Split to Zagreb (Plitvice)
Friday, 24 September 2021

International Drava River Day Marked

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021- International Drava River Day was marked in Varaždin on Thursday after UNESCO last week declared the Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, which spreads across five states.

Two-hundred bird species live along the Drava in Varaždin County and the most diverse fish in Croatia live in the river, it was said at a conference organised on the occasion of International Drava River Day, observed on 23 September.

The Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve has officially become the largest protected river region in Europe and the conference was organised to additionally draw attention to the richness of the Drava and its value, organisers said.

"UNESCO's decision obliges us to long-term care for and protection of the Drava region. The Varaždin County Nature Public Institution is actively and continuously working on its protection and preservation," said county head Anđelko Stričak.

The Drava is 749 km long and connects Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Vanja Juric Says Court Ban Issued to Portal Needs Thorough Investigation

September the 24th, 2021 - Croatian lawyer Vanja Juric has stated that a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the court ban issued to a media portal prohibiting them from publishing texts on an institution and its director needs to take place. You can read more about the details here.

As Index writes, Vanja Juric, who is currently representing the H-Alter portal (which is the target of the court ban) and is otherwise an expert in media law, commented on the case during Novi Dan (New Day), which kicked up a lot of fuss and saw numerous reactions from the public, the profession and politicians.

On Tuesday, the Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb imposed a temporary measure banning the publication of articles about the director of the Polyclinic for the Protection of Children and Youth on the H-Alter portal. The lawyer representing the portal in this case, Vanja Juric, revealed what their next steps are.

"The appeal procedure is the only possible procedure, and we have a deadline of 8 days. They're convinced that they did everything right as journalists and will do everything to protect journalists' freedoms," she said, adding: "H-Alter is not allowed to publish articles about the Polyclinic or Dr. Buljan Flander, but a journalist working for any other media can continue to report on the subject."

The court did not seek a statement from the publisher

Vanja Juric pointed out that the judge did not ask the publisher or the journalist to comment:

"Neither the publisher nor the journalist were asked for their comments. The explanation states that this wasn't done because it wasn't necessary for the decision to be made. The judge is not obliged to do that, but I think that in such sensitive matters the judge had to assess that it is possible in this procedure, and the portal should be given an opportunity to comment, and then it needs to be seen whether this should be treated as something to be reported.''

When asked if Dr. Gordana Buljan Flander had other methods if she thought that the journalist was belittling or telling lies about her, Juric said:

"This was a bad assessment, a misuse of the institute of an interim measure. According to Croatian media law, there are a number of ways to react in these cases. To my knowledge, the Polyclinic and Buljan Flander responded with requests to correct the information that was published. This was wrong in a number of ways, but the focus should be on what the court does, which is not there to look after the rights of the Polyclinic, but also the rights of all of us. The key is to focus on how such a court decision could have been made at all.''

Vanja Juric believes that this decision cannot survive and that the County Court will need to overturn the decision.

"That said, if it does remain like this, it opens the door to the most serious violations of media freedoms. It isn't that someone is seeking the removal of a certain text, but that the court is prohibiting any reporting on the professional work of an institution in the future at all, regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of a positive or negative context. That is why this is very dangerous,'' she added.

Shocking testimonies...

The story of the work of the Polyclinic came into the public spotlight mainly after Severina's confession, although about 40 women were included in this series of stories and texts.

"Before all this, I followed the story and when Severina came out with her testimony, I was deeply upset by it. I think it's commendable that she, as a public figure who has influence, decided to go public with such a personal topic and encourage public debate on topics that are important. When mothers face someone more powerful than themselves during divorce proceedings. Any person who uses their influence in public to draw attention to things like this should be encouraged to do so,'' Vanja Juric noted.

The interim measure must be justified within a period of 30 days, and it can only be through a lawsuit, we cannot yet know what exactly it will be, she added.

Juric made sure to emphasis the fact that she truly doesn't recall any such examples before: "This has set a precedent. There have been attempts at interim measures to request the removal of one or more articles, or to prohibit the publication of a particular story, but a ban on future reporting, something like this has never happened in Croatia, and as far as I know - in the world.''

