Monday, 10 May 2021

Slovenia Donates €67,000 to Earthquake-struck Petrinja

ZAGREB, 10 May 2021 - A humanitarian campaign for the children of Petrinja by the Slovenian "Zveza prijateljev mladine Slovenije" NGO and Radio-Television Slovenia have managed to collect €67,000 for the construction of the "Our Children" house in Petrinja in the aftermath of last year's earthquake, the Our Children NGO said on Monday.

Based on the wishes of Petrinja residents, and in particular families with children who wish to remain in the town, the funds were collected to build a prefab house that will be used as a play centre and to provide psychosocial support and entertainment for children, youth and families.

Various events will be organized there, expert and creative workshops, while the funds collected are also earmarked to purchase equipment and other supplies. The house will also provide help with learning and expert psychosocial assistance for children, adolescents, and parents.

The director of Slovenian Television, Natalija Gorščak, said that in the past 50 years Slovenia experienced destructive earthquakes in Kozjansko and Posočje, hence it is aware of the misfortune and powerlessness of people after an earthquake.

"These incidents are very difficult to explain to children and adolescents and it is hard for them to understand. In the hope that their lives will be back to normal as soon as possible, we gladly launched the fund-raising campaign for all of them as part of our December campaign," she said.

A donation agreement, as the first step towards building the house, was signed by Martina Botužić Dževerlija, the president of the Our Children Petrinja NGO, and Darja Groznik, the president of the "Zveze prijateljev mladine Slovenije" NGO from Slovenia.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

French Institute in Croatia Launches Hospitality Programme

ZAGREB, 4 May, 2021 - The French Institute in Croatia has on the occasion of its 100th anniversary launched a Hospitality programme which in cooperation with various institutions enables close public contact with artists.

The programme is adapted to Croatia's specific context, featuring the consequences of the health crisis and earthquakes that hit Zagreb and Sisak and Petrinja in central Croatia and is aimed at developing a programme of valorisation of Croatian artists in the premises of the French Institute where they can present their works and establish contact with a new audience.

The planned encounters are aimed at enabling a privileged experience and relationship with artists and their works, something that has been absent during this period of restricted encounters.

The institute has called on artists to participate in the programme, saying that they will be issued with a 'carte blanche' to take over the institute's premises for specific encounters with the public and to present their works.

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

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Convoy With 70 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid From Bavaria Arrives in Petrinja

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - A large convoy from Bavaria, carrying more than 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid from Bavaria for residents of Sisak-Moslavina County, hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 29 December 2020, arrived at a divers' base in Petrinja on Monday.

The drive, organised by divers and Ante Šistov, helped collect more than 70 tonnes of construction material, including bricks, oriented strand boards, electrical fittings, doors, tiles, etc.

Šistov said this was the second humanitarian convoy for the region of Banovina, noting that so far more than 120 tonnes of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to the quake-hit region.

The base for the collection and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Petrinja was set up by the HRVI Nemo-Adriatic association of divers-disabled war veterans, with support from the Croatian Homeland War Volunteers Association and the Promocija Ronjenja agency.

The campaign, which is still ongoing, has been joined by numerous divers' clubs and centres from Croatia and abroad, firefighters and rescuers from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria as well as numerous German companies.

For more about earthquake in Petrinja, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Petrinja Artists Come Together for City Brass Band and Wrestling Club

April 6, 2021 - Three Petrinja siblings launched a humanitarian action for the City Brass Band and Wrestling Club with the promise to build a better future for Petrinja's youth. Now, Petrinja artists have joined the cause. 

A humanitarian action was initiated by three Petračić siblings, Sanja, Iva, and Tin, whose goal is to raise funds to reconstruct Petrinja's culture and sports institutions, which are two great symbols of the city. Renovations would bring life back to normal for the Petrinja youth. They hope to raise 120 thousand kuna, reports Diva.hr.

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"People often ask us why brass music and wrestlers? The answer is straightforward: our goal is for children and young people in Petrinja to have a place to spend their free time and be safe. We believe that the state will take care of accommodations. It is up to us to ensure the preservation of the centuries-old tradition of Petrinja brass musicians and continue the series of medals of our Petrinja wrestlers.

Almost all activities for children in Petrinja disappeared with the earthquakes. Unfortunately, some families moved away because they cannot provide children with cultural and sports activities, which acted as an alternative to parks and cafes. Infrastructure and houses are a priority, but so are children and their talents," said Sanja Petračić.

