Monday, 28 March 2022

Up to €173M to be Necessary in Scenario that Croatia Cares for 20,000 Refugees

28 March 2022 - The Jutarnji List daily on Monday commented on recent estimates presented by Interior Minister Davor Božinović that in the scenario that Croatia should care for 20,000 refugees, this would cost HRK 1.3 billion annually provided that the refugees exercise all the rights they are entitled to.

There are now roughly 10,000 Ukrainians who have found refuge in Croatia since fleeing the war in their country.

Croatia has undertaken to care for 20,000 refugees from that eastern European country.

According to rough estimates prepared by the Interior Ministry, the daily costs per refugee are 143 kuna (€19). This average is calculated from the average costs for the adult and for the underage refugee.

Of the 10,409 registered refugees, 50% are women and 40% are children. The daily outlay from the state budget for all of them stands now at HRK1.44 million (€199,000).

The structure of covered costs includes accommodation costs, healthcare, kindergarten and school attendance, one-off grants, as well as transport costs.

Two thirds of the costs go for accommodation.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Croatian PM Sends Message of Support During Concert Marathon for Ukraine

28 March 2022 - The whole of Europe, including Croatia, shows solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its fight for freedom and the values we share, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in his message issued on the occasion of a concert marathon for Ukraine that was held on Sunday evening.

Dozens of internationally renowned musicians were included in that concert marathon that started  5:30 p.m. CET. Also other artists, athletes and politicians from around the world sent messages of support during the concert "Save Ukraine - Stop the War".

The venue of the charity campaign was in Warsaw. Under the auspices of the Polish TV broadcaster TVP, the two-hour concert marathon was broadcast by other TV broadcasters from 20 European countries as well as streaming platforms.

PM Plenković recalls on Twitter that Ukraine is a victim of the Russian military aggression and that the entire Europe, including Croatia expressed strong solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its fight for freedom. 

He reiterated Croatia's readiness to continue expressing solidarity and offering support and assistance in the political, humanitarian, technical and and other sense for the Ukrainian cause, and ended his message with "#StandWithUkraine!".

Friday, 25 March 2022

UNICEF Croatia Raises €400,000 in Donations for Children in Ukraine

ZAGREB, 25 March (2022) - UNICEF's Croatia Office has raised over HRK 3 million (€400,000) in donations for children in war-torn Ukraine, as well as for children in neighbouring countries and Croatia, the organisation said on Friday.

UNICEF Croatia said it has made itself available to the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate to work together with other institutions and organisations in providing support to children and families from Ukraine.

It said it was ready to provide psychosocial and other forms of support to children separated from their parents and help in strengthening the competencies of schools in Croatia that have accepted Ukrainian pupils.

Strengthening socioemotional competencies has proved very successful in Sisak-Moslavina County following an earthquake in late 2020, UNICEF Croatia said, adding that it has expertise in crisis situations and has dispatched its own experts to Poland and Romania to help with the biggest migrant crisis in recent history.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine a month ago, over 1.5 million children have left Ukraine and most of them, together with their families, have found refuge in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.

Ukrainian children arriving in neighbouring countries are facing great risks, such as separation from their families, violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking, UNICEF warned.

By 17 March, UNICEF had delivered 85 trucks with 858 tonnes of relief supplies for children and their families in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

For more news about Croatia, click here.


Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Milanović: Price of Ukraine War Paid By the Weakest, World Did Not Support Croatia

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday that the weakest and poorest are paying the price of the war in Ukraine while at the same he recalled that there was no support from the world when Croatia experienced its "Calvary."

The president and supreme commander of the armed forces participated in a ceremony in the eastern town of Vinkovci marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Croatian Army Guards Armoured Mechanised Brigade.

Addressing the troops, President Milanović spoke about the war in Ukraine and then recalled the 1991-1995 Homeland War.

"The war is raging in Ukraine. One large country has attacked another, smaller one. And often as it occurs in history, we have learned little and the weakest and poorest are paying the price," Milanović said, underscoring the absence of support from the world when Croatia was attacked.

"When Croatia experienced its Calvary and horror, there was no support from the world except international recognition which came too late, much less any weapons. Everything your predecessors achieved, they did completely on their own without anyone's help and amid obstruction," said Milanović.

He said that Croatia has for years been proving that "our path was difficult, with errors, bloody but above all fair, just, justified and with the aim that was supported by a vast majority of the Croatian people."