The lawyer says the story should be investigated to the very end and then we can really reveal how well-founded these damning allegations are:

"The only thing that makes sense now are to check it all. The accusations made by these women, and all the texts are based on serious testimonies, there can be no justification for the authorities not to do anything. The only logical thing is to check everything, everything needs to be clarified to the end. Legal stories such as this can take years. I hope common sense will prevail, that the Polyclinic will see the error of its ways and that it will withdraw the request for an interim measure. I expect if it remains in force and if a court case is initiated, then we'll be talking about a period of three to five years,'' concluded Vanja Juric.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Three More Croatian Companies Obtain Halal Certification

September the 24th, 2021 - Three more Croatian companies have managed to obtain halal certificates which will open up more doors for them on the markets of Islamic countries, and as such increase their revenue.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, to date, 160 such halal certificates have been issued, and 84 Croatian companies who currently have a halal certificate, of which 52 are food producers, 32 are engaged in services. One educational institution, the Matija Gubac Elementary School, as well as the first manufacturer of halal disinfectants, Genox, have halal certificates.

After the introduction of the halal certificate, the export of products is growing as having the certificate has an impact on the increase of company income, as well as on the profit, as was highlighted by the research conducted among Croatian companies and producers which are holders of halal certificates before the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has further increased demand for halal products and services worldwide, opening up numerous markets and business opportunities. Why and how the halal market is developing, what the challenges and perspectives are, what the role of halal in certification and standardisation is, how much and how it contributes to exports and tourism in Croatia and what foreign halal experiences are, were all topics discussed at the first Halal Business Forum, which was held on Tuesday, September the 21st, 2021, at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb.

As part of the Forum, three more Croatian companies were presented with their halal certificates, these include: Tammy craft, which provides services in the processing of hazelnuts as a raw material and for the production of hazelnut oil, flour and butter; Luxury Villa Subventus from the island of Krk and Uljari Vodice d.o.o., which owns a modern olive oil centre.

Mufti Academician Aziz Hasanovic of the Islamic Community in the Republic of Croatia, stated that the Islamic community founded the Centre in 2010, from the very beginning with the desire to increase the number of not only companies but also products and services with halal certificates. There is room for more cooperation, the expansion of production opportunities, as well as joint appearances in third markets, he believes.

For Sandra Herman, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, there's no doubt. Halal tourism will have its place in the Tourism Development Strategy until 2027, which is currently being prepared, not only seasonally, but also for the off-season and in the development of health and wellness tourism. She reminded that a total of 12 hotels have halal certificates, as well as one Croatian travel agency.

The ambassadorial panel, attended by Malaysian ambassadors Kennedy Mayong Onon, Iran's Parviz Esmaeili, Azerbaijan's Fakhraddin Gurbanov and the first secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in Croatia, Wasan Adi Nugraha, said that there was room and interest in developing foreign trade. The creation and operation of joint chambers and business associations, as well as the exchange of information, constant communication and the presentation and identification of potential, could contribute to acceleration. They also invited Croatian companies to freely contact them with inquiries about possible cooperation should they want to.

The value of the halal market in EU countries is estimated to stand at around 66 billion US dollars, with growth of between 2 and 3 percentage points each year. The EU produces a very large number of halal products for the needs of the domestic population, but at the same time, a lot of it is exported.

For more on Croatian companies, check our our business section.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Croatian Public Health Institute Angered as Coronavirus Testing Point Egged

September the 24th, 2021 - The Croatian Public Health Institute has expressed its disgust and anger at a coronavirus testing point having its work made harder by vandals armed with rotten eggs.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has tired almost everyone out. There are some people, however, who just can't resist causing damage to property in some sort of frustrated attempt at their own idea of justice. Egging something is a cheap (often free) and easy way to vandalise something, and it seems that it is no longer only for rebellious teens, although the maturity level in an adult who does do this is likely similar.

The Andrija Stampar Institute in Zagreb was vandalised with the use of pungent rotting eggs at some point last night, and the Croatian Public Health Institute has spoken out about the level of disrespect this shows to those who have been among the most engaged of all during the coronavirus pandemic in Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, upon arriving to their place of work this morning, which they likely thought would be much like any and every other morning, the employees of the Croatian Public Health Institute (the Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute in the heart of Zagreb), were greeted by an incredible sight at their coronavirus testing point. Namely, unknown vandals had filled up the container from which the tests for the novel virus are carried out with old, rotten eggs.

This information was confirmed to Jutarnji list by Zvonimir Sostar, who was naturally appalled by this act of vandalism.

''The stench caused by the eggs was unbearable, but now everything has been cleaned,'' stated an annoyed Sostar.

It's worth mentioning that there are no security cameras at this coronavirus testing point, so it will be difficult to establish who the perpetrators are, but according to Zvonimir Sostar, cameras will have to be set up after this incident.

