Monday, 18 January 2021

Croatian Government Determines Amount of Individual Aid to Companies

January the 18th, 2021 - The Croatian Government has taken steps to determine the largest amount of state aid which can be paid out to individual companies located/headquartered in the earthquake-stricken areas of central Croatia, more specifically Sisak-Moslavina County.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, with two decisions, the Croatian Government recently took the first steps towards the preparation of a long-term reconstruction of the earthquake-affected areas of Sisak-Moslavina County. At the suggestion of the Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property, Darko Horvat, the renovation of buildings in these areas will be included in the law on reconstruction of Zagreb. As for the second part, which regards the re-design, preservation and restoration of economic life, which should go hand in hand with reconstruction of properties, will be in the hands of a special working group which will develop programmes for the social and economic revitalisation of the quake-affected areas.

The aforementioned working group is headed by Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Natasa Tramisak, and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Coric. This government team will work to unite all competent departments from the Croatian Government, as well as all other actors, including the likes of the Croatian Employers' Association.

Minister Coric believes that the documentation that the working group will produce will provide a vision for the continued development of the area, which is necessary after the first measures that seek to lend a hand to those business owners who have suffered the most damage behgin. The priority of all of the measures, he says, will be to create a basis for people to stay in the affected area. Since the working group is yet to be formed, it is only known that the revitalisation programme will determine specific measures and projects, as well as who will be responsible for their implementation, and who will determine the method of financing all of the reconstruction measures.

The deadline for drafting this comprehensive reconstruction concept isn't actually stated in the Croatian Government's decision, but it is obvious that it will take months for this work to be carried out. For now, the Ministry of Economy is coming out with two "fire-fighting" instruments that it can provide first-hand to affected entities, especially small ones, to cover the most necessary costs of repairing the damage and to continue operating.

The first measure with the implementation of which his Ministry will start in ten days is the publication of a call for the allocation of ten million kuna. These are grants that were provided, as confirmed by the Ministry, with a recent aid package for the affected area through the Environmental Protection Fund. It isn't really a large fund that would cover all of the needs of business owners who suffered damage, and Minister Coric estimates that this could cover the most necessary costs of repairing machinery and business premises as well as other necessary expenses of small business owners from Glina, Petrinja and Sisak.

According to him, several hundred such business owners can count on this assistance from the available fund, and the largest individual amount of assistance will be 30,000 kuna. The significant package of 1.5 billion kuna of non-refundable aid intended for the increase of production capacities, procurement of equipment and digitalisation has been being prepared for months and isn't actually directly related to the rehabilitation of earthquake-affected areas. However, Minister Coric has since announced that business owners from the Banovina area will be able to count on a kind of advantage, since they come from an area with ​​a lower development index, which will be "especially valued".

The conditions that interested business owners from the quake-stricken area need to meet and the programmes they can apply for, and the criteria for that programme that will be implemented through Hamag-Bicro, are all still being adjusted. The maximum amount that business owners, micro, small and medium, will be able to withdraw from this grant scheme under the project isn't yet known, but the assumption is that, judging by previous similar programmes, the range could be from 1 million to 15 million kuna.

According to the latest data, 750 craft (obrt) owners and 850 other companies have reported earthquake damage so far, and from yesterday's statements of the competent ministers, it is evident that it is still not possible to get to a definitive figure and add up the total damage caused by the devastating earthquake.

Therefore, the measures that will be comprehensive are yet to come to the table, and the ministers say that Sisak-Moslavina County has an important place. In the next phase, the preparation of a special tax model for the Banovina region has been announced, in order to encourage the maintenance and development of the economy in the area. The Croatian Government expects the maximum engagement of local companies, and the Minister of Economy has stated that when it comes to investments, "the readiness of a number of countries on a bilateral basis related to the recovery and reconstruction of infrastructure" in the affected area is present.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow our dedicated section.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Manchester United Donates EUR 10,000 to Petrinja, Dinamo Donates 10 Containers and More

January 17, 2021 - The football world has come together from near and far to help in the aftermath of the Petrinja earthquake, as Manchester United donates EUR 10,000 to Petrinja through the Dinamo Foundation 'No Surrender'. 

