Friday, 2 July 2021

Tourism Union Says Unvaccinated People Should Not Be Discriminated Against

ZAGREB, 2 July 2021- People who are not vaccinated should not be discriminated against, the STUH tourism union said on Friday commenting on a statement by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on the possibility of not approving jobkeeping aid to those who have not been vaccinated against COVID.

"STUH has called on and is still calling on its members and workers in hospitality and tourism to get vaccinated and we understand the prime minister's efforts and wishes for Croatian citizens to be vaccinated, considering that that would resolve many problems, from returning to a normal life to reducing government costs. We agree with the prime minister and it would be absurd to stimulate anyone who is being vaccinated now with a financial reward, but at the same time, it is unacceptable to create disincentives for those who do not want to get vaccinated," STUH said in a press release.

STUH called on the prime minister to refrain from such statements and to discuss the possible repercussions with his associates.

The union underscored that Croatia's biggest problem in tourism was the shortage of labour.

STUH said that a Council of Europe resolution, passed at the end of January this year, states that vaccination in the EU is not obligatory, hence people who are not vaccinated should not be discriminated against.

The SSSH union federation said on Friday that conditioning government support with vaccination constituted unacceptable pressure on workers who do not want to get vaccinated.

As long as vaccination is voluntary, withholding government support from those who have not been vaccinated is ripe soil for discrimination. SSSH said.

SSSH was one of the first to call on workers to be vaccinated, but workers must not suffer any sanctions if they are not vaccinated, it said.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Latest Jobkeeping Measures Welcomed by Croatian Tourism Association

ZAGREB, Oct 21, 2020 - The Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) on Wednesday welcomed the government's latest jobkeeping measures and amendments to eligibility criteria with regard to a decline in turnover in the second and third quarters of the year.

In the association's (HUT) latest issue of "Croatia Tourism & Travel", HUT director Veljko Ostojic underlines that the continuation of the government's job retention measures and changes to eligibility criteria with grants in proportion to the fall in turnover in Q2 and Q3 compared to the corresponding period in 2019, has expanded the number of enterprises that will apply for the measures.

"That is the key to keep workers in the tourism sector. Since the outbreak of the pandemic we have stressed that this is the most important link in the chain to keep jobs and in that regard, the survival of enterprises. We welcome the government's decision to continue implementing its measures until the end of the year in the belief that they will be extended to 1 April 2021 or the start of the tourism season," said Ostojic.

He believes that the recovery of the tourist trade is the key to Croatia's economic recovery and that it is essential to avoid laying off workers because that would have a negative impact on Croatia's overall recovery.

 ADAC: Italy and Croatia most popular destinations for Germans

Apart from that, HUT released the latest analysis by Germany's ADAC automobile association on travel by Germans this year noting that Croatia is just a step away from Italy in being the most popular foreign tourist destination for Germans in 2020 as 14.3% of Germans chose Croatia as their holiday destination while 14.9% opted for Italy.

However, according to the survey, Croatia once again surpassed Italy with regard to camping tourism with Istria chosen as the most popular camping region for Germans while Dalmatia 'jumped' from fifth to second place among most favorite regions.

"The results of this survey and the hugely positive step by Croatia's Istria and Dalmatia regions in the eyes of German tourists provides us with a clear direction for Croatia's tourism promotion and communication for next year," said Ostojic.

He added that ADAC's survey showed that Croatia's campsites recorded the best improvement in quality in Europe, including those in Istria which scored an average of 4.2 points on a scale of 1 to 5.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Minister Says Redesigned Job-keeping Measures to Go into Force soon

ZAGREB, Oct 14, 2020 - Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Wednesday that the government, together with restaurant and bar owners, employers and trade unions, was expected to redesign job-keeping measures by Friday, after which they would be activated next week.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a government session, Aladrovic said that the government would do what was necessary to help retain jobs.

He said that there were currently no mass-scale layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis in relation to the most critical months of the pandemic, which he said was a good indicator.

However, the government must act considering the epidemiological and economic situation that changes quickly, he noted.

The reason for redefining government measures is that in past months, the revenue of restaurant and bar owners had improved and some of them did not have to use government aid, said Aladrovic.

"We have been in touch with employers and trade unions on a daily basis. If different measures prove possible, to enhance the possibility to prevent layoffs, we will adopt them," he said.

Asked whether he believed, in the context of Monday's shooting in St. Mark's Square, that young person in Croatia were neglected, Aladrovic said he could not agree with that impression.

"... as regards youth employment policies, in the last term we reduced the youth unemployment rate from 50 to 18%," he said, adding, in response to a reporter's question, that he did not know the exact amount of the average wage of a young person but that a general wage increase had been recorded and that it must have had an effect on young people's wages.

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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Aladrovic: European Funds to be Used to Finance Jobkeeping Measures

ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 - Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic said on Thursday that the plan is for jobkeeping measures, which will continue for the next four months, to be primarily financed from European funds.

"About HRK 800 million is foreseen for the measures we adopted today for the next four months without shortening the working week. Our forecast indicates that that is about HRK 200 million a month, which is enough for 60 to 70,000 workers. We will see what the future will bring in the next four months. The main source of financing will primarily be European funds," Aladrovic said after a cabinet meeting while responding to questions from the press after Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that support to the economy amid the coronavirus crisis would continue including jobkeeping measures and ensuring liquidity and Covid loans.

Aladrovic said that advance payments would be made from the state budget, adding that funds agreed over the past month at the EU level were available and that a portion of the €10 billion can be used at the moment to finance this.

"We actually plan to cover the cost of financing the measures for the next four months entirely from European funds," said Aladrovic.

He noted that the measures can be financed from current liquid funds but that it is important to know the source of funding. "The source of funding is vital and not current liquidity. At the moment, current liquidity is not in question as far as the budget is concerned but the matter at hand is the source itself. It is important that the source of funding is not tied to our internal capacities in the budget but that we transfer as much as possible to EU funds, which naturally is direct support to our economy," he explained.


Coric: Measures to date have certainly brought results

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric believes that the jobkeeping measures implemented over the past few months have definitely produced results.

He said that currently there are about 150,000 people unemployed in Croatia. Despite the fact that the majority of European and global economies recorded a fall in activities and were hit by a huge increase in unemployment, that did not occur in Croatia.

"We believe that this successful measure needs to continue. The fact that we have planned for it to continue until December, that is over the next four months, is aimed at anchoring the expectations of businesses and the real sector and that is precisely the direction we want to go in," said Coric.

He added that several portfolios would for that entire time monitor the effects of these measures on the economy and in that way take possible decisions if needed for additional measures to support the economy.

Coric underscored that in addition to the jobkeeping measures, credit lines would continually be available to settle liquidity, primarily through the SMEs agency Hamag-Bicro and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR).

For that reason more than HRK 1 billion has been allocated to Hamag-Bicro to continue providing loans to the business sector, recalled Coric.

Asked whether in addition to writing off wage contributions, taxes too could be written off, which was one of the measures that had been in force, Coric said that that measure had been planned to apply for several months prior to the summer. Such a decision has not been made for the time being and if and when that will be, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric will inform the public.

Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that she was exceptionally pleased that the measure would ensure the survival of the tourism sector until the end of the year and that further plans could be made, with everything that awaits us with the new Multiannual Financial  Framework, which is extremely important for the tourism portfolio.


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