Thursday, 2 May 2019

200 Million Euro to Be Set Aside for Revitalisation of Vukovar

ZAGREB, May 2, 2019 - The government on Thursday endorsed a programme for the reconstruction of municipal and power infrastructure in the town of Vukovar, and the 1.5 billion kuna programme encompasses 59 projects.

The scheme was endorsed a day before Vukovar marks its day on 3 May.

Concurrently, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the Town of Vukovar has been increased by 50% or 20 million kuna.

The ministry of maritime affairs, transport and infrastructure coordinates the implementation of the programme, and Minister Oleg Butković told the government today that the realisation of the projects would improve transport connectivity and enhance the local economy as well living standards in eastern Slavonia.

A total of 19 projects, worth 727 million kuna, are supposed to upgrade road and rail infrastructure.

There are 13 planned projects, worth 315.5 million kuna, for the water supply and drainage infrastructure.

Furthermore, 50.5 million kuna is to be invested in a project to upgrade the electrical network.

Also, 18 projects, estimated at 143 million kuna, which are part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion, are to be conducted for the purpose of the town's economic and social development.

The implementation of a project for the revitalisation of formerly war-hit small towns will cost 86.6 million kuna and a strategic project for the archaeological park Vučedol is estimated at 118 million kuna.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the large-scale programme was hammered out in close cooperation with the town of Vukovar.

Plenković said he would visit the town tomorrow on the occasion of its day.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 29 April 2019

VukovArt-Luka Street Art Festival to be Held in June

ZAGREB, April 29, 2019 - This year's VukovArt-Luka street festival will be held from June 1 to 15 under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, and during the event five murals will be painted on an area of 700 square metres.

The event will also include, for the first time, a semi-marathon, with 600 competitors having already registered to participate in the run.

A press conference held earlier this week heard that this year's festival theme is "Give me 5!", representing the five murals to be painted on apartment blocks.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Krešimir Herceg said that they wanted the festival to move away from war topics.

The organiser of the first Vukovar semi-marathon, Tomislav Marinović, said that the 21-kilometre run will go along a route including locations with the new murals, while citizens would have the opportunity to run a 5-kilometre route.

Vukovar Deputy Mayor Marijan Pavliček announced that the city was supporting the project with 450,000 kuna.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Vukovar Mobility Centre Promoting Sustainable Travel

ZAGREB, April 24, 2019 - A 128,434-euro regional mobility centre was opened in the eastern town of Vukovar on Tuesday, as part of the Transdanube.Pearls project, which promotes sustainable travel along the Danube.

As much as 85% of the total value of the centre comes from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Transdanube.Pearls project covers 15 partners from nine countries, the leading partner being the Environment Agency Austria. Its implementation started on 1 January 2017 and ends on 30 June 2019.

According to information on the website of the Transdanube.Pearls project, the central element of the project is the establishment of a network of about a dozen destinations committed to sustainable mobility for tourists and inhabitants along the Danube.

Mayor Ivan Penava said that the funding obtained under the project had been used to promote the work of the Vukovar Tourism Board, of which the regional mobility centre is part, as well as the town’s accommodation facilities.

The regional mobility centre will provide information on possibilities of sustainable travel in the area of Vukovar – by train, bus, bicycle or e-boat.

As a town on the Danube, Vukovar was interesting to partners because it has a boat that runs on solar power and invests significant funds in cycling infrastructure and has been recording an increase in the number of visiting cyclists.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Digital Croatia: Best Large ''Digital'' Cities Zagreb and Rijeka

Just how close are we to a real digital Croatia? The answer is unclear and as varied as ever, but some Croatian cities have shown promise with some rather impressive and encouraging results.

As Novac/ writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, although more and more cities are gradually digitising their business and investing in smart city solutions, and some of the most advanced have almost completely switched to doing solely digital business, generally speaking, Croatian cities are only in the very early stages of the much needed digital transition, just as Croatia is, as a country, at the very bottom in Europe in terms of the digital readiness of general society and the economy.

