Saturday, 26 February 2022

Hundreds in Zagreb Rally to Send Messages of Peace, Support to Ukraine

ZAGREB, 26 Feb 2022 - Hundreds of people gathered in Zagreb's Zrinjevac park on Saturday to show support and solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainians as part of a drive aimed at sending out anti-war messages and signalling Croatia's readiness to help Ukrainian refugees.

The drive called "Enough of wars - we want peace!" was organised by the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) to enable everyone to share messages of peace,  encouragement, empathy and solidarity with the people of Ukraine who has been attacked and dragged into a war, as well as with the protesters in Russia and around the world against regimes which create wars and violence, said Sandra Kasunić of CMS.

She said the turnout at Zrinjevac was a sign of unity in condemning war and destruction and their deep and long-lasting consequences.

The position of the CMS is that Croatia must make every effort, through diplomacy and the policy of dialogue, to prevent the violence from escalating further, guided by the principle of protecting people's lives and resolving the Ukraine conflict peacefully, Kasunić said.

If necessary, she added, the CMS will organise more drives "to continue to channel" anti-war messages.

Among those at Zrinjevac were representatives of the Green-Left Bloc, whose MP Sandra Benčić said that they wanted to show solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine and express readiness to receive refugees.

"The most important thing at the moment is that the international community ensure corridors for civilians, to pull them out of war zones and accommodate them in European Union countries, including Croatia," she said.

That's why the We Can! party, by supporting parliament's Declaration on Ukraine yesterday, moved an amendment under which Croatia will extend concrete help by receiving and accommodating refugees, Benčić added.

"The City of Zagreb has already taken measures and defined potential accommodation capacities, which will expand depending on the needs, just as the City of Bjelovar has done," she said, adding that Croatia is acting responsibility and with solidarity.

Benčić said she hoped the situation in Ukraine would not spill over to the wider region or become a global war, adding that one must keep that in mind and prevent it through diplomacy and sanctions against Russia.

She said the sanctions "should be much tougher and more direct so that they really force Putin to sit at the negotiating table." She said the extent of the war was not evident yet and that "we all hope this ends as soon as possible. We appeal to absolutely every international actor to create pressure... so that negotiations begin."

Participants in the rally carried messages which said "Stop the war, life has no price", "Let's unite against war", "Down with imperialism" and "No to war".

They were joined by Ukrainian citizens living in Zagreb who were draped in the Ukrainian flag, as well as representatives of the Croatian-Ukrainian Society.

The Ukrainians told the press they were sad and concerned about their relatives and friends in Ukraine, and thanked Croatia for the support shown so far with the message "The Ukrainian people does not surrender."

Ukrainians in Split protest against war

In Split, dozens of Ukrainians today protested against the war in Ukraine and called on everyone in Croatia to help their compatriots in the most difficult moments of their lives.

Some of those Ukrainians have been living in Split for a while, while several arrived just before Russia invaded their country.

This, the second protest in Split since the war in Ukraine began was again organised by the CVIT Association for Ukrainian Culture in Dalmatia.

The protesters carried the Ukrainian flag and banners calling for the war to stop. They said they would do everything to help Ukraine.

Viktorija Balan of CVIT said more Ukrainians were expected in Split in the days ahead, asking everyone who could receive them to do so.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Budapest, Innsbruck, Grenoble Mayors Support Tomislav Tomašević For Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - The mayors of Budapest, Innsbruck and Grenoble have sent video messages of support to Tomislav Tomašević, the green-left coalition's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, the We Can! political platform said on Wednesday.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony says in his message that Zagreb and Budapest are not only geographically close but also friendly cities with many links, underlining how important it is for the progressive green agenda to strengthen its position in the region and to act together to achieve a viable, democratic future.

Karácsony says the policies Tomašević advocates, such as green public transport and recycling, are the key issues on which he is working as mayor too, and calls on the people of Zagreb to vote for Tomašević

Innsbruck Mayor Georg Willi says the challenge today is to find the right response to climate change and that green changes will primarily occur in European cities. That's why Zagreb needs strong advocates of those changes under Tomašević's leadership as mayor, Willi adds.

