Thursday, 17 February 2022

Croatian FM Thanks Bavarians For Earthquake Relief

ZAGREB, 17 Feb 2022 - Croatia's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, on Thursday thanked the Bavarian State Minister for Federal Affairs and Media, Florian Herrmann, for the assistance this German province had extended to the earthquake-hit Sisak-Moslavina County.

"We consider this gesture a sign of great friendship and solidarity between Croatia and Bavaria," Grlić Radman said after their meeting in Munich.

Last year, Bavaria sent to Croatia over 70 tonnes of construction material, dozens of container homes, packages for children and other aid to help it deal with the aftermath of strong earthquakes that struck Sisak-Moslavina County, central Croatia on 28 and 29 December 2020.

The two ministers said that Croatia and Bavaria fostered very close political, economic and cultural ties, and Grlić Radman noted the role of the sizeable Croatian community in the largest German province as an important factor in maintaining bilateral relations.

Herrmann, a member of the Christian Social Union, reiterated Bavaria's support for Croatia's aspirations to join the Schengen area and the euro zone. Grlić Radman informed him about the situation in the Western Balkans, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina where talks on the reform of electoral legislation have reached an impasse.

Grlić Radman will talk about this matter later in the day at a panel at the 57th Munich Security Conference. The conference formally opens on Friday, and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is due to attend on Sunday.

Apart from Grlić Radman and Herrmann, the panel on the Western Balkans will also be attended by the international community's High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, US Special Envoy Gabriel Escobar and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Bisera  Turković.

 For more, check out our politics section.

 

Monday, 31 January 2022

Vučković Presents New Contracts in Sisak Under Rural Development Programme

ZAGREB, 31 January 2022 - Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković presented farmers in Sisak-Moslavina County on Monday with four new contracts for aid from the Rural Development Programme for local projects.

Vučković said that projects worth HRK 1.18 billion had been agreed so far for this county and that most of this amount had been paid out. She said that this had helped farmers maintain and develop their production during the times of the coronavirus pandemic and earthquakes.

An additional HRK 1.2 billion in aid has been paid out from other programmes since 2014, which makes it a total of HRK 2.4 billion, the minister stressed.

Vučković said that new measures for Sisak-Moslavina County were also in the pipeline, including a further HRK6.5 million "to encourage new demographic trends", and additional aid to help farmers cope with increased costs due to the rise in energy and mineral fertilizer prices.

Sisak-Moslavina County Prefect Ivan Celjak said he was confident the ministry would continue to be a partner to the farmers in repairing the earthquake damage, increasing production and marketing their products.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Intense Regional Support for Enfeebled Sisak-Moslavina County Coming

January the 2nd, 2022 - Earthquake-stricken Sisak-Moslavina County in Central Croatia has been suffering ever since the end of December 2020, when the devastating natural disaster with its epicentre frighteningly close to Petrinja struck. Intense support for the local economy is apparently heading their way, finally.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the programme of social and economic revitalisation of the assisted areas of Sisak-Moslavina County affected by the 2020 earthquake in the amount of 15.3 billion kuna, for which the Government received a broad consensus, has just been adopted by the Government and is starting to be implemented immediately.

The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds is obliged to adopt the Annual Implementation Plan of the Programme, which contains fifteen measures and approximatelty fifty activities, all of which are on the horizon until the year 2029.

Another primary and important ''trigger'' for economic development in the sadly overlooked Sisak-Moslavina County took place yesterday, on the 1st of January, 2022, through new regional aid maps for business owners, and in consultation with the European Commission, the highest intensity of regional aid in Croatia and the EU as a whole will apply; 60 percent for large enterprises, 70 percent for medium-sized enterprises and 75 percent for small ones.

According to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, the main project of the aforementioned Programme will be the completion of the highway between the City of Zagreb and Sisak, due to the integration process of the very heart of this county into the strongest economic centre, Zagreb, which is considered an incentive for young people to stay here, as well as for investment and further economic development.

The leading role in the development of the Programme was played by the departments of regional development and economy, the working group with 55 participants included all the leaders of local self-government units, all of whom were busy thinking up ways to further encourage the development of basic factors of this county's overall level of competitiveness.

For more, check out our dedicated business and politics sections.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Gov't Adopts Sisak-Moslavina County Revitalisation Programme

ZAGREB, 30 Dec 2021 - The government on Thursday adopted an HRK 15.3 billion program for the social and economic revitalization of assisted areas in Sisak-Moslavina County following last year's earthquake, and the companies there will receive the most in both domestic and EU support.

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak recalled that the government decided to draw up the program on 14 January 2021, two weeks after the quake, and said the program would run until 2029.

