Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Availability of Books Helps Integration of Ukrainian Refugees Says Minister

ZAGREB, 19 July 2022 - During the handover of books by Ukrainian authors to the National and University Library (NSK) on Tuesday, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said that their availability in Croatian libraries can help refugees from Ukraine to integrate more easily into their new environment.

The handover was held as part of the "Ukrainian books on the shelves of the world's libraries" project, launched at the initiative of the wife of the Ukrainian president, Olena Zelensky.

"This is our contribution to efforts to make the Croatian and Ukrainian people closer to each other in these difficult times and our contribution to help the refugees integrate as easily as possible during their stay in Croatia and to help them with the availability of books," Obuljen Koržinek said.

NSK Director-General Ivanka Stričević said that the books, which were donated to them by the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia, represent a wealth that will be passed on in future times when the war in Ukraine ends.

"We want to help our libraries respond in the best way to the needs of their users, Ukrainian citizens who find themselves in their environment, and to create the foundations for future cooperation," said the director.

As a sign of solidarity and support for Ukraine, NSK launched a series of activities, including free admission to the Library for Ukrainian refugees over the age of 16 and the publication of three special bibliographies and thematic collections "War in Ukraine."

The purchase and distribution of books by Ukrainian authors in Croatian libraries was initiated jointly by the AidHub foundation together with Croatia's Ministry of Culture and Media in order to help publishers who have found themselves in a difficult situation.

"Our goal is to acquire books by Ukrainian publishers who suffered greatly in these war circumstances. We are also working on an initiative for every Croatian publisher to print at least one book in Ukraine in order to at least help save jobs in that country," said Mišo Nejašmić from AidHub.

In addition to the purchase of books for Ukrainian citizens who took refuge in Croatia AidHub is working on the organisation of a summer camp, where 700 children of different ages will stay, most of whom will be high school graduates. They will spend time in the camp learning the Croatian language.

Ukrainian books are already available in more than 200 libraries, said Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Kyrylych.

"The Ukrainian book is aimed at Ukrainians who have the urge to read. The book is the depth of the sea, it is alive if it is read," said the ambassador.

This is not the first such donation in Croatia, as books by Ukrainian authors were donated to public libraries across the country at the end of June.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 18 July 2022

62 Croatian Works of Art Donated to Ukraine

ZAGREB, 18 July 2022 - A humanitarian campaign for Ukraine by the Croatian Association of Fine Artists' (HDLU) Vinkovci branch wrapped up in the eastern town of Vinkovci on Sunday with an exhibition and the handover of 62 works by 57 artists to the Ukrainian Embassy.

"We are giving these works of art to the Ukrainian people with the wish that they ennoble the walls of two to three schools and one institution in Ukraine, to be selected by the Ukrainians," said HDLU Vinkovci vice president Marko Lončar.

He said the exhibition was called Culture to Culture "because we Croats are giving part of our culture to Ukrainian culture."

He recalled that the campaign began in April with a donation exhibition called "Appeal to Assist Displaced Ukrainians" in Vinkovci, in cooperation with the Croatian Red Cross.

Thankful for the donation, Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyly Kyrylych said Croatia and its people strongly supported Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression.

"Here in Vinkovci today, we see again that Croats strongly support Ukraine because they experienced and know what it means to defend one's state. We are grateful for that. We are strong in spirit and strong, not in hope, but in faith that we will win because we are defending our country, our homes, our families," he said.

"This is yet another aspect of our assistance to the Ukrainian people, with whom we empathize, confident that they will succeed in winning their freedom," said Vukovar-Srijem County head Damir Dekanić.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Zelenskyy Thanks Croatia for Helping with Its Experience in Defense of Country

ZAGREB, 24 June 2022 - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy individually thanked each leader of the EU member states for granting his country candidate status, including Croatia's Prime Minister for "helping with the experience of defending freedom," Ukrainian media reported on Friday.

"Croatia is with us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your help with the experience we are using to protect our freedom,” Zelenskyy said on Thursday after Ukraine was granted EU candidate status, according to the Ukrainian Kyiv Post.

Addressing EU leaders on Thursday, Zelenskyy said they had made one of the most important decisions for Ukraine in its 30 years of independence.

"However, I believe that this decision is not only for Ukraine. "This is the biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could be taken right now, in our time and in such difficult conditions, when the Russian war is testing our ability to preserve freedom and unity," Zelensky said.

The leaders of the EU member states made a historic decision in Brussels on Thursday and granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and promised a European perspective to Georgia.

Ukraine and Moldova received candidate status in the shortest possible time until now.

Ukraine submitted a request on 28 February this year, four days after the Russian invasion, and a few days later the same was done by Georgia and Moldova.

As early as 7 March, the European Council asked the European Commission to draw up an opinion on these requests. The EC did so on 17 June.

Croatia, for example, applied for membership on 21 February 2003, and two months later the Council asked the Commission to issue an opinion.