Grenoble Mayor Éric Piolle says he is looking forward to cooperating with Tomašević in the network of ecological cities flourishing across Europe, from Innsbruck and Amsterdam to Bonn and Hannover as well as many cities in France.

Piolle says Tomašević has been fighting for the environment for years, working on transparent policies and including citizens in shaping their city.

By electing Tomašević as mayor, Zagreb has a chance to join the increasing number of European cities governed by progressive green-left political forces which are making important steps forward in improving quality of life by taking account of climate change and other challenges of the 21st century, Piolle says in his video message.

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

Friday, 29 January 2021

UNICEF Providing Psychosocial Support in Earthquake-Hit Area

ZAGREB, 29 January, 2021 - Mobile teams of selected experts in psychosocial support for children and families in the areas of Glina, Petrinja and Sisak, hit by a devastating earthquake on 29 December, have started working, their priority being foster families.

The project was initiated by the Labour, Pension System, Family Affairs and Social Policy Ministry and the Society for Psychological Assistance with support from UNICEF, UNICEF said on Friday.

Mobile teams will give priority to foster families, notably those whose homes have been damaged, and at-risk families included in social welfare programmes.

There are 49 foster families in Sisak-Moslavina County and 32 of them live in the areas hit by the earthquake.

Those families care for 125 foster children, and 82 live in Sisak, Petrinja and Glina.

Marina Ajduković of the Society for Psychological Assistance said that in situations such as natural disasters it was important to provide psychosocial support to children and young people and their families so as to reduce their anxiety, fear and mental suffering.

Around 50% of children exhibit various anxiety-related symptoms even six months after a traumatic event and even though most children gradually recover after an earthquake, 25-30% of them exhibit chronic or prolonged symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, she warned.

In cooperation with its partners on the ground, UNICEF will organise space and places for play and psychosocial support for children temporarily accommodated in container settlements and shelters.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Plenkovic Says Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara Enjoys His Support

ZAGREB, Sept 15, 2020  - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara enjoys his support when asked if Krstulovic Opara would run in the next local election, set for May 2021.

Plenkovic made the statement for the press after meeting with Krstulovic Opara and Split County head Blazenko Boban, also a member of the HDZ party.

HDZ has a lot of candidates for local election

Asked who could be the HDZ's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, Plenkovic said that "the HDZ has a lot of candidates."

"We will have good candidates, there is enough time left for that. The HDZ has a lot of candidates," Plenkovic said, denying speculation by some media outlets that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric was a likely candidate for the post of Zagreb Mayor.

Plenkovic also commented on the Constitutional Court's decision of Monday that laws on the powers of the national COVID-19 response team, passed by the parliament, were in line with the Constitution and that most of the team's decisions were lawful.

Constitutional Court's support very good in terms of legal security

"The COVID response team and the government yesterday received support from the Constitutional Court which either dismissed (complaints) or declared that practically all of the team's decisions were constitutional and in line with relevant laws. I believe this is very good in terms of legal security and the fact that our actions were based on Article 16 of the Constitution and we made decisions in the context of a declared epidemic, to protect citizens' health," he said.

If the fight against COVID-19 in the spring had not been successful, we would not have achieved 50% of the results of last year's tourist season, which was the best ever, he stressed.

Commenting on the HDZ's pre-election promise about a Sunday trading ban, and the fact that the Constitutional Court ruled that the COVID-19 response team's decision to ban Sunday trading was not in line with the Constitution, Plenkovic recalled that some surveys showed that as many as 80% of Croatians were in favor of a Sunday trading ban.

Gov't to put forward balanced law on non-working Sunday

"We believe it would be good and in the interest of the family and a healthy balance between work, rest, and spending time with one's dearest ones. During this term the government will put forward a bill that will seek a balance between a non-working Sunday and a certain number of working Sundays," he said.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.