Month: November 2020

Read Joe Biden’s President Elect Speech: Full Transcript

first_imgJoseph R. Biden Jr., a 77-year-old former vice president and longtime senator who has sought the White House on and off for more than three decades, on Saturday renewed his commitment to unifying and serving all Americans at a time the nation is deeply divided along sharply drawn partisan lines.In a roughly 17-minute address, Mr. Biden, speaking for the first time as president-elect, promised to lead with compassion, decency and character and heal the nation’s soul. As he has for months, Mr. Biden also promised to immediately address the coronavirus pandemic and work to stop its spread, an effort he said would be key to economic recovery.- Advertisement – We can do it. I know we can.I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America.We must restore the soul of America.Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.It is time for our better angels to prevail.Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: possibilities.That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.You see, I believe in the possibility of this country.We’re always looking ahead.Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just.Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.Ahead to an America that cures disease — like cancer and Alzheimers. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris Covid plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around.I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me — as those who did.Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now.The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make.And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate. That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.America has always been shaped by inflection points — by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be.Lincoln in 1860 — coming to save the Union.F.D.R. in 1932 — promising a beleaguered country a New Deal.J.F.K. in 1960 — pledging a New Frontier.And twelve years ago — when Barack Obama made history — and told us, “Yes, we can.”We stand again at an inflection point.We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose. To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials — you deserve a special thanks from this nation.To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.Democrats, Republicans and Independents.Progressives, moderates and conservatives.Young and old.Urban, suburban and rural.Gay, straight, transgender.White. Latino. Asian. Native American.And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African-American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric.To lower the temperature.To see each other again.To listen to each other again.To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.This is the time to heal in America.Now that the campaign is over — what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.The battle to control the virus.The battle to build prosperity.The battle to secure your family’s health care.The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.The battle to save the climate. My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.A victory for “We the People.”- Advertisement – Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.This is a great nation.And we are a good people.This is the United States of America.And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,Bear you on the breath of dawn,Make you to shine like the sun,And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”And now, together — on eagle’s wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be.A nation united.A nation strengthened.A nation healed.The United States of America.God bless you.And may God protect our troops. Here is a transcript of Mr. Biden’s remarks as they were prepared for delivery.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – To rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class.To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband.I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family.They are my heart.Jill’s a mom — a military mom — and an educator.She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great first lady.And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president — Kamala Harris — who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.Kamala, Doug — like it or not — you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out. The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.Our work begins with getting Covid under control. We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.For that is what America is about: the people.And that is what our administration will be about.I sought this office to restore the soul of America. Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 10:09 p.m. ET And to conclude, he returned to the idea that there is nothing Americans can’t do if they work together.“Let us be the nation that we know we can be,” he said. “A nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed.”last_img read more

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Kourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae in Bikinis on Harry Hudson Sweats

first_img– Advertisement – “Joy is doubled by others and sorrow is halved by others,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “@harryhudson new merch out now, check my story for info.”Hudson’s new album, titled Hey, I’m Here For You, will drop on November 20. The 27-year-old singer commented on Kardashian’s post, writing, “Love you. Thank you for always being there 💛.”This Sweatsuit Features a Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian and Addison RaeCourtesy of Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram; Courtesy of Addison Rae/InstagramRae also promoted the merch, sharing a pic of herself wearing the blue-hued sweatsuit in an Instagram Story on Tuesday, November 10.- Advertisement – Available in both blue and black, you can pick up the hoodie featuring the two women for $70, or get the entire sweatsuit for $130.This isn’t the first time the duo has made headlines for bikini pics. Back in August, the pair shared a series of snaps in itty-bitty swimsuits. “Picture me I picture you,” the reality star captioned the Instagram post. In a couple of the pics, the mother of three stands over the social media influencer as Rae lays on a towel on the ground. In others, they both lay alongside one another in the shallow part of the pool.- Advertisement – This Sweatsuit Features a Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian and Addison RaeKourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae. Courtesy of Kourtney Kardashian/InstagramKourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae are further cementing their unlikely friendship with some sexy merch.On Monday, November 9, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 41, announced that she and the 20-year-old TikTok sensation are featured on sweatsuits promoting Harry Hudson’s digital album. Pictured swimming through a blue-lit pool in bikinis, the Poosh founder shared a series of pics from the shoot, along with the final product.- Advertisement – But it’s not just stylish swimwear that the two slay in. The pair also knows how to kill it in super chic street style. In fact, during a recent trip to New York City, they walked around in coordinated looks that match.Now they’re giving Us the sweatsuit we didn’t know we needed.Listen on Spotify to Get Tressed With Us to get the details of every hair love affair in Hollywood, from the hits and misses on the red carpet to your favorite celebrities’ street style ‘dos (and don’ts!)last_img read more

