Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Croatia Among EU States With Biggest Industrial Output Drops in July Month-Over-Month

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - Europe's industrial production recovered in July 2021 but Croatia was among the EU countries with the largest monthly decreases, an Eurostat report showed on Wednesday.

In July 2021, the seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.5% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU, compared with June 2021, when industrial production fell by 0.1% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU.

In the euro area in July 2021, compared with June 2021, production of non-durable consumer goods rose by 3.5%, while in the EU it rose by 2.8%.

Capital goods went up by 2.7% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU, and intermediate goods by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU, while energy production was stable in the EU and fell by 0.6% in the euro area.

Among member states for which data are available, the highest monthly increases were registered in Ireland (+7.8%), Belgium (+5%) and Portugal (+3.5%). The largest decreases were observed in Lithuania (-2.0%), Slovenia (-1.8%) and Croatia (-1.6%).

In July 2021 compared with July 2020, industrial production increased by 7.7% in the euro area and by 8.3% in the EU.

In the euro area in July 2021, compared with July 2020, production of intermediate goods rose by 11.2%, nondurable consumer goods by 10.1%, durable consumer goods by 9.8%, capital goods by 5.9% and energy by 1%.

In the EU, production of intermediate goods rose by 11.8%, non-durable consumer goods by 9.4%, durable consumer goods by 8.9%, capital goods by 6.3% and energy by 2.7%. 

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Tourism Ministry Grants €2.07m to 307 Travel Agencies Hit by Coronavirus Crisis

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - The Tourism and Sports Ministry has approved HRK 15.55 million in aid to help 307 travel agencies across Croatia hit by the coronavirus crisis to normalise their current operations.

The grants range from HRK 6,460 to HRK 566,600 and the ministry has noted that the recipients will have to spend the funds for the purpose intended and submit a final report on the funds spent by 31 January 2022.

(€1 = HRK 7.474887)

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

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Rise; Focus on Podravka, Adris Shares

ZAGREB, 14 Sept, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices went up on Tuesday, the Crobex by 0.15% to 1,971 points and the Crobex10 by 0.16% to 1,204 points, with regular turnover reaching HRK 8.6 million.

The most traded stock was the Podravka food company, turning over a little more than HRK 3 million. It closed at HRK 596 per share, down 0.33%.

The ordinary share of the Adris tourism and insurance group turned over HRK 2.7 million, closing at HRK 470 (+2.17%), while its preferred share turned over HRK 1.09 million, closing at HRK 417 (+0.48%).

Thirty-six stocks traded today, with 14 gaining in price, 11 losing, and 11 staying the same.

(€1 = HRK 7.483597)

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

Friday, 10 September 2021

DroneDays 2021: All About Drones in Biograd na Moru

September 11, 2021 - The DroneDays 2021 event will turn Biograd na Moru near the popular city of Zadar into an aerial robotics mecca from October 4-5.

Airplanes are fun, but unless yo're a pilot, you can only passively enjoy the stunning aerial view as you travel the beaten path managed by the captain in a cockpit. No control, no say on the height or the direction of the above ground observing experience.

Although providing that exciting sense of freedom of flying on a screen only, drones are much better options for those who want to take control of an aerial space. For those who want to learn more about drones, October 4-5 needs to be marked in the diary for DroneDays 2021, a Croatian conference on all things related to drones.

''DroneDays 2021 is a two-day workshop focused on unmanned aerial vehicles, which will be held on 4th and 5th October 2021 in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. The programme consists of keynote lectures, an exhibition area, and is focused on unmanned aerial vehicle applications and end-user industries. It will serve as a meeting place for experts from the industry and academia, end-users, as well as regulatory bodies from the region,'' reads the official website of the event.

DroneDays 2021 will be held at the Ilirija Resort at Biograd na Moru, and 14 speakers have confirmed their arrival at the event at the time of writing this article, with more invited. The confirmed names include drone experts from across Croatia and abroad, from academics from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) to foreign universities and even NATO.

DroneDays 2021 promises an exciting two days for drone lovers in a more theoretical approach with conferences hosting presentations from keynote industry leaders to more practical opportunities. These include exhibitions (open for the public) where visitors can have face-to-face meetings with leading industrial companies from across the region, showcasing their latest products and services. In addition, there will be a flying area where you can participate in live demonstrations of the latest technological achievements in aerial robotics, and there is also a B2B event where you can meet new partners who share your love for aerial robotics.

Much like drones, the event isn't free. Would-be participants must register on the website and buy a 10 euro ticket. That ticket includes two-day access to the whole programme as well as accreditation, a registration package, workshop materials, and coffee breaks.

With the discussion of order and freedom at large, the debates concerning the legal frame of operating drones in Croatia may well be the most interesting topics of this year's edition of DroneDays.

As TCN previously reported, drone regulations in Croatia have two levels of authority, one that is national and the other concerning EU Drone Regulation that came into force back in 2020.

After the conference in Biograd na Moru, why not hop to nearby Zadar? Learn more in our TC guide.

