Friday, 20 May 2022

Čović: It Would Be Wrong for HNS BiH to Choose Between Milanović or Plenković

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian National Council (HNS) leader Dragan Čović said on Friday it would be a "catastrophic mistake" for Croat politicians in BiH to choose between Prime Minister Andrej Plenković or President Zoran Milanović, as both advocates the better status of local Croats.

"It would be a catastrophic mistake for representatives of the Croat people in BiH to take that course in pursuing their policy," Čović said.

Being the leader of the HDZ BiH party I could also afford that luxury to connect with the interests of the president of the HDZ in Croatia, which is logical, he told a press conference in Mostar when asked with whom the HNS BiH would side, President Milanović or Prime Minister Plenković.

Earlier this week President Milanović called for Croat parties in BiH to state whether they support his stance to block Finland and Sweden's application to NATO until the election law in BiH is amended whereas Prime Minister Plenković considers that approach is mere exhibitionism and is damaging to Croatia and Croats in BiH.

The presidents of three minor Croat parties, and members of the HNS BiH, supported Milanović's stance.

Čović explained that it is necessary to preserve the unity within HNS BiH, adding that he appreciates Milanović.

"As the president of HNS BiH, it is necessary to take into account all the elements, valuing everything that Croatia's President is doing, whose advocacy corresponds to everything we are seeking here as the Croat people. There is no doubt that sounds good to our people in Croatia and BiH because it has mobilized public opinion to an enviable degree so they can feel this problem," he added.

According to Čović, Prime Minister Plenković has managed to promote the importance of amending the election law in the world and for the legitimate representation and equality of Croats in BiH.

He said that HNS BiH will not influence Croatia's foreign policy, referring to Croatia's position on Finland and Sweden's NATO application.

"It is our opinion that we cannot influence Croatia's foreign policy. According to the Constitution, its foreign policy is co-defined by the president and prime minister. We will agree to whatever they agree to on the foreign policy plan," he said.

Čović added that he would meet with European Council President Charles Michel in Sarajevo on Saturday, adding that the visit would not have occurred without Prime Minister Plenković's lobbying.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Croatian Red Cross Repairs 1,036 Wells in Quake-Hit Banovina

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The Croatian Red Cross on Friday said that 1,036 wells had been remediated so far in the quake-hit Banovina, and more than 2,500 had submitted a request for their well to be repaired, having been left without potable and technical water.

Although a year and a half has passed since the strong earthquakes, the Croatian Red Cross said that the residents of Banovina still faced water shortage problems, especially in rural areas, where people depend on well water.

In that area, most wells are in a bad condition due to many years without maintenance and major damage after the earthquake, and the earthquake also led to contamination of groundwater so well water does not meet health standards.

Unfortunately, it is not enough to clean a well once, but we have to do it several times to improve its capacity and the quality of water because sludge keeps returning due to frequent tremors, said Robert Markt, Executive President of the Croatian Red Cross.

He added that this was one of the reasons why the process had been taking so long and did not go as fast as people would like it to.

He pointed out that the team of the Croatian Red Cross had so far rehabilitated 1,036 wells.

Wells' rehabilitation, he stressed, is a complex and risky job, especially in an area where earthquakes still occur.

The Croatian Red Cross said that thanks to support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, which had donated more than HRK 700,000, significant funds had been invested over the past year in the purchase of equipment for good rehabilitation, as well as for training.

For more, check out our politics section.

 

Friday, 20 May 2022

Vinkovci to Expand Industrial Zone Through €25m Project

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Vinkovci Industrial Zone Zalužje, which has 49 business entities with more than 1,700 employees, should soon be expanded by an additional 111 hectares, which should, according to the city administration, spur strong economic development in that Slavonian city.

The project to expand the industrial zone Zalužje with land worth over 184 million (€25 million) will be Vinkovci's largest development project in the coming period, said Vinkovci Mayor Ivan Bosančić on Friday.

On Thursday, the government decided to give land to this eastern Croatian city for the expansion of the zone.

