Monday, 13 June 2022

Information Day Being Organised for Omisalj Archaeology Parks

June the 13th, 2022 - An information day is being organised for the Omisalj archaeology parks as part of a wider project with the aim to increase the level of interest of locals in preserving local cultural identity.

As Morski writes, an Info Day within the scope of the wider TRANSFER project, which is being implemented as part of the Interreg Adrion programme, will be held on June the 14th, 2022, at the Mirine archaeological site in the Municipality of Omisalj, starting at 09:00.

The aim of this event is to increase the participation and interests of local communities and relevant stakeholders and to further strengthen cultural identity. In order to raise awareness of the importance of Omisalj archaeology parks and sites and convey the concept of their integrated protection and valorisation within the project, the upcoming event will present the objectives and activities of the aforementioned project and illustrate the need for a participatory approach to Omisalj archaeology park management.

The Municipality of Omisalj, as one of the twelve partners of the TRANSFER project, is participating in the preparation of the document related to the Joint Sustainable Management Model, which resulted in the management plan of the Mirine - Fulfinum Archaeological Park. As part of the project, the municipality is also participating in Pilot actions that will be carried out across six Omisalj archaeology parks, including Mirine-Fulfinum.

Lessons learned from the Pilot Actions, together with inputs from local communities, relevant stakeholders and the experience of young people during study visits, will be used for the final revision of the Common Model. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, the municipality will participate in the development and implementation of a virtual reality app that will enable a virtual walk through the archaeological area of ​​Mirina - Fulfinum.

The TRANSFER project, in which the Municipality of Omisalj participates as one of twelve partners, is being co-financed through the European transnational programme (ADRION), which promotes cooperation between 8 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

The overall goal of the Transnational Cooperation Programme is to strengthen European integration among the aforementioned partner countries through innovative policies and management processes, as well as to further increase the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Programme Area by using rich natural, cultural and human resources in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Greenpeace Adriatic Protest Held in Front of Tanker Headed for Omisalj

May the 31st, 2022 - A Greenpeace Adriatic protest was held in front of a large tanker (SCF Samotlor) headed for the Port of Omisalj, which was transporting Russian oil.

As Morski writes, Greenpeace activists protested recently in front of the SCF Samotlor tanker, which was transporting Russian oil to the Port of Omisalj. They staged a protest ahead of a recently held European Union (EU) summit, urging EU political leaders to urgently impose an embargo on all Russian fossil fuels and speed up the energy transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Greenpeace pointed out that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine back in February, EU countries have spent more than 54 billion euros on Russian oil, gas and coal, which turns out to be co-financing the war still going on in ravaged Ukraine.

Hundreds of millions of euros continue to flow from EU countries into the Kremlin in exchange for Russian fossil fuels, and EU leaders have still failed to impose sanctions that would effectively curb this, what they deem to be an utterly immoral trade. In other words, and in the opinion of those who held the recent Greenpeace Adriatic protect, the European Union is still co-financing the war in Ukraine and such a practice must stop immediately.

''The EU must finally show true solidarity and impose an embargo on all Russian fossil fuels. No delays, no legal loopholes, no special treatment and exemption for any country,'' warned Eszter Matyas, campaign manager at Greenpeace CEE.

The Greenpeace Adriatic protest took place the day before the aforementioned summit, and the European Commission has proposed phasing out Russian oil imports in most EU member states, but not before the end of this year. Some countries like Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria could get even more time permitted. Recent comments from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen show that EU leaders are nowhere near an agreement, Greenpeace warned.

''The humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine will only continue to deepen if a weak embargo is imposed, or if nothing is imposed at all. The war in Ukraine should be a wake-up call for European Union leaders. Security in a world powered by fossil fuels simply doesn't exist. The current ban on all Russian fossil fuels can and must be a strong impetus for the development of renewables and energy efficiency across Europe. It's important not only because of climate security, but also because of its independence from autocratic regimes that trade in fossil fuels,'' said Petra Andric from Greenpeace Croatia.

