Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Convoy With 70 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid From Bavaria Arrives in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - A large convoy from Bavaria, carrying more than 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid from Bavaria for residents of Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020, arrived at a divers' base in Petrinja on Monday.

The drive, organised by divers and Ante Šistov, helped collect more than 70 tonnes of construction material, including bricks, oriented strand boards, electrical fittings, doors, tiles, etc.

Šistov said this was the second humanitarian convoy for the region of Banovina, noting that so far more than 120 tonnes of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to the quake-hit region.

The base for the collection and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Petrinja was set up by the HRVI Nemo-Adriatic association of divers-disabled war veterans, with support from the Croatian Homeland War Volunteers Association and the Promocija Ronjenja agency.

The campaign, which is still ongoing, has been joined by numerous divers' clubs and centres from Croatia and abroad, firefighters and rescuers from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria as well as numerous German companies.

For more about earthquake in Petrinja, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković Extends Condolences on Prince Philip's Death

ZAGREB, 9 April, 2021 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Friday extended his condolences to Queen Elizabeth II, the royal family and British people on the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"On behalf of the Croatian Government, I express my most heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty The Queen @RoyalFamily and the British people on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip will be remembered for his lifetime of service to the United Kingdom," Plenković tweeted.

The Queen's husband died in Windsor aged 99, Buckingham Palace said.

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

 

 

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Croatia Resumes Issuing Tourist Visas to Russians

ZAGREB, 7 April, 2021 - The Croatian Embassy to the Russian Federation has received initial applications for tourist visas from Russian citizens and currently there is a good interest on the Russian market in vacationing in Croatia, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) said on Wednesday.

Russian national airline Aeroflot will fly from Moscow to Pula, Dubrovnik and Split every day from the start of June to the end of September, the HTZ said in a statement.

Currently, Aeroflot flies between Moscow and Zagreb once a week and plans to introduce a second weekly flight as of May, while in the summer it will operate on this route three times a week.

S7 Airlines will fly from Moscow to Pula and Dubrovnik from late April to late October, while Nordwind will connect Moscow and Zagreb during the same period.

The head of the HTZ office in Russia, Rajko Ružička, said that there is a growing demand on the Russian market for safe summer destinations, and that Croatia is one of them.

Russians can enter Croatia with a negative PCR or antigen test, a certificate proving that they have recovered from COVID-19 or a certificate showing that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Ružička said.

A great interest in Croatian destinations has also been shown at the recent MITT travel show, the HTZ said.  

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Croatia Donates 100 Books For New Egyptian Capital City

ZAGREB, 31 March, 2021 - Croatia has donated 100 books for the new capital of Egypt, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman, who is on a two-day visit to that country, said on Wednesday.

Croatia has donated 100 books for the new capital city, to be located somewhere between Cairo and the Red Sea, to strengthen cultural cooperation between the two countries, said Grlić Radman.

Egypt is building a new capital city to reduce pressure on the overpopulated Cairo.

The books handed over by Minister Grlić Radman were donated by the Croatian ministries of culture and media, science and education, and foreign and European affairs.

The books are mostly in Croatian, but the donation also includes books in English and French.

We hope the donation will contribute to the recognisability of our historical and cultural heritage and of our natural beauties, Grlić Radman said.

Grlić Radman and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry held talks on regional cooperation, stability in the Middle East and North Africa, migrations, and relations between Egypt and the EU.

Together they opened a business forum which was attended by more than 120 Egyptian and Croatian business people.

Grlić Radman said that as Mediterranean countries, Egypt and Croatia "share the interest in this region" and that tourism was an important industry for both countries.

"Sustainable tourism is our common goal," he said.

Earlier today, the Croatian minister held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, extending his condolences on a recent railway accident in which more than 30 people were killed and dozens were injured.

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Says Croatian Companies Interested in Egyptian Market

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - Croatian companies are showing great interest in the Egyptian market which can be the gate to a market of close to one billion people, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said at the start of a two-day visit to the most populous Arab country.

A country with which Croatia has traditionally friendly relations, based on long-lasting understanding and partnership, Egypt is one of the most important economic partners to Croatia not only in Africa but in the Middle East as well, the minister said.