On January 14, Croatian champion Dinamo fulfilled its promise in delivering ten fully equipped and furnished containers with eight toilets to the village of Pecki, about 15 kilometers from Petrinja.


This is a continuation of the Dinamo Foundation's 'No Surrender' action, which began on December 30, the day after the earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County. The next day, the club, led by the coach of the first team Zoran Mamic, brought the collected donations to the village of Pecki, where most houses were partially or entirely destroyed. 

Another 27 sets of work clothes and rubber boots will arrive in the village of 100 inhabitants, which was also severely affected by the Homeland War.

Pecki was visited by representatives of the 'No Surrender' Foundation, including the Dinamo Management Board, represented by President Vlatka Peras, the first team by coach Zoran Mamic, and numerous players led by captain Arijan Ademi.

"I thank all our fans and citizens who made purchasing these containers possible with their donations to the foundation, and I invite all of them to continue donating to the foundation with us because this area will still need help," said Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi, while coach Zoran Mamic added:

"The history of this village, the Homeland War, the first line of defense. This gives another special motive to do our best to help these people as soon as possible and as efficiently and generously as possible."

Manchester United also took part with a donation
The Manchester United Foundation even joined the Zagreb club with a donation of EUR 10,000, while the Scottish giant Celtic and numerous Italian and German clubs also came forward. To date, more than HRK 667,000 has been donated to Dinamo's campaign. 

The value of Dinamo's donation to the village of Pecki is HRK 450,000, and the rest of the donation will be used to help those in Banovina whose property was damaged in the earthquake. The next action carried out by Dinamo is purchasing a container for its former player Radimir Bobinac.

Numerous athletes and clubs in Croatia are coming together for Petrinja, including Split club Hajduk, which has already sent several donations to the earthquake-affected areas. In its latest action, Hajduk is selling shirts of their legendary players through an auction.

Source:, 24 Sata

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

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Strange Envelopes Containing 5000 Kuna Each Appear in Strasnik...

January the 16th, 2021 - The Petrinja earthquake which struck the central Croatian area of Sisak-Moslavina at the end of what was a truly horrendous pandemic-dominated 2020 saw the almost total collapse of Petrinja, enormous damage done to Sisak, Glina and surrounding areas, and even the tragic loss of several lives. Strasnik, being the epicentre, is one area which suffered tremendous damage as a result of the natural disaster, and strange things are continuing to happen there...

Imagine wandering along the streets of Strasnik, now covered in rubble and filled with a sense of post-earthquake tension, and stumbling upon an envelope with 5000 kuna stuffed inside it as you check your mail? Not a bad surprise in a sea of truly terrible luck. What if multiple such envelopes were being found at addresses throughout Strasnik? That's precisely what's been happening.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, an anonymous donor sent four men to the affected area of Strasnik in central Croatia, and they left envelopes containing 5000 kuna inside them at many addresses, and the children living there also received toys.

According to a report from Jutarnji list, four men in a mysterious SUV with a shipment from an anonymous donor arrived in the village of Strasnik, the epicentre of the devastating earthquake that hit the Petrinja area on December the 29th last year.

''Good afternoon, this is for you. There's an envelope with five thousand kuna in it, do you have any children? You have? Great, we also brought sweets for them too, to cheer them up a bit. We don't have much time to talk, we have to move on,'' they said to Strasnik's bewildered residents, as reported by Jutarnji list.

Jutarnji unofficially learned that the anonymous donor is apparently Giuseppe Nardi, the president of the board of the German pharmaceutical company Dr. Theiss and the owner of its Croatian subsidiary NaturProdukt. They will also visit other villages and intend to distribute 45 or 46 such donations, which is equal to about 230 thousand kuna.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow our dedicated section.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Around 400 Sisak-Moslavina Earthquake Victims Housed in Croatian Hotels

January the 15th, 2021 - Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims are currently being housed across the country in various hotels, primarily along the Adriatic coast, far from the area of Croatia the earthquake struck.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, there are currently about 400 Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims being housed in Croatian hotels across the country, some are in Zagreb, and most of them are in destinations on the Adriatic, primarily in the facilities of the Valamar Riviera and the Crikvenica Adriatic.

