Sunday, 7 August 2022

Beroš Says Can't Comment on Possible Omissions in Reporter's Treatment for Now

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Saturday he could not say for the time being if there had been any omissions in the medical treatment of reporter Vladimir Matijanić and that that would be determined by a medical inspection he had requested.

Asked to comment on the claims by Matijević's partner, reporter Andrea Topić, that the medical assistance he received was inadequate, Beroš said that he did not have sufficient information on the case for the time being and that the case would be looked into.

Topić has said in a post on social networks that doctors at the KBC Split hospital and emergency medical staff did not want to help Matijević.

She said that Matijević, who suffered from Sjögren's syndrome and interstitial lung disease and was suspected to have two other autoimmune diseases, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

He could not be vaccinated against coronavirus due to his medical condition.

Topić said that despite severe symptoms caused by COVID-19, hospital staff refused to admit him.

She described in her post how many times they had contacted the hospital and the emergency medical service, saying that after the first emergency home visit, emergency medical staff again refused to take Matijanić to hospital. After his condition further deteriorated, an emergency medical team arrived again but it was too late, she said.

Topić also said that staff at KBC Split had told them that no medical institution in Croatia had a drug prescribed for patients with serious conditions to prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Asked to comment on this, Beroš said that doctors prescribed medicines based on the patient's medical condition.

"I cannot believe that anyone whose condition requires it would not be prescribed the medicine they need," he said, noting that there were currently several medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms and that it would be investigated what condition the reporter was in and if it had required therapy and which.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

New Investment Coming to Toplice Jezerčica in Hrvatsko Zagorje

August 7, 2022 - Inland tourism is often given a back seat when we're talking about Croatian tourism. However, big investments and changes are happening, and we bring you an interview with one of the big players, Goran Fabris of Poreč and Rovinj fame, currently doing his magic in Toplice Jezerčica (Jezerčica Spa) in Hrvatsko Zagorje.

Robert Kuščar of the Volim Zagorje Facebook Page, a Zagorje enthusiast, talked to Goran Fabris, a member of the Rudan d.o.o. Tourism Sector Board, one of the most successful domestic hoteliers with extensive experience in Valamar in Poreč, Maistra in Rovinj and Jadran in Crikvenica.

How much is the total investment in Donja Stubica?

If we observe the entire investment cycle, which should last 4-5 years, the total investment should amount to HRK 440 million. This includes the total remodelling of the existing hotel facilities. We plan to expand from the existing 47 to slightly more than 200 rooms. In the same period, we will additionally invest in the existing camp. Of course, the most important thing to highlight is the investment in a new aquapark on an area of ​​almost 2 hectares. It is this aquapark and its close connection to accommodation facilities that should ultimately represent a novelty in continental tourism in Croatia, because it implements ideas and business standards that have long been known for in Austria, where exactly such resorts record improving results year after year.

Is continental tourism even economically profitable?

When we talk about profitability - there is a public perception that tourism is not and will never be highly profitable, which is ultimately correct. The development of tourism always brings along a whole series of benefits for the local community, and its profitability always depends on several basic factors. Some of the most important are: the legal framework that includes tax rates such as VAT, etc., but also the destination itself, because building a hotel in Rovinj or Donja Stubica is not the same. Rovinj is the best example of how the vision of one man, accompanied by the financial potential of a company, created a destination that, over the past two decades, has been branded precisely on the basis of investment in new facilities. Our desire is to do something similar in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that the investment will have a long-term positive impact not only on Stubica but also on Zagorje as a whole. This is precisely why we believe that we will get the support of the local community, as well as the administration at the state level because each of them can help us a lot. The Ministry of Tourism has made huge strides in understanding the needs of the tourism sector in recent years, so we hope that this direction will continue. It is very important for us to succeed in realizing the funds from the National recovery and resilience program. In addition, the support of the local community regarding spatial plans, building permits, and exemption from paying communal contributions would help us a lot. These are all important steps that lead to a faster and more profitable investment.

Once the complex is finished, how many new jobs will there be?

Today, there are 70 people employed in Toplice Jezerčica. We believe that ultimately, once the project is completed, that number should be at least three times higher.

What are the novelties you plan on bringing, compared to today's spas?

The existing facilities will be upgraded to 4* this year, and 170 new rooms, new congress facilities, renovated wellness facilities, and indoor and outdoor water facilities will be added to this through the next two phases of the investment. The camp will remain the same size, but with an increase in capacity and additional investments in raising the quality of accommodation. It's important we mention the new Aquapark, with facilities that currently do not exist in the continental part of Croatia.

