Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Damir Vandjelic: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Going Too Slowly

June the 8th, 2021 - Damir Vandjelic, the director of the Reconstruction Fund, has spoken out about the length of time the reconstruction process following the earthquakes of 2020 is taking, adding that things need to be streamlined and sped up significantly.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Lepan Stefancic/VL writes, Damir Vandjelic openly stated recently that the reconstruction process after the 2020 earthquakes was proceeding much too slowly and that, when looking at how it began and the speed of those beginnings, he is struggling to believe that it will accelerate. Speaking on the matter for N1, he said that the demolition of three houses according to the requests for post-earthquake reconstruction is starting only this week.

"In order for excavators to come out to the streets, according to the Law on Reconstruction, people need to submit their respective requests to the ministry. The Ministry has 11,100 requests, of which 18 decisions came to the Fund, and a total of 155 acts came from the Ministry.

The difference between 155 and 18 is actually the documentation that we obtain in the administrative procedure for the ministry, meaning the gross area of ​​the buildings, the assessment of the construction and the like,'' he explained.

"On Friday, we signed three decisions on the selection of contractors, and next week the removal of three family houses in the epicentre of the March 2020 Zagreb earthquake, in the Markusevac area, should finally begin. Now there are only three, but 20 are reportedly in preparation,'' he added.

Damir Vandjelic made no bones about his feelings on things going at Croatia's infuriatingly typical snail's pace, and reiterated his position that the reconstruction is proceeding too slowly for Vecernji list.

"Yes, exactly. Over last three weeks we've been getting just two decisions a week. On 19,000 buildings, just two decisions, that just isn't very fast. The processing of peoples' requests needs to be sped up, and I'd even dare to suggest that the Law on Reconstruction should be improved in some segments.

Therefore, the processing of these requests must be done much more quickly, not just two decisions per week. It can be accelerated, here in the Fund we've shown that we can do about twenty procurements a day, so I think it would be alright for them to throw out about 50 decisions a week,'' Damir Vandjelic explained.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

HDZ BiH Women Donate HRK 100,000 for Reconstruction of Petrinja Care Home

ZAGREB, 23 May, 2021 - The president of the Women's Union of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) party, Marina Pendeš, on Sunday gave the head of a care home in Petrinja HRK 100,000 for the reconstruction of the home, damaged in last year's earthquake.

Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved was also present.

The HDZ BiH Women's Union organised the fund-raising and raised a total of HRK 140,000, with 40,000 to go for the reconstruction of the Dragutin Tadijanović Elementary School in Petrinja.

The fund-raising for the reconstruction of the school was initiated by HDZ BiH president Dragan Čović together with the Croat mayors, municipal heads and heads of cantonal governments in BiH.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Central State Office Seeks Designers for 3000 Banovina Houses

May the 22nd, 2021 - The reconstruction of earthquake-stricken Central Croatia is ongoing, and now those in charge of the process are on the lookout for as many as 3000 designers for future Banovina houses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/VL/Josip Bohutinski writes, the organised reconstruction of Banovina houses which were destroyed or otherwise deverely damaged during earthquakes in the area at the very end of last year is finally in full swing as hopes for normality swell.

The Central State Office for Housing has initiated the process of drafting projects and expert supervision over the repair of non-structural elements in the earthquake damaged homes, which number 3000, in the Sisak-Moslavina region, as well as those located in the nearby Karlovac and Zagreb counties.

A tender for these services should be announced over the coming days, and the estimated value of this procurement stands at a massive 15 million kuna without VAT, and includes the preparation of 3,000 repair projects for non-structural elements, the expert supervision of the repair work for those 3,000 Banovina houses, and the preparation of findings for structural renovation of 300 family houses with higher levels of damage.