Some Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims are being housed in private apartments and houses that are usually for rent, as the owners of some such properties made their facilities available on the day of the strong earthquake which struck this part of central Croatia back on December the 29th, 2020.

As has been learned from hoteliers who don't want to brag much about their contributions in this humanitarian crisis, unlike some who have seen this devastating situation as a chance for self promotion, accommodation in places far from Petrinja, Glina and Sisak has mostly been accepted by families with small children and the elderly, and usually by those who were living in what are now demolished or damaged buildings.

The hotel companies Valamar and Jadran also stepped forward and donated their services, and the stay of Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims was initially agreed for a month, although for some it may be extended, depending on the circumstances.

''Mostly, our invitation was accepted by people whose apartment buildings has collapsed or been damaged. Although we try to accommodate them as best we can, it's obvious that they are not comfortable being away from their damaged houses, and that they can't wait to return home,'' said Goran Fabris, President of the Management Board of Jadran which is located in Crikvenica and which accommodated about a hundred people following the disaster.

He added that the quake victims were pleasantly surprised by the residents of Crikvenica, who immediately upon their arrival offered help of their own in varying forms. Valamar Riviera has provided accommodation in its facilities in Istria and Kvarner for a period of one month for more than 200 people affected by the earthquake. On the day of the earthquake, in coordination with the Croatian Tourism Association, a number of tourist companies offered accommodation for Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims.

The biggest help, however, was given by the tourist companies on the ground, with the donation of mobile homes that will serve as temporary accommodation until houses can be reconstructed properly. As it is known, in that first wave of donations, with the involvement of the Croatian Tourism Association and the Ministry of Tourism, 125 mobile homes and 11 caravans arrived on the field, and some were donated independently by companies and individuals.

Josip Atalic, a professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb, said recently that more than 35,000 residents of the afflicted areas had reported damage to buildings to date, and inspections had been carried out on almost 16,000 buildings. More than 5,000 buildings are permanently or temporarily unusable, with between 15 and 20 percent of the buildings receiving the dreaded red stickers.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow our dedicated section.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Data on Post-War Reconstruction in Sisak-Moslavina County Made Public

ZAGREB, 14 January 2021 - The central state office for reconstruction and housing on Thursday released information on the post-war reconstruction in Sisak-Moslavina County which includes lists of architects, contractors, building control surveyors engaged in that project, as well the costs of reconstruction.

The quality of reconstructed houses and other buildings in Sisak-Moslavina County came into focus in the aftermath of the 29 December 6.2 magnitude earthquake which significantly damaged numerous buildings that were rebuilt after the 1991-1995 Homeland War. The extensive damage caused by the disaster raised points of the quality of construction and supervision of works and also of the political and legal responsibility of authorities that organised reconstruction.

Considering the justified public interest and series of queries from the media seeking information on hired architects and building control inspectors, contractors and construction auditors and a statistical presentation of information related to budget funds spent, the central state office for reconstruction and housing has released information that does not hamper the current inspections by the relevant bodies, reads a statement on the office's website

There are 83 architects and building control officers listed and 202 contractors. There are also four branch supervisors and one auditor listed.

Contractors included small and large companies from throughout Croatia.

This information is available at the following link:

The information was uploaded after Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier on Thursday that there was no reason whatsoever why the public should not be informed of who had taken part in housing reconstruction after the 1991-95 war.

Total of HRK 2.6 billion spent

The data for Sisak-Moslavina County notes that 24,930 buildings were reconstructed for a total investment of HRK 2.58 billion. The majority of this (HRK 2.17 billion) relates to organised reconstruction of houses designated as Level IV to VI damage. There were 8,880 of these.

A total of HRK 272 million was granted in HBOR loans for the reconstruction of 5,440 properties.