The new regional support map, which enters into force on 1 January, allows for considerably higher co-financing of regional state support throughout Croatia, she said.

Big companies will be eligible for 60% of the support, medium-sized ones for 70%, and small ones for 75%, she added.

The program focuses on stimulating the development of Sisak-Moslavina County's competitiveness and on eliminating the effects of the earthquake, which is in line with the government's intention to reconstruct buildings and the infrastructure as soon as possible and to create a stimulating framework for social and economic revitalization.

Tramišak said the program covered 15 measures and 52 activities aimed at economic growth and development as well as at raising the standard of living.

Speaking at today's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said HRK 15 billion would be invested in the development of the earthquake-hit Banovina region.

"We will work intensively, without any false promises or illusions that the reconstruction process, following such devastating damage, can be completed in an extremely short time. There is no area that suffered such a big earthquake where everything was rebuilt in under one year. Those are false theses and they delude people," he said.

"We are realistic and ready to work 24 hours a day... but we are aware that such processes require preparation and time," he added.

Speaking of the HRK 15 billion programs for the economic, demographic, and social revitalization of Sisak-Moslavina County, he said the government wished to stimulate the development of the Banovina region through infrastructure, economic, and population projects.

One of the key projects is the extension of the Lekenik-Sisak motorway, he said.

Works are underway on almost 900 houses, reconstruction has been contracted for 3,600, a call for applications is being prepared for 1,200 houses, and applications have been invited for the construction of 165 family houses and ten apartment buildings, Plenković said, adding that the government wanted the rebuilt houses to be more earthquake-resistant.

He recalled that eight people were killed in the magnitude 6.2 quake in Sisak-Moslavina County on 29 December 2020, that more than 40,000 houses and buildings were damaged and that the damage was estimated at HRK 40 billion.

The prime minister thanked everyone who helped after the tremor and was still helping.

He also recalled that those who lost their homes were given temporary accommodation and exempted from paying heating and electricity bills as well as road tolls, adding that farmers, business owners, towns, and counties were given financial aid.

"The Croatian government has stood behind Banovina and done all in its power to make life easier for people," Plenković said, adding that over HRK 1 billion has been paid in aid and HRK 315 million for job retention.

He recalled that 1,106 houses have been rebuilt, to which more than 6,000 people have returned, and that 5,600 of Sisak-Moslavina County's 160,000 inhabitants are accommodated in mobile homes.

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Thursday, 30 December 2021

Solidarna Foundation Raises €2.3m for Quake Victims in Sisak-Moslavina County

ZAGREB, 30 Dec 2021 - The Solidarna foundation for human rights and solidarity said on Thursday that its Fund 5.5. had raised over HRK 17 million (€2.3m) to help 1,200 families in Sisak-Moslavina County worst affected by last year's earthquake.

Over 1,000 families have been granted financial aid and some have been provided with accommodation and assistance in repairing their damaged homes and properties. The Fund 5.5 has invested an additional million kuna in the development of local communities in the earthquake- and poverty-affected area, the foundation said in a press release. 

The HRK 17 million was raised from 27,614 individuals and 637 companies from all over the world.

Karla Pudar, a coordinator at the Fund 5.5, said that this foundation, working with several humanitarian associations, has launched projects for the construction of wooden houses and earthquake-resistant prefab houses as well as the reconstruction of facilities for the livestock.

The foundation also helped 133 families to rebuild their homes.

An additional HRK 10 million has been given to local development projects involving local winemakers, honey producers, family-run farms, and associations of disabled persons.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Workers’ Front Activists Call for Cancellation of Vatican Agreements

ZAGREB, 18 Dec, 2021 - Activists of the Workers' Front party on Saturday addressed reporters outside the Sisak General Hospital, by a newly installed sculpture representing Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, calling for the termination of agreements between Croatia and the Vatican.

The sculpture, installed outside the entrance to the new hospital block in early December, was a gift to the hospital by the Sisak Diocese.

Workers' Front activist David Bilić said the sculpture "is a tasteless expression of the wealth of the Catholic Church outside an earthquake-damaged hospital that has still not been reconstructed."

"The Workers' Front believes too much money is set aside for the Roman Catholic Church in Croatia, as a result of the Vatican agreements, signed on this day 25 years ago," Bilić said, adding that the party believed the Vatican agreements should be cancelled.

He said that the situation in society had changed due to the economic crisis that was even more felt in the earthquake-struck Sisak-Moslavina County.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the situation worse, not to speak of earthquake damage, while work on removing it is not starting, he said.

"Some will say that the Catholic Church justifies the donations through its charity work," Bilić said, noting that 11% of that money is used for charity work.