More than 150 youngest members of the City Brass Band and the Wrestling Club lost their place to play, train, and socialize after the earthquake.

Petrinja City Brass Band, with a tradition of more than 213 years, is the oldest music association in the city, and for Petrinja, it is much more than a music orchestra. To this day, in various forms and through different states and arrangements, brass music has never interrupted its work for long periods of time. The Brass band represented Petrinja in many cities in Croatia and Europe and thus became one of the city's symbols.

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"I grew up with city brass music. With this action, we want to make it possible for all young Petrinja residents," adds Iva Petračić.

The Petrinja Wrestling Club is the most important and most successful sports club in the city, with five championship titles in Yugoslavia and six Croatian championship titles. Club members also included 1984 Olympic winner Vlado Lisjak and the bronze medalist Milan Nenadić from the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.

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"I made the first steps forward in the wrestling hall where my dad took me. Today, as a kinesiologist, I know that wrestling is an excellent base for all other sports and a fantastic activity for youth development," concludes Tin Petračić.

Petrinja artists and friends of Petrinja also joined the humanitarian action. Sculptor Mato Andrić, photographer Besim Mujezinović, potter Valentino Valent, and painter Josip Pintarić Puco donated their works of art for the humanitarian auction: two paintings, the first "earthquake pot" and photographs taken after the earthquake in Petrinja.

The donations collected in this humanitarian action will be directly and purposefully used to purchase sports equipment and props for the Wrestling Club's work and the purchase of official uniforms and musical instruments for the City Brass Band. The action lasts until April 24, and you can see more of what's on offer below!  

Dobri Duh Katalog Aukcija by 24sata

Let's keep the spirit of culture and sports in Petrinja alive and help them build a better future!

You can follow them on Facebook and donate on their website HERE.

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

Friday, 2 April 2021

HRK 6.7m Welfare, Development Project Agreements Handed Over

ZAGREB, 2 April, 2021 - Two grant agreements worth HRK 6.7 million were handed over in Petrinja on Friday for projects by the local development agency PETRA and the Red Cross office in Sisak.

Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović said that the first agreement was financed with EU funds in the amount of HRK 2.5 million and was intended for the establishment of a centre for social entrepreneurship in Petrinja.

The other grant agreement, worth close to HRK 4.2 million, is intended to help alleviate poverty in the region of Banovina and northern Croatia, through donations of food and/or basic material assistance.

Attending the ceremony at which the grant agreements were handed over were also War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County, and local officials.

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

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Earthquake Damage Estimated at €5.5 Billion

ZAGREB, 18 March, 2021 - The damage caused by a string of earthquakes that struck central Croatia in December 2020 has been estimated at €5.5 billion, based on which Croatia will apply for €319.19 million from the European Union's Solidarity Fund, the government said at its meeting on Thursday.

The direct damage caused by the earthquakes was estimated, in accordance with EU rules and the methodology used by the World Bank, at HRK 41.6 billion or €5.5 billion, which is 10.2% of the country's gross national income, the Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets, Darko Horvat, reported.

EU member states are entitled to aid from the European Solidarity Fund if total direct damage caused by a major natural disaster exceeds 0.6% of the country’s gross national income.

Horvat said that this included the damage done in Sisak-Moslavina County, Karlovac County and Zagreb County, subsequent damage in the City of Zagreb and Krapina-Zagorje County, as well as damage done to individual properties in Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Virovitica-Podravina County, Požega-Slavonia County, Osijek-Baranja County, Međimurje County, Varaždin County and Koprivnica-Križevci County.

Based on this damage assessment, Croatia can apply for a contribution of €319.19 million from the European Solidarity Fund and will do so, said the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Nataša Tramišak.

Emergency measures that qualify for EU funding include restoration of infrastructure and plants in the energy sector, water supply, waste-water management, telecommunications, transport, healthcare and education, provision of temporary accommodation, rescue services, cultural heritage protection, and clean-up operations.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that he had discussed this matter with relevant EU authorities last week and announced that this week Croatia would apply for funding from the Solidarity Fund.

"I am confident that this time too, just as was the case with initial damage from the earthquakes, we will receive strong support from this European fund," the prime minister said.

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

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Football Legends of Croatia and Slovenia Play for Petrinja

March 13, 2021 - Football legends of Croatia and Slovenia played a charity match in Petrinja on Saturday, initiated by the president of the Croatian Football Federation and a member of the UEFA Executive Board, Davor Suker, and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, to help the areas affected by the devastating earthquake late last year.

