Category: Latest

Flood Danger Not Over

Croatia83Parts of Croatia are still in danger from floods which ravaged the region on the weekend…

After the central town of Karlovac was evacuated on Saturday, and a state of emergency declared in a number of areas, parts of the Koprivnica-Križevci county, Medjimurje and Sisak are bracing themselves today for a wave of water which could pose potential danger to homes. It is all hands on deck as locals build sandbag barriers as they prepare to defend their homes against flood waters. Flooding has caused a number of roads around the country to close on Tuesday. The next 2-3 days are critical with river levels expected to rise another 20cm today.

Croatia1Prime Minister Zoran Milanović will survey flooded scenes this afternoon by helicopter as the Red Cross collected donations to help provided those in need with basic necessities. Persistent rain over the last 10 days has left a big part of the country underwater, and many descirbe the floods as the worst which they can remember over the last 60 years.

Croatia’s Tax Politics Killing Investment and Motivation to Work

CroatiaThe World Economic Forum (WEF) released its annual Global Competitiveness study recently, ranking Croatia in 77th spot out of 144 countries, but the effects of extremely high taxes and contributions in the country makes the situation a lot bleaker in reality. As a result of tax policies the nation languishes in 142nd place out of 144 when it comes to desired investment destinations and motivation to work, reports portal Index.hr

Absurdly low wages, coupled with massive tax and contribution burdens puts Croatia only just above Argentina and Italy as desired investment destinations. On a scale of 1-7, with 1 being the least motivating score for investment, Croatia sits at 142nd on the list of 144 countries, with a rating of 2.1. Investors are only more unmotivated to invest in Italy (2.0) and Argentina (2.0).

Bahrain tops the list (6.5), followed by the United Arab Emirates (6.3), Qatar (6.2) and Singapore (5.9). Of the countries in the region, Macedonia is the best placed (19th) with a rating of 4.5. Montenegro (4.0) is the next most attractive destination for investors in the region. The UK is in 25th spot, Malta 27th and Sweden 28th with a rating of 4.3, whilst the US and Germany are 34th and 36th respectively with a score of 4.1. Japan (71st) and Australia (74) had a rating of 3.7.

With wages so low in Croatia, and for the government only to take a good chunk of it in taxes, the motivation to work in Croatia is very low – placing it in 142nd place with a ranking of 2.2. Again only ahead of Argentina and Italy. Bahrain and Qatar (6.3) and the UAE (6.2) again topped the list of nations where motivation to work was the highest.

Croatia has one of the highest levels of personal tax rates in Europe, according to an annual report of personal tax and social security rates covering more than 114 countries by KPMG. Croatia, with an aggregate rate of 46.3 percent for income and complimentary tax, is third in Europe, behind Belgium and Greece. Italy and Germany were below Croatia in 4th and 5th place respectively, while neighbours Bosnia and Herzegovina were 19th, according to KPMG’s annual survey titled Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate 2012.

Ana Draganja in Top 10 at Fashion TV Model Awards

CroatiaCroatian model Ana Draganja has finished in the top 10 at the Fashion TV Model Awards in Cyprus…

The 22-year-old from Split is the sister of Olympic silver medalist swimmer Duje Draganja.

“I finished in the top 10 from the whole world, but I did not win. But, I feel like a winner because I have a calm conscience and people who love me,” said Ana after the awards.

Draganja has only been in the modelling game for 6 months, and says that she has got a lot of motivation and confidence from her champion elder brother. The Fashion TV Model Awards have produced some fairly famous winners, including Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Adriana Lima and Irina Shayk. This year’s winner was Lithuanian’s Karolina Toleikyte, with the runner-up Martyna Nakielska from Poland. (Facebook)

Legendary Guitarist Rastko Milošev – Ras Dies

rastkomilosev_15092014_pressThe former guitarist of legendary Croatian rock band Parni valjak has died in Croatia…

