Jelena Darijević – our Croatia specialist and chief translator Jelena is the power behind the scenes of The Dubrovnik Times. Born and bred in Dubrovnik, Jelena has always had a keen interest in all things British, she must be the only local resident to have every edition ever published by Bill Bryson. With a long-term history of translating sorts of publications and books Jelena brings her unique eye for all Croatian news.
The legendary American actor Chuck Norris has come to Croatia.
On celebrating his 78th birthday on the 10th of March, a monument of the popular Texas Ranger was revealed in the southern part of Zagreb called Sloboština.
The monument designed by the academic artist Gordan Perković was presented in front of numerous Chuck Norris fans at midnight on the 10th of March after great fireworks and organized birthday party in honour of the famous actor.
‘’This is the first monument of Chuck Norris in Croatia. Our country is just one of many European countries to have such a monument. Chuck Norris now has his sculptural materialization in Croatia’’, commented Kruno Lokotar, the head of the birthday ceremony in Zagreb.
Lokotar also added that Zagreb would become a safer city under the firm hand of Chuck Norris and pointed out to other cities in the neighbouring countries to have monuments dedicated to film fighters for justice.
‘’Mostar has Bruce Lee and now Zagreb has Chuck Norris. However, we will not compete as if we were in ‘’Way of the Dragon’’, said Lokotar.
The celebration of Norris’s birthday took place in cafe bar ‘’Norris’’ in Zagreb. The spectacular presentation of the actor’s monument was followed by a karaoke contest in the dark-eyed look of Chuck Norris as well as a contest in consummation of hot spicy food.
A huge wave of price increases is on the horizon in Croatia this year.
Food, waste removal and petroleum products are just some of the things that will face a price increase in 2018.
‘’The banana price has already jumped by almost 50 percent, and a price increase for other fruit will follow’’, claim fruit growers.
‘’We expect a price increase by over 50 percent until the summer months. That is why there is no fruit in Europe or in Croatia’’, commented Frane Ivković from the Croatian Association of Fruit Growers.
However, the price of other food products will continue to grow this year, economists point out.
‘’There are some elements of food products that have stable prices such as bread and fish, however, all other components such as meat have recorded a continuous price increase’’, explained Zvonimir Savić from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
Furthermore, due to a new waste management policy, sorting and recycling, Croatian citizens can expect increased figures on their waste removal bills.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy says that there will be no increase in household gas prices for another three years because the state will protect its citizens. Unlike last year, this year the electricity price should not go up.
This summer we can expect a seasonal toll price increase that will, like last year, increase by 10 percent during the tourist season.
Economic analysts expect crude oil prices to rise by an additional 30 percent over last year. However, the Association of Croatian Road Carriers claims that for the time being they do not intend to increase prices of their services and continue this wave of price increases.
A Croatian island is one the best sustainable or ‘’green’’ destinations in the world.
At the largest travel trade show ITB Berlin, which is taking place from the 7th to the 11th of March 2018 in Berlin, Germany, the Best of Top 100 Awards Ceremony was held in the Awards Hall of ITB Berlin on the 7th of March.
From the Top 100 sustainable destinations, a Jury representing 12 international organizations selected 32 finalists.
In the category ‘’Best of the Planet – Best of Mediterranean’’ the Croatian island of Lošinj placed as the second right behind the Maltese island Gozo.
After the awarding ceremony for the Top 100 sustainable world destinations was successfully held in Portugal last September, the organizers Green Destinations, Travel Mole’s Vision on Sustainable Tourism and ITB Berlin offered an opportunity to all the Top 100 destinations in 2017 to show their sustainability and best practices to the world and to the media within the world’s largest tourist fair in Berlin.
‘’Sustainability has for years been a key advantage of Lošinj - the island of vitality, which has been implementing destination brand management since 2006. Quality cooperation with locals, numerous projects in the domain of sustainable cultural and health tourism as well as numerous investments were the preconditions for the development of year-round tourism in the destination. We also wanted to advance and to use European standards, thus, we were among the first in Croatia to join the European Commission project ETIS (European Tourism Indicators System) for sustainable destinations. Thanks to the quality communication of all partners in the destination, Lošinj can brag about even bigger recognition in the world as a sustainable tourism destination!’’, commented Dalibor Cvitković, the director of the Tourist Board of the Town of Mali Lošinj congratulating all the winners.
To enter the Top 100 Sustainable World Destinations it was necessary to meet the 15 major criteria that make a destination responsible and ‘green’ such as nature and landscape, climate and environment, culture and tradition, people and hospitality as well as sustainable destination management.
It is interesting to note that last month the specialized Food, Wine & Travel (FWT) magazine declared Lošinj the second best travel destination for 2018.
As the President’s Office reported, the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, will soon visit the diaspora in South America.
After the official visit of the first and former Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman, to South America, Grabar-Kitarović is the first Croatian President to visit members of the Croatian diaspora in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
The Presidential tour will start on the 11th and last to the 20th of March 2018. Apart from meeting with the representatives of Croatian communities in these three South American countries, the President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will also meet with the Presidents of Argentina and Chile, the Governor of Sao Paulo as well as with businesspersons in these countries.