The majority of oil consumption in the EU is accounted for by transport, while the EU is dependent on imports for as much as 97% of its oil products. A study commissioned by Belgium's Greenpeace offers guidance to those responsible for decarbonising Europe's transport sector by 2040, which could be powered by renewable energy without relying on biofuels. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced that a limited set of short-term transport measures could reduce consumption by as much as 2.7 million barrels of oil per day over the next four months. In Germany, short-term measures could reduce Russian oil imports by about a third, the global organization warns.

When it comes to the Greenpeace Adriatic protest, activists have also held similar protests in Ukraine since the start of the war, calling for an embargo on Russian fossil fuel imports to European countries including Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and Croatia in late March.

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Thursday, 14 April 2022

New LNG Croatia Service Sees it Become Unique in "LNG World"

April the 14th, 2022 - LNG Croatia has made quite the name for itself owing to a new service it offers, making it unique in the world of the LNG industry. With the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine prompting harsh sanctions against that country, nations which relied and still do rely heavily on the import of Russian gas are now busy seeking new ways to meet their gas needs to end their reliance on the aggressor. 

This new LNG Croatia service is definitely something that will place this Terminal's offer more firmly on the map as the situation with sanctions against Russia continues to unfold.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the operator of the LNG Terminal (LNG Croatia) has enabled its users the ability to have a brand new non-standard service provided to them - the reloading of LNG from the FSRU ship to LNG transport trucks, LNG Croatia recently announced.

They stated from LNG Croatia that by providing this service, the LNG Terminal located on the island of Krk has become unique in the world of the LNG industry, since LNG Croatia is the very first to perform the complex operation of the transshipment of LNG directly from the FSRU ship to the tank trucks.

The Terminal's users will be provided with an average of forty appointments per month for the arrival of the LNG trucks, and the company claims that by providing this service, the Terminal in Omisalj has once again proven its significant role in the development of the natural gas market in this part of Europe.

LNG Croatia also informed the public about the increase in the technical capacity of the LNG Terminal. The new technical capacity, ie the maximum capacity of LNG gasification now stands at an impressive 338,000 m3/hour.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

LNG Croatia Seafarers Required Vaccination to Work from November 1

October 27, 2021 - LNG Croatia seafarers at the LNG terminal in Omišalj will need to be vaccinated with at least the first dose by November 1 this year. reports that LNG Croatia seafarers on board the floating unit for liquefied natural gas (FSRU) at the LNG terminal in Omišalj will have to be vaccinated if they want to continue working at the terminal, announced the Norwegian company Golar, which employs the seafarers at the LNG terminal.

Hrvoje Krhen, director of LNG Croatia, which operates the terminal, confirmed the news received from Golar.

"They must be vaccinated with the first dose of vaccine no later than November 1 this year, and the second no later than January 1 next year. Otherwise, the company will no longer guarantee them employment," Krhen said.

Only seafarers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months and have a valid recovery certificate will be exempted from this obligation.

"Until now, no one without a Covid-certificate could enter the terminal, including the ship. Thus, at each boarding, seafarers also had to have a certificate that they had been vaccinated, tested negative, or displayed a certificate that they had recovered from Covid-19. This is a serious business in which we cannot risk the crew becoming infected and the supply of the natural gas market in question," Krhen told Novi list.

Mario Zorović, president of the Croatian Association of Seafarers' Employment Brokers, whose agency employs part of the ship's crew, says most large shipping companies are expected to introduce mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 soon, without which boarding will not be possible.

"So far, several large companies, such as Stena and Hoegh LNG, have introduced vaccination obligations for all their seafarers. I must point out that most seafarers have accepted the obligation to vaccinate, and a good part of them have already been vaccinated. For example, out of 200 seafarers we employ on Hoegh LNG ships, only one refused to be vaccinated," Zorović said.

There are about 17,000 Croatian seafarers in international navigation, of which as many as 77 percent are officers on ships. Just over 50 percent of them have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Still, the Association expects that number to increase significantly now that companies have started introducing mandatory vaccination as a condition for obtaining or retaining a job.

The Secretary-General of the Croatian Seafarers' Union, Neven Melvan, points out that the introduction of vaccination obligations should not be in the domain of shipping companies but should be decided at the level of the World Maritime Organization (IMO).

