Thursday, 27 January 2022

Plenković Says Milanović's Statements Scandalous, Undermine Croatia's Reputation

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković called out President Zoran Milanović on Thursday for undermining Croatia's reputation and credibility, and said the government distanced itself from his views on the Ukraine situation.

Milanović's statements "are damaging for Croatia's reputation and shameful," he said at a cabinet meeting. "They lead to big disappointment, I'd say indignation, among our partners, from the Unites States to NATO member states, European Union member states, our neighbours."

Plenković said it seemed that every important ambassador would be summoned due to Milanović's statements. "That's bad, it's scandalous, it undermines Croatia's reputation and credibility. It's in total opposition to the Croatian government's principled foreign policy positions, not just on Ukraine but many other countries."

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned Croatian Ambassador Anica Džamić to protest against Milanović's recent statements, which were applauded in Russia.

Milanović said earlier this week that Croatia would not get involved in the crisis in any way in the event of its escalation and that it would not deploy its troops there. He also said Ukraine did not belong in NATO and that the EU instigated the 2014 "coup d'etat" in Ukraine at which pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown.

Plenković reiterated today that the Croatian government's stand was "to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, to respect international law principles, to advocate peace, conflict de-escalation, defusing tensions, and to contribute to international community efforts, whether through the various existing formats or through our activities in NATO, the EU or other organisations."

He denied that sending troops to Ukraine was being considered, saying that it was not on the agenda of any international organisation.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Minister Says New Rule Aimed at Abolishing Self-Isolation For Schools

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Thursday that the purpose of the ministry's new epidemiological rule was the abolishment of self-isolation for students so as to enable face-to-face classes as much as possible.

This means that children with symptoms of infection with COVID-19 and children who test positive after taking a rapid antigen test stay at home while all the others go to school, the minister told reporters ahead of a government session.

The ministry will send instructions to school principals regarding the testing, Fuchs said, adding that the latest rule would go into force "once we have a sufficient amount of tests to be distributed to schools" (around three million).

I believe in parents, face-to-face classes must be in everyone's interest

Schools will supply parents with tests, and they will test their children on Mondays, before they go to school, and when necessary, if an infection is reported in the classroom.

Asked how one could control if parents really test their children, the minister said there was no way to control it but that he believed in parents.

"This is in children's interest. Everyone should be interested in having children go to school," he said.

"I believe that most parents will act responsibly," he stressed.

According to the ministry's estimates, the implementation of the latest rule could cost around HRK 70 million, and the tests, to be procured through the Buffer Stock system, will cost up to HRK 20 million.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Between Two Periods of Waiting: Sisak Earthquake Aftermath Captured in Moving Photos

January 27, 2022 - Croatian photographer Miroslav Arbutina Arbe documented the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in a series of photographs currently displayed in Rijeka

It’s been a little over a year since one of the greatest tragedies Croatia has seen in recent times: the disastrous earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County in December 2020.
Often referred to as the Petrinja earthquake after the town which suffered the worst blow, it ravaged other towns and villages in the area as well, affecting the lives of many.

Shortly after the earthquake, Croatian photographer Miroslav Arbutina Arbe was hired by the Ministry of Culture to document the damage inflicted on cultural heritage sites, specifically in the town of Sisak. The result is a series of 82 black and white photographs that have since been displayed in a moving exhibition commemorating the disastrous event.

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While the primary purpose was damage assessment and the photos are thus documentary above all, as a skilled photographer Arbutina aptly captured moments that would have likely gone unnoticed by an average observer. A music school diploma on a wall ripped in half by tremor, handwritten notes tacked above the kitchen sink, a marital bed buried in rubble, and perhaps the most poignant, a calendar forever stuck on the fateful December 29th.

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Devoid of colour, framed and displayed in a gallery setting, the photos are loaded with emotion and take on an artistic property. It’s an eerie sensation, recognising an aesthetic quality in images of devastation and loss, but this only seems to reinforce their emotional impact.

This is also reflected in the very title of the exhibition, ‘Between Two Periods of Waiting’, referring to the horrifying uncertainty that people affected by the earthquake have had to live with. As the author himself stated: ‘Those who haven’t experienced such a catastrophe probably believe that losing one’s home is the worst part of it, but it isn’t. To me, the worst was expecting the next earthquake to hit, that period of uncertainty between two quakes.’

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The exhibition was conceived by the author and organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the City of Sisak and the Sisak City Museum.

The photographs were displayed in Zagreb and Sisak in late 2021, and are currently on display at the Rijeka City Museum (the 'Kockica' building). The exhibition is part of this year’s Museum Night programme in Rijeka, and will remain on display until January 29th. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

 

Thursday, 27 January 2022

PM for Remembering Ustasha Camps on Holocaust Remembrance Day

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that on International Holocaust Remembrance Day one should also remember the infamous Ustasha concentration camps, primarily Jasenovac, where thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma, and Croatian antifascists and democrats were killed.

