Bus - Results from #84
Friday, 1 October 2021

PM: We Didn't Join EU to Take as Much Money as Possible, EU Values Important

ZAGREB, 30 Sept 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that Croatia had been an EU member for eight years, that it had experience and was respected, and that getting as much money as possible was not the reason it joined the EU but that the values and principles on which the EU was founded were more important.

The EU is founded on democracy, human rights protection, rule of law, market economy and, most importantly, the Christian principle of solidarity, which imbues all EU policies, he stressed.

Plenković was speaking at the opening of a two-day hybrid conference called "Days of regional development and EU funds - New opportunities" in Opatija, at which the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, project results and new challenges will be presented.

Croatia got HRK 50bn more from EU budget than it paid 

Plenković said that Croatia had obtained around HRK 50 billion more from the EU budget than it had paid into it, citing as an example the COVID-19 crisis, when EU member-countries joined forces and invested in protective equipment, control and research that enabled the vaccine and gradual restoration of life to normalcy.

He noted that central and eastern European countries in transition had been part of undemocratic systems and that their main preoccupation was how to catch up with those that had developed in democratic systems and were more developed, estimating that Croatia would catch up with those countries around 2030.

He recalled that the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was HRK 35 billion, while damage caused by two destructive earthquakes amounted to HRK 129 billion, stressing that €25 billion had been secured from the EU for Croatia's development in the coming period.

Plenković underlined the importance of informing citizens about the additional benefits of Croatia's EU membership.

"That framework is important to us now that we have political peace, local elections have just been held and we have a government that has three years until the next parliamentary elections, which is almost a unique case," he said.

He added that the parliamentary majority was strong and stable, based on trust between the HDZ, minority deputies and liberal parties, and that it would remain stable for the next three years.

Five goals of economic development

He said that Croatia had weathered the crisis without major problems and lay-offs, that the 2020 tourist season reflected the circumstances, while this year's season was beyond expectations.

Plenković noted that economic growth would exceed projections and underlined five goals - greater convergence with more developed countries, using EU funds for even regional development, green and digital transition, using EU funds for local development and improving the standard of living.

He said that the incumbent government wanted entry to the Schengen area and the euro area to be its legacy, underlining the responsibility of all political parties in contributing to efforts to explain to citizens the benefits of membership of the two areas.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan is a new instrument that will require expediency, with deadlines being shorter, he said, calling on everyone to cooperate and make sure projects were good.

Minister: Croatia must be able to introduce euro in 2023

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak said the past year had been very successful in terms of absorption of EU funds.

We have adopted a number of important regulations, created a new framework for regional development and EU funds, and we are entering a period in which funds made available to us have never been higher, she said.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that one of the government's strategic goals at the start of its term was the consolidation of public finances, noting that the introduction of the euro depended on meeting a number of criteria.

We must do our best to make Croatia able to introduce the euro in 2023, he said.

The conference in Opatija was organised by the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry as an opportunity to exchange experience, network and strengthen cooperation to more efficiently implement projects in the new financing period in which Croatia will have around €25 billion at its disposal, to be used as part of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Croatia Logs 1,517 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Deaths

ZAGREB, 1 Oct 2021 - Croatia has registered 1,517 new coronavirus cases and 10 COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Friday.

The number of active cases now stands at 8,990, and 738 infected persons are receiving hospital treatment, including 99 who are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 406,307 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,650 have died and 388,667 have recovered, including 1,392 in the last 24 hours. 23,044 people are currently self-isolating.

To date, 2,833,156 people have been tested for the virus, including 10,126 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,436,799 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 44.92 percent of the total population, or 53.89 percent of adults, having been vaccinated. 1,822,966 people have received at least one dose and 1,709,647 have been fully vaccinated, which makes up 50.62 percent of the adult population.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 1 October 2021

New Bronze Sculpture of Šibenik Unveiled In the City

October 1st, 2021 - As in Zagreb, Split, and other Croatian cities, a new bronze sculpture of Šibenik has been officially unveiled and warmly received by city residents. It is a scale sculpture that serves as a miniature of the Dalmatian city, and now adds to its various attractions.

