Friday, 7 December 2018

Croatian Market: Plodine Interested in Purchasing Konzum?

Ever since the Agrokor crisis threatened to sink the domestic economy, the Croatian market has been a rocky one, but despite that, Konzum is back on its feet and is even attracting purchasing potential.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of December, 2018, Milo Ćurković, the owner and CEO of the popular shopping chain, Plodine, said that although he doesn't believe we that Plodine are the only interested party, he believes that they would be the most ready to take over Konzum.

In terms of revenue and income, Plodine is by far largest company in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and when it comes to the top-list of retail chains in Croatia, they're in third place, with a share of between 10 and 20 percent, just like both Lidl and Kaufland, while the almighty Konzum is still gripping onto first place, according to a report from Novi list.

"The crisis in Agrokor was dangerous for the entire economy, however, everything was fine in the sense that the taxpayers didn't have to bear the consequences of it, and that's what is most important," said Ćurković for Novi list, revealing that Plodine is very much interested in purchasing Konzum.

''We absolutely are. The question is, of course, what the [Agrokor's] new owners will do. The new owners are bankers, creditors, and my estimate is that for the bank, this isn't their main business, so, as soon as the company is consolidated, they'll sell that part of the business, which we're ready for and want. I think the entire consolidation process will last two to three years, and we'll be further prepared in that period so that we're fully prepared for that potential acquisition at the right time. This will be the most interesting acquisition for all of us in this sector.

We're waiting to see how the situation in Agrokor will turn out. I don't believe that we're the only ones interested [in purchasing Konzum], but I believe that we're the most ready for the takeover of Konzum. This isn't just about finances. You have to be ready for personnel, organisational, logistical matters, and we've fulfilled those conditions,'' said Ćurković, adding that anyone who succeeds in buying Konzum will definitely be the main player on the Croatian retail market and that nobody would be able to do better.

"Our goal is to be the main player on the Croatian market," concluded Ćurković.

Make sure to stay up to date on the Croatian market, doing business in Croatia, and the domestic business and investment climate by following our dedicated business page.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Driving in Croatia: Zagreb Police Announce Another Action

Driving in Croatia is always a pleasure. From the famously smooth roads, even in the most rugged and mountainous areas, to taking in the truly diverse scenery the country has to offer from coast to continent, a road trip through Croatia is undoubtedly a must do when spending any length of time here.

Despite the joy of driving on such perfect roads and enjoying the incredible bio-diversity of the land, winter is well and truly on its way and along with freezing temperatures and snow, it intends to bring some hefty fines and a stronger police presence across the country.

The police have already announced a few new sets of high fines and multiple actions in which the ''hunt'' will be on for those not wearing seat belts or using their phones while driving, and the Zagreb police are upping their game once again as the cold begins to bite in continental Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of December, 2018, in the area governed by the Zagreb police administration, a preventative action is set to take place. The Zagreb police announced that the action will be implemented this weekend.

From the 7th to the 10th of December, Zagreb police officers will carry out a preventive action directed at enhanced vehicle and driver supervision, the general aim of which is to prevent and sanction the most serious violations, known commonly all over the world as the four major killers on the road.

These offenses are alcohol consumption while driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and the improper use of mobile phones and similar devices, as well as an array of other offenses which frequently contribute to the occurrence and the often tragic consequences of most traffic accidents.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news page for more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, make sure to follow Total Zagreb for everything going on in the Croatian capital city.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Ryanair Announces Flights to Split and Dubrovnik, Both Airports Clueless?

As Ryanair announces flights to Split and Dubrovnik, it appears that neither destination airport got the memo.

As we reported recently, the largest European low-cost airline, Ryanair, announced that it will launch flights from Dublin to Split and Dubrovnik as of next summer, but it seems nobody at either Split or Dubrovnik airport knows much about it.

As Josip Bohutinski/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of December, 2018, more strangely still, Ireland's popular Ryanair has already begun selling tickets for these flights which will commence on June the 1st, and be in operation until the 25th and 26th of October, 2019, starting at just 9.99 euros.

"Ryanair is pleased to announce the introduction of its new route from Dublin to Dubrovnik and Split, which will operate twice a week from June," Robin Kiely of Ryanair said.