Rastko Milošev – Ras passed away on 12 September aged just 54. Born in Zagreb on 11.11.1961, Ras from an early age was surrounded by music, and his piano-teacher mother had him learn a number of instruments. When he turned 15 he discovered the Beatles and fell in love with the electric guitar. At the age of 18 he joined the now legendary band Parni Valjak, who enjoyed a dedicated following in Croatia for over 30 years, just 4 years after the band had formed in 1975. Ras stayed in the band for 5 years before leaving in the 80’s. He then went onto work as a guitarist, author and producer for the likes of Tereza Kesovija, Dino Dvornik, Oliver Mandić, Jasmin Stavros, Dino Merlin, Plavi orkestra, Haustor, and many more.

Ras leaves behind four children, and will be buried in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Croatia at a Standstill – Zagreb’s Main Square to Show Čilić Match Live on Big Screen

Croatia13 years ago Croatia came to a stand still when Goran Ivanišević took on Australia’s Patrick Rafter in the Wimbledon final, tonight the country again will be glued to the box when Marin Čilić takes on Kei Nishikori in the US Open final…

Usually reserved for major football matches, it has been confirmed that Zagreb’s main Ban Jelačić square will be showing the match live on a big screen. Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić has invited all those interested in watching the final to come down to the main square where apart from the match, there will be an entertainment programme, including singer Tony Cetinski and tambura group Begini. It will all kick-off tonight around 22:00, with the match due to start around 23:00 local time.

Čilić, who blew Roger Federer off the court on Saturday in the semi-final, has a great chance to become Croatia’s first Grand Slam winner since Goran’s win in 2001, although Nishikori holds a 5-2 advantage in head-to-head matches.

Record-Breaking Month for Zagreb as Tourists Keep Coming

CroatiaCroatia’s capital Zagreb has set another tourist record in the month of July, according to data from the city’s tourist board…

In July 2014 there were 101,824 visitors, up 11% from the same month last year. Overnight stays were also up 9% to 167,722. Foreign tourists made up 92,379 of the total number of tourists, which was an increase of 13% from July 2013. The most number of visitors came from South Korea, Spain, USA, Germany and Great Britain. Zagreb Tourist Board can be extremely pleased with the results in July, which also saw the city featured in a number of international tourist magazines, including being the main theme in his month’s German edition of Geo Saison, which has more than 700,000 readers. (pic: Wikipedia)

Famous Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan Set for Action in Dubrovnik

CroatiaHBO classic Game of Thrones has beamed the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik into the homes of millions, now the popular Dalmatian tourist spot will be beamed out to hundreds of millions more with confirmation that one of India’s biggest superstars will perform ‘dare devil stunts’ in Dubrovnik for a new film…

Considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, with a fan following claimed to number in the billions, Shah Rukh Khan will shoot high action scenes in Dubrovnik for Yash Raj Films` upcoming movie `Fan`. After scouring for suitable filming locations, the Mumbai team have zeroed in on Croatia, reports India’s Zee News.

“A high energy action sequence for `Fan` will be shot in Dubrovnik. The local Croatian crew along with the YRF team from Mumbai met months in advance to meticulously plan this sequence to be shot with Shah Rukh Khan,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The action sequence is an integral part of the film. Hence the team met up months before the actual shoot is supposed to take place, to meticulously plan this sequence for Khan. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times called him “the world’s biggest movie star.” He has also been regularly featured in listings of the most influential names in Indian culture and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Khan is also the co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders.

Rise in the Number of Foreigners Getting Married in Croatia

CroatiaAccording to information from local travel agencies and other service providers, the number of foreigners choosing Croatia as a wedding destination has increased rapidly since the start of the year, writes Lider.hr

Croatia is proving a popular place for foreign couples to say ‘I do’, with Americans, Germans, French, Canadians and Australians leading the way. When it comes to location, Dubrovnik on Croatia’s southern Dalmatian coast is the most popular, along with Istria, whilst an increasing number of foreigners are choosing Zadar, Split and the islands of Hvar and Korčula.