As reported by Slobodna Dalmacija, eight hundred kilograms of clay, 1.5 tons of bronze and almost two years of hard work, sculpting, studying the theory of space, mathematics, and geometry were all needed by the Zagreb painter-graphic artist with Šibenik address Zvonimir Vila to create his city plan in volume, a new bronze sculpture of Šibenik called Šibenik stina. It was placed on the square in front of Krešimir's home where the city administration is located, and it was ceremoniously opened on Wednesday night on the Day of the City of Šibenik.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Other cities have models, mostly industrially processed, but Šibenik got a work of art, high relief, in fact, a sculpture of its historic city center that creates a story of space, brings emotion, and leads the viewer to the old Šibenik streets, rocks, thighs, and squares, points to its historical and cultural heritage as well as the very life of Šibenik, as the mayor of Šibenik Željko Burić said, satisfied that Šibenik is now a part of that life.

The creation of the sculpture, which Vila determined the dimensions of 4x2 meters on a pedestal about 60 centimeters high, was initiated by the Šibenik Tourist Board, and the money was provided from European funds.

''The goal was initially to make a model of the city center as our largest and most valuable resource and potential, as other cities have. However, we decided to give it to our Zvonimir Vila, who made a sculpture out of the model. The process was long, there were technical, financial, and administrative problems, and the pandemic bothered us. The new bronze sculpture of Šibenik is there now and I am overjoyed about it. Šibenik has gained another cultural value and tourist attraction'', said Dino Karađole, director of the Tourist Board.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

''I am glad to be in my city tonight and I just told the mayor that I don't recognize anything anymore. Whether it is good or not, I do not know, but I know that this sculpture, it is good that you call it that, and not a model, speaks of the spirit of Šibenik. However, why this sculpture on this day, the feast of St. Michael? Simply because saints personify cities. That symbiotic relationship between a saint and a city, an equation that has been confirmed in a thousand examples. What are St. Vlaho, St. Duje, St. Krševan to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, it is St. Mihovil to Šibenik. I think it is a happy choice that this work was given, not so much to the sculptor, but to the graphic artist, because he succeeded in what is most important in Šibenik, and that is the labyrinthine feeling you have in this city of incredible topography. If you were to make a model, 3D, 4D or as it is done today, you would get a good informative picture, but here you have a real work of art'', said the art historian dr. Sc. Josip Belamarić.

''I did this quite emotionally and hard. When I took the job, I knew it wasn’t easy, but it was challenging. The sculpture was made with the classical sculptural technique, first in clay, and later also with the classical method in bronze by his colleague Ante Jurkić, who did a great job of casting'', said Vila, the author, also thanking all of those who supported him in the arduous and long process of creation, especially many citizens and tourists peeking into his studio while he worked.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Vila also admitted that he would have preferred his work, as originally planned, to be located in Poljana. Nothing is more logical, he says, than for the sculpture of the old town to be in the old town, and not outside its borders, although only 50 meters from Poljana. However, the authors of the architectural-urban project of arranging Poljana did not accept this proposal.

In any case, the people of Šibenik will not be bothered by the location of the new bronze sculpture of Šibenik. A large number of people came to discover the sculpture, and the strong congratulations to Vila and numerous selfies were taken on the first evening near Šibenik stina.

For everything you need to know about the historic city of Šibenik and all things you can do and see, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide: Šibenik in a Page. Now in your language!

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Zagreb Rapid Antigen Test: Results in 16 Minutes, Price 150 Kuna

October 1, 2021 - Where to find an affordable, walk-in Zagreb rapid antigen test with almost immediate results? Can we beat 16 minutes and 150 kuna?

A year ago, the only thing I seemed to write about was coronavirus. Providing life updates and several daily articles on such a depressing topic was pretty soul-destroying at times. And while the comprehensive corona coverage continues on TCN, I have largely tuned out of the latest situation, leaving it to my capable colleagues to handle. 

Being fully vaccinated, I encounter few restrictions, and I have not kept up-to-date with the latest developments on testing etc. 

So when I received an invitation to attend the premiere of the new James Bond movie last night, I asked my teenage daughter if she would like to be my plus one for the night. She did indeed, but we had a little bit of bureaucracy to jump though. As proof of vaccination or negative test was a prerequisite for all attendees, I found myself looking around for an immediate Zagreb rapid antigen test centre so that my daughter could join me at the Bond movie. 

I had assumed that the concept of walkin tests would be fairly well-established by now. A couple of friends suggested I try the Andrija Stampar Institute which was both quick and reasonably priced. So into the car we hopped and headed up the hill to northern Zagreb

My heart sank. A notice by the entrance that all tests needed to be booked in advance was confirmed at the gate. I had the option to walk 20 metres and sign up for an immediate PCR test, cost 450 kuna, and no, they were not aware of any other Zagreb rapid antigen test with immediate results.  