Vincent Harrison, the director of Dublin Airport, said that he was glad to hear that Ryanair was expanding its route network by adding Dubrovnik and Split. Depite this, the director of Split Airport, Lukša Novak, says he cannot confirm that these flights will be realised at all.

Josip Paljetak from Dubrovnik Airport has said that they have had no official information from Ryanair at all. He pointed out that the company hasn't even contacted the airport this year.

"We were very surprised to see that they'd announced flights from Dublin, and it's very strange that they've started selling tickets for flights which they never agreed upon with the airport. We don't even know if we can accept their planes for when they say they want the flights,'' Paljetak said.

In Croatia, Ryanair already flies to Zadar, Rijeka, and Pula.

Ryanair offered no response when requested to explain the announcement of their 2019 summer flights to Split and Dubrovnik.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news and travel pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Josip Bohutinski/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 3 December 2018

Shopping in Croatia: New Retail Chain Looks for Workers

A new retail chain is coming to from Italy and offering a wealth of new possibilities for shopping in Croatia. Eurospin is a discount store with enviable revenue and income, and it is bringing job openings with it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of December, 2018, not so long ago, Germany's Hofer attempted to take to the Croatian market, announcing its opening in the western part of Zagreb and its surroundings, even going as far as to recruit workers, and then, without explanation, it withdrew.

With regard to ads on social networks in both Zagreb and Rijeka seeking workers, construction land, commercial property with parking in cities with more than 10,000 people living there, the question is when will the Croatian market become richer for another major international trade chain - Eurospin.

As Vecernji list writes, Eurospin is a classic Italian discount store with more than 1,000 stores across Italy and 80 in neighbouring Slovenia, boasting about 7,000 workers, record revenues of 4.7 billion euro and an income of 184 million euro in 2017.

While this is far from the leading ten players in Europe, among which the Schwarz group is the frontrunner with both Lidl and Kaufland in the same portfolio, when it comes to the Croatian market, in which the top ten of the total 38.7 percent of total retail revenues continues to hold more than 80 percent of the market share, the Eurospin concept such as PennyMarket, Aldi, or Hofer is certainly significant when it comes to shopping in Croatia.

Specialising in the discounted sale of food products and daily shopping, Eurospin differs from other competitors in Europe by selling its brands exclusively. There are no classic brands found in other chains in these stores, only those that this retail chain's team plotted through its very own network of carefully selected partners.

The company has adjusted the format of its products in accordance with the taste and traditions of the individual markets, as Lidl is doing today, and this formula proved to be a winning one, first in Italy, and then in neighbouring Slovenia.

Back in 2000, they were the first in Italy in this segment by the number of sales points, turnover, and number of customers, they now want to become the most significant in Europe.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for information on doing business, retail, and shopping in Croatia and much more.

Friday, 30 November 2018

New Croatian Ferry Line from Baška to Lopar to Operate All Year

New ferry lines are always needed, and it's one of the top complaints of Croatia's permanent island inhabitants, as the availability of their connection to the mainland is often governed too much by the tourist season. Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has decided to introduce a new Croatian ferry line which will connect the Municipality of Lopar and Baška, located on the nearby island of Krk.

As Morski writes on the 30th of November, 2018, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has launched a welcome new ferry connection between Baska and Lopar, and the move was announced Primorje-Gorski Kotar County's deputy prefect, Marina Medarić.

Novi List reported that she spoke to the press on the matter and stated that the proposal for confirming the establishment of a year-round ferry connection which will cover the line of Baška-Lopar-Baška, will be one of the points of the County Assembly session this week.

The initiative was initiated by the Krk Harbour County Administration, and so far, the plans are for the connection to run once weekly during the more sparse winter months, twice weekly during the pre-season, and in the very height of the summer season, as many as four times per week.

If the County Assembly approves the proposal, the procedure of a public tender will be launched, where all interested shipping companies who desire to carry out the activity of this line will be able to make their interests known and submit their bids.

Make sure to keep up with our travel and news pages for more information on any other new Croatian ferry line, as well as for all the goings on from up and down the country, from continent to coast.

 

Click here for the original article by Tihana Tomicic for Novi List

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Digital Croatia: Open A Company In One Click In 2019?