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We must ‘acknowledge the voice of the people’ and ‘transition in grace’

first_img– Advertisement – If you haven’t heard, Donald Trump and the GOP he represents are attempting to steal the election won by President-elect Joe Biden. Republicans like Sens. Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Scott, terrified of losing Trump’s base, have been calling our democracy into question. Sadly, this is just another example of the cowardice shown by Republican leadership in the last four years.But not every Republican official is anti-democracy. Mike Boyce, the chairman of Cobb County, Georgia, lost his bid for reelection on Election Day. Boyce is a Republican and lost to his Democratic challenger, Lisa Cupid. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Boyce congratulated Chair-elect Cupid on her victory, telling the news outlet: “I think it’s also important, that as part of this process, that we have a transition in grace, that we acknowledge the voice of the people, we hear them and we move on. I hope that this message gets loud and clear to our national and our state leaders, that this transition in grace is part of the election process.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Indonesia launches media blitz about avian flu

first_imgSep 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia launched a month-long, nationwide media campaign today to warn people to take precautions against H5N1 avian influenza, according to news services.Public service announcements on radio and television will urge people to wash their hands after contact with poultry, keep birds out of living areas, and cook poultry products thoroughly, according to a Bloomberg News report. People are also being urged to report sick birds to authorities and to seek treatment for illnesses that follow contact with poultry.”We want bird flu to become part of history,” said Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the country’s avian flu commission, as quoted in an Associated Press article in the Jakarta Post today.The campaign is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Japanese government and supported by the World Health Organization, Bloomberg reported.A UNICEF official in Indonesia, Gianfranco Rotigliano, warned that the government faces a “huge challenge” in trying to teach the rural population about avian flu, given the country’s great size and many ethnic groups, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today.The government said last month that about 30 million families keep backyard chickens, and during avian flu containment efforts, many refuse to turn in their birds despite offers of compensation, AFP reported.Indonesia has had 60 human cases of H5N1 infection, 46 of them fatal, the second highest case count (after Vietnam) and the highest death toll.In other news, Chinese officials are seeking 500 volunteers for the second clinical trial of an H5N1 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd., AFP reported yesterday.No serious adverse reactions were reported among 120 volunteers who participated in the first trial of the vaccine, officials announced earlier this week.The Beijing Youth Daily said the aim of the second trial is to see how long the vaccine’s protective effect lasts, according to AFP.Sinovac announced this week that it plans to produce 20 million doses of the vaccine annually over the next few years, AFP reported.last_img read more

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How soon can you expect phase 6, and what really changes when the phase does?