Grlić Radman sees possibilities for cooperation in the oil and wood-processing industries, energy, shipbuilding, defence industry and infrastructure works.

The minister started his visit to Egypt by paying tribute at the Croatian memorial cemetery in El Shatt, the place where almost 30,000 Croats, mostly from Dalmatia, the Dalmatian hinterland and islands, were evacuated to during World War II.

"856 of them died here and that is why we laid wreaths and lit candles for them today," said the minister.

He also visited the Suez Canal, an economically very important zone that attracts important investments.

The delegation accompanying Grlić Radman includes business people and economists.

A Croatian-Egyptian business forum is to be held on Wednesday, with more than 120 business people attending, and the event will be opened by Grlić Radman and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Cooperation with Egypt is important to Croatia also because of Egypt's relations with the European Union and membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Grlić Radman said.

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

 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

US Embassy Donates GeneXpert Machine to Zagreb's Infectious Diseases Hospital

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - The US Embassy in Croatia has donated a medical device to the Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb that can detect the coronavirus in less than 45 minutes, the hospital's director Alemka Markotić said on Tuesday.

Four samples can be placed in the GeneXpert machine at the same time. However, it is not used for mass testing, but is useful in quickly dealing with certain situations, Markotić said.

US Embassy official Victoria Taylor said that this is not about just a piece of equipment, but also about the partnership between Croatia and the United States.

We are happy that our small contribution can help the Fran Mihaljević Hospital and the healthcare system in time of need, Taylor said, commending all Croatian health workers for their tireless work during the pandemic.

Markotić said that most of the patients in the hospital's COVID ward were between 50 and 65 years old and had underlying conditions. She noted that the hospital was nearly filled to capacity.

Markotić said that for now there was no substantial number of young people infected with the British variant of the coronavirus in the hospital, but noted that this variant was proved to be spreading faster among young people because of "their greater nonchalance, mobility and socialising."

She warned that the number of new cases was growing and called on the citizens to avoid "risky situations".

Markotić expressed hope that patients would not be left without medicines, after wholesale drug suppliers warned last week that they might restrict drug deliveries because of HRK 6.5 billion debt owed by the hospitals.

Drug wholesaler Medika said today it had suspended drug deliveries to the hospitals.

Markotić said that her hospital had sufficient drug supplies for now. "We hope that we will not find ourselves in a situation where we, or rather our patients, will be left without medicines."

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Health Minister Vili Beroš would meet with drug wholesalers to discuss the debt and that they would be paid a certain amount of money in the coming days.

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

 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

$480,000 Invested in Upgrade of Rijeka's Offshore Emergency Response Centre

ZAGREB, 16 March, 2021 - The refurbished building housing Rijeka's Maritime Crisis Centre for Faster Response to Any Disaster off Croatia’s Coastline was officially opened on Tuesday.

The investment into the upgrade of this offshore emergency response centre in the biggest Croatian seaport totalled US$ 480,000, and the lion's share of the investment was provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

During the ceremony, the state secretary of the Croatian Sea, Transport and Infrastructure ministry, Josip Bilaver, thanked the U.S. administration and military as well as the US Embassy in Zagreb for this donation in the amount of HRK 3.2 million.

The ministry has invested a million kuna, while the local county authorities provided 100,000 kuna for the project.

"The U.S.-Croatia partnership at sea is essential to the two countries’ NATO military cooperation and shared security. That is why the United States, through the U.S. Military’s European Command (EUCOM), provided assistance to the Croatian Ministry of Sea, Transportation and Infrastructure and the Rijeka Harbor Master’s office to advance training and emergency-response capabilities at sea," the embassy said on its website.

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Victoria Taylor, who today joined State Secretary Bilaver for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, expressed satisfaction with the completion of this project.

Over the last decade, the USA has set aside HRK 4.5 billion to support numerous civilian and military projects in Croatia, she said.

The Rijeka centre is described as a a renewed facility that will become "the central point for planning, training, and management in response to emergencies at sea, from supporting persons and vessels in need to addressing maritime accidents and oil pollution."