As the methodology for ranking cities in terms of digital readiness is only at its very beginning even at the European level, stories and analysis of the "smart city" concept development here in Croatia are still very much based on individual experiences, examples and projects.

That is why, in order to gain a real elementary insight into the digitalisation of Croatia's services and the communication of the country's many city administrations with citizens, experts from Apsolon, a consulting company specialising in digital business development, has undertaken the very first major study of the ''digital readiness'' of twenty of the largest cities across Croatia. This study, according to project manager and smart management director at Apsolon, Ivana Novoselec, is the basis for the further development of research tools and methodology that will track the development and progress of Croatia's cities on an annual basis.

In its study, Apsolon divided the cities into three categories - large (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek), middle (Zadar, Velika Gorica, Slavonski Brod, Pula and Karlovac) and smaller cities (Sisak, Varaždin, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Bjelovar, Kaštela, Samobor, Vinkovci, Koprivnica, Đakovo, Vukovar.)

The digital readiness index at Apsolon was set based on several criteria - the availability of e-services (the number of administrative services and their digitalisation rate in Croatia), the availability of site service information and the development of unified services for making payments in the city, then came the availability of city data, the level of citizen participation in decision making and communication channels between the city administration and citizens, ie, the availability of data and time in which citizens receive answers to their various questions. At this stage, Apsolon hasn't entered into the internal processes in Croatia's city administrations, but rather focused on what services are offered to the city's citizens and how long such things typically take.

After this type of indexing and ranking, the title of the ''digitisation champion'' among the Croatian cities was awarded to the City of Rijeka, thus confirming its status as the best city in the Smart City category which it won last year. Apsolon pointed out that the City of Rijeka has achieved the greatest advances in the systematic raising of the quality of its services, but also the opening of data and communication channels to citizens.

"Rijeka as the most advanced city in Croatia in terms of digitisation and is characterised in particular by the emphasis on openness and communication with its citizens. Its administration is oriented towards clear communication (a very clear centralised e-services approach with well-organised access to all automated services and available forms), openness and participatory management," said project manager Ivana Novoselac.

In many categories, especially those relating to the functional aspects of digitisation (advanced digital services, e-citizen connectivity, etc.), Rijeka is followed closely by the City of Zagreb.

The city of Pula is the most advanced middle-size city in Croatia, which also presents its services and available information to its citizens in a systematic and very detailed way, raising standards in terms of transparency and interaction with citizens, and is certainly a champion among cities with between 50.000 and 100.000 inhabitants.

In relation to the criteria relating to specific functional and technological solutions, Karlovac, Velika Gorica and Zadar follow. For the City of Karlovac the large number of available administrative procedures on its website and responses to citizens' inquiries are generally quick made it stand out from the crowd.

Among the small cities in Croatia, there is no distinctly dominant digital champion, but according to research findings in different aspects of digitisation, Dubrovnik, Samobor, Sisak, Koprivnica and Varaždin appear to be the most successful ones, according to this research. Among the prominent representatives of this category, Dubrovnik is strategically trying to profile as Smart City and has a high quality City Card, e-Visitor platform, is very active on social networks and it continuing to develop innovative application solutions. When it comes to the number of digitally available services, Koprivnica ranks above all.

Samobor, which is particularly active on social networks and is the category winner for social networking, has a very comprehensive and interactive website which separates the site accordingly and has adjusted all of the information for citizens and for visitors, as well as separating foreign visitors from domestic ones.

It should also be noted that Bjelovar is extremely proactive in the field of the digitalisation of its administration, it is working on applicative transparency solutions as well as on internal digitalisation processes. What is particularly commendable is Bjelovar's focus on the digitalisation of its internal processes.

Make sure to follow our dedciated lifestyle page for much more.


