Friday, 20 May 2022

EC Grants Croatia Extension of Deadline for Using EUSF Funds for Earthquake Relief

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The European Commission has granted Croatia an extension of the deadline for using money from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for the repair of the earthquake damage.

"Today, the Commission has decided to exceptionally grant Croatia the possibility to extend until 30 June 2023 the deadline for the use of the financial contribution from the EU Solidarity Fund to compensate for the damage of the earthquakes that severely hit the country in 2020 and 2021," the Commission announced on Friday.

Croatia has been allocated over €1 billion from the Solidarity Fund to remedy the damage caused by the earthquakes that struck Zagreb in March 2020 and Sisak-Moslavina County in late December 2020 and January 2021. The usual deadline for the use of funding is 18 months, and in this case, it expires in June this year.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in February this year, after which it was announced that the deadline would be exceptionally extended for a year. The Commission has never before extended the usual deadline.

"Croatia was hit twice by strong earthquakes, first in Zagreb and then in the city of Petrinja and the Sisak-Moslavina county. All of that happened during the first wave of the Covid pandemic, considerably hampering the recovery efforts. Ensuring that Croatia can fully benefit from the financial support from the EU Solidarity Fund for the reconstruction of the two regions is of utmost importance for the population and a sign of strong and concrete solidarity by the European Union," said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Culture Minister Satisfied With Pace of Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Buildings

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek has expressed her satisfaction with the pace of reconstruction of cultural heritage buildings following a devastating earthquake two years ago.

"The Ministry of Culture and Media has signed contracts for projects worth HRK 3.5 billion. According to yesterday's data, more than 50 projects have been launched and some have been finished. Six or seven out of 150 buildings have been restored, and those are smaller buildings. Over the next month, structural reconstruction will begin for about 50 buildings," Obuljen Koržinek said in an interview with Croatian Radio on Wednesday morning.

She said that some of the projects were risky and would take years to complete, such as Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery, Cathedral, Museum of Arts and Crafts, and Mimara Museum.

Speaking on the financial aspect of the reconstruction process, Obuljen Koržinek said: "As far as cultural heritage is concerned, we will spend our entire initial allocation by the initial deadline." 

She said that two weeks ago her ministry had shared the Croatian experience regarding the protection of works of art during the Homeland War with their Ukrainian colleagues, and announced a shipment of aid, including fire extinguishers. She said a project was also being prepared to buy up books from Ukraine and distribute them to public libraries across Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

€266k Contracts Inked for Zagreb Health Institutions' Post-quake Reconstruction

ZAGREB, 20 Feb 2022 - A total of 43 contracts, worth 1.98 billion kuna, have been signed so far for the post-quake reconstruction of health institutions in Zagreb and its surroundings, since the 22 March 2020 devastating earthquake, according to the data provided by the Health Ministry.

Since the advertisement of a tender inviting healthcare institutions to apply for EU grants, there have been 60 applications, most of which are from university clinical centres, general hospitals and local health centres.

Croatia will be able to use money from the European Solidarity Fund (ESF) for earthquake relief until June 2023, one year longer than the initial 18 months given.

When it comes to urgent post-quake reconstruction, one application refers to works valued at HRK 4.2 million where to date, outlays have been disbursed to cover HRK 584,000 of that amount.

For instance, the damage caused by the tremor to the University Hospital Centre (KBC) Zagreb is estimated at HRK 1.1 billion.

The City of Zagreb administration plans to submit an additional 20 projects for the reconstruction of local health institutions for these grants.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Croatia to Get €319 Million in EU Grants to Repair Earthquake Damage in Banovina

ZAGREB, 30 Oct, 2021 - The European Commission has decided to award €319 million in grants to Croatia to help it repair damage caused by the 29 December 2020 earthquake in the central region of Banovina.

The EC said on Friday that it had adopted a decision to award Croatia grants from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) based on the country's application for the compensation of funds used to repair damage caused by the 29 December earthquake, the Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The EC decision is a draft that will be forwarded to the European Parliament and Council of the EU for further proceedings and the payment will be made once those proceedings are completed.

The ministry recalls that in August 2021 Croatia received a part of an advance in the amount of €41.325 million and under the EC's draft decision, the total amount of grants for damage repair is €319,192,359.

Also, Croatia has so far received €683.7 million in grants to repair damage caused by the 22 March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb. The total amount of grants for earthquake damage repair to be obtained from the EUSF is more than a billion euros, the ministry said.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Houses Whose Owners Are in Container Settlements to Be Rebuilt by Winter

ZAGREB, 27 Aug 2021 - War Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of last year's earthquakes in Sisak-Moslavina County, said on Friday that priority in the reconstruction process would be given to houses whose owners were now accommodated in prefab containers.

So far, roughly 400 family houses have been rebuilt, next week over 1,500 contracts will be signed with property owners for the reconstruction of their family houses. By 15 September, we will have about 6,000 active contracts on reconstruction, Medved said in Sisak.