HNS reports that on behalf of the umbrella European Football Federation, Aleksander Čeferin presented a donation to the Croatian Red Cross for 50 thousand euros. HNS President Davor Šuker handed over the donation to the Sisak-Moslavina County Football Federation, intended to reconstruct football infrastructure in earthquake-affected areas, for 200 thousand kuna, while the Football Federation of Slovenia donated 5 thousand euros to the Football Club Mladost.

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Drago Sopta/HNS

"When I found out about the tragic earthquake in Petrinja and its surroundings, I talked to Davor Šuker, and we started thinking about how we could help. Football is solidarity, football is friendship, and we agreed to organize this match and for UEFA to donate. We were joined by the Croatian Football Federation and the Slovenian Football Federation led by Radenko Mijatović. I am glad that this humanitarian event was a success," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

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Drago Sopta/HNS

"At the moment when the tragedy happened, the president of UEFA, Alexander Čeferin, and I got in touch, and in the first second we agreed on the match in Petrinja, we were only looking for the most suitable date. I want to thank President Čeferin and the UEFA Executive Board, who voted for this donation. As the Croatian Football Federation president, I am glad that we were able to help the Sisak-Moslavina County Federation. The ball will always roll, the most important thing is that people in this area get a roof over their heads as soon as possible, and everyone who can help is welcome. The least important thing is who won on the field, all of us who were in the service of humanity won," said the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Davor Šuker.

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Drago Sopota/HNS

"It is nice that we are all together in Petrinja, and that time has served us. We gladly accepted the joint idea of Aleksandar Čeferin and Davor Šuker, the Football Federation of Slovenia responded to this initiative, I believe that we will make life at least a little easier for people in this area and the local football club in this difficult period," said the president of the Football Federation of Slovenia, Radenko Mijatović.

"I thank all the participants, the players of both national teams, the president of UEFA, Aleksandar Čeferin, and the president of HNS, Davor Šuker, this was a top football spectacle, but, unfortunately, in the earthquake-stricken area. However, this is the day when the history of Petrinja will begin to be written again. The atmosphere was fantastic; I'm sorry that the spectators could not watch this match live, but, in any case, thank you all for helping the City of Petrinja and Sisak-Moslavina County," said the President of the Sisak-Moslavina County Football Federation and a member of the Executive of the HNS Committee, Davor Ivić.

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Drago Sopta/HNS

"Sport, and especially football, has a special power to unite us. All athletes have been with us since day one, helping the affected population in various ways. We thank UEFA, HNS, and SNS for deciding to organize such a magnificent sports event and increase it by donating financial aid that will be sent through the Croatian Red Cross to the earthquake-stricken population. We are proud that the Croatian Red Cross is part of this sports humanitarian action," said the executive president of the Croatian Red Cross, Robert Markt.

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Drago Sopta/HNS

The meeting of Croatia and Slovenia football legends is a continuation of fostering good neighborly relations between the two national federations, which also organized a friendly match in Brdo near Kranj in September last year when the hosts celebrated (3:2). Slovenia celebrated a "close" victory on this occasion, even though Croatia took the lead with a penalty kick by Davor Šukerr. Still, Slovenia reversed the result thanks to the goals of Milivoj Novaković and Milenko Aćimović. The role of the Croatia coach was taken over by the senior advisor to the HNS president, Zorislav Srebrić, and the Croatia team was led by the current coach of the Vatreni, Zlatko Dalić, former coach Miroslav Blažević, and Dinamo legend Marijan Vlak.

CROATIA LEGENDS: Marijan Mrmić, Stipe Pletikosa, Davor Šuker, Zvonimir Boban, Aljoša Asanović, Ivica Olić, Petar Krpan, Dario Šimić, Darijo Srna, Daniel Šarić, Niko Kranjčar, Igor Bišćan, Boris Živković, Silvio Marić, Mihael Mikić, Nenad Pralija, Tomislav Dujmović, Robert Špehar, Marko Babić, Željko Pavlović.
SLOVENIA LEGENDS: Robert Volk, Aleksander Čeferin, Primož Gliha, Miran Pavlin, Milivoje Novaković, Milenko Aćimović, Boštjan Cesar, Mišo Brečko, Radenko Mijatović, Aleksandar Radosavljević, Goran Barišić, Tomaž Vesel, Silvo Vrhovec, Andrej Vrhovec, Robert Beguš, Tomislav Čizmić, Mladen Džanan, Branko Ilić, Mitja Sojer, Jože Prelogar, Robert Beguš.

