Sunday, 24 May 2020

Political Analyst Raspudic To Run In Election As Bridge Candidate

ZAGREB, May 24, 2020 - Nino Raspudic, a professor of Italian language and literature at Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, who is more known as a political analyst and columnist, said on Sunday that he would be a candidate on a slate of the Bridge party in the 5 July elections.

Announcing his political engagement in the next parliamentary elections, Raspudic said in the HTV's talks show on Sunday that he had been writing articles as a political columnist for newspapers for more than 10 years.

"This has been a sort of political work. It was not engagement party-wise, however, I have made some impact on shaping political discourse in Croatia," said this university professor, born in Mostar in 1975.

Raspudic said that "the democratic deficit" in Croatia, in the European Union and globally, when it comes to election processes, was the main reason why he had decided to run in the elections.

Raspudic's announcement ensued a few days after the Bridge party said that his wife Marija Selak Raspudic, a philosopher and political analyst, decided to run in the elections as an independent candidate on its slates.

The Raspudic couple has been perceived in the public as a reinforcement for Bridge after several officials and parliamentarians left the party or said they would not run in the next election, including Slaven Dobrovic, a former environmental protection minister, Ines Strenja, Ivana Nincevic-Lesnadric, and Robert Podolnjak.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Restart Coalition Denies Negotiations with MOST

ZAGREB, May 11, 2020 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak said on Monday that the Restart Coalition had never been in negotiations with the MOST party and denied that he had offered cooperation, following an agreement with Social Democratic Party (SDP) chief Davor Bernardić, to the MOST Party.

"The Restart Coalition (SDP, HSS, GLAS, HSU, SNAGA) has never been in negotiations with MOST nor did I say that I had offered them cooperation following an agreement with the president of the SDP," Beljak posted on Twitter.

I will not comment further on various fabrications on this topic, since this is obviously an attempt to divert attention from much bigger issues Croatia has, the HSS leader said.

It was said in the Monday issue of the Vecernji List daily that Beljak told them that the SDP had offered coalition to the MOST party, wanting to bring together, against the ruling Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ), opposition ranging from the far left to the far right.

Beljak told the Večernji List daily that he had investigated a month ago, in agreement with Bernardić, the possibility of bringing together the entire opposition against the HDZ, from the left wing to the right wing, including the MOST party, but the MOST party rejected the proposal.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section. 

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Orepić Joins HSS; Party Might Run in Election on Its Own

ZAGREB, April 30, 2020 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak confirmed on Thursday that MP Vlaho Orepić had joined the HSS, stressing that the party was not ruling out the idea of running in the parliamentary election on its own.

The HSS is seriously preparing for the election, whenever it may be, and it is ready to compete in any configuration, Beljak said, confirming that he was in talks with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and other opposition parties on running together in the election but was not ruling out the possibility of the HSS running on its own.

He recalled that he had been pushing for opposition parties with similar platforms to come together but that the outcome of talks was not just up to him.

"We are ready for an agreement, not just with the SDP but with other opposition parties as well, but that does not mean that the HSS will wait around or beg anyone," he said.

He recalled that for two years the party had been advocating its New Republic platform, which, he said, defined what Croatia needed, and he believed the current crisis provided an opportunity to implement that platform.

Beljak described Orepić's joining the HSS as a great addition, announcing that his New Politics party would join the HSS.

Orepić, who is a former member and founder of the MOST party and now leads the New Politics party, said that the HSS is a "progressive, republican and green" party and that its platform covers the broad policy of the centre that was promoted by his party.

The New Politics' main aim is to protect Croatia as an environment and that ideological contribution would be built into the HSS, said Orepić, adding that the Opposition should unite in the fight against policies that had robbed and divided Croatians, forcing them to emigrate.

Orepić said he was not afraid that voters would think he was a turncoat because, as he said, his political positions were the same as on the first day of his political career.

MOST has turned into a far-right party and that is why I left it, he said.

More HSS news can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

MOST for Slashing VAT on Protective Equipment to 5%

ZAGREB, April 18, 2020 - The MOST party on Saturday presented amendments to the VAT Act proposing that VAT on all protective equipment preventing the spread of COVID-19 be slashed to 5%.