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Time was not on our side. Not only did we need to get the test and the result the same day, but we also had to get home and ready for school. Perhaps I should not have been surprised, but I genuinely was at the seemingly lack of availability of such an important service. With more and more events requiring such confirmations, I thought a quick service would be more widely available. 

A little more research online and asking around at Stampar all pointed to the same solution - a walk-in test option with immediate results at Prima Nova on Nemetova Ulica 2, some 5 minutes further nother from the Andrija Stampar Institute. 

Located next to Polyclinic Aviva, Prima Nova came up trumps with outstanding service that I could only have dreamed of. There was zero queue, we were asked if we wanted to talk in Croatian, English, German, Italian or Spanish, and we were given the option of an email result or waiting 15 minutes for a hard copy. Total price 150 kuna.

Having learned that a paper in the hand is worth two in the promised email, we decided to wait. And we were soon rewarded  - just 16 minutes after taking the test, the all-important stamped hard copy of a negative test - 007, here we come. 

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Prima Nova is on the right of the Polyclinic Aviva through this entrance door. Excellent service at what seems to be the quickest time and most competitive price. 

Does anyone have a better experience and we will add to this article? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Testing 

The Zagreb Tourist Board has an up-to-date list of all the testing points in the city, including prices, waiting times, translations, and whether or not you need to order. 

For the latest news on coronavirus in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

The Total Croatia travel update also has lots of useful information on coronavirus in Croatia.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Siege of Dubrovnik 30th Anniversary: Adriatic Pearl Remembers

October 1, 2021 -  The Siege of Dubrovnik 30th anniversary is marked today in the Adriatic pearl. 

During the early hours of the 1st of October, 1991, the JNA's barbaric attack on Dubrovnik and the surrounding area began.

During the hazy hours of dawn, exactly 26 years ago, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), readily aided by Serbian-Montenegrin aggressors, began their primitive and senseless attack on the Pearl of the Adriatic, the surrounding areas, on land, sea, and from the air. The innocent city remained without electricity and water, rendered almost entirely cut off from the rest of Croatia, and indeed from the world.

In a conscious effort to establish their overall goal of completely cutting Dubrovnik off from any possibility of help from elsewhere as they began on their path of the needless and wanton destruction of the city, the aggressors rocketed the repetitor, relay and information building located on top of Mount Srdj, causing an interruption of telephone lines and severe damage to radio links.

 

October the 1st, 1991, marked the beginning of a horrendous and unjustifiable attack on the arts, history, culture, innocence, and perhaps above all else - peace. Peace had been associated with Dubrovnik since the glorious days of the Dubrovnik Republic (Ragusa), a formerly autonomous, self-governing republic which promoted the then very progressive ideas of peace, equality, human rights and diplomacy during the tumultuous era which was all but dominated by the Ottoman Empire, the jealous Venetians and the Mediterranean shipping crisis.

To witness the city which banned slavery before the United States even existed as a nation and upheld the meaning of freedom and individuality in the face of a disagreeing outside world attacked by the backward ideals of the JNA, intent on raising the UNESCO World Heritage Site to the ground for absolutely no clear reason, was an event so deeply shocking and painful to the world that it rightly earned the Yugoslav People's Army international condemnation, and caused an enormous public relations disaster for both Montenegro and Serbia, cast aside by the international community.

The vile behaviour seen directed towards Dubrovnik only continued to further Serbia and Montenegro's political and economic isolation, earning them extremely powerful enemies across Europe, one of the most outspoken being former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the world.

On Friday, the people of Dubrovnik mark the 30th anniversary with the traditional program "Let's Not Forget".

The program begins at 9:30 with the laying of wreaths at the Memorial Cross at the city cemetery Boninovo, followed by the laying of wreaths on Srđ hill with prayer. The International Scientific Conference "Dubrovnik Media Days" will be opened at 5 pm with the 30th-anniversary theme, and at 6 pm wreaths will be lowered in the Gruž port in memory of those killed at sea. Holy Mass for all those killed in the Homeland War will be held at 7 pm in the Franciscan Church, and at 8 pm in the Cinema Sloboda, the film "From That Day" by Slavica Šnur will be shown.

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

Friday, 1 October 2021

EU Digital COVID Certificates Are Now Valid For 365 Days From Today

October 1st, 2021 - According to the recommendation of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), a new rule has been implemented on the EU Digital COVID Certificates system in Croatia as of today, extending the duration of vaccination certificates to 365 days.