Click here for the original article by Novac/Jutarnji/

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Walkow – New Craft Beer from Vukovar

Everybody knows about Vukovarsko beer and that it recently came under the umbrella of Zagrebačka Pivovara. What most beer fans do not know is that a new brewery was recently opened in Vukovar, continuing the tradition of independent small breweries in the town. The brewery is registered as Craft Pivovara Vukovar j.d.o.o., and its craft beer is marketed under the brand Walkow.

040419-Craft Beer4.jpg

The owners have explained what the brewery name means. “Walkow is an old Croatian name for the Vukovar fort that was first built during the union with Hungary when Vukovar was the guardian of the Croatian identity and the town which was among the first to obtain the status of a free royal town (even before Zagreb). At that time, Vukovar was known for its fortress, which was firmly built on the high Danube coast, and the town was named after it. In the more recent history, in 1968, a new fort was built in Vukovar, which is nowadays the symbol of indestructibility – the Vukovar water tower – which, despite numerous times being hit during the Homeland War (more than 600), remained standing, persistent and stubborn, as a reflection of the will of the people defending the town. "

040419-Craft Beer2.jpg

The project is led by the Komšić couple. Mrs Komšić told us about their beer journey. "The idea started after many years of preparing beer ‘in the basement’ with my husband. So, we already had our own beer, which would be drank very quickly, so why not offer it to others as well. Since we have just started with the production and mostly due to logistical problems, we are focused on the town of Vukovar and its surroundings, although we are planning to start producing other types of beer in the future and extend our offer to other counties and cities. As there are no yet other craft breweries in the area, we decided to start with the blond ale, which was initially conceived as a way of moving consumers from commercial towards craft beer. Beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, without additives and artificial colours, and the main ingredients are three types of barley malt, hops and yeast. Beer is of a characteristic blonde style, also called the golden ale.

040419-Craft Beer3.jpg

Iva discussed the future of the Croatian beer industry and its relation to the competition. “The Croatian craft scene is growing; people recognise the quality, which is vital for us as a small producer. We all help each other, so I believe that market growth is not a problem but an incentive. Beer events are most commonly held as part of beer festivals, where we exchange opinions, techniques and the like. I think this is very good for our beer scene because you can combine promotional activities with having a good time; it is almost like a team building.

We are currently offering our beer in five Vukovar cafes. The initial reactions are great, and now it is up to us to roll up our sleeves and start brewing, pouring, bottling, labelling, distributing.”

More news about Croatian beer scene can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Economic Boost for Eastern Croatia as Pevec Plans Store in Vukovar

An economic boost is on its way to Eastern Croatia, more specifically to Vukovar this autumn with the opening of a brand new Pevec sales centre, bringing with it employment opportunities and much more to this otherwise greatly overlooked city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of March, 2019, Pevec has signed a contract for the construction of a sales centre in Vukovar with a local company from Slavonski Brod, Projektgradnja, which is otherwise a member of the Fortenova Group. The new sales centre will cover an area of ​​almost 5,000 m2. On the first floor, the office space that will be used by the company is set to be done up, Pevec's logistics and potential other tenants will make use of the revamped space.

"We have signed a contract with the Croatian company Projektgradnja, with which we're getting another modernly equipped and well-organised sales centre, employees will get high quality working conditions, and our customers a nice location for good and always competitive purchases. The opening of the new Vukovar sales centre is scheduled for October the 1st, 2019, and Vukovar will get fifty new jobs,'' Krešimir Bubalo of Pevec's management board, said.

Samofino Café will also open its doors within the new Vukovar centre. In the second stage of construction, additional business premises are planned and the retail center Pevec is expanded to a retail park with other retailers and brands.

"It's my great pleasure that Pevec, as the first Croatian trading chain, is investing in the city of Vukovar. We're building two sales centres in Slavonia, with which we want to try to encourage our people to stay here. By increasing the net minimum wage to 5,000 kuna in our stores, for our merchants, warehouse workers and our drivers, we're going to be giving our employees jubilee awards, systematic examinations, Christmas bonuses, child allowance and support for newborns, we'd like to show our employees that we care and that through working for Pevec, they can realise their dreams in Croatia,'' stated the president of Pevec's management board, Jurica Lovrinčević.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Vukovar Gets New Tourism Video Ad

ZAGREB, February 18, 2019 - Vukovar has a new tourism video advertisement presenting the attractions of that eastern Croatian town on the Danube River which, according to the town's tourism board, is attracting more and more tourists each year.