It is not just wedding planners and venue owners who have felt the benefits of the increase, other tourism service providers, such as car rental companies, are also cashing in.

“We recently supplied 30 luxury vehicles from our fleet for a wedding for a young American couple which was held in the south of Croatia,” said Fleet.

Kovač: “Mexico Preparations at Full Steam, it is Our Final”

CroatiaCroatia has returned back to their Praia do Forte camp from Manaus, with coach Niko Kovač already fully focussed on Monday’s do-or-die match with Mexico…

“We are already in full steam preparing for Mexico. We need to win, we are working towards that. We have watched all of Mexico’s matches, there are no surprises. We know their strengths and weaknesses, and I believe in my side. We have prepared excellent for two matches already, so why not for the third?,” said Kovač, who gave his players a day off on Thursday to recover from the long trip and exhausting conditions in Manaus.

Mexico’s 0-0 draw midweek with Brazil means that a draw for Croatia will only do if Cameroon can cause an unlikely upset and beat Brazil.

“Mexico is strong, but so are we. They have a strong attack, and defence. It will be difficult, but we are hoping for victory. Our confidence has grown, as has Mexico’s. It is a final for both sides, the winner advances to the second round,” Kovač said.

Croatia will have a light training run on Friday, and will have one day less to prepare than they did for the Cameroon match. One thing Kovač will be thankful for is that all his squad will be available for selection, with no injury or card troubles. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Lošinj – First Aid Instructions for Debilitated Turtles

Croatia1By Anna Tucker

In the unlikely event that you happen to collide with one of the three species of sea turtles that inhabit the Adriatic while roaming about in a motorised sea vehicle this summer, you will likely have to deal with rescuing a comatose creature from drowning…

Luckily, Croatia Week visited the new Sea Turtle Rescue Centre on the island of Lošinj and has received valuable life-saving instructions, as seen on the illustration below, which enable one to successfully deal with such an unfortunate event. By applying these very same rescue procedures that are now, thanks to the educational efforts of Lošinj’s Blue World Institute and its Turtle Rescue Centre, a regular practice for local fisherman in cases of turtle bycatch, you are sure to save a life of an endangered animal whose population in the Adriatic has been severely diminished.

valuable life-saving instructions

valuable life-saving instructions

Unfortunately, just in Croatia alone, it is estimated that up to 2,500 sea turtles per year become victims of human activities, which is why this centre, only the second of its kind in the country, is an important link in the preservation efforts of this endangered and rarely seen marine reptile.

In any case, if you decide to visit the nature-rich and eco-oriented island of Lošinj, whether by sea vessel or any other way, be sure to stop by the Centre, where Mrs. Kristina Volarić aka Kiki, a friendly and knowledgeable student of environmental sciences, or another volunteer of the centre, will show you around and introduce you to Lošinj’s Blue World Institute, and EU’s NETCET project for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Adriatic.

This Centre is the place where you will learn tons of fun facts, such as that the loggerhead turtle – one of the three species that is found in the waters of Croatia – originates from Greece’s party island of Zakynthos and travels to our waters to spend the winter and feed; that the Green turtle – the most endangered species in the Adriatic – is the only vegetarian of the trio; or that the leatherback turtle can cross a staggering 20,000 km in just two years.

Apart from providing the visitors with an opportunity to learn more about these animals through films, touchscreen applications and models, the Centre offers various training courses and workshops, and organises numerous awareness raising activities targeting local fishermen, school children and the general public.

CroatiaIn addition, the Rescue Centre provides facilities for the professional care of these endangered animals, including an operation room, an isolation pool and longer-term environmentally controlled recovery pools.

The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation and its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre operates on donations and offers various volunteering opportunities and adoption programs, as well as souvenirs for both children and adults who want to support the conservation of the Adriatic’s marine life.

So, in case you feel like learning more about these endangered sea animals or are looking to spend a holiday doing more than just chilling on the beach, be sure to visit Lošinj’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. You can also learn more about their activities or how to get involved by visiting the Institute’s site at www.blue-world.org

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