Are the hotel and swimming pools being demolished and are new ones being built or upgraded?

We will demolish, renovate and build. For now, we can only reveal that in our development plans we have limited ourselves to the space we own. We are not planning additional expansion beyond the existing plots we own. It is a big and serious investment project, so we have to play it safe. Making plans in an area that has not been legally resolved in terms of ownership would be frivolous, to say the least, but also irresponsible,

How come you recognized Zagorje as a destination for high tourism?

Rather, we could say that Zagorje found us. When we first received information about the possibility of an acquisition, we recognized a good opportunity for our new step forward in the tourism business, and the new ideas and plans just came out of nowhere.

When can we expect the first machines on the construction site?

The works on the reconstruction of the existing capacities will start in early October, and the much more demanding ones related to the Aquapark and new hotel capacities will depend on the rate of us + obtaining the necessary permits and the results of tenders related to the realization of the right to grants.

Will the Toplice Jezerčica be completely closed during the construction, or are you planning to build and operate it?

If possible, we would definitely like to preserve the continuity of the water features, but I must admit that we have not yet made a final decision on this. It is certain that the accommodation facilities will not be in operation from the beginning of October until sometime around the end of November

Will the name Terme Jezerčica remain? Previous experiences have shown that foreign tourists have a hard time trying to pronounce this word, which reduces the marketing and branding potential.

The projects like this always require a serious marketing approach, with the elaboration of all the necessary details related to the defined "final product" and being able to present it in the markets. In our case, that task is additionally demanding because we are still not able to clearly define the time course of the investment, let alone the course of accompanying marketing activities. I agree with you that the existing name may not be overly marketing demanding, but I must emphasize that our first goal is to become a kind of a "riviera" for those who can reach us by a two-three hours car ride!

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Health Ministry Orders Inspection into Medical Assistance to Reporter

ZAGREB, 6 August, 2022 - The Health Ministry on Saturday requested a report on the provision of medical assistance by the KBC Split hospital and other medical institutions in Split to reporter Vladimir Matijanić, who died on Friday.

A ministry inspection team will look into medical documentation and contact with staff in the medical institutions involved in the case to establish facts that can help determine if action taken in the case was in line with the prescribed procedure or if there were omissions in the provision of adequate care to the patient, the minister said.

The public will be informed of the ministry findings in a timely way, the minister said.

An internal control is also underway also at the KBC Split Hospital.

Reporter and Matijanić's partner Andrea Topić claims the emergency medical service refused to have Matijanić hospitalised despite his difficult condition caused by coronavirus infection.

She also claims that the emergency service for infectious diseases and the doctor on duty also failed to respond and that two days before his death, Matijanić, who suffered from an autoimmune disease, was told that there was a shortage of a drug prescribed to prevent more severe symptoms of COVID-19 in patients like him.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Croatia Logs 250 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 6 August, 2022 - Croatia has registered 250 new COVID cases and 10 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team reported on Saturday.

There are now 8,005 active cases in the country, including 605 hospitalised patients, 25 of whom are on ventilators, while 4,655 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 1,192,555 people have become infected with coronavirus in Croatia and 16,389 of them have died as a consequence while 1,168,161 have recovered, including 1,450 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 59.58% of the total population, or 70.85% of adults, have been vaccinated.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Croatian PM Extends Condolences to Polish PM

ZAGREB, 6 August, 2022 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Saturday talked on the telephone with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki following a bus crash in northern Croatia in which 12 Polish nationals were killed, extending his condolences to the victims' families.

Twelve people were killed and more than 40 were injured in the accident, which occurred at 5.40 am on Saturday on the A4 highway in the direction of Zagreb when a bus with Polish licence plates, carrying pilgrims to the Marian shrine of Međugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, skidded off the road on the highway section between Jarek Bisaški and Podvorec, in Varaždin County.

"I have extended my his condolences to the victims' families on behalf of the Government and informed the Polish prime minister that competent services are on the ground and that the injured passengers are being treated," Plenković said in a Twitter post.

Latest updates from the crash here.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Croatian Navy to Buy €500 mn Corvette

ZAGREB, 6 August, 2022 - Croatia plans to buy a €500 million naval ship, the Jutarnji List daily reports in its Sunday issue. 

Speaking of plans for the future equipment of the Croatian Army, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Knin on Friday that Croatia was planning to buy a multipurpose warship.

This is the first time the government has officially confirmed plans for the procurement of a vessel, a corvette, for the Croatian Navy.