He said that priority would be given to the reconstruction of properties whose owners had been relocated to container settlements so that they could move in their rebuilt homes before the winter.

Medved said that the authorities also planned the reconstruction of other damaged structures and construction of a number of apartment buildings in the quake-hit area.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

HDZ BiH Women Donate HRK 100,000 for Reconstruction of Petrinja Care Home

ZAGREB, 23 May, 2021 - The president of the Women's Union of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) party, Marina Pendeš, on Sunday gave the head of a care home in Petrinja HRK 100,000 for the reconstruction of the home, damaged in last year's earthquake.

Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved was also present.

The HDZ BiH Women's Union organised the fund-raising and raised a total of HRK 140,000, with 40,000 to go for the reconstruction of the Dragutin Tadijanović Elementary School in Petrinja.

The fund-raising for the reconstruction of the school was initiated by HDZ BiH president Dragan Čović together with the Croat mayors, municipal heads and heads of cantonal governments in BiH.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Turkey Willing to Help Croatia in Reconstruction of Quake-Hit Areas

ZAGREB, 26 February, 2021 - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited the city of Petrinja on Friday, saying that Turkey, which was one of the first countries to send relief aid to the quake-affected areas in Croatia, was willing to continue helping this region.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman thanked Turkey for the rapid response and delivery of generous humanitarian assistance.

Immediately after the 29 December 6.2 strong quake in Sisak-Moslavina County, which claimed seven lives and caused extensive damage, Turkey sent 272 heaters and 480 tents to the affected region.

The Turkish minister recalled that after Izmir was hit by a 7.0 strong quake on 30 October last year, resulting in hundreds of casualties, Minister Grlić Radman had immediately contacted him to offer assistance.

With that dose of understanding and friendship, we then wanted to be the first to come to your aid, Cavusoglu said. He conveyed Ankara's readiness to help Croatia in future reconstruction projects in this area.

The Turkish official added that his country lies in a seismically active region and has gained experience in dealing with the aftermath of such disasters.

In August 1999, a 7.6 strong quake hit the city of Izmit and killed 17,000 people. In 2011, an earthquake left more than 500 people killed in the city of Van.

We shared this destiny with you in a sad and sorrowful way, Cavusogly said.

Ankara has sent 10 experts from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) to Croatia.

Furthermore,  200 prefab housing containers have been delivered from Turkey to Croatia, said Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December quake.

Medved expressed gratitude and said he was sure that Croatia and Turkey would continue fostering their friendship.

In the Šešerin container settlement, Cavusoglu handed keys to the donated containers.

Grlić Radman described the donation as a strong form of solidarity.

Cavusoglu is the first Turkish foreign minister to visit Croatia after 12 years.

Turkish assistance also included the donation of 500 blankets, hygienic articles and food as well financial assistance from several Turkish companies.

Monday, 1 February 2021

SDP MP: Post-Quake Reconstruction Law to be Amended This Week

ZAGREB, 1 February, 2021 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) vice-president Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said on Monday that amendments to the law on post-earthquake reconstruction would be adopted this week, noting that nothing important had been missed with their non-adoption due to a lack of quorum last Friday.

"The amended law should be adopted this week and what happened was a normal parliamentary fight between political parties," the SDP MP said in a Croatian Radio programme.

The Opposition broke the quorum on Friday, postponing a vote on the items that had been discussed after the parliament speaker refused to put on the agenda a previously discussed motion by the opposition Bridge party calling for the mandatory membership fee for the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) to be abolished to ease the burden on entrepreneurs.

Hajdaš Dončić said the non-adoption of the law did not change anything significantly.

It makes no difference if law is adopted today or in three days

"We were not showing our teeth, this happened exclusively because an item was not put on the agenda. It makes no difference if a law is adopted today or in three days," he said.

MP Ivan Celjak of the ruling HDZ party said in the same programme that the amended law on post-earthquake reconstruction would be adopted this week.

In a comment on Hajdaš Dončić's statements, he said that it had transpired again that the SDP did not care about the wellbeing of the people in the earthquake-hit areas. 

HDZ MP: Opposition took advantage of late MP Tuđman's illness

"The Opposition took advantage of the fact that the late MP Miroslav Tuđman was gravely ill at that moment, they walked out of parliament and prevented the adoption of the law, which is very important for all residents of the disaster-hit area," said Celjak.

He added that one could have waited with the law on the HGK but not with the law on post-earthquake reconstruction.

The reactions of people in the earthquake-hit area to the Opposition's move are very negative, said Celjak, who comes from Sisak.

Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević said on Sunday that parliament was expected to put amendments to the post-earthquake reconstruction law to the vote on Thursday, that the parliamentary majority was not in question as well as that he expected a consensus on the matter.

Amendments to the law on the post-earthquake reconstruction of the City of Zagreb and Zagreb and Krapina-Zagorje counties after the 22 March 2020 earthquake envisage expanding the law to also apply to Sisak-Moslavina County and parts of Karlovac and Zagreb counties hit by a devastating earthquake on 29 December 2020.

Search