"The rest is used for other needs of the Church, which can secure quite a sufficient amount of money for its financing from alms and Vatican sources," Bilić said, with RF activists calling for the reconstruction of the earthquake-hit county to begin as soon as possible.

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Sunday, 5 December 2021

International Volunteer Day Marked in Glina

ZAGREB, 5 Dec, 2021 - Volunteers from the Sisak-Moslavina County branch of the Croatian Red Cross were presented with certificates of acknowledgement for helping earthquake victims at a ceremony in the central town of Glina on Sunday on the occasion of International Volunteer Day, which is observed on 5 December. 

Croatian Red Cross Director Robert Markt said that all people helping those in need should be honoured on International Volunteer Day.

Over 5,000 volunteers contributed through local Red Cross organisations to help people in Sisak-Moslavina County affected by last year's earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic, and 300 of the most deserving of them have now been formally acknowledged for their contribution, Markt said, noting that many ordinary people, acting on their own initiative, had also lent a helping hand.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Quake-Hit County: Levee To Be Built, Sinkholes Rehabilitated, Water Supply Ensured

ZAGREB, 2 Oct, 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved and representatives of the Hrvatske Vode water management company and local authorities on Saturday agreed models for dealing with the key issues in the reconstruction and development of Sisak-Moslavina County after last the December's earthquake, including flood protection.

Medved, who chairs the task force dealing with the aftermath of the tremor, said in Hrvatska Kostajnica that now it was important to build flood protection systems, ensure water supply, and rehabilitate sinkholes, notably those near family homes.

He also underlined the importance of projects within the remit of the State Reconstruction and Housing Office, saying the 500 reconstructed family homes in the county were the prerequisite for people to return to safety.

Medved said structural reconstruction would begin around the middle of this month, as would the construction of replacement family houses in which, he added, many companies were interested.

He also announced the start of construction on replacement apartment buildings.

Next week will see the start of works on a levee worth €29 million.

Hrvatske Vode director Zoran Đuroković said sinkhole rehabilitation would begin next week.

State Reconstruction and Housing Office state secretary Goran Hanžek said 592 houses had undergone non-structural reconstruction and that 300 projects had been contracted for structural reconstruction. He added that 200 heritage buildings would be fully reconstructed.

Sisak-Moslavina County head Ivan Celjak underlined the importance of a HRK 180 million interest-free loan that he said would be used to deal with the damage sustained by county-owned buildings and for development projects.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Children Who Died in WWII Concentration Camp in Sisak Commemorated

ZAGREB, 2 Oct, 2021 - A ceremony was held in Sisak's Diana Budisavljević Park on Saturday to commemorate the children who had died in an Ustasha concentration camp in this city during the Second World War.

About 6,000 children passed through this first children's camp in the Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH). The camp operated from 3 August 1942 until 8 January 1943, during which time about 1,200 children, aged several months to 10 years, died, Serb National Council president Milorad Pupovac recalled.

"More children would certainly have died had it not been for people who rose above the evil that reigned in people's hearts at the time, such as Diana Budisavljević and women and men around her, such as nurses, people from the Red Cross and the Caritas charity of the Zagreb Archdiocese, who tried to alleviate the horror of children being separated from their mothers and wives from their husbands," Pupovac said, adding that many residents of Sisak and Zagreb had taken in those children and saved their lives.

"That's why we have to thank those who were not only at risk of being scorned and censured but who also risked their own lives. They did what others, who were supposed to, did not want to," Pupovac said.

"This place should become a place where we would gather to show that we can rise above the evil we went through not so long ago in our country, Croatia, and in Yugoslavia.

The commemoration was organised by the Serb National Council and the Council of the Serb Minority in Sisak. It was attended, among others, by the deputy head of Sisak-Moslavina County, Mirjana Olujić, the mayor of Sisak, Kristina Ikić Baniček, representatives of the Serbian Embassy and several survivors of the camp. The memorial service was led by the Serb Orthodox parish priest Veselin Ristić.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

15th Lifelong Learning Week to Take Place on 27 Sept – 3 Oct

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - The Agency for Vocational Education and Training has announced the 15th Lifelong Learning Week, a national education campaign aimed at promoting the acquisition of knowledge even after completing the usual stages of education.

During the Lifelong Learning Week, citizens will be able to attend free workshops, lectures, round tables, concerts, and many educational institutions will open their doors to acquaint potential students with their educational programmes.

The Lifelong Learning Week will be held from 27 September to 3 October, and the opening ceremony will take place at the PISMO 2 Business Incubator in Novska, a town in Sisak-Moslavina County.

At the opening ceremony, awards will be given to those who have, through their active work in this field over more than 40 years, greatly contributed to adult education in Croatia.

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