"We believe this is an appropriate proposal at the moment and that it would relieve the whole procurement system for those products," the head of the opposition party's economic council, Mislav Kraljević, told reporters.

He said the party hoped the amendment would be put on parliament's agenda as soon as possible and that other parliamentary parties would support it.

MOST leader Božo Petrov said the party had nine bills aimed at helping businesses and citizens cope with the current crisis.

Asked to comment on the government's dismissal of a Social Democratic Party proposal for a moratorium on loans, he said MOST had been proposing that from the start as well as a moratorium on interest rates and the suspension of enforcement proceedings.

Petrov also commented on the next parliamentary election, saying that because "the virus will last... the most adequate thing would be for the government to enable electronic and postal voting."

More MOST news can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Croatians Twice as Likely to Die From Treatable Diseases Compared to EU

Croatian Parliament MPs Božo Petrov and Ines Strenja emphasized that, despite the dismissal of Health Minister Milan Kujundžic, problems with Croatian health system have not gone away. They also pointed out that Croatians are twice as likely to die of treatable diseases as citizens in more developed European countries.


MediCarrera | Screenshot

Medical Staff Leaving Croatia: Remainers Working Unpaid Overtime

"After three and a half years of inaction, it is time to start treating chronic illnesses in the Croatian healthcare system. The system is in debt, irrationally organized, filled with red tape and waiting lists while doctors and other medical staff are leaving Croatia (for opportunities abroad). Those who remain, like nurses, are at a disadvantage and are being forced to work unpaid overtime hours,” Petrov pointed out.

Scandinavia Offers Croatians Free Relocation, Language Training, Child Care

Indeed, more financially prosperous EU countries have set up one-stop recruiting sites to lure medical professionals to their countries to the further detriment of Croatian citizens and residents. MediCarrera, a website serving the medical career recruitment needs of Denmark, Sweden and Norway; offers job placement, language training for hires and their families, accommodations and relocation costs; all of which are financed by employers in their respective countries.


MediCarrera | Screenshot

Several Swedish media outlets have recently criticized Croatia for its demographic losses and emigration.

Despite these external and internal challenges, Petrov insisted to members of the Croatian government that Most would not let them continue policies of inaction which had defined the former health minister's term according to Index on February 14, 2020.

Croatians Have Highest Mortality Rate for Treatable Diseases

Strenja pointed out that Croatian citizens continue to occupy high, and sometimes the highest, mortality rates among all EU citizens for avoidable and treatable diseases.

The reason, she said, lies in the lack of effective preventive medicine, timely diagnosis and the timely beginning of treatment.


Ines Strenja | Most

Strenja: Investing in Preventative Medicine Yields Fourfold Savings

"Again, unrefined protocol, procedures, measures and responsibilities will continue to miss desired expectations, which is ultimately evident in the overall health data. We emphasize that the investment in preventive medicine is the best bet and yields fourfold savings in treatment," Strenje explained.

She added that ex-Minister Kujundžic's files contain proposals for national strategies that would lower the death rate in Croatia from preventable diseases which is currently 293 per 100 thousand inhabitants compared to 140 per 100 thousand in the EU. The mortality from treatable diseases in our country is 140 per 100 thousand compared to only 90 out of 100 thousand in the EU.

“Therefore, I am calling on the new Health Minister, Vili Beroš, to discharge them and move on to combat chronic non-communicable diseases and conditions in Croatia,” Strenja urged.


Ivan Bekavac | N1

Bekavac: Action Plan Another 'Wish List'

Ivan Bekavac, Advisor for Most’s Health Council, pointed out that two key documents should guide the future of Croatians: The Draft Proposal for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases 2020-2026 and the Draft National Cancer Plan 2020-2030.

"The Action Plan for the Prevention and Control off Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases 2020-2026 does not sufficiently emphasize the responsibility of the Croatian government for the health of the population, because it must place much greater emphasis on the coordination of all departments in promoting and preserving health. It is just a wish list of suggestions, and is almost identical to the previous action plan, and again lacks elements of supervision, monitoring, performance evaluation and research," he explained.