"The expanded part of Zalužje will be constructed as a sustainable, smart, and digital zone, and in addition to the available land, we will provide investors with full complete infrastructure, transport connectivity, and local and regional authorities involved in attracting investments and open to cooperation," said Bosančić.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

President: It's Time to Draw Up Final Balance on Benefits from EU Membership

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - President Zoran Milanović, who on Friday attended ceremonies celebrating the Day of the City of Zabok, said Croatia should now draw up a final balance on its 10-year-long EU membership and see what benefits it has had.

"Now is the right time after our first ten years of the EU membership, marked by our hopes, expectations, anticipations, premonitions, joys, and frustrations, to draw up a final balance sheet and see what has been good and what is not good for us."

As for the absorption of EU funds, Milanović said that Croatia was still at the bottom.

The president called for permanent attentiveness in defining and identifying Croatia's interests.

I say this in order to introduce "creative restlessness" necessary for progress, said Milanović.

"This is not the time for revolutions and big decisions. This is the time for us to exercise permanent attentiveness in defining and identifying our interests," said Milanović.

In the coming period and in the years to come, Croatian politicians should observe what is going on around us, what our interests are and how much progress we make, and whether we are coming closer to the most prosperous countries in the European Union, said Milanović.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

KK Split Starts Semifinals against Zadar with a Convincing Victory

May 20, 2022 - Shorter and Perkovic lead KK Split to a 74:64 (39:33) win in front of 1500 fans.

The KK Split basketball team has started well into this year's semi-final play-offs of the Croatian Championships against Dalmatian rival KK Zadar.  Both teams only needed 2 games to pass through the quarter-finals where Zadar eliminated Zabok and Split went through Škrljevo. 

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With well-rested and complete squads, the debut game was played in front of a very supportive atmosphere. Additionally to the regular supporters, 50 kids of K.K. Solin’s youth teams were invited as special guests and became witnesses to a high-level display from both sides. While all players started the game a little nervously and with a focus not to make mistakes, the defensive effort and intensity were at 100% right from the start. 

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The Yellows were able to rely on Shannon Shorter again as so often this season to give them confidence. The American guard scored the first five points for the home team and was always there with important points and eight rebounds when the game was close. The team from Zadar on the other side needed Justin Carter to contribute 16 points in order to stop the game from being decided early. 

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The guests made every effort to keep the game close and even had a few leads during the game and tied the game in the final quarter at 62:62 with five minutes left to play. However, Shannon Shorter was not the only sharpshooter in a yellow uniform tonight. Toni Perković’s 22 points coming off the bench and hitting 6 of 10 tries from three-point land were just too much for guest coach Vladimir Anzulović’s team to digest. 

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“We made an important step and finally played the home game against Zadar at the right level. After six or seven minutes of nervousness, we stabilized. I think that was the decisive factor that we kept the game under control," said the coach of Split, Srdjan Subotic to sum up the evening.

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The first game of the best of 3 series bears great importance as from now on reigning champion Zadar is already with their backs to the wall. Split could finish the series with an away win in Zadar on Monday but even if they should lose in Zadar, they would have another shot at home.

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Result by quarters: 74:64 (18:22, 21:13, 16:17, 19:12).

Referees: Josip Radojković, Alfred Jovović and Martin Vulić.

Box Score: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/2095496/bs.html

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

Friday, 20 May 2022

Croatia's Area Under Vineyards Increases by 7% Since 2019

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The Ministry of Agriculture on Friday reported that according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, in 2021 the area covered with vineyards increased by 7% compared with 2019 and now amounts to 21,213 hectares.

This has resulted to a large extent from the Ministry's contribution of HRK 416 million (€55.5 million) from national aid schemes from the 2019 - 2023 wine envelope.

The ARKOD register in the Agriculture Payment Agency has 18,126 hectares registered with vineyards which relate to areas receiving subsidies and professional wine producers.

The difference can be attributed to vineyards kept as a hobby and others which also strongly contribute to Croatia's wine production, the ministry said.

The ministry notes that the measures within the wine envelope also encompass the Restructuring and Conversion measure with HRK 90 million in support, HRK 56 million of which has been paid so far.

At the same time, HRK 298 million has been made available under the Investments in enterprises measure.