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

Monday, 8 March 2021

President Visits Faculties in Sisak, Petrinja on International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Monday visited the Sisak Faculty of Metallurgy, saying metallurgy was stereotypically considered a male profession, and the Petrinja Faculty of Teacher Education, saying teaching was considered a female profession.

One of the topics with faculty officials and students was the role of women in science and higher education.

"The reason I am here today, on International Women's Day, is also the fact that at (the Sisak) faculty, in management and leadership, are solely women, which is very unusual given that the nature of their profession is stereotypically considered male," Milanović told the press, adding that it was also unusual that half the students were women.

Speaking of the 60 years of the Sisak Faculty of Metallurgy, which is part of the University of Zagreb, the president said it was fighting and developing despite all the changes Croatia had gone through.

"In Sisak, the cradle of Croatian metallurgy, which has had its ups and downs, fighting for survival and progress, that knowledge is nurtured," he said, adding that the doctoral studies at the faculty were "a big success considering how demanding, intensive and complicated they are."

Milanović said he was sure the Science and Education Ministry and the faculty itself would advance the faculty with European funding.

After visiting the Petrinja Faculty of Teacher Education, which is also part of the University of Zagreb, the president said he was confident that it would "carry this city" after the devastating earthquake last December.

Congratulating women on their day, Milanović said "there are women and women," explaining that some were fighters who would not sell themselves or be broken, who would "kick in that place" any thug or abuser, while others put on a show.

Asked if he was again referring to Hollywood actresses, he said, "Never mind those actresses now."

Asked if women deserved protection, he said the weak deserved it. "Female teachers deserve protection, the girls who are teaching assistants and must make headway through a non-transparent system and who depend on older colleagues, but are not interesting enough for 30 cameras to gather because of them."

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Investment in Petrinja Infrastructure, Reconstruction Announced

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak met with Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović on Thursday to discuss an intervention plan for the reconstruction of the city after a devastating earthquake in December, after which a group of disgruntled people verbally attacked the mayor.

The intervention plan is aimed at the social and economic regeneration of small towns, it was said.

The minister said Petrinja had been implementing HRK 140 million worth of EU-funded projects until 2020 and that several more remained to be contracted.

She said the goal was to utilise the funds available until the end of 2023 in the Petrinja area and invest in infrastructure and ongoing projects.

Tramišak said €111 million had been ensured for building new state-owned flats in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and other towns affected by the earthquake.

If standardised buildings and houses will be built, construction could begin soon, she added.

Mayor Dumbović said he was satisfied with the solutions proposed and that the Culture Ministry had promised that Petrinja would look as it did before the earthquake. 

Mayor verbally attacked by protesters

Several dozen protesters rallied outside the venue of the meeting, complaining about the lack of transparency in decisions concerning the right to reconstruction aid and about the distribution of humanitarian aid.

The demonstrators blocked the exit of the fire station where the meeting was taking place, preventing the mayor's car from leaving the venue and announcing new protests.

Dumbović told the RTL commercial television channel in the evening that the incident was politically motivated. Asked who was behind the demonstration, he named Luca Gašpar Šako, the local coordinator of the opposition Bridge party.

"They are not aware of the damage individuals are doing to Petrinja. Petrinja did not deserve this. It turns out that we are lawless cowboys wanting to achieve something by force," the mayor said. 

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Users of State-Owned Properties Damaged In Earthquake Exempt From Paying Rent

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Tenants and users of state-owned flats and business premises from Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac, Zagreb and Krapina-Zagorje counties and the City of Zagreb will be exempt from the obligation to pay rent or fee for the use of state-owned flats and business premises.

The decision was made by the Croatian government on Thursday because of the consequences of the earthquakes that struck the four counties and Zagreb on 28 and 29 December last year.

Tenants and users of state-owned real estate will be exempt from payment starting from January 2021 until it becomes possible again to use business premises and flats damaged in the earthquake.

The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property is authorised, Minister Darko Horvat explained, to exempt tenants and users of state-owned property from the obligation to pay rent or fee for the use of state-owned flats and business premises which are managed by the ministry and have been declared as unfit for use following examination.

Since some of the state-owned flats and business premises are managed by the Državne Nekretnine company, the company's assembly is in charge of making the necessary decisions and taking the necessary actions to grant the exemption.

The government also authorised the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing to exempt users of state-owned housing units in Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties from paying rent due to the consequences of the earthquakes after 28 December last year.

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