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

Friday, 24 September 2021

Croatian Campsites Perform Excellently in Tourist Numbers in September

September the 24th, 2021 - The height of the summer season in Croatia might well be behind us now, but the post-season remains and it seems that the tourists just keep on coming. Croatian campsites have performed excellently, with both foreign and local guests appearing to have deeper pockets than before.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, this year, Croatian campsites have so far surpassed other segments of tourist accommodation - not only has the cumulative turnover from 2019 been more or less reached, but for the first time in history, Croatian campsites have reached the end of September with a very high level of occupancy.

Although this result can be partly interpreted through these unusual pandemic-induced circumstances, in addition to the longer season for camping, there are several other trends that should continue. These are a significant increase in tourists coming from the Polish and Czech markets, as well as the return of domestic guests camping in cooler weather.

Expectations have been well and truly exceeded...

“Although each accommodation segment has its own role and position on the wider market, we can truly say that Croatian campsites have been stars, and not only this year. With small differences between regions, year-round campsites have managed to reach about 90 percent of the overnight stays they realised back in 2019, which is far better than the plan from the start of the season, which foresaw around 60 to 70 percent of pre-pandemic traffic. We have to keep in mind that we had a really late start to the season, too,'' revealed Adriano Palman, the director of the Croatian Camping Association.

As early as the beginning of June, there were a lot of bookings in Croatian campsites until September, without a lot of last minute bookings, and prices were moving towards the 2019 level. The peak of the summer season, as it did in other segments, went well. Palman stated that those with lower traffic achieved 2.6 times more overnight stays than last year, and those with the best results tripled last year's traffic, which means that the entire segment was extremely successful, with slightly lower traffic in the southernmost Dubrovnik region, otherwise the country's tourist Mecca.

What differs from previous years is the extremely high occupancy levels that Croatian campsites enjoyed through September so far, until last weekend. Only this week have the camps been slowly emptying, and a good forecast for next weekend will surely motivate some to extend things for a few more days. According to statistics from the eVisitor system, Croatian campsites managed to realise a massive 2.3 million overnight stays from September the 1st to the 19th this year (on 324 thousand arrivals), which is as much as 24 percent more than in the record year of 2019 (18 percent more in arrivals).

"We interpret this on the one hand by saying that the season was ''late'', and some of the guests postponed their holidays. In addition, some guests simply wanted to take advantage of the fact that there are no travel restrictions yet and wanted to treat themselves to some camping. In any case, guests from September are important for camps because their primary motive for travelling is not the sun and the sea, although in September it's still quite warm, but instead they want to visit local attractions, eat at restaurants, visit family farms, go to wineries, and go cycling. Such guests contribute more to strengthening the local economy,'' noted Palman.

On top of that, traffic in Croatian campsites on the continent has increased significantly this year as well, despite still being in the coast's shadow. But the fact is that there are more and more of campsites in continental Croatia and that they attract more and more guests, especially locals, who like to visit them throughout the year. There are more and more camps staying open all year round, too.

Although the most numerous guests of the camps are still Germans, Slovenes and Austrians, this year, guests from the Netherlands returned to the fourth place contrary to expectations, and the only ones who significantly failed in this segment are the Italians.

A brand new structure

"We have two markets that have significant growth and a change in the structure of guests, and represent great potential to which we'd like to cater, namely the Poles and the Czechs. These guests have always come to Croatia, but in previous years they were ''simple’''guests, and with a rise in standards, they moved from the south, primarily from the Makarska Riviera, up further north, with increasingly expensive cars and camping equipment,'' revealed Palman.

Also, although in small numbers, the number of Croatia tourists is growing, and they began visiting different places in Croatia when travel was much more restricted, so they're also visiting camps on the Adriatic and in the continental part of the country. Domestic guests, for example, have been filling up mobile homes throughout the past year, using numerous weekend promotions.

For more, check out our travel section.

Friday, 24 September 2021

19th Sv. Duje Regatta Returns with Oxford & Cambridge Legends, 2000 Olympics Rematch

September 24, 2021 - The 19th Sv. Duje Regatta is back after being postponed due to the coronavirus in May. This weekend's spectacle will feature the always traditional Oxford, Cambridge, and Split legends race and a rematch of the Sydney Olympics rowing final in 2000 when Croatia won bronze and Great Britain gold! 