The army and a military career are above all a vocation, a way of life like few other professions. Many professions, he continued, mean earning a living and paying the bills while the army is something else.

 "Our homeland, the Republic of Croatia, is above all of that. We are here to defend it together if need be. (...) You should always be aware that your first and main duty is to defend the Croatian homeland," Milanović told the ceremony.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Info Centre for Ukrainian Refugees Opens in Osijek

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - An information centre for Ukrainian refugees who have fled from the Russian invasion of their country was opened in Osijek in the main square and it will provide information regarding accommodation in Osijek-Baranja County which is currently caring for about 350 refugees.

After Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić and County Prefect Ivan Anušić visited the centre on Tuesday, Anušić said that the integration of Ukrainian refugees in communities in Osijek-Baranja County was going well.

"Refugees can contact this Info Centre to solve their issues and needs, from obtaining documents to communicating with possible employers," Aničić explained.

The Osijek-Baranja County Prefect called on all employers in need of workers to contact the centre where they can be connected with Ukrainians who seek employment. Anyone willing to make their residential premises available to refugees can also contact the centre because the European Commission and Croatian government will cover the cost of their accommodation for the next three years, he added.

Mayor Radić recalled that the county and city authorities promptly prepared themselves for this situation and adopted an Action Plan.

City authorities have prepared a children's corner in the city's Cultural Centre which has already been filled and plans are being prepared for its extension he said and underscored that city authorities were doing everything in their power to help refugees feel welcome.

An attorney and interpreter are present at the Info Centre every day while volunteers assist with everyday tasks in cooperation with Osijek's Faculty of Law.

A Croatian language course has been announced for refugees to help them to be better integrated into the community. The first group consists of 30 adults with childcare services provided while they are attending classes.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Croatian and Chinese Parliament Speakers: China Active in Efforts to Stop War in Ukraine

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - China has been involved in activities and initiatives to help stop the war in Ukraine and prevent a huge humanitarian crisis, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Tuesday after his video-conference with Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

According to a press release issued by the Croatian parliament, China supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and Li informed the Sabor Speaker about his country's activities aimed at stopping the conflicts and halting the humanitarian crisis.

Jandroković was quoted as saying that Croatia unequivocally supports the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and he highlighted the importance of the withdrawal of Russia's forces from the country.

"Croatia respects the strategic, economic and foreign affairs-related role of China and the influence of that country on peace and stability in the world," said Jandroković.

The two parliaments' speakers agreed that the completion of Pelješac Bridge, which is expected to be inaugurated this summer, is a symbol of successful cooperation between Croatia and China whose companies are engaged in the construction of the bridge.

Li pointed out Croatia as the first European Union member state to hire a Chinese company to implement an EU-funded project of strategic infrastructure. 

He described Croatia as one of China's greatest friends in the European Union.

Jandroković said that Croatia also attaches great importance to efforts to boost its economic relations with China, and in this context he mentioned the example of the Senj wind park.

During the talks, the two officials also commented on Croatian companies such as Rimac Automobili, INFOBIP, Dok-ing and Končar that do business on the Chinese market.

Jandroković expressed hope that upon the end of the COVID-19 pandemic Chinese visitors would start arriving in Croatia again.

Both officials expressed an interest in the strengthening of political and economic cooperation and highlighted the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation within the China+16 and the Road and Belt Initiative.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Višnjik Sports Center in Zadar Becomes New Training Ground for Ukrainian Divers

March 22, 2022 - The Višnjik Sports Center in Zadar is the new training ground for Ukrainian divers, who will also be allowed to compete at all Croatian national championships.

The National Sports Federations of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) continue to accept athletes who have fled war-torn Ukraine. Thus, Ukrainian divers arrived in Zadar, who will train at the pool in the Višnjik Sports Center, hosted by the Zadar Diving Club and the Croatian Diving Association, reports HRT.

"After the letter from the Ukrainian federation to admit their athletes, we immediately started with the organization. Zadar was the first option given the best training conditions in Croatia; 43 Ukrainians are now there, athletes, coaches, and support staff. All are housed in private accommodation. We will also allow them to compete at all of our national championships, which is the least we can do for them," said the secretary of the HSSV, Marina Novosel.

One of the strongest globally, the Ukrainian national team is led by the legendary Illya Kvasa, the 2008 bronze medalist in Beijing, and a five-time European and two-time world champion.