In reference to the hardship experienced during the corona crisis, in addition to increasing the intensity of subsidies in the wine envelope, two crisis measures were introduced in 2020 and 2021 which the European Commission approved during Croatia's presidency of the EU.

About HRK 76 million was invested in 2020 alone to help stabilize the market against the backdrop of a drastic fall in wine sales during the COVID crisis, the ministry said.

(€1 = HRK 7.529183)

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Slovenia's Geoplin Without Additional Capacities at Krk LNG Terminal

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Slovenia's Geoplin gas operator has failed to get the remaining free capacity at the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, so it will probably have to turn to other sources to end its dependence on the Russian natural gas, Slovenian media outlets reported on Friday.

The second-largest Slovenian wholesale natural gas supplier Geoplin was left "empty-handed" in the tender for the remaining free capacity in Omišalj, which despite different expectations, went to the natural gas company Prvo Plinarsko Društvo (PPD), a Croatian partner of the Russian Gazprom, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) said, quoting local media outlets.

The fact that Geoplin did not get capacities at the LNG terminal on Krk is a big blow to Slovenia's plans to overcome the energy crisis that could occur in the autumn if the war in Ukraine continues and the EU does not lift the sanctions against Russia, Slovenian media outlets say.

The managing director of the Krk LNG terminal, Hrvoje Krhen, told Hina that he wasn't allowed to comment on business relations but also that Geoplin wasn't a user of the LNG terminal.

"Geoplin isn't a user of the terminal, but it can, like everyone else, be supplied with gas through any of our users," the managing director said.

Today, Slovenia gets most of its gas from Russia, based on Geoplin's long-term contract with Gazprom.

In early April, after a meeting with Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, former Croatian Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said that Slovenia was "very interested" in gas from the LNG terminal on Krk. Ćorić then said that the terminal ensured 300 million m3 in additional capacity, for which a tender was advertised.

Vrtovec said Slovenia was considering diversifying gas supply so as not to be dependent on supply from one country, that is, Russia. He underscored that the LNG terminal would increase its capacity and advertise a tender for 300 million m3 of gas and that Slovenia was very interested to be part of that agreement.

The infrastructure for the additional 300 million cubic meters of natural gas already exists, Vrtovec then said, adding that Slovenia would be able to procure nearly one-third of its gas needs via the LNG terminal off Krk island in the northern Adriatic.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

FinMin: Measures to Buffer Inflation, Must Not Neglect Economic Growth

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Friday that in addition to all the measures to buffer the impact of inflation, we must not neglect and need to maintain economic growth and do everything for that growth to be 3% this year and higher if possible.

Addressing the 25th Financial Market conference in Pula, Marić said that he cannot comment on the question of possibly freezing prices, recalling the package of measures to ease inflationary pressure on citizens' standards, saying that it would be adapted.

The minister added that there is a lot of uncertainty and it is difficult to forecast price trends, adding that the most vulnerable groups were the most threatened because the price of food and energy is the most prevalent in their shopping basket.

Asked what the monetary policy can do in the fight against inflation, Marić said that the measures until now were exclusively fiscal policy.

Asked if kuna currency appreciation would be worthwhile, Marić said there was room to maneuver in that regard but that is up to the Croatian National Bank (HNB).

The HNB's main task is to maintain price stability and it should have something to say in these circumstances.

It is more than likely that this year will we have a higher inflation rate than the increase in wages, he said, adding that in the past few years wages increased faster than inflation.

Inflationary alarm already sounding

Asked about the inflation threshold that would signal a "red alert" to the government, Marić said the alarm has already sounded. We have the highest inflation rate and we have already reacted. The measures will be adapted but it isn't possible to completely remove the pressure.

He added that an additional HRK 3.5 billion has been allocated to repay the debt to drug wholesalers, however, that is not the solution because new debts are occurring. The healthcare system needs an overall overhaul.

He confirmed that a new international bond matures at the end of May and in July he plans to issue new domestic bonds.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Conflict of Interest Commission Finds Banožić Abused Entitlements

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The Conflict of Interest Commission on Friday unanimously determined that Defence Minister Mario Banožić, who had served as the state assets minister, abused the entitlements when he adopted three decisions including one in which he granted himself an official apartment.