Naval experts have been working for some time now on defining the technical characteristics of the vessel and its purpose. Its procurement is expected to be included in the next long-term plan for the development of the Armed Forces.

The government has opted for a new ship, abandoning previous plans to buy a used ship.

Plans for the procurement of a corvette for surface, submarine and air warfare were announced at the end of 2021 by the Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj.

The vessel would be used for the protection of the state border but the Croatian Navy would also use it for possible navigation in the Mediterranean and even on oceans.

The corvette would be around 100 metres long and it would be the longest Croatian Navy ship.

According to Hranj, the ship could join the Croatian Navy between 2025 and 2030.

Corvette is a naval vessel around 100 metres long, equipped with several medium and small calibre guns as well as surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and antisubmarine weapons. It can carry one naval helicopter.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

RIP Vladimir Matijanić, Index.hr Investigative Journalist

August 6, 2022 - Index.hr reported yesterday evening that their journalist Vladimir Matijanić passed away.

In their original article, they call him "our best journalist", and his long, successful career confirms that they're probably right. Matijanić was 51, born in Livno and was a dogged investigative journalist. He started his journalistic career in Slobodna Dalmacija, then continued in the weekly Feral Tribune, then again in Slobodna Dalmacija, and in recent years worked on the Index.hr website. He uncovered and reported on numerous scandals in the Croatian politics, which lead to him being sued often by those who felt wronged by his precise reporting. Among his more important journalistic works and discoveries was the falsified master's degree of Ante Đapić at the Faculty of Law in Split.

Also, while working for Index.hr, Matijanić was the first to report on the dubious portions of the doctoral thesis by then-HDZ-candidate in the Split mayoral elections, Vice Mihanović. In a series of texts, Matijanić warned about a series of illogical and bizarre elements of Mihanović's doctoral dissertation which he defended in 2018 at the Faculty of Economics in Osijek. For that work, he received the Marija Jurić Zagorka award for internet journalism, awarded by the Croatian Journalist Society (HND). In their explanation of why he was given the award, HND said: "Matijanić dissected it with journalistic precision, proving that the doctorate was a farse, while the parallel reality of politics and the politically poisoned academic community did everything possible to prove that nothing was wrong with the thesis. Matijanić also relentlessly reported on this, building a story about the doctorate and the politician Mihanović, but also about the Croatian reality. Therefore, his entire work on the 'Mihanović case' is an extremely valuable 'story about Croatia 2021'. His journalistic work is undoubtedly one of the highest journalistic achievements of the past year and deserves the recognition of the profession".

Matijanić also authored the book 'Kerum and the Decline of Split'.

Today, the story of Matijanić's passing got another chapter, as his partner (and another Index.hr journalist) Andrea Topić published on Facebook and on Index a very disturbing account of the last several days of Matijanić's life. She accused the Split health services of numerous oversights, ignoring how serious Vlado's situation has gotten (including refusing to hospitalise him 2 hours before his passing!), the complete lack of Paxlovid in any of the Split hospitals and much more. Vili Beroš, the Minister of Health confirmed to index.hr that he's ordered the inspection, aimed at determining the circumstances of Vladimir Matijanić's passing.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

The Lokals: Split-Based Studio to Release Animated NFT Film About Yugoslavia in 1980s

August 6, 2022 - The Lokals is an NFT animated film created by Split-based Prime Render Studios, taking viewers on a train journey from Ljubljana to Split in the 1980s. 

How did a small multimedia studio from Split, which has celebrated over 70 awards, manage to combine filmmaking and the blockchain with the support of two Oscar-winning French production companies? Marin Pavelic of Netokracija tells us more.

"If someone had told me as a cinematographer and filmmaker that one day an NFT animated film would be created that lives on the Ethereum blockchain and that along the way would educate the participants of that project about producing an animated film and that the film would follow a train journey through Yugoslavia in the 80s..." begins Pavelic about the new project by brothers Milivoj and Veljko Popović of Prime Render Studios. The studio is known for producing 2D and 3D computer graphics and multimedia content, primarily focused on developing and producing short animated films.

Over the years, they have made seven short animated films that have been screened at the largest animation festivals in the world and won over 70 awards, including the Animated Eye Award at the Aspen Shortsfest Film Festival, which qualified the film for an Oscar and the Jury Prize at the largest animated film festival and into the world Annecy International Animation Film Festival. In addition, their clients include names such as Netflix, CNBC, Financial Times, Lipton, HEP, etc.

The team has a lot to celebrate, and ready for a new challenge, it was time to get into something more innovative. Milivoj revealed to Netokracija what it took to merge an animated film with blockchain.