first_img(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – As the novel H1N1 influenza virus (aka the “swine flu”) spreads to more countries and sickens more people, the question invariably arises, when will the World Health Organization (WHO) change the pandemic alert level to phase 6?It’s a fair question, though not necessarily the most important one. We often measure the magnitude of events and dilemmas by numbers. The problem is I hear a great deal of confusion about what such a change means.So let me set the record straightThe WHO phases measure the transmission ability of the virus, not the severity of a pandemic. If your plan hinged on a severe scenario, you may be finding yourself in a tough spot at the moment, trying to explain what all the fuss has been about.Don’t be surprised if the WHO bumps the phase to 6 any day now. In some ways, Margaret Chan, MD, director-general of the WHO, has been foreshadowing just such an announcement. But know that phase 6 is not necessarily a proclamation of disaster.What about severity?With the exception of the severe illnesses it caused in Mexico, the new virus is behaving in many ways like a mild seasonal influenza strain. And even the proportion of cases in Mexico that can be considered severe may be very small if we consider the many mild cases that were likely missed with the current disease surveillance conducted by the Mexican public health authorities.If and when the WHO announces a move to phase 6, the outbreak will be officially dubbed a pandemic. As such, according to the new WHO definitions, the virus will be causing “sustained community level outbreaks in at least one other country in another WHO region.” In other words, phase 6 means the virus is causing widespread human infection.Will it continue to cause mild illness? First, let me say that if you or someone in your care has come down with seasonal influenza any time recently, you may not think “mild” is an adequate word to describe the illness. Any strain of flu will make a person feel horrible, and some people worse than others. Which is exactly why we work so hard to immunize people each year.As to the question, will the novel virus continue to cause so-called mostly mild illness, the truth is that not a soul on the planet can provide an answer yet. As I’ve said before, the virus could fizzle out in days, weeks, or months without causing more severe illness than a mild seasonal influenza strain would. Or it could go away for a few months, only to reappear in a form that could cause severe sickness and death. And yet another scenario is the virus continues on its present course, mutating as it passes through the population to become much more dangerous.Can you cancel ‘red alert’?As I mentioned in my last column, the best response is always a proportional response. Actions need to be tied to the level of risk. Only in this way can we maintain our credibility. And that brings me to the topic of school closures.Given that the novel virus is behaving like the seasonal influenza, certain community mitigation measures implemented early on out of caution are no longer warranted. For example, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announced that it would no longer recommend school closures when a student is identified as having the novel H1N1 influenza. That’s a prime example of proportional response.Don’t be surprised to see the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revise its guidelines about school closures, too, if the current pattern of mild illness persists. It makes so much more sense to keep one sick child home (whether the illness is caused by the new virus or a strain of seasonal influenza) than to cause the disruption of entire schools, which can put an unnecessary burden on your employees and your business. And, in the long run, it’s an action that should reinforce credibility.I’d urge your organization to think in terms of proportional response, too. Would you ban travel to places like Mexico if the seasonal influenza virus were causing illness similar to the illness that this new H1N1 influenza strain is causing? I don’t think so. My rule of thumb right now is to ask, “Would I recommend our organization take this action if we were responding to routine seasonal influenza?” If your answer is yes, then that’s a proportional response. If not, ask yourself why you are making this recommendation for dealing with the novel H1N1.What to make of media coverageThe whipsaw of media attention is stunning. Just last week, in search of a new angle to the novel influenza strain, reporters from prestigious media outlets were sleuthing for evidence that government officials had not been forthcoming soon enough about how serious the outbreak was. This week, the prattle has flip-flopped. Now the media suspect that much ado has been made about the outbreak and that that public health officials overreacted.What is distressing is that as the media industry, particularly the print business, has contracted, some of the finest health reporters in the nation have lost their positions. I have tremendous respect for solid journalism, and I make myself available to reporters as much as possible to help keep the record straight. So I can tell you that without a doubt the quality of questions coming my way indicates a growing ignorance about the field of infectious diseases.Not only is this discouraging, it’s downright dangerous. You cannot count on the media (with notable exceptions) to give you reliable information. So I urge great caution when reading, listening to, or reviewing any story that relates to this novel H1N1 influenza outbreak. I urge you to caution your C-suite about this as well. They need to know that decision-making simply cannot be made based on the popular media.From what I’ve seen—and I’ve been in the thick of this—for one to believe accusations that public health officials are either underplaying or overblowing information about what could be an emerging pandemic is quite frankly ludicrous.To make matters worse, as one of my colleagues mentioned today, if you consider the growing new milieu of social networking, you could say that narrow-casting of information has created a kind of echo chamber for misinformation.Rest assured, that will not be the case with news, information, and resources that come from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but at CIDRAP Business Source, we go the extra mile to make sure you are getting intelligence that is authoritative and reliable.You have my word on that.And here is today’s breaking news:The WHO reported 1,085 confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) and 26 deaths in 21 countries as of 18:00 p.m. GMT (noon US EST) today, up from 985 cases in 20 countries reported earlier in the day. Mexico has reported 590 confirmed cases and 25 deaths. The WHO’s latest total reflects today’s updated US numbers from the CDC, which stand at 286 cases and 1 death. [WHO update 14]At a WHO media briefing today, Keiji Fukuda, MD, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, emphasized that the rationale for any future move to pandemic alert phase 6 wouldn’t be based on disease severity, but rather on sustained outbreaks in more than one WHO region. On Apr 29 the WHO raised the pandemic alert to its current level, phase 5, which signifies sustained community outbreaks in two or more countries within one WHO region.The CDC will begin reporting “probable” cases of flu in addition to confirmed cases to give a better sense of the size of the US epidemic, acting director Dr. Richard Besser said Monday. In addition to the 286 confirmed cases, there are more than 700 probable cases in the United States.The CDC will work with international health authorities to monitor the southern hemisphere’s flu season, beginning shortly, to see how the novel H1N1 strain behaves in competition with other flu viruses. “That will tell us a lot about whether the virus is changing and what measures we might want to take in the fall,” Besser said.Tomorrow the WHO will host its second scientific teleconference to address clinical issues surrounding patients who have influenza A/H1N1 (swine flu) infections, the WHO’s Fukuda said today at a media briefing. The conference will allow scientists to share information on crucial topics such as disease severity. The topic of the first teleconference, held on Apr 29, was the influenza situation in Mexico.last_img read more