"We are happy because we came to a safe place. We have not trained for a month because of the overall situation in Ukraine and the ongoing war. The most important thing is that we are safe now and manage to dedicate ourselves to training again. I hope that the war will end soon and that we will return to our homes as soon as possible. I thank our hosts who have received us very well, are very kind, and are always there for everything we need," said Kvasa.

"We are glad that we managed to organize and accommodate our sports friends who have taken refuge here from the war in their country in a short time. We are here for everything they need," added the president of the Zadar Diving Club, Marko Nevešćanin.

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

Monday, 21 March 2022

Newfire Global Partners Moving Employees from Ukraine to Zagreb and Osijek

March 21, 2022 - IT company Newfire Global Partners has transferred some of its employees in Ukraine to Croatia, specifically Zagreb and Osijek.

The American company, founded in 2016, operates on four continents and in eight countries, has four offices in Ukraine, three in Lviv, and one in Ivano-Frankivsk. Newfire Global Partners also has offices in Zagreb and plans to open them in Split, reports

However, due to the crisis in Ukraine, Newfire Global Partners decided to offer employees in Ukraine the possibility of moving to Croatia, where another office is being opened in Osijek due to the war.

"We decided to help our employees and members of their families in Ukraine to come to Croatia, which proved to be a safe location. Therefore, we organized a private bus from Lviv to Osijek and Zagreb. As a result, we transported our employees and their children and immediate family members," explained the director of Newfire Global Partners, Stephen Hau.

"From the first day, the City of Osijek has supported our employees and plans to open an office. We look forward to working with and empowering the local business community by opening another office in this beautiful city and creating new jobs. Namely, we plan to hire about a hundred new team members by the end of the year, and we invite all those interested to contact us," he said.

Tetyana Tsyupka worked in Lviv as a business analyst but is now in Zagreb. 

"I come from a beautiful ancient city in western Ukraine - Lviv. The city's geographical location was why we decided to leave Ukraine and why we did it quickly. I woke up on February 24, did what has become my routine in recent months - checked the news, and what I saw was terrifying. Russia declared war on Ukraine. I was scared and didn't know what to do," she said.

"My priority is the safety of my children. I have two children, one is 12, and the other is nine. My husband and I were shocked, but we soon heard sirens, woke up the children, and went to a shelter in the basement. It was the worst day of my life because I had to tell the kids to wake up and get dressed quickly because the war started," she says.

"After that, we decided to cross the border with Poland. We didn't know how safe it was, but we succeeded after six hours of waiting at the border. My children, my husband, and I," she said, adding that she and her husband's parents live in Lviv, and the situation in that city remains tense.

She said she was very grateful to all Croats for their emotional support, both from colleagues and ordinary citizens she did not know.

"My daughter had a stomach ache, but the doctor was highly empathetic and professional. Luckily it was nothing serious. Also, my son played rugby in Ukraine; we wanted him to continue training in Zagreb. Rugby club Zagreb offered to go to free training," she said, adding in the end that we should be with Ukraine in this dramatic time.

Newfire Global Partners employees, partners, and friends have raised about $200,000 for various humanitarian associations and organizations in Ukraine, and the second round of donations is underway.

The company "doubles" each donation by paying the same amount and will continue to help in all possible ways. Thus, the Lviv-Osijek bus will continue to transport employees and members of their families. If one of the employees is called up for military service, they will financially support him and members of his family.

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Guide for Employers: Ukrainians Looking for Work in Croatia Don't Need Work Permit

March 19, 2022 - The Red Cross says that employers call them to offer jobs for Ukrainians. Maria Meleshko, from the Ukrainian community, warns about possible exploitation and violation of human rights. The Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) gives more details, both for Ukrainian citizens and Croatian employers.

Since the arrival of Ukrainian refugees at the Plitvice Motel in Zagreb, where the reception center is located, many employers from Croatia have called and offered them jobs. At the same time, one of the first questions of Ukrainians after arriving at the reception center was whether there was any work for them. ''There are a lot of young people, people want to get a job'', said Nikolina Gotal, spokeswoman for the city society CK Zagreb to 24sata.

Most of them, she adds, are employers from service industries. 

''A man from Samobor called and asked for a chef and an assistant chef, a lady from Ukraine told us that she already had a job interview in Pula, so we called colleagues from the Red Cross there to find accommodation for her and her family. In the second week after the arrival of the refugees, two employees of the Croatian Employment Service started coming every day for two hours and talked to the Ukrainians and entered them in their records'', said Gotal.