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

Friday, 16 April 2021

Pesja in Omišalj Becomes First Fully Transparent Public Company in Croatia

April 16, 2021 - Utility company Pesja in Omišalj operates fully transparently thanks to cooperation with the company Oraclum, owned by famous Croatian economist Vuk Vukovic. reports that from today, it will be possible to see all payments from the business account of KD Pesja d.o.o.

Pesja, founded by the Municipality of Omišalj, becomes the first utility company in Croatia that will provide citizens with insight into every transaction, i.e., payments to legal entities and individuals, providing citizens with their work and all data on how public money is spent. 

Pesja thus sets an example to other utility companies, but also to other institutions established by regional and local self-government units which, by introducing transparency, prevent corrupt actions and inefficient spending of public money.

Mirela Ahmetović, the mayor of Omišalj, says that she is proud that in the fight against corruption in Croatia, the utility company from her municipality is introducing full transparency.

"The municipality of Omišalj continues to introduce full transparency of public money and sets an example to all other local governments to act in the same way to be one step closer to combating corruption that eats away at Croatian society. We were the first municipality to show every penny of taxpayers' money completely and without hidden intentions. 

No matter how small the Municipality of Omišalj is in the eyes of the rest of the country, we have shown by our example that even the smallest can become an example to the biggest and that we do not give up on a better and fairer system that serves only those who pay - citizens.

We are proud to be the first in Croatia in the fight against corruption. Pesja is the first utility company in the Republic of Croatia to show all its costs fully. Also, we will introduce transparency in the Municipality of Omišalj Tourist Board and thus complete this story. We will show the citizens how the public money of all companies and organizations established by the Municipality of Omišalj is spent.

It is a way to fight corruption at all levels and a clear message to all residents of the municipality of Omišalj that their money is safe and that no one should betray their trust. I want the whole of Croatia, all local self-government units, and especially state administration bodies and public companies to take such a position. I am convinced that Croatia would become a happier and better country with this political decision," she said.

Goran Ivandić, director of KD Pesja, emphasizes the hope that their example will be followed by other companies, institutions, and other entities.

"By introducing a system for transparency in our utility company, all payments from our business account are visible. Considering that the largest part of the income comes from the provision of communal services that we contractually perform for the Municipality of Omišalj, we use the link on our website to transparently provide insight into taxpayers' spending money. Thus, Pesja became the first company to decide on this step of full transparency. Still, we hope that our example will be followed by other companies, institutions, and all other entities financed from the budget to increase their responsibility to citizens and reduce the possibility for corruption," Ivandic said.

Famous economist Vuk Vukovic praised the Municipality of Omišalj.

"Once again, the Municipality of Omišalj is in the right light because soon after full transparency of its own budget, it started to include all other legal entities under its jurisdiction. Thus, it was the turn of the utility company Pesja d.o.o., the first in Croatia to present absolutely all the costs of their expenses. It is important to note the importance of this move.

So far, we have had only a few examples of complete transparency of the budgets of cities and municipalities, and in some places, presentations of public procurement of public companies. Pesja is the first public company in Croatia to show those costs that do not pass public procurement, i.e., which are below the procurement threshold, as well as all salaries of employees who gave their GDPR consent, also in the desire for full transparency and who really do not have what to hide.

As with the Municipality itself, citizens will be able to view each cost, each contract, and all employees' salaries via a link on the website, which puts the business of this public company under the watchful eye of the public. Pesja and Omišalj are now becoming an example to the rest of Croatia of how to approach full transparency projects," Vukovic said.

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

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

City of Trogir Third in Croatia to Introduce Full Budget Transparency

February 9, 2021 – By introducing an interactive mobile application for full budget transparency, the City of Trogir will soon join the Croatian cities of Split and Bjelovar and the municipality of Omišalj and become one of the most transparent local governments in Croatia.

Together with the Science and Society Synergy Institute, the City of Trogir signed an agreement to introduce the city budget's full transparency. The contract represents the first phase of a project to create a simple and visually attractive application that would give citizens a different budget view.