The 19th edition of the International Rowing Regatta Sveti Duje was announced in the festive atmosphere of the Meštrović Gallery, reports Dalmacija Danas.

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Ivo Cagalj / PIXSELL

Representatives of organizers and partners attended the press conference: Tomislav Kilić, Vice-Rector of the University of Split, Igor Maretić, Head of the Split Department of Sports, Ozren Kovačević, Director of Key Clients of Le Meridien Lav Hotel, Tomislav Aljinović, Business Center Director Central Dalmatia - OTP bank, Luka Grubor, member of the organizing committee, Oxford legend, Sydney gold Olympian, Rob Baker, head coach of Cambridge via video message and Nikša Skelin, president of the Dalmatian Rowing Federation, member of the organizing committee, Pirate legend, bronze an Olympian from Sydney.

The main event of this year's Regatta will take place on Saturday, September 25. The central stage will be Split's Riva, which will host three rowing races. At 11:00 am, the legends of Oxford, Cambridge, and Split will begin. The student race of the University of Zagreb and the University of Split is scheduled for 11:30 am. As a highlight at noon, there will be a replay of the Sydney Olympics final in 2000, when the gold and bronze Olympic teams will row on the Riva - the eights of Great Britain and Croatia!

The legendary Luka Grubor, who will temporarily replace his business suit with a rowing suit on Saturday, was pleased to announce the Regatta:

"A particular focus in the edition of this Regatta will be on the races on the Riva with an additional duel between Split and Zagreb, which will enrich the racing program. But also, that date coincides with the 21s medal-winning anniversary of the Croatian and British eights at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, where we will have a kind of replay and rematch of that final. I don't know where in the world the Croatia eight have ever gathered again, let alone with their rivals in Sydney.

Also, Split has always been a meeting place for top rowers and top academics and professionals. So far, this has been happening on an informal level, and now I would like to make a Meetup, a conversation about how sport shapes careers, learn from each other to enable a continuous transfer of knowledge to new students and new generations of athletes."

Celebrated Split Olympian Nikša Skelin expects exciting matches on Saturday: “This year we will have a Regatta that will be specific because, in addition to racing on the Riva, we will have the anniversary of Olympic medalists, Great Britain's gold and Croatia's bronze.

It will be one rematch, settling debts that always hang among the rowers, even though we are all friends off the boat. I hope that time and the audience will support us and that we will make a rowing spectacle."

On Saturday, the Riva will gather the legends of rowing, teams that have won and are winning numerous European and world awards, all bound by an unbreakable emotion and love for rowing, Split, and Dalmatia.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Forbes 30 Under 30 Chef Mario Mandarić Plans Next Move: Digging Wells in Uganda

September 24, 2021 - Forbes 30 under 30 chef Mario Mandarić is trying to do something meaningful before his 30th birthday and decided to swap the high-class clientele of Hvar for Uganda, where he will dig wells this offseason.

After a successful season at Hvar restaurant Passarola, young Croatian chef Mario Mandarić, recently included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, plans to spend the next few months digging wells in Uganda, reports Index.hr.

"One morning, I scrolled through Facebook and came across information that in Uganda, children are dying from infectious diseases due to lack of drinking water. Then I researched and realized that Uganda ‘lies on the water’ because of the Nile river source. Some companies dig those wells, but that drilling is expensive. So I started inquiring, I found out a little more about it; I saw that Uganda is beautiful. I sent a couple of emails to some associations and Caritas, and I was contacted by Amar Gader, who has dug more than 200 wells so far. Digging a well costs from eight to 12 thousand dollars," says Mandarić for Index.

The chef plans to go to Uganda with his restaurant team, fund one well, and launch a campaign to raise money to dig a few more wells. He says that he wants to do something big before his 30th birthday and that he will finance the digging of one well, but that his goal is to dig at least five of them.

“Since I have nothing to do until next season, it occurred to me to do a crowdfunding campaign, raise money, and dig as many wells as possible when I’m already there. Then, if there is still money left, I plan to leave Amar to continue digging those wells even after we leave," adds the chef, who also plans to organize a humanitarian dinner in Split.

“I don’t like to fall into monotony after the season; I don’t like routines. I want something exciting. I think I can influence someone to help. It is better to travel and help someone than to travel and spend money," concluded Mandarić.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Coastal Zagreb Fantasy: Delete Sava River, Insert Gulf into Kvarner Bay

September 24, 2021 - Can you imagine if Zagreb had a coastline instead of being landlocked? TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac shares his coastal Zagreb fantasy through the magic of really, genuinely terrible photoshop.