Financial support for houses designated as Level I to III damage amounted to HRK 63.5 million for 4,961 structures. While repairs to apartments, damaged structures amounted to HRK 47.7 million.

A total of HRK 21 million was paid out as compensation for people who reconstructed or repaired their properties on their own and HRK 3.7 million was paid to obtain building material for the period prior to the Reconstruction Act being adopted.

Data on support to local authorities indicates that the highest amount of the HRK 2.58 billion was allocated to Petrinja - HRK 735.1 million, Glina - HRK 412.4 million, Novska - HRK 343.5 million and Sisak - HRK 114.5 million.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Earthquake Donations in Action: Croatian Entrepreneurs (UGP) Fund Report, January 14

January 14, 2021 - Transparent donations getting to the people who need them most are essential in emergency response. TCN follows the Voice of Entrepreneurs Glas Poduzetnika (UGP) fund to report on the realities on the ground.

The donations are pouring in from all over the world to help the victims of the earthquakes in Petrinja, Glina and Sisak, donations which have been gratefully received and which are making a difference. 

As I wrote previously, many people have contacted us at TCN asking for advice on the best place to send money. We published a list a few days ago, but I was really happy to see one more fund set up 7 days ago, from Udruga Glas Poduzetnika, or Voice of Entrepreneurs, which is a growing force for reform and change in Croatia. Run by people who want to see an end to corruption and needless red tape, I was sure that their efforts to help their fellow citizens in crisis would be transparent, dynamic, focused and effective, with all money donated going to the people who needed it most. And so it proved, which is why I am now directing anyone looking for a place to donate to UGP, as I explained a few days ago.

UGP co-founder Drazen Orescanin was kind enough to give me an in-depth interview yesterday on the focus, plans and activities of the UGP fund, and it was great to hear that 100% of the money donated will go to help those who need it most.

In order to provide more transparent donation information, we agreed to publish a daily report of the fund's activities, finances and purchases. This was due to be published yesterday, but the crazy events of January 6, 2021 meant a slight delay. As resources and time allow, this will be a daily feature, and you can track progress here.



Daily activities

Today, two housing containers have been delivered to families in Glina. Stanislav Nužda's building and apartment were damaged in the earthquake, and as of today, he can finally sleep safely. Milorad Liter's family of six slept in the woodshed since the earthquake, and thanks to the good people, now they will have a safe roof over their heads during the renovation of their home.

What's next?

On Sunday we plan to deliver two more housing containers to families in need. In the next week, we plan to deliver all of the remaining housing containers and then we will make plans for helping families rebuild their homes. We have gathered experts who will work with us to find the best and quickest solutions.




Information in English for donations, both for donations from Croatia and abroad

For the latest news on UGP, follow the dedicated TCN section

For the latest information on the earthquake emergency, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 14 January 2021

PM: No Reason Why Public Shouldn't Know Who Took Part in Post-War Reconstruction

ZAGREB, 14 January 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at a government session on Thursday that there was no reason whatsoever why the public should not be informed of who had taken part in housing reconstruction after the 1991-95 war.

Plenković said that he had instructed the state secretary of the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing to systematise lists on housing reconstruction after the Homeland War in Sisak-Moslavina County, noting that there was no reason why those lists should not be made available to the public.

Data contained in those lists are to be linked with the houses that underwent different types of reconstruction after the war, he said.

"There were many models of reconstruction so it is important to establish all details before making any conclusions," he stressed.

He went on to say that since 28 December 846 quakes had been registered, of which 75 measured 3 degrees on the Richter scale, 11 measured 4 and three measured 5 degrees on the Richter scale.

On 28 December, the quake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit Petrinja and was felt in central Croatia, and on 29 December, the magnitude  6.2 quake rocked the area and was felt in a large part of Croatia and neighbouring countries.

He thanked everyone helping the residents of the quake-hit area, including volunteers who in recent weeks came to Sisak-Moslavina County from other parts of the country or from other towns in the county to help the quake victims "either by working, making donations or preparing meals as caterers."