HrTurizam.hr reports that the new duration of certificates applies to all new certificates, as well as to those previously issued. Citizens who have already obtained their certificates will not have to request re-issuance because the duration of their existing ones will be automatically extended. Citizens can check the duration of their certificates by storing the certificate in the digital wallet of the CovidGO mobile application, and in the case of travel to other countries, it is certainly necessary to check the local rules in force.

With the new duration, the previously implemented rules of the issue concerning vaccines that have central approval in the EU are still in force. Certificates of vaccination can thus be obtained by persons who have been vaccinated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, persons who have been vaccinated with two doses of different vaccines received in two doses, for example, a person has received the first dose of AstraZeneca, the second Pfizer and which have been vaccinated with a single dose vaccine.

Confirmation may also be requested from persons who have been vaccinated with a single dose of vaccine received in two doses that have a positive PCR test 180 days from the date of receipt of the vaccine. They can request a certificate from the day of vaccination and it will also be valid for 365 days.

In accordance with the accepted revision of the document by the e-Health Network of the European Commission from September 29, 2021, it is possible to issue EU digital COVID certificates for vaccines that do not have central approval in the EU.

From 30 September 2021, certificates may also be issued for vaccines below in the table, in accordance with the following rules:

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For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 1 October 2021

''Your Pag'' Won Silver Klapa at Viva Film Festival in Sarajevo

October 1st, 2021 - The film ''Your Pag'' was directed by the experienced Antea Ratković and greatly highlights the attractions of the island, such as its destinations, landscapes, activities, gastronomy, and people. At the recent Viva Film Festival in Sarajevo, it won the Silver Klapa in the tourism category.

At the international documentary film festival Viva Film Festival, held in Sarajevo, the promotional film "Your Pag" won second place in the competition of tourist films: the Silver Klapa. The inclusion in the festival program alone was a success in itself because as many as 1,775 films from 131 countries were submitted in three categories: ecology, tourism, and religion.

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Photo: Viva Film Festival Official Facebook Page

31 works from 28 countries found their place at the Festival, including "Your Pag". After the award received in Poland, the tourist film of the island of Pag thus again won international recognition.

Let us remind you that the promo film was shot last year at numerous locations on the island of Pag. This is the result of cooperation between the tourist boards of Novalja, Pag, Stara Novalja, Kolan, and Povljana. The message of the film is "No Man is an Island..yet we are all looking for one…" and shows everything that makes the island of Pag and the people who live on it recognizable.

The film "Your Pag" is directed by Antea Ratković, who already has experience in shooting tourist promo films for which she was awarded, Moonstone Production d.o.o. was in charge of production, and Libra d.o.o. for the script.

''Your Pag'', directed by Antea Ratković

A total of ten works from the same number of countries were in the competition of tourist films. In addition to the Croatian representative, there were also films from Austria, Colombia, France, Egypt, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, and Russia, where the first prize went, the Golden Klapa.

The international festival of ecological, tourist, and religious film Viva Film Festival was held for the seventh time. It is a documentary and short film festival hosted by Sarajevo, but the program is held throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was founded by an international team of film professionals, ecologists, diplomats, religious leaders, and scientists, and the first edition was held in 2015.

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Croatian Tourism Month Campaign Begins Today!

October 1, 2021 - The Croatian Tourism Month campaign begins today. It is a project by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian Tourist Board, where numerous tourist services and experiences will be available at a minimum of 35 percent off! 

Thus, all Croatian citizens and foreign guests who will be staying in Croatia during October will be able to experience tourist services in all parts of Croatia at promotional prices, which will be available on the "Croatian Tourism Month" portal, reports HRTurizam.

"Together with the project, a marketing campaign is launched, which aims to inform further encourage tourism entities to participate in the project, but also the citizens themselves, who we invite to take this opportunity to travel at much more affordable prices. About 200 thousand tourists are still in our country, and the post-season and autumn periods are ideal for a short vacation and discovering new destinations. Therefore, we believe in the excellent results of this project, i.e., in its contribution to the overall tourist results this year," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing the importance of further compliance with all prescribed epidemiological measures and responsible behavior.

Through this action, travelers can visit different parts of Croatia and enjoy numerous tourist products and services, from accommodation, transport, cultural, historical, natural sights, and tourist attractions to catering services and various experiences.