This envisages the design and supervision of works on 100 houses in Gvozd, 100 houses in Karlovac, 600 houses in Sisak, 1,300 houses in Petrinja, 350 houses in Glina, 50 houses in Topusko, 50 houses in Pokupsko and Kravarski, 50 houses in Lasinja, Draganic and Karlovac, 100 houses in Vojnic, Krnjak, Josipdol, Ogulin and Slunj, 50 houses in Hrvatska Dubica and Jesenovac, 50 houses in Dvor, 50 houses in Hrvatska Kostajnica, 100 houses in Majur and Donji Kukuruzari and 50 houses in Sunja and Martinska Vesa. The deadline for the execution of the design contract is 30 days from the receipt of the list of the houses, while the deadline for the professional supervision is 30 days from the end of the contractor's own contract.

The deadline for the execution of public procurement contracts is January the 31st, 2022.

According to the prepared tender documentation, in case the contracting bidder fails to fulfill their obligation and doesn't perform the services according to the established stages of the dynamics of service provision or is late with the fulfillment of the contractual obligation within the agreed deadline, the client has the right to calculate a contractual penalty of 100 kuna per day for each day of exceeding the deadline. The total amount of the contractual penalty may not exceed the amount of ten percent of the agreed price without VAT.

The Central Office will soon announce a tender for the services of organisation, coordination, planning and management of the process of the organised earthquake reconstruction of damaged Banovina houses. These will be operational coordinators, the value of which is estimated at 3.6 million kuna.

The services which will be required by this tender include, among other things, the preparation, review, amendment and supplementation of new items of the standard cost estimate for the full repair of damaged non-structural elements, the preparation of a standard project and standard instructions on how to repair non-structural elements with all necessary attachments and studies included, the introduction and control of contractual obligations of those contractors carrying out repairs and contractors performing professional supervision in accordance with the programme of measures and more.

This tender also applies to 3,000 houses in the Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties.

The Central Office states that they have already concluded contracts for the construction of 1,060 family houses. They explain that the renovation of non-structural elements refers to the renovation of Banovina houses marked with a green sticker, where non-structural elements can be chimneys, roof cornices and parapets, gable walls, non-load-bearing or partition walls, roof parts, tiles etc.

The Office says that the works on the renovation of non-constructive elements began on May the 3rd, when the works on the renovation of the family house of Tomislav Klaric in Petrinja started. So far, they say, 6486 requests have been received for the renovation of non-constructive elements.

Public procurement in June

At the beginning of June, public procurement procedures will be initiated for operational coordinators based on the submitted requests from the owners of damaged facilities, of which there are currently around 8000. The deadline for the submission of those applications is open and will go on until the 31st of December, 2021.

Prior to the inspection of the buildings in the Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Zagreb counties, out of a total of 37,000 inspected buildings, 8,400 were marked with a yellow mark, and 4,700 with a red mark - the Office said, noting that the assessment of the value of works on the reconstruction of non-constructive elements will be possible only after the preparation of said project documentation.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

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

Banija Chefs Recognised as Heroes of The Pandemic!

May 4, 2021 - Croatia has received great recognition. The best restaurant in the world, the Danish NOMA, Renea Redjepija, declared the Banija Chefs team from the Chef Cooks Home Association the heroes of the pandemic after they called on everyone who showed up to help in any way to apply.

Večernji List reports, the Chef Cooks Home Association nominated chef Bojan Kljajić, the chef in Sisak during the chefs' humanitarian work after the earthquake in Petrinja, and the volunteer coordinator, Mirta Livingston.

"We are proud to confirm that NOMA announced yesterday that our team has been declared the heroes of the pandemic and will be the first to visit when the restaurant opens after the lockdown, for which they will cook a special dinner," they wrote on the official Instagram page. More details were revealed by chef Mirta Livingston.

"I fainted from happiness when I saw the mail in the evening that we received the award. We have been very kindly asked to confirm that we accept it by May 6th".