He said that 41,500 reports on quake damage had been submitted so far, and that 18,370 buildings and houses had been inspected.

"Compared to Zagreb, where 25,000 units were checked over a period of three months, this is very efficient and quick," he said.

He stressed that efforts were being stepped up to vaccinate residents of the quake-hit area against COVID-19 considering specific circumstances and difficulties in complying with anti-epidemic measures.

As for one-off allowances to the quake victims of HRK 2,500 for single persons and 3,500 for families, Plenković said that more than 14,000 requests for such assistance had been submitted and that HRK 10.5 million had been paid.

By the time all requests are processed, around HRK 50 million in one-off allowances will have been paid out, he said.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Ministry Says its Goal is to Help Farmers in Quake-Hit Areas to Keep Cattle

ZAGREB, 14 January 2021 - The Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday its goal was to ensure such conditions that farmers in earthquake-hit areas can keep their cattle through feed donations, cattle relocation and sale mediation, adding that it had mediated the sale of 114 head of cattle to date.

The ministry was asked by Hina about reports of cattle buyers in quake-hit areas, if it was doing anything about it and if it was considering intervention buying to help farmers.

Some media have reported about profiteers coming to Sisak-Moslavina County to exploit the situation after the earthquake by buying land and cattle below price.

The ministry said it was contacting representatives of the meat and dairy industries to ask them to help by buying cattle and milk from local farmers.

The ministry added that it did not participate in price setting between the two parties and that representatives of the meat and dairy industries had said they would offer fair market prices.

The ministry said its department for farmland, plant production and the market was also mediating between farmers in quake-hit areas and buyers.

Regarding intervention buying, the ministry said it was "the last measure of assistance."

Chamber of Agriculture has no information about profiteers

The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture told Hina it had no concrete information about post-earthquake profiteers in Sisak-Moslavina County.

There is information that several older people have sold their cattle below price and left Croatia, "but that is their personal decision and they don't intend to come back to live in Sisak-Moslavina County," the Chamber said, adding that "the price was low due to urgency, not because someone wanted to make additional gain from already affected people."

The Chamber said such sales could not be banned.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Petrinja Mayor Thanks Volunteers: We need a Functioning System Now

ZAGREB, 14 January 2021 - Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović said on Thursday that earthquake-hit areas did not need volunteers any more but a functioning system and expert teams to inspect damaged buildings.

"Structural engineers have conducted part of that task and I thank everyone who volunteered. Now we do not need volunteers in that regard but people who will be given that job, who will be paid and who will have set deadlines," said Dumbović after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Petrinja earlier in the morning.

According to Dumbović, so far just over 6,000 of 13,000 buildings have been inspected. 

He said that professionals are needed and a system that has to function and for professionals to be paid. "When you pay someone they are bound by a deadline, but if we run late now, then everything will be late."

Dumbović believes that business premises are important because they are "the key to everything that will keep the city alive."

He said that the money the city had received from the state was being spent on elementary needs such as delivering building material to repair chimneys, adding that buildings that could be repaired quickly would have a priority.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Germany, France, Austria send Croatia Additional Assistance After Quake

ZAGREB, 14 January 2021 - Germany, France and Austria have sent Croatia additional assistance following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake on 29 December, including sleeping bags, housing containers, lighting systems and mattresses, the European Commission said on Thursday.

They "are on their way to Croatia or will be in the coming days," the Commission noted, adding that "Slovenia delivered supplementary housing containers to Croatia on 11 January."

The same day of the devastating tremor in the Petrinja, Glina and Sisak area, Croatia activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, requesting winter tents for six to eight persons, lamps, light towers, electrical heaters, folding beds, sleeping bags and housing containers.

Most of the assistance arrived within 24 hours.

"Once more, I would like to thank all EU Member States for their prompt response to the earthquake. The overwhelming response of 15 EU Member States and 1 Participating State helping the Croatian people in times of need is a tangible example of EU solidarity," said Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.

He visited Zagreb and the area affected two days after the quake.

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