In addition to employers, the reception center was also contacted by numerous owners of private kindergartens, offering children from Ukraine accommodation in their kindergartens. Finally, she told all employers interested in employing Ukrainians to contact the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) and coordinate everything through them.

Vlado Karešin, President of the Ukrainian Community of the Republic of Croatia, said to 24sata that they were looking for a job for a Ukrainian who arrived in Slavonski Brod with four children and is a ceramicist by profession. 

''Here in Slavonski Brod, except for him, there are all mothers with children, one mother said that she would like to start working as soon as possible, so we are looking for a job for her as well'', Karešin said.

Marija Meleško, from the Ukrainian community in Zagreb, said that she still does not know anyone who got a job and states that it was mostly mothers with children who came from Ukraine and they must first take care of them before they get a job.

''Those who do not have any family or friends here, will want to work immediately. Mothers must first place their child in kindergarten or school and then start working. I only hope and believe that Croatian employers will not abuse people who came to seek salvation in Croatia and that there will be no exploitation of people. People come traumatized, disoriented in time and space, and not ready to control everything because they are in such a psychological state. I hope that their human rights will not be violated for human trafficking so that someone picks them up at the border and ends up who knows where. I hope there will be no such cases. Mothers with children are a particularly vulnerable group and are still coming into the unknown. And of course, I absolutely trust the Croatian police. If that happens by chance, I expect an immediate police response, which I believe will do it all. So far, there are no such situations, they are just fears, but we should be careful'', she concluded.

So, what should be considered before looking for a job in Croatia as a Ukrainian citizen, or before offering a job as a Croatian employer to a Ukrainian citizen? The Croatian Employment Service (HZZ), through a Q&A, cleared up the doubts.

How can Croatian employers hire refugees from Ukraine?

All persons under temporary protection must first regulate their stay in Croatia, they must first go to the Ministry of the Interior, obtain an identity card and OIB. They can then be registered in our unemployment register, and we will refer them to the jobs of potential employers in accordance with their knowledge. The HZZ will work intensively to connect people interested in work and employers.

Should Ukrainians have a work permit?

Temporary protection is approved by the Ministry of the Interior for a period of one year, during which time persons under temporary protection can be employed without a residence and work permit, which must be required for third-country nationals. Since only a small number of refugees from Ukraine have achieved this, it is understandable that they are not yet registered in the unemployment register.

Does HZZ help Ukrainians get a job in Croatia?

Employees of the Croatian Employment Service are daily in reception centers and collective accommodation and in individual interviews record the interest and employment opportunities of individuals and provide basic information about employment and employment opportunities and support they can receive from the job search agency.

How is communication with them?

In order to facilitate communication and provide basic information, the HZZ produced a leaflet in the Ukrainian language and the Cyrillic alphabet. The leaflet can contain all the information on registration in the unemployment register as well as the rights that a person exercises after registration.

Do you expect a large number of Ukrainians to be employed in Croatia?

All persons who express an interest in registering with the HZZ with the counselor will determine with which counselor they can and want to work, which languages ​​and other special skills they use, and the counselor will therefore refer them to the jobs of potential employers. We expect that in the future we will work intensively on connecting people interested in work and employers. Once again, we note that persons must regulate their status in the Ministry of the Interior in order to be able to register in the unemployment register and then be employed.

You can find the list and locations of all HZZ regional offices and their branches HERE.


For more on the Ukraine crisis and Croatia, as well as breaking news, follow our news section.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Croatia's SSSH Union Federation Joins Global Protest Against Ukraine War

ZAGREB, 15 March 2022 - Croatia's SSSH union federation said on Tuesday it was joining in the support to the European and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which are holding a Global Day of Action for Peace in Brussels today.

The SSSH said it had condemned the Russian aggression on Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that the war stop and that dialogue and negotiations be established within the UN to stop further human victims and suffering.

The SSSH said the war in Ukraine was a threat to Europe's peace, stability and values as well as the international order, extending solidarity with the Ukrainian people, workers and unions.

The SSSH has paid money into ITUC's solidarity fund for Ukrainian unions and called on other Croatian unions to do the same.

The SSSH said it was at the disposal of Ukrainian refugees and preparing information material in Ukrainian on Croatia's labour market as well as labour and social rights.

It called on all stakeholders on Croatia's labour market to take into account Ukrainian refugees' vulnerable position, and on the relevant authorities to ensure their full integration.

Page 3 of 6