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In August, there was an increase in passenger traffic at airports

first_imgThe total passenger traffic at airports in August 2017 amounted to 1 thousand, which is an increase of 682% compared to August 2016, when passenger traffic amounted to 1 thousand. In August 2017, the growth of passenger traffic compared to August 2016 was recorded by Split Airport (22,3%), Dubrovnik Airport (16,8%), Zagreb Airport (13,4%), Pula Airport (23,1, 21,7%), Zadar Airport (42,8%), Osijek Airport (90,0%), Brač Airport (12,4%) and Mali Lošinj Airport (3,4%), and a decrease was recorded in port of Rijeka (XNUMX%).The most significant increase in passenger traffic was realized with the airports of the Netherlands, 52,8% compared to the same period last year. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at airports in August 2017 was 18, which is an increase of 335% compared to 16 landings and take-offs in August 890.Source: CBSlast_img read more

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Real Estate Tax and Local Taxes Act

first_imgOn December 02, 2016, the Croatian Parliament passed the Law on Local Taxes. The law was signed by Božo Petrov, the then President of the Croatian Parliament. On December 06, 2016, the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, on the basis of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, passed a Decision on the promulgation of the Law on Local Taxes.How many users of local taxes and the state budget do we have?In the Republic of Croatia, we have 555 units of local self-government, 429 municipalities and 126 cities, and 21 units of regional self-government (counties). Before 1992, there were only 102 municipalities. According to the Institute of Public Finance, in 2009 there were 66.000 employees in local self-government units and their utility companies. According to the data of the Ministry of Administration from June 2017, in the state and public sector in Croatia there were 232 civil servants and employees who receive their salaries from the state budget. When these two data are added up, we come to the figure of 240 employees who are “paid from taxes”. Of course, this figure is not final because we still need to add various agencies, state companies and the like, which occasionally use either state budget funds or state guarantees that are ultimately converted into state budget funds, or “taxpayers’ money”.Many cities and municipalities do not have the capacity to develop without state aidAccording to data from 2009, as many as 50% of cities were not able to finance the work of primary schools, kindergartens, health centers, public fire brigades, not to mention theaters and other needs in culture and sports. Back in 2003, the Croatian Legal Center, with the help of the United States, prepared a comprehensive study “Decentralization of Public Administration”. The study concluded that as many as 35% of cities and municipalities are unable to function without state aid. Also most counties are insolvent.Instead of public sector reform – new taxesDespite the fact that all studies have shown that such a cumbersome public sector is unsustainable, inefficient, too much of a burden for the economy and citizens, to this day it has not been reduced, in fact. Each new set of government additionally “hooks” its party army at all levels. Today we can say that about 10% of the total population receives a salary from the budget. The state government persistently maintains the existing situation by not only initiating new debts, but also introducing new taxes or raising rates for existing ones. That is the essence of any tax reform. Let’s just remember the impact on tourism and raising the VAT rate on food and beverages from 10 to 13 to 25%. Taxes of regional and local self-government units also serve to maintain the existing situation. Counties “live” on inheritance and gift taxes, road motor vehicle taxes, boat taxes and amusement machine taxes. Local self-government units use the following taxes: surtax on income tax, consumption tax, tax on holiday homes, tax on the use of public areas, and the introduction of a real estate tax is envisaged.Real estate taxAccording to the Local Taxes Act, the decision on the introduction of the Real Estate Tax (Article 42, paragraph 5) was to be made by local self-government units by 30 November 2017. By the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, this obligation was postponed. This tax is designed to “decentralize” the taxation of real estate of citizens in the place where these properties exist. In addition to paying taxes on holiday homes, sole proprietors should also pay taxes on residential, commercial, garage and other ancillary premises and other non-purpose premises, construction land used for business purposes and undeveloped construction land if it is located within a construction area, swimming pools, saunas, sports fields and the like. For all of the above, local self-government units should establish a register and determine coefficients.A property that pays an additional tax will pay an even higher property taxTax on holiday homes is paid from 5 to 15 kuna per square meter. In addition, calculations on the total net area and the actual land area would be applied to real estate by multiplying the following factors: point values ​​+ zone coefficient + purpose coefficient + condition coefficient + age coefficient. The law says that for housing that is not used for permanent housing, which would be “weekend” facilities that are already taxed with a special tax on cottages), and housing that is used by citizens to rent apartments, rooms and beds to travelers and tourists based on the approval of the competent the coefficient of use is increased by the corrective coefficient of purpose determined by the representative body of the local self-government unit by its decision, provided that it is not less than 1 nor more than 6. Also for business premises used for production activities as well as for hotels, apartment complexes and camps this coefficient may not be less than 1 nor greater than 5.The coefficient of use is additionally increased if the activity is performed in an immovable cultural property or in the area of ​​a cultural-historical entity, so that it cannot be less than 1 or more than 12. Therefore, any real estate that is in a function from which a tax obligation arises. income, will be further burdened by a higher real estate tax rate. Likewise, real estate that is in the function through which it pays taxes and through which it has been invested in adaptation and is located in protected old city cores, for example, will be additionally burdened with an even higher real estate tax rate.Additional facilities for tourists subject to real estate taxThe state first encouraged investment in additional facilities, even grants for swimming pools were distributed, now a tax is being introduced on swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, garages for guest cars, badminton playgrounds, yoga for bottles and the like. All this has already been taxed in the process of branching, procurement of equipment, and not a small, albeit one-time tax. When acquiring real estate, taxes are also paid as for a holiday home. All of this would require a new property tax to be paid annually. The utility fee for construction, plus the utility fee per year that was paid despite the fact that each connection to the utility infrastructure is paid extra then the construction of that infrastructure from place x to the house threshold is not counted.Neither expensive telephone connections nor the high price of utilities, which also has a tax component, are taken into account. When we add the income tax from salary but also from activities, then the tax on road motor vehicles, tax on vessels, tax on inheritances and gifts, then the famous VAT at the rate of 25% for each purchase of products and services… it really turns out to be punishable every investment, every activity that by the logic of things should be stimulated.Photo: Dubrovnik Tourist BoardCroatian creditors are worried about the refundCroatia is an over-indebted country, and the IMF and other creditors fear that Croatia will find itself in a situation where it will not be able to repay loans. The EU is also worried about securing funding for its budget in the long run. As central governments do not streamline public spending, take action to increase the share of productive and reduce unproductive jobs, creditors are proposing new sources of tax funding. It is also a good justification for all previous governments to take actions that strengthen the “tax” (fiscalization, changing corporate tax rates, VAT on tourism, excise duties, etc.). None of these measures was accompanied by “belt-tightening” in their own ranks. That is why the danger of introducing a real estate tax is constantly hanging over our heads.Enforcement, poverty and leaving CroatiaAccording to Eurostat data from 2017, as many as 28,5% of Croatian citizens live at risk of poverty and social exclusion, and according to living standards indicators, Croatian citizens are at the bottom of all EU members. According to these data, as many as one million and 180 thousand Croatian citizens are existentially endangered. Eurostat criteria are based on a monthly single income of HRK 2.145,00 and for a family of two HRK 3.537,00 and for a family with two adults and children under 14 years of age HRK 4.457,00. According to these criteria, as many as 19,5% of households in Croatia earn income below these limits. According to FINA data, at the end of 2017, there were 319 citizens in a financial blockade. According to the CBS, the average net salary in public administration was HRK 800. The difference is obvious. With the proposal of the Real Estate Act, for each real estate for which the owner does not submit the required data, the local self-government units will prescribe the highest tax rates. The law also stipulates that all members of the household jointly guarantee the tax collection to the taxpayer.The taxpayer becomes the real estate subject to the enforcement procedure and the enforcement is carried out by the Tax Administration. One of the poorest citizens in the European Union, who is already under the burden of blockades and heavy tax burdens, could be further at risk of losing personal property if they are unable to pay property taxes. Many will sell their real estate at non-market prices under such a threat, so this situation will bring big profits to real estate speculators. The more resourceful will not do business legally nor will they legalize all buildings. Nevertheless, the scenario of implementing such a Real Estate Tax Act envisages the sale of property and increased emigration from Croatia.Who cares?Published by: Nedo PinezićRelated news: ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF THE VAT RATE ON THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ORGANIZED ACCOMMODATION AND HOSPITALITY IN CROATIAlast_img read more