With autumn officially here, both on the calendar and evidenced by less stable weather, Zagreb is returning back to the spotlight. Students are arriving from all over to the biggest university in the country, and Zagreb is also a city where many come for job opportunities outside of the tourist season. Add the fact that as capital, Zagreb is also the centre of politics, science, culture, art, economy, and more, makes the city the place to be. It is the beating heart of the country (although many would agree that further decentralisation should be welcomed).

However, despite being a big, metropolitan, open-to-diversity city, Zagreb is far from perfect. Many issues were left unchanged by the late Mayor Milan Bandić (followed by a series of alleged corruption arrests), expensive real estate, and other political and social troubles one can expect in a big city. That said, a much bigger problem for this writer is that Zagreb sadly isn't a coastal city.

Imagine how awesome would it be if Zagreb had its own exit to the Adriatic Sea, combining all the benefits of a capital city with the seaside. The joy of the Adriatic air, sea-trade transport income, maybe a bit of fishing, and of course, places to jump in and swim and chill on a hot summer day (yes, there are the Bundek and Jarun lakes, but that's just not it).
It's a fantasy I couldn't which more more, particularly during heat waves which can be absolutely unbearable in Zagreb.

The little gulf that could...

So, how would that work outside of mere wishful thinking?

Well, there is a simple natural explanation that would relieve Zagreb of its land locked status, if only it had happened at the right place. The gulf.

As defined by Meriam-Webster, a gulf is a part of an ocean or sea extending into the land. In international terms, the Gulf of Mexico is the biggest gulf in the world, with an impressive 5,000 kilometre long coastline. Croatia has countless bays, such as Kvarner Bay. While Britannica warns that the difference between gulf and bay is not clearly defined, it is implied that bays are much smaller than gulfs. Following that, we can establish the fact that Croatia currently has bays, but not gulfs. 

However, imagine if there was a gulf through Primorje-Gorski kotar County, all the way from Kvarner Bay (by the south side of Krk Island) to Zagreb (which could be called Zagreb Bay). It wouldn't break any world records, but it would allow Zagreb an exit directly to the Adriatic sea. Have a look yourself at this terribly photoshopped map of Croatia.

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An illustration of the imaginary Gorski kotar Gulf © Ivor Kruljac / Total Croatia News

The gulf could be called the Gorski kotar Gulf. And yes, this alternate reality would sink a significant number of small towns and villages, but the benefits of the gulf wouldn't contribute only to Zagreb. The population could settle along the gulf and live from fishing and from the trade provided by these connections. Who knows, maybe the economy would be better.

Zagreb's island and natural lakes 

How would Zagreb look with this geographical twist? Well, Zagreb is currently divided into the old town and Novi (new) Zagreb via the Sava river. But, with the gulf imagined as portrayed (terribly) on a photoshopped Google map, the Sava would be gone. Novi Zagreb would be an island in Zagreb Bay, while the old town would have an exit to the sea and be connected by land to Northern Croatia. The bridges across the Sava would, in this reality, go over Zagreb's channel.

In order for it to work, Jarun lake, located to the west of the old town, as well as Bundek lake in Novi Zagreb, should probably be natural lakes instead of artificial ones to provide water for the population in the past, allowing for the very first human settlements. The south of Novi Zagreb, given the depth of sea it would have in this little fantasy world, could serve for bigger cargo ship traffic while the Zagreb challen between the two sides (where the Sava currently flows) could be used for smaller boats and, of course, swimming and enjoying the refreshing seawater.

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The view of the "coastal" Zagreb channel instead of the Sava river © Ivor Kruljac / Total Croatia News

The pollution-block

Given the fact that eastern Zagreb is both an industrial zone and also has the Jakuševac junkyard from the Novi Zagreb side, the waters in Zagreb clearly wouldn't be the cleanest in the country. Similar to the industrial Rijeka, whose residents often go to nearby Opatija or Lovran to enjoy the cleaner side of the Adriatic.

It's often noted that locals who actually live in coastal cities don't really go swimming that often. Maybe the same thing would apply to the imaginary coastal Zagreb's citizens too? In reality, we will never know as Zagreb is as landlocked as Switzerland or Austria is. But, one can dream big before accepting reality and booking a holiday on the lovely coast Croatia already has.

Given how beautiful the coast already is, it's not good to get too greedy.