One year later, in April 2004, the Commission issued its opinion for Croatia, and its candidate status was granted in June 2004. Croatia joined the EU in mid-2013.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 13 June 2022

Croatian and Ukrainian Children Participate in Savudrija Bay Seabed Cleanup

ZAGREB, 13 June 2022 - Over 60 children from Ukraine and from Zagreb and the quake-hit areas of Banovina took part in an environmental drive called "Cleaning Without Borders" to remove underwater waste in Savudrija Bay on Saturday and Sunday.

The children joined forces with divers from Croatia and Slovenia in this campaign.

The main objective of the drive is to clear the sea bed of waste as well as to draw attention to the global problem of sea pollution and raise public awareness of the importance of preserving the flora and fauna of the Adriatic Sea.

It is very important that children get into the habit of helping to preserve the sea environment, Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry State Secretary Mario Šiljeg said.

The campaign lasted several days, and the children were accommodated in the Veli Jože camp where educational workshops were also organized.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Status of Ukrainians in Croatia Who Are Not Refugees to be Protected

June the 8th, 2022 - While there have been thousands of Ukrainian refugees enter Croatia since the Russian invasion of their country back in February this year, there are plenty of Ukrainians in Croatia who have been living and working seasonal jobs here since before the outbreak of war. Their status in the country, while different to that of refugees, is set to be clarified and fully protected.

As Morski writes, in accordance with the European Union (EU) directive, about 12,500 Ukrainian citizens have so far applied for and received temporary protection status in the Republic of Croatia. However, some Ukrainians, who have been living in Croatia for various reasons since last year, aren't entitled to this status.

Returning home to Ukraine is also not at all a solution for any of those individuals at this moment in time and it would be a travesty to push any Ukrainians in Croatia to make such a move. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) has made it very clear, all Ukrainians living in Croatia who want to secure their status - will be able to do so and will have their various situations solved.

Twenty-three-year-old Ukrainian Vita Perestiuk found a seasonal job in Zadar last summer, and she decided to stay in Croatia after the tourist season ended.

''I found a job in Istria, in agriculture, working in the vineyards. I was working there and then the war started, so my family came to Croatia, down to Dubrovnik. I finished my work and then I went down to them in Dubrovnik,'' Perestiuk explained to HRT. The right to international temporary protection, by decision of the Croatian Government, can be exercised only by Ukrainian citizens who came to Croatia after the 1st of January, 2022.

Vita, therefore, like approximately 40 other Ukrainians in Croatia, asked to be granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons. They waited two months for a solution from MUP, biting their nails.

''We didn't know anything, we called them every three days, asked them this and that... That's why we're very happy to have received this status. Now we can go to work, we can live normally,'' said Vita Perestiuk.

''These persons don't enjoy the same rights as Ukrainians who came here fleeing the war enjoy, except the right to residence, of course, and the right to work, they can work, but they don't enjoy, for example, the right to free healthcare, social protection, the right to free housing and the like,'' explained Zarko Katic, state Secretary for Immigration, Citizenship and Administrative Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior.

About 2,700 Ukrainians in Croatia don't have the right to temporary protection, and they are in Croatia mainly for work.

''Each of them will need to regulate their status here either according to the Law on International and Temporary Protection, or according to the Law on Foreigners, either on the basis of work, family reunification, study, or on the basis of residence as a digital nomad,'' explained Katic.

The Croatian Government has firmly stated announces no Ukrainians in Croatia will be forcibly returned to their homeland, even if that means additional changes to the law.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 6 June 2022

Vukovar-Srijem County Sends Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine

ZAGREB, 6 June 2022 - On Monday, 16.4 tonnes of humanitarian aid worth HRK 247,311 (€33,000) collected by Vukovar-Srijem County in cooperation with cities and municipalities in this eastern Croatian county was sent from Vinkovci to Ukraine.

At the initiative of County Prefect Damir Dekanić and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in Croatia, Vukovar-Srijem County organized the collection of aid for the friendly Transcarpathian region, mainly durable food, baby food, water, and cosmetics.

"We are a region that has experienced the horrors of war in the worst way and it would be sad if we did not recognize someone's suffering. We have accepted refugees from Ukraine since day one and we are ready to continue to do so, but we hope the war in Ukraine stops," said Vukovar-Srijem County Prefect Damir Dekanić.

According to Dekanić, the campaign, led by the county, was joined by 17 Vukovar-Srijem municipalities and the cities of Ilok and Otok. The county provided HRK 142,751, while cities and municipalities contributed HRK 104,560.

For more, check out our politics section.

 

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Russia Says Disappointed with Croatia's Hostile Behaviour

ZAGREB, 26 May 2022 - Russia is disappointed with the hostile actions of the Croatian authorities in recent months, but hopes their mutually beneficial cooperation will be restored, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement was released on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Croatia and Slovenia, and the latter is also accused of "destroying bilateral relations."

Croatia and Slovenia have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and joined in European sanctions against Moscow. As part of those measures, Zagreb in April expelled 18 Russian diplomats and six members of administrative staff.