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With the development of the global FlixBus green network, Croatia is accessible to an increasing number of tourists from Europe

first_imgFlixBus, a European start-up that has managed to create the largest network of bus lines in Europe in just 5 years, continues to expand by networking cities in Croatia, from Slavonia to Istria and Dalmatia.By tripling the number of passengers last season, FlixBus created a strong foundation for another successful tourist season this spring by opening new lines and increasing the frequency of departures. Istria and Kvarner, led by Rijeka and Pula, are increasingly connected to Europe. From 14.6. Rijeka and Crikvenica are additionally connected with Trieste, Venice, Verona, Zurich, Prague and Lyon. The frequency of lines from Munich, Genoa and Graz to Pula has also increased, and for the first time there is a direct green line Bologna – Pula.”Traditionally, Croatia is a favorite tourist destination for travelers from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. By connecting these countries with direct lines to numerous Croatian cities in different regions, from Slavonia, Istria, Kvarner to Dalmatia, we have opened the way for tourists and made Croatia more accessible and closer. ”  said Petra Milanović, Public Relations Manager for the Flixbus CEE South region.The wave of international green lines from Slavonia began in March this year with connections to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria, as well as 8 new destinations, including Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava, as well as airports in Budapest and Vienna. With this connection, FlixBus stimulated the tourist potential of Slavonia because we all know that quality transport connections are the first prerequisite for the development of tourism.Also, Zagreb has recently been directly connected with Krakow, which opened the way for tourists from Poland, and Zagreb, as one of the unavoidable destinations in Croatia before going on holiday by the sea, can be reached directly from 11 European countries, FlixBus points out. they add that regular FlixBus routes that run directly from airports in Venice, Vienna or Bratislava have enabled passengers to combine planes and buses, thus opening the way for tourists coming from outside Europe.High frequency of departures and easy availability of FlixBus services in CroatiaFlixbus also emphasizes the development of a domestic network of lines within Croatia. In September 2017, the first domestic line was launched connecting Osijek with Varaždin and Čakovec, and recently the first FlixBus line connecting Zagreb with Trogir and Split has been operating.”By developing the domestic network of the line and connecting Croatian cities, we are influencing mobility and promoting Croatia as a tourist destination. By cooperating with numerous tourist agencies and tourist communities, we also influence excursion tourism by providing frequent daily lines from nearby European destinations to numerous Croatian cities, ideal for shorter weekend trips. It is certainly desirable to emphasize our wide network of night lines, which leaves passengers with better use of the day, especially if it is a shorter trip.” Milanovic added.Currently, almost 120 destinations in Croatia are connected with 11 European countries directly, and interconnections via the most important European transport hubs (Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Munich, Frankfurt and many others) can be reached by green bus from almost all of Europe with just one ticket. .last_img read more

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New tender from the Rural Development Program and for tourist and recreational infrastructure

first_imgAgencija za plaćanja u poljoprivredi, ribarstvu i ruralnom razvoju objavila je 12. lipnja 2018. godine novi natječaj za operaciju 7.4.1. iz Programa ruralnog razvoja Republike Hrvatske za razdoblje 2014.-2020.Eligible projects in accordance with the provisions of the tender are also projects related to tourist and recreational infrastructure such as: social home / cultural center, mountain lodge and shelter, tourist information center, children’s playgrounds, sports buildings, facilities for freshwater sport fishing, recreational areas on rivers and lakes, bike paths, theme roads and parks as well as public green areas etc.The financial support is intended for municipalities and cities to improve living conditions, improve the quality of life of the population in rural areas through the improvement of basic social, communal and tourist infrastructure in these areas.Applications for the new tender for the operation 7.4.1. will be received from August 2 to September 14, 2018, and all information is available here.last_img read more