Yes, Zagreb doesn't have a sea, but it has so many other interesting things to see and do. Learn more in our TC guide

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Sisak Earthquake Photo Exhibition: Between Two Waitings by Miroslav Arbutina Arba

September 23, 2021 - The Sisak earthquake photo exhibition titled "Between Two Waitings" by Miroslav Arbutina Arba shows the horror of the 2020 earthquake in Sisak through documentary photos with an artistic touch.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake on December 29 that severely damaged Petrinja and Sisak has traces which haven't faded as repairs and re-construction are still very much needed, and the Sisak earthquake photo exhibition will surely highlight the stark reality of post-earthquake life.

With Prime Minister Andrej Plenković promising earlier in September to accelerate post-earthquake reconstruction, a return to normal life in Sisak (architecture-wise) is yet to happen.

Meanwhile, as suffering is known to produce art, citizens of Zagreb (who also are not strangers to earthquakes) can closely observe the damage Sisak went through at Zagreb's Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU). In honour of European Heritage Day (September 18), MSU is hosting the Sisak City Museum by presenting the exhibition ''Between Two Waitings'' by famous Sisak photographer Miroslav Arbutina Arba. The exhibition opened on September 20, and it can be viewed until October 10.

The showcased photos which are part of the Sisak earthquake photo exhibition are a product of Arbutina being hired by the Culture Ministry to document the damage caused to cultural heritage for the purpose of evaluating the damage and producing documentation. As TCN reported earlier, the quake damage to cultural heritage in Central Croatia is estimated at €640 million.

''Arbutina gave a significant contribution to reconstruction efforts after the earthquake. His photos are, first and foremost, a witness to what happened, but with a clear artistic context. Photographing for the sake of documenting damage, he also found other motives that a regular observer does not notice. These motives, although they may exist in the documentary context, are nonetheless part of the same mosaic,'' wrote Vlatko Čakširan of the Sisak City Museum, who is also the curator for the exhibition on the MSU website.

''Those who haven't experienced this catastrophe probably think that losing your house is the worst thing, but it isn't. To me, the worse thing was expecting another new earthquake, that time of uncertainty between the two strikes,'' said Arbutina explaining the name of his exhibition.

Arbutina was born in Sisak on January 5, 1959. He took an interest in photography in the '80s when he got a Russian camera, a Lubitel, as a gift. Like many people in Sisak, he worked in a local ironware factory until he decided to try his hand at making a living solely from photography, taking industrial photos for brochures, etc.

During the Homeland War, he started working for various newspapers and other agencies. Enrolled in various projects (such as ''How Fish See Us'' where he took underwater photos of fish and plants in the Kupa river), his work received various rewards, and he moved from digital photography to experiment with the older technics of photography.

Learn more about Croatian Art Galleries in Zagreb, Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia on our TC page.

For more about art in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

New Referendum Bill

ZAGREB, 23 Sept 2021 - The government on Thursday sent a referendum bill to parliament with the aim to improve the vague referendum legislation, notably concerning referendum petitions by people's initiatives.

The bill aligns the legal aspects of referendums with the constitution, removes the shortcomings and vagueness of the current law, and ensures referendum transparency and openness, as well as a more effective influence of citizens in political decision making, Justice, and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica, said at a cabinet meeting.

The bill incorporates recommendations from the Council of Europe Venice Commission, he added.

For the first time, the bill systematically regulates the institute of referendum questions, including which legal prerequisites they must meet, of which the State Election Commission (DIP) will be in charge.

The bill regulates the establishment of a referendum initiative's organizing committee and the obligation to register the initiative with DIP.

Signature collection extended from 15 to 30 days

The bill extends the period for collecting signatures petitioning for a referendum from 15 to 30 days and regulates the number of locations where they can be collected. The number will be decided by local government, depending on the population.

The bill defines what a voter signature is and which signatures are considered valid as well as the signature verification procedure. The number of valid signatures will be published by DIP 30 days since their submission to parliament.

The bill also defines the deadline for calling a referendum. Parliament will be obliged to do so within 30 days of DIP's publication that enough signatures have been collected.

Counterproposal to referendum question will be possible

Following the Swiss model, the bill introduces direct and indirect proposals by the representative body as a result of which parliament, at the proposal of its constitution and political system committee, will be able to initiate within 30 days the formulation of a counterproposal to the referendum question, Malenica said.

For the first time, in line with Venice Commission recommendations, the bill defines who the participants in the referendum activity are and which actions are considered referendum activity.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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