With the application, citizens would have an insight into ongoing or planned projects, the performance of previous budgets and the budget for next year, or the supplementary budget for the current year. The application would provide an overview of the current budget. At the same time, additional options will compare the plan with the performance and a comparison with previous years' budgets.


Trogir / Photo: Romulić and Stojčić

Trogir to become the most desirable small town on the coast

The City of Trogir wants to bring concrete budget items closer to the citizens through clear and simple numerical indicators and through aggregate indicators that are difficult to understand. They want to educate and sensitize citizens for certain types of strategically important projects. In other words, citizens would get an insight into what exactly their money is spent on.

"Through this project, we continue to introduce smart practices. The goal is to show how city money is managed and involve citizens in the City Administration's work as much as possible. So far, we have done this through participatory budgeting, 'And you are asked!', a project through which citizens themselves directly decide on spending part of the budget money. Last year, the Institute of Public Finance gave us grade five for transparency for the first time. We have also published an online register of city property, and with this application, we are going a step further," said Mayor of Trogir Ante Bilić.

The average assessment of Croatian cities' transparency for 2020 is 4.5, compared to the previous 2019 when it was 4.3. In 2019, Trogir received a grade of 4, and in 2020, thanks to the publication of all five city documents required for insight into transparency, a rate of 5. The number of Croatian cities of excellence increased from 65 in 2019 to as many as 87 in 2020, a positive trend.


Budget transparency of Croatian cities and municipalities / Institute of Public Finance

"Budget transparency is our obligation and one part of the smart city strategy we will develop this year. This is a necessary level of development planning by which we want to make Trogir the most desirable small town on the coast in every sense. Precisely such projects by which we raise democratic standards are a guarantee that we will never end up in the problems we were in three years ago," said Bilić.

Striving for complete city transparency

This interactive visualization of the budget will be available to citizens in two months. It will be implemented by the Science and Society Synergy Institute based in Čakovec, headed by Vuk Vuković.

"The application we will create for Trogir offers an in-depth and visually attractive presentation of all revenues and expenditures up to the fourth level of the budget, according to the functional and economic classification. This data, the functional classification up to the fourth level of spending, has not been given to city councilors at budget hearings who receive budget expenditures up to a maximum of the third level. For example, the fourth level means that you can enter within each city's budget user – kindergartens, schools, museums, libraries – and see who spent how much on salaries, maintenance, what they bought, etc. The third level gives only the total amount received by which user, without going into details. With this presentation, citizens have a more detailed insight into city spending than city politicians," Vuković explained.


Ante Bilić and Vuk Vuković / Photo:

Following an interactive budget guide, the next step will be a detailed overview of all budget accounts. Citizens would have an insight into each transaction from the budget, from public procurement to entertainment expenses. Then there will be complete transparency of the city towards users.

Bjelovar was the first to introduce transparency application

Thus, Trogir will be one of only three cities in Croatia and Southeast Europe with a completely transparent budget. A similar practice has been introduced by the Croatian cities of Bjelovar and Split and the municipality of Omišalj, which also introduced applications for insight into the city budget. The City of Bjelovar presented a similar application in February 2019. Vuković also helped them, making them the first most transparent city in Croatia, for which they were awarded that year.

"Bjelovar has thus embarked on a unique undertaking in Croatia and this part of Europe, which is to raise transparency to a level that has not been introduced in any public authority so far, to raise the quality of the City Administration's work and strengthen public confidence," said Vuković at the time, as reported from Bjelovar.

Bjelovar Pavilion / Photo:

Bjelovar's positive example was followed by the municipality of Omišalj, which introduced the transparency application at the end of March 2020. The largest Croatian city on the coast – Split – also decided to do so, and neighboring Trogir took over its practice.

Namely, the citizens' right to access information held by public authorities is guaranteed by the Republic of Croatia's Constitution. Therefore, in addition to the moral, the public authority also has a legal duty to provide information on public money spending. However, while in developed democracies such transparency is considered the standard and, for example, all individual transactions from the US federal budget of 1.5 billion dollars are available to the public through an interactive Internet search engine, in Croatia it has never existed before, nor are public authorities considered this possibility.