"Jasenovac is a painful and tragic part of Croatian history, and a lasting memory and strong condemnation of that crime are part of our culture of remembrance," Plenković said at a cabinet meeting.

He said 7,500 Auschwitz inmates were liberated on 27 January 1945 and that 1.1 million people were killed in that concentration camp, including nearly a million Jews.

As the most infamous concentration camp, Auschwitz is synonymous with the most horrific crimes and the gravest suffering of the Jewish people as well as with the systematic destruction of other ethnic groups persecuted by the Nazi regime. 

Under that regime, the world witnessed the persecution and genocide of more than 11 million people in Europe since 1933, including six million Jews, of whom 1.5 million were children.

Those are horrifying numbers of one of the worst crimes in the history of humankind, Plenković said.

Intolerance and hate are increasingly present in the world and our society

Today tribute is also being paid to the 112 Croatian Righteous among the Nations who, with their courage and humanity, opposed evil and risked their own lives to save another.

The 2005 UN resolution which designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day rejects any Holocaust denial and unreservedly condemns all forms of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment, or violence against persons or communities on ethnic or religious grounds, Plenković said.

"The day when we remember the Holocaust victims is also the day when we should think about the world we live in, including the circumstances in Croatia," he said, adding that, unfortunately, intolerance, the denial of historical facts, discrimination, and hate speech are increasingly present in the world as well as in Croatian society.

"Those are bad and harmful trends and we should fight against them. Such rhetoric should be clearly condemned and the judicial authorities should punish it in line with the legislative framework. The victims we are remembering today are a reminder and a warning of the dimensions of evil which can come out of hate and totalitarian ideologies," Plenković said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

MP Says Same-Sex Partners Wishing to be Foster Parents Discriminated Against

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - A government official on Thursday rejected opposition amendments asking that persons eligible to provide foster care should also include formal and informal life partners, which Domagoj Hajduković (Social Democrats) called discrimination against same-sex partners wishing to be foster parents.

The amendments are rejected, the article which you are asking to be amended is not subject to amendment of the Foster Care Act, Social Welfare Ministry State Secretary Marija Pletikosa said in a comment on amendments put forward by the Green-Left Bloc, the Social Democrats as well as independent MP Furio Radin, who is part of the parliamentary majority and who put forward a proposal to that effect by Hajduković.

"It is our duty as MPs, in line with rulings of the Constitutional Court, to intervene in that legal provision so as to prevent discrimination of some citizens in terms of provision of foster care," they said.

Hajduković admitted that the said article was not subject to legal changes, but noted that it required intervention because "there is evident discrimination against citizens who want to be foster parents and are possibly same-sex life partners."

We are indirectly telling those people not to apply to provide foster care while children's homes are full of children, this is discrimination against a part of the population as well as against children who need foster care, Hajduković said.

No reason why ideological tenets should be more important than children's welfare

Hajduković was supported by MP Urša Raukar Gamulin (Green-Left Bloc), who said that "a large number of children are waiting for foster care, there are not enough foster parents, and there is no reason whatsoever why some ideological tenets should be more important to us than children's welfare".

Raukar Gamulin warned that the law "allows a child abuser to be a foster parent" while same-sex partners are not desirable. That's is truly a disgrace, she said.

Government representative Pletikosa also rejected a proposal by the Social Democratic Party that the parliament obliges the government to send it within 30 days, in line with a Constitutional Court ruling, changes to the Foster Care Act in such a way to enable same-sex partners and formal and informal life partners to equally participate in all aspects of social life, including foster care.

Const. Court didn't order that law be amended, competent bodies should interpret it

"The Constitutional Court did not order amendment of the Foster Care Act but determined that competent bodies have the duty to interpret it and apply its provisions in such a way that will enable all persons, under equal conditions, to participate in the provision of foster care, independent of whether a potential foster parent lives in a life or informal life partnership," said Pletikosa.

"You are lying!" said SDP MP Sabina Glasovac, noting that the Court "only said that at that moment, suspension of three articles of the law would result in a legal vacuum that would have a negative impact on the beneficiaries."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Croatia To Extend COVID Protocols Until February's End

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović, who is at the helm of Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team, said on Thursday that current COVID protocols would remain effective until the end of February if no changes happened in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

"In the next few days, the crisis management team will consider the protocols on public gatherings, public transport, shopping, protective mask mandate, and cross-border protocols, and they are likely to remain in force until the end of February," Božinović told the government.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said that the PCR tests conducted in the last 24 hours had detected 10,500 new cases, plus 6,375 cases detected by rapid antigen tests, however, the daily caseload is 3.5% smaller than seven days ago.

There are 2,006 hospitalized patients today, 30 more than yesterday, and 185 are on ventilators, seven fewer than yesterday, he said.

Hospital admission numbers are rising mildly but not in proportion to the number of new infections, he said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

As Many As 390 Drivers of Zagreb Public Transport Company on Sick Leave

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Zagreb's public transportation company ZET reported on Thursday that currently 390 tram and bus drivers were on sick leave, mainly due to infection with coronavirus or self-isolation and therefore some delays were inevitable.