 

The Lokals are the first NFT collection to fully come to life in an animated film. Milivoj explains:

"It is a unique animated collection of 5000 NFTs that lives on the Ethereum blockchain, which we created in collaboration with the artist Božo Balova. It was created by combining virtual reality technology, i.e., the Quill program and the 3D application Blender."

In addition to allowing individuals to become the owners of a particular work of art, the NFT also grants co-ownership and the title of co-producer on this short animated film, which is a model of work being carried out for the first time in the production of animated films:

"On top of that, the project also has an educational character because all project participants will have the opportunity to follow the production of the animated film, from the very beginning to the end, and will also be able to participate in the making of the animated film! The goal is to fully integrate and harness the power of decentralized ownership and production."

The blockchain contract for this project was developed by the team from Blank.

Prime Render Studios has been actively participating in the blockchain world since 2017, so it was a natural and logical next step for them to use NFT technology and its applications in the art world. 

"Having Božo in our studio and developing into a truly wonderful and innovative artist was the link that connected those two worlds."

While working on the film Dislocations, Božo developed a unique visual. However, Božo didn't stop working on the visuals with that film, and that's how late and authentic portraits were created, which they then turned into NFTs. They exhibited them on the curated and exclusive Superrare platform:

"The works sold very quickly, reaching a price of over 2 Ether. This confirmed what we already knew: that we have an exciting world that we want to develop further. That's how The Lokals collection and everything else that goes with it was created."

The project's official advisors are Hollywood names such as Emmy Award winner Ante Deković and Hisko Hulsing, director of the successful Amazon Prime series Undone.

Milivoj poetically explains The Lokals with a picture of a train journey through Yugoslavia in the 80s, driving south to the Adriatic coast:

"You would travel past Ljubljana, through Zagreb, and finally reach the end of the railway line in the small coastal Mediterranean town of Split. A vibrant melting pot of ideologies, lifestyles, and ideas, located at the crossroads of the failed socialist idea and the promise of the American dream."

Local musicians and artists were the first to accept the avant-garde anti-establishment ideology and became part of the modernist movements of that time:

"This is our stage - the small Mediterranean town of Split, and our story is set there."

You can participate in the project by purchasing one of the Lokals from the NFT collection on the official website. This requires a Metamask wallet and an Ether token (ETH). However, Milivoj emphasizes that even without buying an NFT, you can join their Discord, which has about 2,600 members, follow the development of the project and participate in conversations with all team members and other project participants:

"Discord is where we talk directly to people who want to be a part of this project or already are. Here we share all the news, listen to comments and suggestions, socialize and develop the future of "The Lokals" world, which we plan to develop into The Lokals Metaverse."

Although the collection is made and available for purchase, and they are slowly approaching the important figure of 1000 purchased Lokal NFTs, the film is still in the pre-production phase where the foundations for the entire film are being built. The visuals have been resolved, and they have the first draft of the script ready:

"However, there is still a lot of work to be done. First, of course, we must close the financial structure of the entire project. The current global macro-political economic situation has given us the biggest problem, which affects all aspects of the financial sector, including crypto, which is closely related to our project.

Fortunately, we are looking for financing largely outside that sector, and we also expect the recovery of the crypto market, which will further help in bringing the project to life."

Prime Render Studios has excellent and long-term cooperation with HAVC, so they are optimistic about partnership for this project, but also with two large Oscar-winning French production companies:

"We were also invited to present the project at this year's Animafest – an international animation festival, which we did, with great interest from the audience."

As the film is in pre-production, it is still a bit early to give a release date, Milivoj points out. We are talking about a long but exciting process that can be followed through weekly vlogs on Prime Render Studios YouTube channel:

"This is a unique opportunity to participate in it through developing the script, animatics, visuals, characters, animation, and everything else that makes up an animated film!"

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

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Need A Tourism Break? Five Ways to Escape the Summer Crowds in Split

August 6, 2022 - If you're looking for a break from the summer crowds in Split, we don't blame you. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to escape. 

Split tourism has been a bit... different this summer. With crowds larger than ever (it seems) and very little control over them in the UNESCO-protected center (you can read more about that here), the Split tourism bomb has well and truly gone off this season, and we still have a ways to go. 

With travel returning after the pandemic and a season that started earlier than ever, it's felt like summer in Split since Easter - with sunny and warm days to boot. But Split's historic core isn't necessarily adapted for hordes of tourists (we don't think Diocletian had this in mind), making the center almost unbearable at times as swarms of sweat-drenched travelers make their way through narrow cobblestone streets. 