This trend seems to be changing in Croatia. The transparency of Croatian cities is presented in an interactive map of the Institute of Public Finance.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Plinacro: Work on Submarine Section of Omisalj-Zlobin Gas Pipeline Nearing End

ZAGREB, Aug 13, 2020 - The gas pipeline operator Plinacro on Thursday announced that work on the submarine leg of the Omisalj-Zlobin gas pipeline, to transport gas from the LNG terminal on Krk Island, was nearing completion.

"Yesterday evening we laid pipes on the bottom of the Tihi Kanal near Omisalj on Krk Island thus completing the most demanding works on the 750-metre-long underwater leg of the Omisalj-Zlobin gas pipeline. This was technically the most complex part of the job of building 16.7 kilometres of gas pipelines... and 120 people were engaged in the works," Plinacro said in a press release.

Plinacro explained that the works started on July 27 and it took one week to lower the pipes into the sea, and on August 11 and 12 the final work to sink the pipes to the sea bottom were completed. The depth of the sea in that part of the Tihi Kanal is as much as 55 metres, which is just one of the indicators of the complexity of the task, Plinacro said.

The company added that the construction works that started in December last year are going according to schedule.

The investment is worth HRK 430 million and the works should be completed by the end of the year and then the LNG terminal should be up and running, Plinacro said.

The Omisalj-Zlobin gas pipeline is being constructed with the support of the European Commission and a grant of €16 million to cover construction costs. The Croatian government in May this year agreed for Plinacro to take a loan of €33.3 million for the project.

The Omisalj-Zlobin pipeline is an essential part of a system to store, gasify and transport liquefied gas, that is, an essential part of the LNG terminal on Krk Island, which will have a capacity of 2.6 million cubic metres of gas a year.

The LNG terminal is one of Croatia's key energy projects and the value of the floating terminal is €233.6 million. The European Commission has allocated €101.4 million in grants for the project. The terminal should be operational as of 1 January 2021.

Monday, 6 July 2020

VIDEO: Fin Whale Filmed Swimming Peacefully Near Omisalj

As Morski writes on the 4th of July, 2020, a beautiful fin whale was spotted recently swimming peacefully in the bay of Omisalj. This species of whale's closest relative is the enormous blue whale, otherwise the largest animal on Earth.

''I think you can hear from my voice in the video how excited I was. It was pure luck that I was looking in the right direction at the right time and that the whale decided to take another breath before diving back down. If I hadn’t been able to record those few seconds, nobody would have believed me. Professor Magda Sindicic from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine identified him as a great northern whale, referred me to their database and I entered the sighting data. Honestly, I didn’t want to make the video public purely because I didn't want someone to upset him. But my friends wanted to share it and now a lot of people have seen it. I hope that it won't harm him,'' the author of the video, Goran Mehanovic, told the portal.

Great northern whales are protected by law and are on the endangered species list. They usually come to the Adriatic in search of food, most often for small blue fish and planktonic shrimp. The animal is on average 20 metres long and weighs 70 tonnes.

Fin whales live in all of the world's oceans. They spend their summers in polar or moderately cold waters, and in winter they come to moderately warm and tropical seas. As the seasons are reversed in the northern hemisphere when compared to the southern hemisphere, they're never encountered at the equator. Some zoologists consider these to be two separate subspecies: the northern fin (B.p.physalus) and the southern fin (B.p. quoyi).

Whale fins live in groups of 5 to, possibly, 10 animals. Before whaling, there were "schools" of fin whales and up to 300 animals in them. They swim faster and dive deeper than most other large whales. They can swim at a speed of about 37 km/h and regularly dive to a depth of 200 metres, staying under the water for fifteen minutes at a time. These whales feed almost exclusively on krill. They feed, much like the blue whale, exclusively in their summer habitats, and during the winter they consume their fat stores.

They only have one baby, and the mother gives birth to it when she arrives at her summer residence. The baby is about 6.5 metres long and weighs 1,800 kilograms at birth. They reach sexual maturity at the age of about 10, and live to be more than 100 years old.

Watch the video taken near Omisalj below:

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