The video ad was shot under the auspices of the town's authorities and the local tourist board and was premiered to reporters this past Wednesday, with Mayor Ivan Penava saying that it was aimed at increasing the number of tourist arrivals to the town as part of the strategy to develop Vukovar's tourism potential.

"All this is in line with efforts to make Vukovar more attractive for tourists, which is a long-standing process. The tourist trade in Vukovar is on the rise and the town's potential in that regard is developing year in and year out," said Penava.

A total of 125,000 kuna was invested in shooting the video, 20,000 kuna of which came from the Tourism Ministry, while the remaining funds were provided by the town's authorities.

According to the director of the loca Tourist Board, Marina Sekulić, the number of bed nights in the town increased by 4% in 2018 compared to the year before, while the number of tourist arrivals remained at the same level.

"With all the visitors that come to Vukovar for one day to visit the Homeland War memorial centre, more than 120,000 people visit Vukovar each year," Sekulić said and added that the Vučedol Museum recorded more than 200,000 visitors since it opened two and a half years ago.

She also said that 231 cruise boats had visited the town with a total of 31,972 passengers and that the city expects 240 cruise boats this year.

More news about Vukovar can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

(VIDEO) In Dramatic Operation, Vukovar Firefighters Make a Rescue in Frozen River

“I wasn’t cold; there was no special danger, we know that part of the river well.” This is how Denis Kovačić, a humble firefighter from Vukovar, commented on the rescue of a dog from the Stara Vuka river in Vukovar, reports Večernji List on January 27, 2019.

He is a dog owner himself, and he asked his colleagues to let him save the dog. “I was not afraid to come close to her, it was enough for me to look into her eyes and everything was clear. She just needed to be rescued from cold water; she could not bark anymore...” Asked if he was thinking about whether something might go wrong, Denis said there is no room for such thoughts.

"We know the depth of the river. It is about a metre deep in that area. If the dog refused to stay on the mattress, I would have swum to get her. There are security procedures as you saw, we used three ropes, and four or five people were watching out for me. We do this kind of training. A dog can survive in cold water for about 15 minutes, and a child or an adult considerably less. After we were pulled to the shore, I immediately sent the owner home to warm up the dog.”

The Vukovar firefighters are well prepared for such situations, thanks to their commander Zdenko Jukić, who made sure they have expensive firefighting equipment for extreme conditions, which enables them to stay in the cold water for up to an hour. “Let the citizens know that we are well-trained for their security in extreme situations,” Denis added.

The owner of the dog, who released the video of the rescue on his Facebook profile, tried to pull the dog to the river bank himself. But the ice near the bank was too thin and was cracking. Fortunately, he called in the Vukovar firefighters.

The dog is named Lea, she weighs 24 kg and was found in the streets four years ago, when she was two months old. “We came just 3 to 4 minutes after receiving the call, but we do not know how long the dog was in cold water before that. We did not do anything heroic, we have been in much worse situations. We are happy for every happy outcome and a saved life," said Denis.

More news about Croatia’s firefighters can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Linda Draškić).

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Police Investigating Vukovar Mayor for Posting Controversial Video

ZAGREB, January 22, 2019 - The Vukovar-Srijem County police in cooperation with the local prosecutorial authorities are establishing all the circumstances in connection with the posting of video footage on the official website of the Town of Vukovar showing several students of a local high school sitting on the stands during the Croatian anthem, the police stated on Tuesday.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović confirmed today that the police were addressing the issue of the controversial posting of the video which grabbed media attention when Mayor Ivan Penava wondered why local ethnic Serb students refused to stand for the Croatian anthem.