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

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange: Indices Drop Amid Modest Trading

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange indices weakened on Wednesday amid a very modest turnover, with the most traded stock being that of the Plava Laguna hotel chain.

he Crobex fell by 0.41% to 1,954 points while the Crobex10 fell by 0.3% to 1,200 points.

The construction sector index recorded the highest increase among sector indices, of 1.91%, while the food sector index decreased the most, by 0.22%.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 4.6 million or about 600,000 less than on Tuesday.

Not one stock crossed the million kuna mark in turnover.

The most liquid stock was the Plava Laguna hotel company with a turnover of HRK 567,000. The price of its shares remained at HRK 1,620.

Forty-one stocks traded today, with 10 gaining in price and 20 falling, while 11 remained stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.484807)

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

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Financial Minister Zdravko Marić: Overdraft Solution in Days or Weeks Ahead

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Wednesday a solution to current account overdrafts was expected in the days or weeks ahead and that it remained to be seen if the law would need to be amended.

He was speaking to the press after Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's meeting with representatives of banks' management boards, which was also attended by central bank (HNB) governor Boris Vujčić and Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić.

Marić said the purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and views on current account overdrafts with a view to finding an adequate and satisfactory solution in which, he added, the government emphasised consumer protection.

He said several good proposals crystallised at the meeting, aimed at protecting social sensitivity, fairness, information and transparency as well as at reaching a solution under which authorised overdrafts would again dominate, as they are regulated by law in much more detail, much more clearly and transparently than tacit overdrafts.

The 2010 Consumer Credit Act recognises authorised and tacit overdrafts, but since 2018 the latter have become prevalent, accounting for almost 95% of all overdrafts, Marić said. Tacit overdrafts have been approved for almost 1.8 million consumers and are being exercised by 840,000.

That happened because under a central bank decision from the end of 2017, pursuant to European regulations, the calculation of the effective interest rate includes the fee for having a current account. As a result, authorised overdrafts became less available to lower income citizens and banks switched to tacit overdrafts.

Marić said a solution should be prompt but not rushed and to the benefit of all consumers. He told people living with tacit overdrafts that the government did not intend to nor would support a solution that would result in a drastic cancellation of overdrafts because that would put additional pressure on their everyday lives and livelihoods. "We'll dispel all fears that this instrument will be annulled and disappear."

A solution may be found by changing the decision within the central bank's remit, but if necessary, the law will be adjusted, he said, adding that if the former option was chosen, that would be known in the next few days, and in case of the latter, in the next few weeks. "We are really not talking about months."

The minister said it was necessary to continue to work on people's financial literacy as well as on product transparency.

Vujčić: The goal is that lowest income citizens don't lose current account overdraft option

The central bank governor said that since Croatia was the only country limiting effective interest rate on overdrafts, the inclusion of the current account fee in the rate as of 2018 resulted in the fee "swallowing" interest, primarily on small overdrafts.

He said that, for example, no interest was paid on overdrafts up to HRK 2,000 and a current account fee of HRK 12.

"We have several different regulations which produce such results and that should be put in order, so that for those with the lowest incomes, and consequently overdrafts, those products don't become unprofitable for banks and they start cancelling them."

Vujčić said the point was to return tacit overdrafts under the same regulations that applied to authorised overdrafts, without a certain number of people with the lowest incomes losing the overdraft option in the process.

"That's the point and that's what we'll do," he said, adding that it remained to be agreed on how to do it.

Croatian Banking Association (HUB) director Zdenko Adrović said that representatives of the banking sector spoke at the meeting about practices in other European countries, expressing hope that the new solution would be in line with those practices.

He stressed that there was no cap on the effective interest rate in other countries, so one of the proposals presented was for the cap on the effective interest rate to be removed and a cap on the nominal interest rate to be possibly introduced.

Adrović said that one of the proposals was for costs related to current account overdrafts to be calculated at "a slightly higher minimum amount", but noted that this was a technical solution that still had to be discussed with the HNB.

Asked by reporters how citizens would now be able to trust banks after they had switched their authorised overdrafts to tacit ones, Adrović claimed that everything was done in line with the law and that authorised and tacit overdrafts were two equal products.

He said that he "assumed" that a "vast majority" of citizens had been informed by their banks about tacit overdrafts, but that a large number of citizens, including himself, "relatively rarely" read notices about possible changes.

Marić: No reduction of VAT on food in 2022

Asked is VAT, including on food, would be lowered considering current price hikes, Finance Minister Marić said that the government had already reduced the VAT rate on some food products, including fresh meat and fish, and fruit and vegetables, and that it planned to reduce VAT on all food products during the current term in office.

But that will happen only after the necessary conditions are met, he stressed, noting that currently and in 2022 there was no fiscal room for such a move.

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

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić: No Reason at the Moment for Electricity and Gas Price Hike

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić said on Wednesday that he does not see any reason that would lead to higher electricity and gas bills for citizens.

Asked ahead of an inner cabinet meeting whether electricity and gas bills would increase, Ćorić said that he did not see any reason at the moment for that to happen.

"There is no absolute certainty that that won't occur, however, I do not see any reason for it to happen," he said.