It is estimated that there are 400,000 Croatians living in Chile, around 250,000 living in Argentina and 45,000 in Brazil. In fact Chile has the second largest population of Croatian diaspora after the USA.
According to the joint survey carried out by U.S. News and World Report, the world’s best country in 2018 is Switzerland.
As far as Croatia is concerned, it has placed in the lower part of the list as the 50th among the 80 best countries in 2018.
The U.S. News and World Report survey included 80 countries and more than 20,000 respondents. The survey ranked the countries according to several categories such as adventure, heritage, citizenship, movers, cultural influence, open for business, entrepreneurship, power, and quality of life.
Therefore, the country of cheeses, watches, banks, beautiful lakes and mountains i.e. Switzerland was declared the Best Country on the planet in 2018.
The Top 10 best countries in 2018 are Switzerland, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Australia, the United States, France and the Netherlands.
Croatia was placed as the 50th among the 80 world countries in the survey, behind the neighbouring country of Hungary (38th) but ahead of Slovenia (53th).
A new and interesting Croatian application is on the horizon. This time it is about the usage of augmented reality in order to revive a part of Croatia’s rich history.
‘’Croatian Great Men’’ as the app is called and created by the Delta Reality studio, uses augmented reality to revive Croatia’s history and bring a new technology to all smart phone users.
By scanning the Croatian banknotes through the application, three-dimensional animations are launched. They speak, move around and reveal some interesting moments from Croatia’s history.
This technology is already being used in places such as museums where scanning an image through dedicated applications animates the image or provides some additional information about it. However, the Delta Reality team decided to provide this opportunity to everyone, wherever they are without the need to visit a specific locality or a museum.
‘We were pondering about what we could use as triggers, which image anybody could have. We quickly realized that banknotes would come in handy because they have so many details we often overlook. Thus, we were absorbed in creating contents related to banknote motives and designing them in order to revive them’’, explained Darian Škarica, the director of the Delta Reality company.
However, this is just the beginning, as Škarica commented, because augmented reality will be in full swing in the near future and make smart phone screens unnecessary due to augmented reality glasses.
‘’One of the great things that the future of augmented reality brings us is the revival of everything that surrounds us – monuments will talk to us, strange creatures will fly over our cities, and there will be portals to the past in cities. We have already created a few experiments in this area, however, one thing is to see these things on the smart phone screen and completely the other to fully experience it by using augmented reality glasses’’, concluded Škarica.
The European Statistical office (Eurostat) has released data according to which women in the European Union on the average are less paid than men.
The data shows that in 2016 women in the EU were on the average 16,2 percent less paid than their male colleagues i.e. on the average they earned 84 Eurocents for every Euro per hour men were paid.
Among EU member countries, in 2016, the gender difference in pay ranged from more than 5 percent in Romania and Italy, 22 percent in the Czech Republic and Germany to more than 25 percent in Estonia, showed the Eurostat data released on marking the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2018.
According to Eurostat data from 2014, in Croatia the gender difference in pay was 8,7 percent. Thus, the country was listed among EU countries with the gender gap in pay of less than 10 percent such as Romania (5,2%), Italy (5,3%), Luxembourg (5,5%), Belgium (6,1%), Poland (7,2%) and Slovenia (7,8%).
On the other hand, the group of EU member countries with big gender difference in pay was headed by Estonia (25,3%), the Czech Republic (21,8%), Germany (21,5%), Great Britain (21%), Austria (20,1%).
At EU level, the gender gap in pay from 2011 to 2016 was slightly reduced by 0,6 percentage points, the report said.
In comparison to 2011, the gender difference in pay was reduced in most of EU member countries such as Romania (4,4 percentage points) and Hungary (4 percentage points) followed by Spain and Austria (3,4 percentage points), Belgium (3,3 percentage points) and the Netherlands (3 percentage points).
On the other hand, this difference increased in ten EU member countries, most in Portugal (4,6 percentage points) and Slovenia (4,5 percentage points).
When it comes to Croatia, the gender gap in pay increased by 3 percentage points, from 5,7 percent in 2010 to 8,7 percent in 2014, showed the data from Eurostat.
According to the latest statistics of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA), when it comes to German economy Croatian citizens are probably the most cost-effective foreign workers in this most powerful European country.
Slightly more than 160,000 Croatian citizens are registered with the German Federal Employment Agency (BA). Data shows that over the past four years there was a huge immigrant wave from Croatia to Germany and that around 80,000 Croatian workers were registered in 2014.
The unemployment rate among Croatian nationals in Germany is 5,6 percent, which is at the same level as the German unemployment rate (5,6%), however, much lower in comparison to immigrants from other countries (14%).
Considering the total number of Croatian nationals in Germany, around 59 percent of them are employed in comparison to 61 percent of employed Germans. In this category, Croats are far above the average employment rate of foreign nationals in Germany (41%).
When it comes to the social services provided by the country to which all citizens are entitled to, Croats use them for 5,6 percent, which is less than Germans (6,9%). Only Hungarians use social benefits less than Croatians (4,3%), whilst around 64 percent of refugees use social services provided by the German state.