"With the Croatian Tourism Month action, we want to encourage domestic and foreign tourists to explore Croatia, and at the same time extend the season. Due to the great interest in last year's Vacation-Worthy Week campaign, we have decided that this year throughout the month, across the country, tourists will have a range of services at special benefits and discounts of at least 35 percent. We believe this will motivate them to travel and discover destinations they have not yet visited. In the current part of the postseason, we are recording excellent results that confirm that Croatia has all the requirements to become a year-round tourist destination, which is our strategic goal. Therefore, I invite all stakeholders in tourism to join Croatian Tourism Months, and tourists, both domestic and foreign, to take advantage of the benefits offered to them and discover all the beauties of Croatia, which is beautiful at all times," said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac.

Croatian Tourism Month is a continuation of last year's Vacation-Worthy Week campaign, implemented from 16 to 25 October. This year, due to the great interest of tourism entities and citizens, it covers all of October. The project's main goal is to extend the tourist season by encouraging domestic and foreign tourist traffic in the post-season period.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 1 October 2021

President Zoran Milanovic Slates Former Zagreb Government

October the 1st, 2021 - Zoran Milanovic is known for not mincing his words and speaking his mind. The president, who is also a former prime minister, has become somewhat famous (or infamous, it depends how you view it) for his creative insults and wars of words with PM Andrej Plenkovic. He has now spoken frankly about his beliefs about the former local Zagreb government, and the poor management which caused the dire issues the city is facing today.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday that, as far as reconstruction after the devastating earthquake of March 2020 in Zagreb is concerned, we're now "simply going into the red''. This was his picturesque warning of the fact that the financial situation in the Croatian capital city is not good because the previous Zagreb government led it into this ''abyss''.

"If we're talking about the reconstruction of Zagreb, we're now quite simply going into the red. The financial situation in the City of Zagreb, as far as I hear, isn't good, not because of this government, but because of the previous Zagreb government,'' said Milanovic, clearly pointing fingers at the former mayor, Milan Bandic, who was one of the most controversial Croatian politicians of our time, even by this country's rather impressive standards.

Mired in corruption accusations and alleged wrongdoing, Bandic (often affectionately referred to as Bandit) died suddenly and prematurely from a massive heart attack earlier this year, with many calling him the greatest Croatian politician of all, simply because he died without ever having been charged.

Asked about the reconstruction of Zagreb after the earthquake, he told reporters at the "Big Plans Day/Dan velikih planova" conference that it was financially important in Zagreb for Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to start paying some actual attention to it.

"There's no room for trade and agreements. The city cannot borrow beyond a certain point, and the previous Zagreb government brought it into this abyss of a situation it's now in,'' concluded the president.

For more, make sure to check our our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Only 15% of Croatian School Pupils Will Use Free Train Transport

October the 1st, 2021 - Croatian school pupils will more than likely be taking advantage of free train transport (which is intended for primary and secondary school students), but it will in fact only be used by a very small amount of kids.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Association of Croatian Bus Lines (UHAJLP) welcomed the introduction of free train transport for primary and secondary Croatian school pupils, but also warned that such a form of transport will ultimately be used by only a small percentage of students.

Namely, in the explanation of its decision on the introduction of free transport by Croatian Railways (HZ), the Croatian Government pointed out that it will be able to be used by about 780,000 children and students of primary and secondary schools throughout the Republic of Croatia, but this mode of transport is hardly the most popular.

While most Croatian school pupils live close enough to their schools to simply walk there from home, others arrive by bus, are driven there by their parents, or catch trams in Zagreb, trains are far from popular. In fact, transportation for daily commuting to school will be used by a mere 10 to 15 percent of Croatian school pupils who just happen to be living right next to the railway tracks.

“The basis for the introduction of free transport by HZ Putnicki prijevoz (HZ passenger transport) is the so-called the concept of a public service on the basis of which this carrier receives over 450 million kuna a year from the state and is an additional pilot project of the competent ministry, which will pay out an additional 30 million kuna to this publicly owned company over the next fifteen months.

Although there are of course legal preconditions to take into consideration, as well as obligations derived from European Union directives, this public service is not paid to entrepreneurs who transport students, workers and other passengers by bus on routes that are generally not economically viable, but only to state companies such as HZ or Jadrolinija,'' they stated from UHAJLP.

Commenting on the recent decision of Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic, Hrvoje Mestrovic, president of the Association of Croatian Bus Public Line Carriers, pointed out that out of the total number of primary and secondary school students, HZ transports a maximum of 15 percent per year, which is hardly a huge amount of kids.

Slightly more than a third of those Croatian school pupils are located in cities that have some form of public city transport which is also covered by public services, while half of the students depend exclusively on public line bus carriers, explained Mestrovic.

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

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