In reference to an electricity price hike for enterprises, Ćorić said that one needs to be aware of the fact that the domestic electricity market is liberalised and functions in line with European and global markets.

"Those enterprises who concluded long-term contracts last year will not feel the price hike in the coming period, however, those enterprises which are doing that now will feel the adjustment on the market," he underscored.

The assumption is that many enterprises have protected themselves against unexpected changes and Ćorić doesn't believe that the price hike for electricity will be as high as 40% as reported in the media over the past few days, however, he added, a certain adjustment in prices will occur.

"This tells us that business conditions need to be stabilised, that is to avoid certain risks, and that can be achieved so that prices are agreed for a longer period," said Ćorić.

Asked whether entrepreneurs who didn't manage to conclude long-term contracts would transfer the higher cost to its consumers by increasing the price of their products, Ćorić said that the price of electricity is one of the key inputs in production which directly results in an increase in the cost of production.

"You either have to decrease your margin or increase the price of your product. That is how the market functions," he concluded, adding that those enterprises which were astute and contracted the price of electricity can now provide more competitive products.

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Almost Unchanged

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) Crobex index increased by 0.16% to 1,962 points on Tuesday, while the Crobex10 weakened by 0.01% to 1,204 points.

Regular turnover was HRK 5 million.

The most traded stock was the Arena Hospitality Group, turning over HRK 993,000. It closed at HRK 322 per share, up 1.9%.

Thirty-seven stocks traded today, with 14 gaining in price and 12 losing, while 11 were stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.492048)

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Awareness Campaign About Women's Unpaid Household Work Launched

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - A network of civil society organisations called "Fourth Shift - Invisible Work" on Tuesday launched a campaign to raise awareness of women's unpaid household work and encourage the creation of public policies to achieve a work-life balance for women and men.

The campaign is part of the project "The impact of public policies on the quality of family and working life and on the demographic picture of Croatia," led by the women's civil society organisation B.a.B.e.

The value of the project is HRK 3.6 million (€480,000), of which 85 percent is provided by the EU and the rest by the government. Its duration is 36 months, and it is being conducted in Zagreb and eight other regions.

The organisations have invited women to join the campaign by sharing their stories on what happens when they stop doing their everyday chores. They can share their stories and photographs on the Instagram and Facebook accounts of B.a.b.e. and the Twitter account of Iskra B., or if they want their post to remain anonymous they can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The organisations wonder what kind of chaos would happen if women in Croatia stopped ironing, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and taking care of children. They say that such a scenario is indicated by the results of a 2017 survey carried out by sociologist Ksenija Klasnić.

The survey revealed that in 83 percent of the cases examined all or the majority of routine household tasks are performed by women, in 16.6 percent of cases partners equally share household chores, while men do housework on their own only in 0.4% of cases.

In 58.4 percent of cases, all or most work relating to child care is done by women, while men take care of children on their own only in 0.2% of cases. In the rest of the cases women and men share their child care duties.

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

Monday, 6 September 2021

New Croatian Energy Label: More Transparence for Light Source Efficiency

September 6, 2021 - A new Croatian energy label with more arranged levels of energetic efficiency and a QR code that connects buyers directly to the European Commission database offers more transparency to Croatian buyers.

Noted for promoting energy efficiency, particularly within the REPLACE Project, the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) is also involved in the Label 2020 project. As EIHP reported, since September 1, 2021, a new energy label has been providing more information on the energy efficiency of light source products.

The Label 2020 website explains that this new Croatian energy label developed better information for customers to educate them further on product efficiency.

This includes levels A-G (With A being the most energy efficient and G being the least efficient), with QR codes on the top of the label that provide a direct link to the European Commission's database for transparency and easier market control from the national government. In addition, energy spending is portrayed in a more express way in the middle of the energy label, while the bottom of the label has various pictograms which provide information on the selected features of the product.

''Several pictograms are the same as in the old label, some have been reviewed, and others are completely new,'' pointed out Label 2020.

''The EU energy tag for devices has remained a crucial starter for innovation and the market development of energy efficient technologies over the last 20 years. The energy label plays a two-part role in innovation stimulation for manufacturers and demanding efficient devices for buyers,'' explained Label 2020.

The new energy Croatian label aims to support all branches of the energy sale on the consumption market. From consumers and (professional) buyers through an information campaign, services and tools, to distributers (with the implementation of the label at the stores and for online purchase), manufacturers (by delivering the correct labels and product info), as well as for others.

With the new Croatian energy label having been a staple for the past 20 years, the change was triggered by the previous A level having three sublevels which opens doors for the incorrect advertising of products that weren't really energy efficient.

''Therefore, the European Union changed and optimised the label in line with the needs of the users. The new label was presented to buyers in physical stores and online on March 1, 2021, and includes energy classes from A to G. These scales will be updated regularly,'' said the website.

With the aforementioned QR code link being the strongest and most innovative demonstration of transparency of the updated system, the sparks of electricity will hopefully be greener than last month as Croatian buyers now have more options to make an informed purchase.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about energy efficiency in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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