The minister said that the authorities would inform the public of the findings of the investigation in a timely fashion. He said that the investigation should show of the posting of the video was controversial given that children were involved in the case. "Of course, children should not be put in any political context. However, I would not prejudge any outcome, having in mind that preliminary legal opinions that differ on that matter," said the minister.

The town's official website has posted the video of ethnic Serb secondary school students who did not stand up for the Croatian anthem at a football match played in Vukovar last year

The Croatian Serb leader, Milorad Pupovac, accused Mayor Ivan Penava of violating the Children's Wellbeing Act, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Personal Data Act and other laws, further inciting an atmosphere of violence by the posting of this video.

The ombudsperson for children's rights Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said that she had asked a police report on the same case, given that a boy from the video was recently assaulted at a bus station. The ombudwoman suspects that this was case of peer violence.

More news on the situation in Vukovar can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Serb Leader Accuses Vukovar Mayor of Inciting Violence

ZAGREB, January 18, 2019 - By posting a video of ethnic Serb secondary school students who did not stand up for the Croatian anthem at a football match played in Vukovar last year on the local government website, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava violated the Children's Wellbeing Act, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Personal Data Act and other laws, further inciting an atmosphere of violence, Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Milorad Pupovac told a press conference in the Croatian parliament on Friday.

Commenting on the case of a student of a Serb-language technical school in Vukovar who had been beaten up by football hooligans, Pupovac said that the problem of violence targeting members of the Serb community and students was not new.

"There are groups, including the one that attacked this student, who resort to violence and who are tolerated in the town. This happened several times over the past year," Pupovac said.

This incident is the result of the behaviour of that group of football fans being tolerated and the fact that Penava has additionally incited such an atmosphere by marking the Serb students of Nikola Tesla Technical School as people who do not respect Croatia and who are viewed in the context of the SDSS policy of maintaining the continued and, as Penava put it, creeping aggression against Croatia, Pupovac said.

Police said on Thursday that one minor was slightly injured in a fight that broke out at a bus stop in Vukovar on Wednesday, apparently between two rival groups of football fans, one involving two minors and the other three. The person injured was a Serb student of Nikola Tesla Technical School.

Pupovac said he did not believe that the separated Croatian and Serb schools in Vukovar were the problem. "Why is this not happening in Istria where there are also minority schools? Why is this happening in Vukovar? Because there are people who are constantly stoking up an atmosphere of war and who treat and portray any demands by the Serb community for rights that belong to them under the constitution, law and international agreements as an attack on the constitutional order and aggression."

He said that the failure by the children in question to stand up for the Croatian national anthem could not be regarded as an attack on the constitutional order. "This requires working with those children. The way in which Mayor Penava acted is certainly not the way. As for football fans, national anthems and expectations of how fans should behave in such situations, we'd better not discuss that. When it comes to schools in which one group of children stands up for the national anthem and the other does not, that is a serious problem," Pupovac said.

Asked to comment on the demand by MP Hrvoje Zekanović that Croatia should block Serbia's EU accession negotiations, he said: "What if I, as a representative of the SDSS, had demanded that Croatia's accession to the EU be blocked until all issues concerning the Serbs were resolved, including the issue of Serbs gone missing during the war, prosecution of war crimes, unpaid pensions, demolished housing, Serbs who were driven out during the war and have not returned to their homes? Did I do that? I didn't. I was among the most active advocates of Croatia's entry into the EU, and my party and my other colleagues, minority MPs, helped Croatia become an EU member, otherwise Croatia would still be waiting on the EU's doorstep."

Pupovac said he would sue Hrvatski Tjednik weekly for running a cover showing him holding the severed head of Ivan Šreter, wartime head of the Western Slavonia crisis management committee who disappeared without a trace after being abducted by Serb rebels in 1991. "Only a twisted and sick mind can implicate me in a murder," he said.

More news on the status of Serbs in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Page 16 of 28