"They give a prize by organizing a "Heroes of Pandemic" dinner, and when I found out, I didn't even think about how many winners there were," says the excited volunteer from Banovina who teamed up with many chefs in the earthquake-stricken area, including famous chef Mato Janković. They prepared more than 20 thousand meals for the citizens of Petrinja and the surrounding area.

The dinner will include heroes of the pandemic from all over the world, about a hundred of them - from Croatia to India. "Considering that they only provide dinner, and we pay the travel and accommodation costs ourselves, I don't know how, say, someone from India will get to Denmark," said Mirta.

"So when you ask me what I hope for, I know that Bojan and I can go at our own expense, and my thinking goes in the direction, given that we do not represent Mirta and Bojan, or even the Association ... we represent Croatia, and they are Croatian volunteers between which there is no difference," claims Livingston, explaining that the final recipient of help does not care if someone from Pleter, the Red Cross or their association cooks for him.

"We prepared more than 20 thousand meals and baked two tons of cakes for 0 kuna and thank God that the whole of Croatia is as it is, with a big heart, so that we had donations with which we could do it."

The Chef Cooks at Home association ”is just a wheel, and Bojan and I are an even smaller wheel," Mirta said and added: “ We are talking about Croatia here. That is the Croatian story. I'm not quite sure if it's okay that Bojan and I pay for the ticket ourselves. That ticket can cost 200 euros, and if we found donations for 20 thousand meals, I believe we will find it for a plane ticket, but that is not the point of the story. The point is that Croatia could show the whole world by our example that Croats are good and organized People!" concludes Mirta.

For more about lifestyle 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, 13 April 2021

Croatian Reconstruction Fund Receives Renovation Decisions, Mostly for Zagreb

April the 13th, 2021 - The Croatian Reconstruction Fund has begun work, and the vast majority of decisions on renovations following the earthquakes which rocked the country in 2020 relate to the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the plan for the implementation of the organised reconstruction following the earthquakes, including contracting designers, the preparation of documentation and reconstruction works has all been made available from this week. Given the amount of damage from the earthquakes which struck back in March and December 2020 totalling 127.6 billion kuna and the number of requests that are now open, things will take a very long time to complete.

The total costs of the Croatian Reconstruction Fund in the first three months of 2021 amounted to a staggering 182 million kuna, of which 95 percent was paid out in the form of compensation for damages caused by the devastating 2020 earthquakes. On the other hand, 6433 requests came from the most recently hit Sisak-Moslavina County, 1054 from Zagreb, 351 from Zagreb County, 74 from Krapina-Zagorje County and 5 from Karlovac County.

In the first quarter, the Croatian Reconstruction Fund received temporary solutions for three Zagreb buildings (six more have since been received over recent days), but they require technical and financial control.

It will be implemented by the Croatian Reconstruction Fund and the cases will be returned to the competent Ministry in order to reach their final solutions, but in order to finally act on them, the Croatian Government must adopt another programme of measures that will work to clearly define all of the procedures from building demolition to reconstruction.

What seems to be going quite quickly, according to the director of the Fund Damir Vandjelic, are the payments for emergency interventions, with the staffing of Vandjelic's closest team of associates and the organisation of key services.

The director of the Public Procurement Documentation Service is Sasa Miroslavic, who was the head of the public procurement sector at the Ministry of Health, while the director of the Independent Fraud Prevention Service, Davor Iljkcć, was in the Ministry of the Interior for sixteen years, also as a group leader in the Economic Crime Service.

Miroslavic is in charge of a transparent way of procurement management within the Croatian Reconstruction Fund. The first criminal report on the suspicion of a possible criminal offense of abuse during the emergency intervention, in the amount (unofficially) of 1.5 million kuna, however, has already been forwarded to the State Attorney's Office and will be looked into.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

First Container Library Opens in Petrinja!

April 11, 2021- The severe earthquake that struck Sisak-Moslavina County on 29 December 2020 destroyed the building housing the Petrinja Municipal Library and Reading Room. Still, it has now reopened a housing container, making it possible for residents to enjoy books again.