This city company has 266 trams and 480 buses in its fleet. The company transports more than a million passengers on a daily basis.

ZET says in its response to Hina's inquiry that it can provide electronic notes of excuses for commuting workers and students who happen to be late to work or school due to the current situation in public transport.

The company also asks the users of its services to have an understanding of these developments.

Mayor Tomislav Tomašević admitted today that the sick leaves were the main problem for ZET to provide services in public transport in a timely fashion.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Croatian Parliament Pays Tribute to Holocaust Victims

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - The Croatian Parliament started its session on Thursday with a minute of silence for Holocaust victims, with Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković saying that the Holocaust had begun with hate speech and ended in acts of evil.

"The Holocaust is an eternal reminder of what kind of evil may result from xenophobia and racism," Jandroković said in his address for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on 27 January.

On 27 January 1945, the Red Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, the infamous symbol of the Holocaust and genocide of six million Jews in the Second World War.

"Monstrous crimes were committed in Auschwitz, which has remained a lasting symbol of places where people were systematically tortured and brutally killed just because they belonged to a particular ethnic group," Jandroković said.

He recalled the Jasenovac camp in Croatia where members of the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime had killed Jews, Roma, Serbs and Croats.

"Today we also remember the victims of other genocides and unspeakable crimes. We remember Vukovar, Škabrnja, Srebrenica and other places where innocent people were killed" during the wars of the 1990s, Jandroković said.

He also recalled that during the dark times of the Holocaust there had been people who had risked their own lives to save others.  Among them were 120 people from Croatia who have been named Righteous among the Nations, he added.

Jandroković said that the theme of this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day was "remembrance, dignity and justice", underlining the importance of showing respect for the victims, safeguarding the historical facts and fighting against their distortion.

"These are the preconditions to ensure that justice is served and to prevent a repetition of such crimes in the future. The Holocaust is an eternal reminder of what kind of evil may result from xenophobia and racism," Jandroković said.

He said that the present, fast-changing world is facing a pandemic, natural disasters and an economic crisis, along with the increase in fake news, misinformation, hate speech, xenophobia, racism and intolerance on social networks. "That is contrary to the values of peace and freedom, inviolability of human dignity, equality and respect for human and minority rights."

Jandroković said that the messages for International Holocaust Remembrance Day remind us that we can overcome hatred and evil through individual and collective efforts and remain committed to safeguarding the historical truths and the dignity of every person. He stressed the importance of fostering the culture of remembrance and spreading messages of peace, solidarity and acceptance of others.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Croatia Logs 10,500 New COVID-19 Cases, 59 Deaths

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - In the past 24 hours, 10,500 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified in Croatia, and 59 people have died as a consequence of the infection, the national COVID-19 response team said on Thursday.

There are currently 67,376 active cases in the country, including 2,006 hospitalised COVID patients, of whom 185 are on ventilators.

A total of 44,766 people are self-isolating.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 4,175,854 people have been tested, including 20,798 in the past 24 hours.

By 26 January 2022, a total of 5,071,377 doses of a vaccine were, with 56.47% of the total population or 67.21% of the adult population having been vaccinated.

A total of 2,291,578 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine while 2,201,139 have been fully vaccinated, which is 64.71% of the adult population.

The COVID-19 death toll stands at 13,625.

A total of 828,673 people have recovered, including 9,092 in the last 24 hours.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Construction Works on Pelješac Bridge Have Finally Been Completed!

January 27, 2022 - After 1277 days, the construction works on Pelješac bridge were completed yesterday, and now the technical inspection follows.

Jutarnji List reports that the technical inspection of the bridge began today, which should be completed by 31 January. Although the formal completion of the works is calculated after the completion of the technical inspection, because during the inspection some shortcomings can be identified that need to be further corrected, today it is possible to say that the construction works on Pelješac bridge have been completed.

The Chinese company CRBC started the construction of the Peljesac bridge on July 30, 2018. On that day, the President of the Croatian Roads Administration, Josip Škorić, handed over all the documentation to the CRBC representatives in Ston, a diary of works was opened and a report on the introduction of the Chinese contractor was signed. The deadline for completion of works was 36 months and 29 days. Although the technical inspection is included in that deadline, it can be said that the construction of the bridge took 52 days longer than planned.

But when you take into account that the works stopped for several months due to the coronavirus epidemic, it can be said that the bridge was completed before the set deadline. After the successful completion of the technical inspection, the procedure for obtaining all necessary permits for the bridge will follow.

At this moment, the works on the bridge have been completed and the connecting road leading from the Adriatic Highway to the bridge will be completed soon.

According to the latest official announcements from Hrvatske ceste, the connecting road from the Adriatic Highway to the bridge, and the new Pelješac road from the bridge to the Prapratno junction will be opened to traffic in the summer. The rest of the road, from the Ston bypass to Doli, should be completed by the end of this year at the latest.

For more, check out our travel section.

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