchange it at the Croatian National Bank (HNB/CNB). In just one year, from the 31st of May, 2018 to the 31st of May this year, the bank received as many as 38,500 of these various now illegal banknotes from people in various denominations.

The 10 kuna bills bearing the issue date on October the 31st, 1993 ceased to be a legal instrument of payment on April the 1st, 2001. Yet according to the data of the Croatian National Bank, as of May the 31st, 2019, as many as 699,153 of these old notes are still in circulation. Of those with the date of issue being January the 15th, 1995, there are stil 2,353,407 out there somewhere.

The 20 kuna banknotes bearing the issue date of October the 31st, 1993 ceased to be legal tender on April the 1st, 2007. There are still 1,735,062 of these banknotes in circulation, even though they haven't been legal tender for a very long time now.

The situation with the other banknotes mentioned above is similar, so if you see that you have any with the date of issue being October the 31st, 1993, make sure to take them to a bank and exchange them for legal notes free of charge.

Invalid banknotes can be delivered by post to the following address: The Croatian National Bank, Treasury Department, Trg hrvatskih velikana 3, 10002, Zagreb, or, they can be taken in person to the Croatian National Bank at Franjo Rački 5, Zagreb, Croatia.

Follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Živi Zid Fighting for “Monetary Sovereignty”

ZAGREB, May 30, 2018 – Živi Zid leader Ivan Vilibor Sinčić said on Wednesday that his party had sent to parliament for consideration amendments to the Contractual Relations Act and the Foreign Exchange Act to abolish the foreign currency clause in Croatia by December 1.

Friday, 1 December 2017

How Dirty is the Croatian Kuna? Cleaner Than Other Currencies!

Banknotes and coins from kiosks, banks and shops were tested for various bacteria.

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