Fortunately, Split is much larger than its Old Town, and if you want a break from the buzz, we have you covered. 

So, how to beat the crowds in Split?

Marjan

Okay, we know this is a foolproof answer, but that green hilltop known as the city's lungs actually serves a great purpose for those looking to stretch their legs in nature. Best in the early morning for a hike up the hill, followed by coffee with Split's best view from Vidilica, or at sunset for a swim at many of its beaches, Marjan has always been a go-to for locals looking for a slice of peace during summer tourism chaos. Rent a bike to ride around, strap on your walking shoes for a sunset stroll, or post up at Bene beach for the day surrounded by pines and the buzzing of cicadas. 

 

Shopping malls 

Did you know that Split has 3 (air-conditioned) shopping malls, all a short drive outside of the city center? We know that shopping malls might not necessarily be high on your list when you're here to visit a 1700-year-old Roman masterpiece, but if you're looking for a break from sightseeing and need a minute to cool off, Split's shopping malls are not a bad place to be. Joker is the closest to the city center, about a 15-minute walk (which we don't suggest in this heat) or a 5-minute taxi ride. Mall of Split and City Center One are a bit further outside the center but still less than a 15-minute drive. Not only does each shopping mall offer an array of brands, but you'll find extra-air-conned cinemas, content for kids, and fun food courts. Again, we know it isn't the best option, but desperate times call for desperate measures when it's 35+ degrees Celsius. Treat yourself. 

 

Bura Line - Slatine 

My favorite getaway this summer is hopping on the 9:30 am Bura Line and heading to Trogir for the day. But only because my parents live nearby. Trogir is no better with crowds this summer, but one stop on the Bura Line is still a safe haven this summer - Slatine on Čiovo Island. A 30-minute boat ride from Split to Slatine has you on the beach in no time - and for only 30 kuna! This small fishermen's village and low-key tourist resort located on the northeastern side of the island doesn't have too much to offer. However, it boasts several stunning beaches, the most beautiful of which is Kava, just 1 kilometer from Slatine town. The Bura Line offers four connections daily in the high season, allowing travelers to comfortably spend the day away from Split. 

 

Museums

Tourists may not take enough advantage of Split's museums, and there are many to explore. Split's most prized museum is undoubtedly the Meštrović Gallery, located around the bend from Sustipan park and conveniently behind Ježinac, allowing visitors to mix the work of 20th-century sculptor Ivan Meštrović with a swim. And if you are looking for something more central? Don't miss the interactive and immersive Museum of Illusions, or stop by Split's oddest institution - Froggyland. Who knows, you may discover a new love for taxidermy frogs? Pro tip: If you're looking for a quick but unmatched Virtual Reality experience of Split and its fascinating Roman history - you'll need to set aside 15 minutes for Diocletians' Dream!

 

Day trips 

We know you're here to visit Split, but its surroundings are spectacular and shouldn't be missed. If you want to keep it local, head to the ancient ruins of Salona in the town of Solin, easily reachable by Promet bus from HNK (to Širina) or taxi (both around 15-20 minute ride depending on traffic). Klis Fortress is also just 12 kilometers outside Split and reachable by local bus or taxi. Open every day from 8:30 pm to 10 pm, don't forget that your ticket price also includes a visit to the Interpretation Center at Mejdan Square and the Stella Croatica ethno-agro park, where you can taste homemade olive oil and local traditional products for a 'multi-sensory experience of Dalmatia’s heritage.' And should you get really hungry? The Stella Croatica tavern offers local Dalmatian dishes served in the courtyard of the estate’s central square! 

 

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

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Traditional Emigrants Day Held on Susak Island!

August 6, 2022 - Traditional Emigrants Day was held on the island of Susak last weekend.

This special day has been held since 1985 on the last weekend in July, when the people from Susak living all over the world return to visit their native island. Šima Strikoman took a wonderful millennium photo while the rich cultural and entertainment programs included workshops and animation for children, sports meetings, the ceremonial opening of the "Sujščanica" statue, and the performance of Susak folklore and the SuperCover Band. 

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Susak, which is only around 3km long and 1.5km wide, is renowned for the large number of people who have emigrated from there (mainly to the USA, especially in Hoboken, New Jersey). The name Susak (Italian: Sansego) comes from the Greek word Sansegus meaning oregano which grows in abundance on the island Only a small percentage of natives still reside on the island, but the population of only around 80 booms during the summer as many islanders currently living in America return. 

You can watch the HRT video about this event here

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

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