Banožić was fined HRK 7,000 for the breach.

Breaches were identified in three decisions he approved; the decision to grant himself a state-owned apartment of 30 square meters, then a decision on the right to accommodation in an apartment for state officials, and thirdly, granting himself an apartment in Gundulićeva Street in the center of Zagreb.

"When office-holders find themselves in situations when they should decide on matters concerning themselves, they cannot be included in the decision-making. Those situations need to be identified and office-holders need to be excluded from the decision-making and delegate that to another person," the said the commission. 

The commission examined the case after media reports in March this year which was followed by a complaint.

Banožić told the commission that he initially agreed to the smaller apartment because it was the only one available. Later he was informed by the State Real Estate Agency that the apartment in Gundulićeva Street would soon be available and based on the criteria of the 2013 regulation, he could occupy it.

The 2013 regulation notes that first category officials are eligible for a three-room apartment (60m2) and an additional 10m2 for every other family member. In his application for an apartment Banožić noted that his spouse and two children visited occasionally however, the commission said that his family was never registered in Zagreb.

The fact that they occasionally visited did not mean that he was eligible for a larger apartment, the commission's president Nataša Novaković explained.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Makarska Transforms into WTACity with Best Entertainment on Adriatic!

May 20, 2022 - The WTA Makarska Open will be held from May 30 to June 5, transforming the coastal town into WTACity! 

For the first time in Makarska, but in great style! The WTA Makarska Open tournament, in cooperation with the City of Makarska, opens WTACity with a concert by the Big Band and Zdenka Kovačiček on May 30. Makarska's main square is the most beautiful backdrop for the hot summer rhythm that awaits all tennis fans, locals, and tourists.

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Funky House Night with DJ Toni Juranović is reserved for May 31, Black Coffee performs on June 1, New Gondoliers on June 2, Noa & Tour de Funk on June 3, and on June 4, after the semifinals, the central Makarska central will feature KUD Jedinstvo, followed by a concert of the popular Mjesni Odbor and a surprise guest. After Sunday’s final, WTACity closes with a performance by Ischariotzcky. Finally, the youngest will enjoy their day on June 1 from 10:30 in the main square.

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It will also be hot at the Valamar Riviera Tennis Center. First, Rijad Gvozden will make the audience laugh on June 2 with the comedy Bosanac on Vacation, and on June 3, Klapa Šufit will sing. Before the semifinals on June 4, a warm-up concert by Neno Belan will be held, and before the final on June 5, Klapa Cambi will sing their hits.

Excellent workshops and panels for athletes and recreationists will also be held, as well as an attractive exhibition of portraits of the most famous Hollywood actors, a great friend of this tournament, photographer Jadran Lazić.

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"From the first day, our goal is to bring attractive and recognizable events such as the WTA tournament to our city below Biokovo. I am extremely proud that we managed to bring such a prestigious tournament to Makarska and the cooperation of the City, WTA, and Valamar, which proved to be an outstanding partner to the local community. The WTA tournament in Makarska is the first and crucial step in realizing our vision of Makarska as a desirable tourist and sports destination. I am sure that the tournament will contribute to a new direction of sustainable development and help us get on the map of destinations that offer tourists new experiences and interesting content. From this year, we have WTACity - ten days of fun and music events throughout the city of sports and entertainment during WTA Week," says Zoran Paunović, Mayor of Makarska, and adds that the locals are looking forward to promoting their city, the arrival of top tennis players, and exciting matches.

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Feliks Lukas, the tournament director, announced the best program so far. For the past six years, the WTA has been a great combination of sports and entertainment, so the event has been positioned as an attractive social event.

"In the 16 years that this event has been held in Croatia, the WTA tournament considers the local community, its wishes and needs, and tennis fans who come to the tournament and tourists who stay in the destination. We successfully organized a quality accompanying program last year in compliance with strict epidemiological measures. In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle, it is essential for us to promote the destination where the tournament is held, which will be beautiful Makarska for the next three years," says Lukas.

From May 30 to June 5, Makarska will be the most beautiful introduction to summer in Dalmatia. 

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

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