He also considers it a disadvantage that the Draft National Cancer Plan 2020-2030 omitted family medicine doctors who are most familiar with their patients, their habits and family heritage, and emphasized that they should be key stakeholders in encouraging and mobilizing patients for preventive examinations.

Follow our Politics page to keep updated on the health care crisis in Croatia.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Hundreds of Split Citizens Show Off Big Hearts at 19th Humanitarian Event "A di si ti?!"

December 14, 2019 - The nineteenth edition of the humanitarian action "A di si ti?!" was held today at Gaje Bulata Square in front of HNK Split.

Splitski Dnevnik reports that this action, which was born 19 years ago as an idea to encourage volunteerism, has grown beyond itself and became a clear indicator of how much the people of Split are willing to help. At the same time, homelessness is in focus as a social phenomenon, making it clear that this is not a problem that should be pushed under the rug, but something that can happen to anyone today.

"A di si ti?!" brought together 75 organizations, institutions, schools, citizens, and more than 500 volunteers who helped throughout the action. "A di si ti?!" started back in 2000 on the Riva, said Most Vice President Dado Lelas. However, it never occurred to them that things would grow as they did, and that it would expand so much that the space in front of HNK became too small.

“Although we have had numerous donations and actions throughout December, which have grown more and more each year, we always wanted to do something on the street, but raising money has never been a primary goal. I cannot say that money isn’t good for us, but that wasn’t the point, we wanted to include as many schools and organizations as possible in volunteerism and start the conversation about homelessness, in fact, on topics that were not talked about back in 2000. We also wanted our customers to see that it is not only MoSt that is behind them, but that it is raising citizens' awareness," Lelas says, adding:

"The funds raised are intended exclusively for the homeless shelter, are placed in a separate account, and are also used partly to upgrade the center. With it, we manage to distribute small one-off cash payouts for Christmas and buy food. At the same time, we also use these funds for some expenses that they cannot provide, for example, for personal documents, for them to return home, which are small one-off costs that they cannot meet through social institutions. Of course, it also benefits us in terms of maintaining the space - we accept a lot of people, they change, we have to invest constantly, so this year we had to renovate the space two or three times and that money is good for us."

The action ran until 2 pm today and is an ideal opportunity to buy inexpensive gifts for the upcoming holidays while helping those in need.

To read more about lifestyle inC rosaria, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 2 December 2019

MOST: Plenković Responsible for Current Chaos in Country

ZAGREB, December 2, 2019 - Member of parliament Nikola Grmoja of the opposition MOST party said on Monday that the current chaos in the country, caused by the strike of primary and secondary school teachers, was due to the conduct of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who started negotiating with the striking teachers' unions only on Sunday, the 35th day of the strike.

"This is the longest strike ever, it has lasted for 36 days and the chaos in the country is due to Prime Minister Plenković who has removed the education minister from the negotiations, assuming responsibility. The minister is not taking part in the efforts to solve the problem. She is practically not there and she is responsible for the non-implementation of the reform," Grmoja told a news conference.

Grmoja stressed that talks on the job complexity index, which had been crucial for the striking teachers from the beginning, started only on Sunday evening and that the strike could have been ended long ago had the negotiations started earlier.

"That did not happen because of the prime minister's irresponsibility and arrogance and that's why we have a state of emergency which is affecting children, parents and the entire education system," said Grmoja.

Describing the wage system as utterly unfair, Grmoja said the government had consistently delayed regulating that issue because it lacked the courage to do so, recalling that his party has been insisting for three years on changing the current wage system, introducing rewards for competent workers and penalties for those not doing their job, and reducing state administration and abolishing counties.

More MOST news can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 28 October 2019

MOST Accuses Government of Failing to Tackle Depopulation

ZAGREB, October 28, 2019 - The leader of the opposition MOST party, Božo Petrov, said on Monday that emigration was the biggest challenge faced by Croatia since its accession to the European Union, and criticised the incumbent government for failing to seriously tackle the issue.