Doing business in Croatia is always tricky, it's a long road often filled with an insane amount of paperwork and this bizarre requirement for you to physically go to multiple locations in order to get things done. Let's not forget the dreaded and archaic stamps, and the typical utter lack of desire on the faces of those apparently employed to help you. Is all that about to change with the country's gradual formation into a digital Croatia?

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 29th of November, 2018, as of April the 1st next year, all those who want to start their own business in Croatia would be able to complete the process for registration and start doing business within just 48 hours. No, it isn't just an April Fools' trick.

A new business start-up system called Start will enable those who want to start their own businesses in the country to do just that, in a move which has been a deeply desired pipe dream up until now. With digital Croatia now finally on the horizon, getting your business off the ground is about to get a lot easier.

The service, which has been prepared by the Finance Agency (FINA), was finally given the green light following a government decision since last week. By the end of March next year, this system will be available to all those operating from within Croatia who own companies, including d.o.o and j.d.o.o's, while those abroad will see the service enabled for them by the end of 2019.

While start is an incredibly welcome news, it isn't the only player on the field, since 2005, Hitro.hr has been active, and is also a service from Fina. However, the Ministry of Economy, which is overseeing this project, clarified that there are some big differences between Hitro.hr and Start.

"Hitro.hr allows only the establishment of an Association or a company (obrt), or entry into the court or company register, while Start also enables the start-up of a business, which includes registration with the court and the company register, as well as entry into the register of business entities at the Central Bureau of Statistics, the filing of the beginning of the business and the beginning of the insurance with the Croatian Health Insurance Institute and the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute,the  registration of the taxpayers' register with the Tax Administration, registration in the VAT system, the opening of a bank account, and the electronic payment of any fees incurred during the process of all this,'' they explained from the Ministry of the Economy.

The beginnings of a digital Croatia will see that in the future, company owners will not physically have to go to all of the mentioned institutions as they currently need to, and all of the applications involved in this paperwork ridden and tiresome process will be able to be exported in one place by filling out a single digital form.

The establishment of this system amounts to 5 million kuna, as foreseen in the Ministry of Economy's budget, and in a year's time, it intends to back the project up with yet another half a million kuna.

Start requires automated communication and the exchange of data and documents between the ministries of economy, justice, finance, the tax administration, DZS, HZMO, HZZO, and credit institutions. Hitro.hr will not be harmed or otherwise threatened by the more than welcome launch of the Start system, as was confirmed by the Ministry of Economy, this service fulfills the objectives for which it was founded - better informing future entrepreneurs and providing better communication between people and the state administration, as well as offering far more ease and saving precious time when establishing a company.

"Hitro.hr will continue to provide services to users who need that kind of help - information ''at the counter'' and help with name reservations, or just the mere establishment of a company," the Ministry pointed out.

Fina added that if a user wants to start a business from their own home, they will beed to use Start, and if they want to start a business by going to the Hitro.hr counter and taking all the other steps individually, they will still have that option as well. Therefore, for those who prefer the "classic" Croatian way of starting a business, characterised by their physical arrival at the dreaded counter, Fina intends to keep the Hitro.hr offices open.

However, due to the ever-increasing trend in the digitisation of public services and the inclusion of newer generations in their use, Fina has also estimated that the percentage of those who prefer to use Start will grow year-by-year. Since the establishment of Hitro.hr, a large number of entrepreneurs have used it during the first step, especially when establishing a j.d.o.o., where every other such form of company since the service's introduction back in 2012, was established through Hitro.hr.

Altogether, Hitro has helped to create more than 57,000 new companies, of which some 32,000 are d.o.o.'s and 25,000 are j.d.o.o.'s. Obrt owners, however, have rarely used this registration service, since their start-up process is different, and since 2015, e-Obrt services have been introduced, which has completely taken over the registration processes of such companies.

The introduction of the Start system will not automatically open new jobs according to Fina's information. Currently, the offices of Hitro.hr are located in 61 Fina offices throughout Croatia, and information and support services are provided to them by Fina's existing employees, while as far as Start is concerned, as an online service, part of Hitro.hr staff will be engaged in staffing it via Fina.