"The upgraded center will therefore play a critical role in maintaining the safety and environmental stewardship of Croatian coastal waters, ensuring quick action in response to a potential environmental disaster. Protection of the environment is a key priority for both Croatia and the United States, and joint capacity to mitigate against incidents and accidents at sea can make all the difference in a crisis."

The embassy recalls that "Rijeka is already a hub for U.S.-Croatia cooperation, with the port city benefiting economically from nearly 900 million kuna in contracted services by the U.S. Navy for ship maintenance and support since 2011."

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Thanks Greece For Post-Earthquake Aid

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday thanked his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias for his country's aid to Croatia after last year's devastating earthquakes.

"I'm taking this opportunity to thank Minister Dendias for the generous and prompt humanitarian aid that Greece sent to earthquake-hit areas in Croatia," Grlić Radman said in Athens, where he arrived for an official visit a day after visiting Cyprus.

"Greece itself was recently hit by strong earthquakes and I'm conveying our support and willingness to help," he added.

Greece was struck by two tremors earlier this month, the strongest measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, which caused material damage but no fatalities.

Support for Croatia's membership bids

Grlić Radman also thanked Dendias for the Greek support for Croatia's accession to MED7, a group which comprises seven Mediterranean EU member states - Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

He also thanked Dendias for supporting Croatia's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the euro and Schengen areas.

The two ministers underlined the importance of continuing EU enlargement to Southeast Europe and of Brussels having a consistent policy so that candidates do not lose the European perspective.

Grlić Radman cited Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is having a hard time managing the migrant crisis, and underlined solidarity with Greece, which is also on the front line of that "big political, security and economic problem."

The minister said they were pleased with the increase in Croatian-Greek trade, singling out the Greek company Avax, which is building access roads to the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia.

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

 

Friday, 12 March 2021

Parl. Parties Endorse Ratification of Classified Information Agreement With Spain

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatian parliamentary parties on Friday endorsed the proposal to ratify the Agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information between the governments of Croatia and Spain.

During the discussion, Zvonimir Troskot (Bridge) noted that Croatia and Spain had had good bilateral relations since the 1990s, sharing the same principles and goals.

"Both countries are facing the same challenges - migration, the fight against terrorism, climate change, Spanish companies are already present on our market, so why are we ratifying this agreement only now?" Troskot asked.

Juro Martinović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Administration, said that "there is nothing spectacularly new" in the Agreement. "States always regulate such matters. Under international law, Croatia is a successor to many agreements concluded by (former Yugoslavia)," he added.

Martinović said that the Agreement had been signed on 15 December 2020 and that it established a legal framework for the protection of classified information that is generated or exchanged between the parties, and designated competent authorities for the implementation of the Agreement. The Agreement also determines equivalent classification levels, national measures to protect classified information and mechanisms for transmission of such information.

Independent MP Marijana Petir asked Martinović if Croatia had similar agreements with other EU countries and whether there had been any violations of those agreements, to which he said that he had no knowledge of any violations.

Ivan Budalić of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that Croatia had similar agreements with many countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Sweden and Italy. 

Dalija Orešković (Centre party) was interested to know who had decided on concluding the Agreement, who had appointed the delegation and whether the President of the Republic was involved in the process, to which Martinović said that the Agreement enters into force after it is signed by the President of the Republic and published in the Official Gazette and the two governments exchange notes.

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

Croatia and Israel Discuss Protocols Facilitating Travel

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatia and Israel have started talks on travel and protocols for tourists from the two countries, Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said on Friday, hopeful an agreement would soon be reached.

Brnjac and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor met on Thursday to discuss the travel protocols with the aim of reaching an agreement that would facilitate travel for tourists from both countries during the pandemic.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the meeting at which she informed the ambassador of other activities of her ministry, including a project with the website "Safe stay in Croatia", which provides visitors to Croatia with information on locations and epidemiological restrictions in force as well as recommendations for health safety.

She spoke of special safety protocols which anyone applying for the "Safe stay in Croatia" certificate must comply with and explained how businesses with that certificate would be monitored.

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

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