Petrov accused the government of taking only cosmetic measures in a bid to halt the depopulation trend.

"There are no concrete, serious moves to address the challenge of emigration," Petrov told a news conference in Zagreb on Monday.

He accused the government of failing to adopt a demographic strategy to alleviate the effects of the population decline.

Petra Mandić, a Rijeka councillor from this party, presented MOST's proposal that the minimum amount of monthly allowance during parental leave should be 3,991 kuna instead of the current minimum of 2,328 kuna.

MOST is in favour of introducing a monthly allowance of 135 kuna for parents with one child and of 2,000 kluna and more for parents with three children, depending on their income.

More MOST news can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 13 September 2019

MOST Party to Support Miroslav Škoro's Presidency Bid

ZAGREB, September 13, 2019 - The main committee of the opposition MOST party decided on Friday to support conservative independent candidate Miroslav Škoro at the forthcoming presidential election.

"We want the next President of Croatia to be a person who will protect the interests of all citizens, and not just the interests of a party or his own interests. We think that this cannot happen under the wings of the existing large political parties, but that it can happen with a person who at this moment has a realistic chance of changing things and the rules of the game. That's why the main committee has decided to support Miroslav Škoro's candidacy at the forthcoming election," the party's leader Božo Petrov told the press after the committee's meeting.

Petrov said that moves announced by Škoro corresponded to MOST's demands, such as calls for a fairer election system, the free expression of popular will at referendums, environmental protection, the fight for Croatian interests and resources, combating corruption and clientelism, and declaration of an exclusive economic zone. He added that they had agreed with Škoro joint activities on individual programme points.

Asked if MOST agreed with Škoro's view on outlawing the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Petrov said that Škoro had explained his position on the matter by saying that such a decision would rest with the Constitutional Court. Asked if he supported the restoration of the semi-presidential system, Petrov said that the President of the Republic cannot be "a mere wallflower" and should be given appropriate powers.

The presidential election is expected to be held in late December.

More news about presidential elections can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

MOST Party Launches Round Tables to Present Proposals for Tax Cuts

ZAGREB, September 4, 2019 - The opposition MOST party organised a round table discussion in Zagreb on Tuesday to present its proposals for tax cuts in light of planned legislative changes.

It was the first in a series of round tables that would be held and it focused on the tax system and demographic policy. Suggestions made by economists and tax experts should contribute to demographic policy, give an impulse to businesses and boost investment in education, research and development.

"Our view is that halfway demographic measures are not effective. Conventional solutions are not producing results. Measures for demographic revival should be concrete and financially tangible and should be passed immediately," MOST's leader Bozo Petrov said.

Mislav Kraljević of the party's Economic, Financial and Business Council said that income tax reliefs on dependent children should be replaced by fixed-amount allowances that increase progressively with the number of dependent children, regardless of the amount of the parents' monthly income.

"The purpose of this measure is to help low-income citizens who are currently not subject to taxation and who do not benefit from any tax rate reductions. They constitute a majority of employed people in Croatia, and this proposal is the only possible measure that can have a positive effect on their net wages. This measure has a clear positive demographic effect and would lead to a complete redesign of the child allowance system," Kraljević said.

The executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, Andrea Doko Jelušić, said that the AmCham had drawn up recommendations for changes to the Croatian tax system. She said it was necessary to increase the non-taxable income from 3,800 kuna (€514) to 4,800 kuna (€650) and to reduce the income tax rates. She said that the first income tax rate should be cut from 24% to 12% and that the second rate, of 36%, should be reduced considerably.

"Croatia must take measures to become more competitive in relation to its peers in the neighbourhood," Doko Jelušić said.

Davor Huić of the Lipa taxpayers' association said that the tax system should be simplified and brought closer to a flat-tax model. He added that the government must find a way to cut public spending, which he said was among the highest in Europe. "It is absurd that the Croatian public sector is constantly growing while the number of people for whom this sector is working is continuously falling," Huić said.

More news about taxes can be found in the Business section.

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