Among the recommendations the World Bank gave to Croatia, the pressing need to create a more digital Croatia in order to improve the entrepreneurial climate was among the most outstanding, and it is precisely the creation of a unique online procedure, as opposed to the archaic dragging of one feet to numerous different offices in which processes are slow, confusing and often delayed, that will help paint a better picture of doing business in Croatia the most.

Interesting data from the analysis of Doing Business shows that starting up a business in Croatia is the easiest in Split, and there in the popular Dalmatian city are the largest number of Hitro.hr users. Out of five large Croatian cities, the worst results have rather surprisingly been recorded in Zagreb. According to Doing Business's analysis, more than half of Split's newly established companies use Hitro.hr, and for starting a business there, it is necessary to complete six individual procedures and the process typically lasts six days on average.

In Zagreb things appear bizarrely different, in the capital, a would-be entrepreneur has to complete eight different procedures and it takes a ridiculous average of three weeks for all the paperwork to be dealt with.

The welcome electronic changes that April the 1st, 2019, is set to bring owing to Start will require these procedures to be reduced in all cities across Croatia to just one step, and thanks to digital Croatia's roots finally being planted, the duration of this previously insanely time consuming process will go on for an absolute maximum of two days.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for more information on digital Croatia and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Marija Brnic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Croatian Police to Fine Those Driving Without Removing Snow from Car

The Croatian police have been upping their game recently when it comes to fining drivers, from offenses like using your phone while driving to not having your seatbelt buckled, we've now entered the colder months and drivers having left snow on their car roofs and car bonnets (hoods), are next in line for a hefty fine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of November, 2018, drivers who haven't cleaned bothered to clean the snow from their vehicle's roof or engine cover pose not only a major danger to themselves on the roads, as well as to others.

Avoiding the unwanted task of having to clean snow off your car in the morning can however be avoided entirely with the use of a simple piece of cardboard and two socks, according to 24sata.

If you put the piece of cardboard on the windshield in the morning, it won't freeze over, and a sock on each windscreen wiper blade will prevent them from freezing and sticking themselves to the glass. If you haven't or don't intend to do this, make sure to take other proper measures or be prepared to wake up that bit earlier as properly removing snow and ice is, as you'll likely be aware of, quite time consuming.

The Croatian police have warned that hefty fines will be given to those who drive their cars without having removed the snow and ice from the vehicle beforehand. Snow that flies off your car when in motion can cause a danger to other drivers, and you may be completely blinded when braking, which is one of many reasons why uncleaned snow and ice can easily cause an otherwise completely avoidable traffic accident.

If the Croatian police stop you on the road with snow and ice left on your car, you will receive a 1,000 kuna penalty.

Make sure to follow our news page for more info on the Croatian police and driving in Croatia.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Zagreb Earthquake: Second Rumble in Few Days Felt in Capital

Just a few days ago, a small earthquake could be felt in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, and now just a few days later, the city has been given another small but noticeable shake. The most recent Zagreb earthquake struck this morning, and was felt in the eastern part of the city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of November, 2018, as has been stated from the Seismological Service, there should be no damage from an earthquake of this magnitude. 

Although the earthquake wasn't strong in itself or in its effects, it was enough to unnerve some of Zagreb's citizens who say they heard and felt the unexpected rumble. The epicenter of this earthquake, the magnitude of which was measured at 2.5 degrees, was somewhere between Sesvete and Kašina.

It was felt by citizens in the eastern part of Zagreb.

"This one didn't last for very long either, but it seems to me that it was longer than the one from the other day was," one reader of Poslovni Dnevnik wrote.

To briefly recall, a slightly bigger earthquake, of a 2.7 magnitude,shook the area of Velika Gorica just two days ago, and the unwelcome effects of that, however small, could be felt by Zagreb's residents as well.

No damage, physical or otherwise, has been reported as a consequence of either of these earthquakes.

Are you currently in the city, and did you feel this most recent Zagreb earthquake? 

Make sure to keep up to date with news from up and down the country by following our dedicated news page. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, keep up with everything going on in Croatia's capital by following Total Zagreb.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Port of Ploče: Complete Reconstruction of Damaged Area Planned

Ploče port suffered an unexpected blow (quite literally) thanks to a large tanker this past summer, and now a full reconstruction is due to take place.