"Unfortunately, the Croatian authorities have in recent months adopted a hostile position towards Russia that is in stark contrast with the quality of our bilateral relations, destroys their foundations and causes serious damage to the true interests of people in the two countries," the statement says.

Such destructive behaviour, it says, represents a "baleful approach that has no future".

"We believe common sense will prevail, and Croatia will return to the path of constructive dialogue, based, among other things, on the awareness of geopolitical realities and true national interests," the statement said.

Speaking of Slovenia, Moscow said that it was disappointed by its government's decision to take "entirely unprovoked hostile actions" aimed at "destroying bilateral relations despite the historical logic of their development."

"We are confident that such policy on the part of Slovenian authorities, which is contrary to the true interests of our friendly peoples, will eventually give way to a balanced position natural for Russian-Slovenian relations," the Russian ministry said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Despite General Uncertainty, Spending in Croatia is 37% Higher Than Last Year

May 14, 2022 - In the last week of April, the spending in Croatia was 37% higher than last year, attributing this trend to the consequences of rising prices and the creation of stocks.

How is it possible that in a situation of general uncertainty caused by global geopolitical tensions, as well as the consequences of the pandemic, Croatia is facing the phenomenon of an explosion of fiscal accounts? Jutarnji List reports that data from the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance show that from April 25 to May 1 this year, compared to the same period in 2021, the number of fiscal accounts increased by a very high 24 percent, while the total fiscal accounts increased by 37 percent.

It is interesting that in the activity of providing accommodation and food preparation in the same compared week, the number of bills increased by an enormous 88 percent, while the number of bills was as high as 167 percent. Does this mean that Croatian citizens and tourists suddenly spend a lot more than they spent last year, or is it something else that should not be fueled by unjustified and potentially dangerous optimism?

Last year, when the inflationary trend began, Jutarnji List's analysis warned that the faster growth of the total amount of issued invoices in relation to the number of issued invoices probably indicates an acceleration of price growth.

Given that this year's theory seems to have proved correct, the fact that the number of accounts grew by 24 percent and the total amount spent on these accounts by 37 percent means that inflation has made a very significant contribution to the growth of fiscal accounts. However, the overall increase in the number of fiscal accounts of 24 percent is so large that we are certainly witnessing a very significant increase in spending.

As the real tourist season has not yet started, the growth in the number of fiscal accounts is most likely due to the robust growth of domestic demand. Why Croatian citizens choose to spend extravagantly at an uncertain moment in world history is difficult to assess without more detailed statistical insights into what exactly they paid, but it may be an attempt to spend before possible deeper problems begin. But it may also be simply a matter of swollen consumer confidence, regardless of all potential security and economic threats, writes Jutarnji List journalist Gojko Drljaca.

For more, check out our business section.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

German-Croatian Chamber of Industry: Ukraine War to Affect 70% of Companies

ZAGREB, 1 May 2022 - A majority of companies which are members of the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce estimate that the war in Ukraine will adversely affect their business in the future.

The German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce carried out a survey between 22 March and 22 April this year among 32 of its members to examine the possible impact of the Ukraine conflict on their business.

The survey revealed that at this point the situation in Ukraine was not having a negative effect on the operation of 55 per cent of the companies. However, 70 per cent of them believe that its impact will be negative in the future.

The vast majority of the companies (84%) do not have suppliers in Ukraine, 87% do not have buyers and 78% do not have subsidiaries there. Similar figures were revealed for their suppliers, buyers and subsidiaries in the Russian Federation.

Also, 90 per cent of the companies estimate that the war in Ukraine will have a certain effect, possibly a strong one, on the Croatian tourism industry this year, while 10 per cent believe the impact on this year's tourist season will be insignificant.

"The entire economy at global level will be affected by increased energy prices. We need to redefine our relationship with the Russian Federation and separate our energy needs from unilateral energy dependence," said Thomas Sichla, President of the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Podravka Food Group's Profit Down 15.6% Due to Ukraine Crisis

ZAGREB, 29 April (2022) - The Podravka Group generated a net profit of HRK 88.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 15.6% over the same period in 2021, the Koprivnica-based food company said in a financial statement on Friday, noting that the direct cause of the decreased profit was the Ukraine crisis.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was 7.7% lower while net profit was 15.6% lower than in 2021, which is a direct result of the Ukraine crisis, Podravka said in a press release.

Sales revenue amounted to HRK 1.18 billion, or 8.6% more compared to the same period last year.

The stronger revenue was generated by the food segment (+10.8%), while the pharmaceutical segment registered a growth of 0.6%.

Podravka generated a loss of 6.5% on the Russian and Ukrainian markets in 2021.

The company is continuing with its optimisation of costs and increasing efficiency to buffer the impact of increased input costs.

Podravka further reported that as of 1 March wages had increased by an average of 11% and the company would invest a further HRK 35 million this year to increase wages.

(€1 = HRK 7.557837)

For more, check out our business section.

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