"We think we have succeeded because, as I said in our requests for help, a city without books is not a city," the director of the City Library, Ante Mrgan, said earlier this week on the occasion of opening the first container library in Croatia.

Several days after the devastating earthquake, Mrgan and his colleagues started rescuing the books and equipment. They would enter the library's storage space wearing protective helmets and sort the library stock, with each new tremor posing an even greater danger.

"At that time, when I entered the library building, it hadn't yet been classified as 'red.' The earthquakes were happening all the time, and it was impossible to know when stronger ones would occur," the director recalled.

After a quick inspection, the building was declared unusable, and each new tremor caused more damage. The last one occurred a few days ago, and new consequences can already be seen. There is no concrete information about the damage because the Petrinja Open University manages the building. However, the documentation preparation is underway, and we will see what the profession will say, Mrgan said.

The building is located on sandy and soft ground. During the construction in the 1940s, pillars of an old Turkish fortress were found. The basement is very humid, and the building had cracked in some parts even before the earthquake due to heavy traffic, requiring repairs even then, the director noted.

He added that he would like the building to be torn down and a new and safer one built for all the cultural needs of the people of Petrinja.

Today, the library and its stock are housed in 11 containers, and there is a playroom for children in one of them.

For more news about Croatia, 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.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Government Increases Financial Aid for Croatian Earthquake Reconstruction

April the 3rd, 2021 - The government has increased the sum of financial aid intended for the Croatian earthquake reconstruction process. Here are the new amounts and procedure details.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the financial aid for the reconstruction/rehabilitation of non-structural elements on property damaged in the earthquake is now being increased from the previous 12,000 kuna to 16,000 kuna. This will regard family homes, residential and commercial buildings, apartment buildings and office buildings.

If such an application for these funds regards a family house without special parts needing other forms of more specialist attention, the increase is 25,000 kuna. In addition to chimneys, the term ''non-structural'' refers to elements of the property and the roof, gable walls, staircases and lifts.

The aforementioned Decision on providing financial assistance for Croatian earthquake reconstruction refers to the repair of property damaged by the earthquakes of 2020 in the areas of ​​the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje County, Zagreb County, Karlovac County and Sisak-Moslavina County.

All of the funds related to the implementation of this Decision on the Croatian earthquake reconstruction process are provided by the Reconstruction Fund, and are to be paid out based on the decision of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property.

The right to a refund

People who have already started to repair the damage to their properties caused by the earthquakes of 2020 on their own have the right to a refund in certain cases. In order to exercise the right to a refund, you must:

Hire a certified engineer to do the repair study
Hire a contractor
Hire a certified civil engineer, or a certified mechanical engineer (for boilers and gas installations)
Keep all of the original invoices
Include a complete application. This relates to Form/Obrazac 5 from the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property.

This must be submitted by the owner, co-owner, representative of the co-owner, or the manager of an apartment or business building.

The completed request must then submitted to the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property in Zagreb (Ulica Republike Austrije 20).

The delivery of the completed application can be done in different ways:

In person at the office
By mail
In the relocated offices of the competent Ministry:
Sisak: Ulica Ivana Kukuljevica Sakcinskog 1;
Petrinja: Trg Matice hrvatske 18;
Glina: Trg bana Josipa Jelacica 2;
Hrvatska Kostajnica: Ulica Vladimira Nazora 17;
Lekenik: Zagrebacka ulica 77A

By using the e-Renewal application in the e-Citizens (e-Gradjani) system.

The application deadline is December the 31st, 2021.

Applications for financing the lease of a replacement apartment are also being received.

On March the 12th, 2021, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property published a Public Invitation for financing the rent/leasing costs for housing for persons whose property was damaged during the earthquake in the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, Zagreb, Karlovac and Sisak-Moslavina counties.

The public call/invitation and application forms for such requests are now available on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property.

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