As Morski writes on the 25th of November, 2018, over the coming few days, the second phase of the reconstruction of the tanker connection should begin after the damage that took place back in August this year, following the incident in which the "STI POPLAR" tanker accidentally struck the concrete, which resulted in the complete discontinuance of oil derivatives and other products via the otherwise significant port of Ploče.

Following some temporary repairs, the first tanker, named "SEPEN" carrying 3,500 m3 of oil derivates sailed into the port of Ploče three weeks ago.

The Ploče Port Authority, which deals with and takes care of the port's infrastructure as a whole, immediately took all of the many necessary steps to repair the damage as soon as possible and re-establish the traffic of the current cargo load through the Port of Ploče following the unwelcome incident.

In regard to the required works, the Port Authority, along with the "POMGRAD INŽENJERING" d.o.o. construction company from Split, the total reconstruction of the platform, as well as the removal of the collapsed concrete has now been agreed, in a move which encompasses the first phase of reconstruction of the damaged areas. The first phase has been successfully completed within the desired deadline, and the value of the completed works stands at about 4.6 million kuna, according to a statement on the matter from the Ploče Port Authority.

 

After the public procurement procedure is signed and the construction contract is signed, the Ploče Port Authority should begin with yet another phase of reconstruction of the damaged tanker connection, which implies the construction of completely new mooring area.

Estimates suggest that the works on the construction of the new area will last approximately 100 days and the value of the works will be estimated at approximately six million kuna.

For the period lasting until the complete reconstruction of the tanker connection, a temporary regime of sailing with the "Vlaška" channel was established, which implied certain unwanted limitations in terms of vessel size, as well as additional safety measures.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news page for more information on the latest important construction projects in Croatia.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

New Croatian Central Consumer Portal, When Will It Be Ready?

According to Ipsos research, at least one negative shopping experience was reported by 29 percent of the respondents so far. In line with EU rules, a new Croatian Central Consumer Portal may provide the answer for consumers to be able to access everything they need to know about their rights.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of November, 2018, a new set of European Union rules will soon be incorporated into domestic consumer protection legislation with the adoption of proposals sent to the Croatian Parliament.

Despite the generally welcome move, practice hasn't reflected theory so far, and information has shown that consumers tend to find it very hard to deal with the proverbial "forest" of regulations that exist when it comes to consumer rights and protection, and want easier access to information about their rights, as well as clear instructions to find out exactly who to contact when they feel that their rights have been denied, violated, or otherwise infringed upon.

The Ministry of Economy is therefore preparing a unique, Croatian central consumer portal entitled "Everything for Consumers" (Sve za potrošače) which should kick off with work by the end of this year, or just a little later at the very beginning of 2019.

"Our goal is that consumers no longer have to waste their time to first get the information [they need] about which competent body they require, then [spending more time] on just how to get to the [required] information from that body, but instead to have everything they need to know at their disposal - from how the product needs to be labelled in order for them to get all the information they need, and how it's necessary to point out the retail price to the possibility of the termination of the contract and the return of the goods, to what to pay attention to before they make purchases online,'' they state from the Ministry of Economy.

For the launch of the Croatian central consumer portal, inspiration drawn directly from field experience was used, and this year, campaigns across the country were organised, in March, September, and even on this coming Saturday another one will held at Zagreb's Zrinjevac.

The research conducted into this by the Ipsos agency back in September for the aforementioned Ministry shows how just a very small number of those over the age of 16, a mere 16.7 percent, believe they are somewhat or completely acquainted with their consumer rights. As many of 33.5 percent of consumers are totally unaware of what their rights as consumers are, and at least one negative customer experience was experienced by as many as 29 percent of the respondents, and most of them, as much as 71 percent, had a problem with a purchased product, followed then by public service irregularities (20 percent).

The move on creating the Croatian central consumer portal, and generally on placing greater emphasis and concern on consumer rights has been welcomed by Croatia because it ensures the continued proper functioning of the market, and the customer's satisfaction is very much in the interest of business people working in this field because transparency and fair rules often work as a trustworthy condition for returns, with re-purchases often then being made.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and politics pages for more information like this.

 

Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

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