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

Friday, 23 November 2018

Istria: Employees in Buzet Town Institutions, Firefighters Consider Strike?

While the strike that took place owing to Uljanik's failings towards its employees might have taken up a large part of media coverage, strikes in other parts of the country are also occurring, or at the very least being considered by numerous dissatisfied members of staff. Namely, in a certain picturesque town in Istria, the decision to initiate a strike procedure has not been issued officially for now, but the consideration of such a move is continuing.

It's not new information to state that a great number of employees, particularly those working in various positions in public institutions and city administrations up and down the country find themselves increasingly dissatisfied with the way things are being done. Often with very little real room to maneuver, and with complaints usually going either unheard or simply being swept under the rug and brushed off, many find themselves with little choice other than to either go on strike, or at the very least to threaten it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of November, 2018, members of the Union of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, as well as other employees in institutions of which the founder is the Town of Buzet; includng the Grdelin kindergarten, the home for the elderly and the public firefighters unit, came to the decision to initiate a strike procedure. As previously stated, in Buzet's city administration itself, the decision to initiate a strike procedure has not officially been issued for the time being, but the consideration of such a move remains at the forefront of the minds of those involved, with the potential of a strike occurring as soon as next month.

''During the upcoming week, conciliation will be the most likely outcome, followed by a public protest to give warning that a strike might really occur in early December,'' stated the head of the trade union office, Darko Vidmar.

Make sure to follow our news page for more information from across the country.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Ivica Todorić's Lawyer Speaks Out: "He'll Decide What He Does Next"

Ivica Todorić's attorney, Jadranka Sloković, clarified a few things for N1 on the 21st of November, 2018, with regard to what can be expected next in Ivica Todorić's case, as well as on his planned political engagement, which he himself recently announced, much to the surprise of most.

Ivica Todorić is on parole, who can carry out precautionary measures?

"He'll carry them out himself, because he has to obey them - he has to be at his place of residence, in Zagreb.''

Todorić apparently has the right to free movement in Zagreb, but he mustn't leave the city without the explicit permission of the judge, and he's also had to hand over his passport.

''They will check all of that. He's too much of a well-known person to be able to just go anywhere," explained Sloković.

How is the investigation going, when can we expect the indictment?

"So far, between 60 and 70 witnesses have been questioned," stated the lawyer, which means that there are ''more witnesses than were initially scheduled for the investigation." Witness examination is, therefore, at an end. Problems could arise however, due to the situation being to do with a foreign company.

"We really think that this will be a problem, from knowledge of the language to knowledge of the regulations, which must be applied to certain situations,'' explained Sloković. She added that the result of the assessment is not expected to be arrived to particularly quickly, either.

"It's been announced, and a decision may have been reached now, to extend the investigation for another six months, which means that the investigation will last for at least eighteen months, after which a decision will be made as to whether an indictment will be filed or not, and the indictment may be brought by the prosecutor one month after the investigation has been completed, meaning that that period can be extended for another three months, so there's still a long way to go to the indictment.''

"As for the witnesses who've been questioned up to now - given the fact that this is a non-public investigation, I can't go into [can't discuss] the testimonies, but our stance is that the testimonies don't burden Ivica Todorić in any way whatsoever."

Was custody after extradition necessary, what do you have to say about the bail fee?

"Our position was that no detention was necessary and that everything could be solved with the precautionary measures that are applicable in this case, however, the court's view was that prison was needed, and that could be replaced by bail and precautionary measures. Essentially it was the same decision as that of the court in London,'' explained Sloković, adding that a lower bail amount and different precautionary measures were involved.

Ivica Todorić announced his political engagement, yet before him lies a lengthy court process?

"We still don't know in what way this process will be completed. No matter how optimistically it started, the question is what will be proven during the investigation - it's not certain that an indictment will be filed."

As for his announced political engagement, Sloković stated that such a move is entirely Todorić's decision.

"In one thing he's right - despite Agrokor's difficult destiny, he created respectable firms, there's no burned ground left behind him. He definitely has certain qualities and what he decides to do now is his choice," concluded Jadranka Sloković.

Keep up with all things related to Ivica Todorić here.

 

Click here for the original interview by N1 Hrvatska

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Ivica Todorić Leaves Jail: I'll Win Power and Lead Croatia in Right Way

Ivica Todorić paid his million euro sum and has now officially been released from Remetinec prison. How did he come upon such a large amount of cash, you ask? No idea, I respond. In the paradoxical land that is Croatia, everything is impossible and at the same time nothing is impossible, let's just say that.

Now he's free, at least for now, the former Agrokor boss has one or two new ambitions and obviously needs a new career path to venture down now that he's no longer at the seat of the country's largest privately owned company. What better path to take than the one he says ruined him and then conducted a witch hunt against him? Yes, politics.

Todorić's bail fee was set at 7.5 million kuna, and the catch was that it couldn't be paid in any other way except cold hard cash. His lawyers deemed this clause to be a tricky one to bypass, and Todorić's wish to be free seemed to have had cold water poured all over it, until yesterday when he managed to come up with a million euros in cash. You know, as you do.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of November, 2018, upon being asked just how he came upon a massive one million euros in cash, Ivica Todorić explained that a lot of people who contacted him themselves were ready and willing to help out with the bail fee. 

The first morning after leaving Remetinec prison, Ivica Todorić went to get his hair done. According to a report from 24sata, just as he did before leaving for London last year, Todorić went to one of the capital city's most well known hair salons, located on Bauer street (Ulica Antuna Bauera).

''I've come back with the ''old-new'' hairstyle. As far as bail is concerned, a lot of people helped me out, and they got in touch with me themselves. It's not fair for me to talk all about that now, everything will come to light. I'll win power and start turning Croatia in the right direction, I'm going to the elections,'' said Todorić for 24sata.

Keep up with Ivica Todorić's ever unusual antics by following our dedicated page. Keep up with the Croatian political scene by clicking here.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ivica Todorić Pays Million Euro Bail, Soon to Leave Remetinec

Ivica Todorić has been spending time in Zagreb's Remetinec prison since his extradition from Britain to Croatia to face trial for his alleged crimes in Agrokor, his former company. The trial however, still appears to have no set date, at least not publicly.

Despite his year long attempts and final appeal while living in London to stop the British decision to extradite him having failed, he continued to fight for his right to freedom following his arrival in Croatia, with his lawyers questioning why he needs to be behind bars when he poses no threat of influence over any witnesses.

In response to this, the Croatian authorities have claimed that while that might be true, his flight risk is still very high, especially given his ''trip'' to London, which lasted an entire year, at a very crucial time. Todorić himself still claims this was a pure coincidence, that he had to be in London for business, and that he wasn't escaping anything.

Recently, his freedom had a price of 7.5 million kuna placed on it, and while the former Agrokor boss may indeed possess that in assets, the clause was that it had to be paid in cold hard cash, which looked like it was about to throw a wet blanket on the entire idea. Until today.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of November, 2018, Ivica Todorić's defense team sent their proposal to Zagreb County Court, and a confirmation of the payment having been paid is now being awaited, according to N1.

What this means is that Ivica Todorić has paid the one million euro bail fee, and Agrokor's former owner will likely soon be released from Remetinec. This information was confirmed to Telegram by a source close to the Todorić family.

Make sure to follow our news page and keep up with all things related to Ivica Todorić here.

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