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Golden rules for investing in hotels

first_imgThere are parameters that we can and cannot influence. It is important to pay attention that the constants have the highest possible level of quality, and the variables have a lot of room for improvement, said Orestes Fintiklis, a well-known entrepreneur from Cyprus, for Booking.com, and revealed its golden rules for investing in hotels, all of which should be taken into account when choosing a facility and the importance of reputation in the real estate industry.When we enter an investment, we must be aware that there are certain parameters that we cannot influence and that cannot be changed, such as, for example, the location, approach and structure of the building. These parameters are the so-called “constants”, while they are opposed by factors that can be influenced, “variables”. Some of these factors, which are subject to change, are sometimes within the competence of the owner such as service, cost structure and effective sales strategy. Variables that are not subject to owner control are conditioned by market rules, that is, the laws of supply and demand.In choosing a location for our investment, Fintiklis advises, we must look for facilities that have reliable constants, as well as the ability to improve variables. Namely, the potential for growth, which lies outside current cash flows, is vital. The ideal investment would certainly be one in which the constants are at a high quality level, while at the same time the variables in the competence of the owner have much room for improvement. In other words, we are looking for a hotel with a currently unfavorable market, but with a fundamental potential aimed at growth in the near future, for example with an imbalance in the relationship between supply and demand which is again in the process of recovery.It is also a risk that ultimately crystallizes good leaders. Good and strong leaders show a combination of innate abilities such as intelligence, but also a range of learned abilities that are the result of perseverance and hard work. Some of them are the ability to influence other people, patience, fairness and organizational skills.Also, the success of the investment depends on the reputation of the investor. Namely, the reputation is the result of years of service and hard work, as well as a professional team of managers with a clear name. Fintiklis warns that reputation takes years to build, and only a few moments to be lost forever.Staying focused on the goal and keeping a clear and balanced mind are key to success in today’s turbulent market. Anyone trying to grow their business should persevere and keep trying because a lot of good ideas and plans have failed solely because there was no right time for them or they are the result of bad luck. Also, we need to get the most out of our unique selling point, that is, from what sets our product apart from others and makes it special.Our goal is for guests to return to our hotel again and again. In addition to all the above, the quality of accommodation units and food should be emphasized. Extraordinary service is important, Fintiklis concludes, and extraordinary service means persistently meeting the customer’s expectations with the right attitude and a smile on his face.last_img read more

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Vukovar-Srijem County connects farmers with hoteliers in Dubrovnik-Neretva County

first_imgPhoto: Vukovar-Srijem Tourist Board Certainly praise for this step because this is the right and only way to connect blue and green Croatia. Unfortunately, we are at least 20 years late and today it is much more difficult, but not impossible, it must be imperative to establish a system that combines production (agriculture and meat industry) and high consumption generated by tourism. It is ridiculous to look at, from today’s perspective, how our tourism encourages imports rather than local production. On the one hand we have a huge need and consumption through tourism, and on the other hand from Dalmatian Zagora, the interior of Istria to Slavonia large uncultivated areas and destroyed agriculture. Only long ago it was necessary to connect the dots and connect the two logical things. This is the meaning of tourism, to increase tourist spending, and to reduce it to the local economy with maximum use of local resources. On the one hand we have a record trusit season, and on the other a record low agriculture production. (Canak on that topic soon). Vukovar-Srijem County Prefect Božo Galić stated that the main goal of the meeting was to find out what and how much hoteliers in the south of Croatia need. “We want to save our family farms, so we founded the Agro-cluster, in cooperation with our County and several municipalities and with the Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek and the Cooperative “Vinkovačka šparoga”. We started with activities, this is our first year and we are going in the right direction. In 10 years, we have lost 3000 households. Now there are about 6000 of them. We, as the County, are working on the infrastructure, and here we want to know, openly and honestly, how we can concretely cooperate ”, said Galic. He mentioned that such cooperation would save many Slavonian family farms, and added that he could personally guarantee the high quality of products from our county. The President of the Management Board of the Hotel Maestral, Julijo Srgota, pointed out that the imperative is the distribution and uniformity of products. ”We are in an awkward distribution situation, but if a deal is done with one of the larger hotel houses, we are all here for such cooperation. We need to see concrete products. It doesn’t have to be the cheapest, but let it be our ecological product as well. This is extremely trendy today”. Director of Agro-cluster Zdenko Podolar noted that “classic” products are also produced in Slavonia, but also those that are not as well known as domestic asparagus, and pointed outWe have established contacts with hoteliers from Istria, we have established six subclusters that we connect with consumers, ie hoteliers. We already have a cluster of wine and honey and as a result we have reached some 140 food items that we can offer in sufficient quantities” Opportunities are all around us, and the only question is whether we will take advantage of them. Because those who are proactive, creative, innovative and those who want and are engaged in market development are developing. The Days of Croatian Tourism, which will be held in Slavonia, are a great opportunity to show a positive story from Slavonia and to present a model of connecting blue and green Croatia with synergy. In the old days, this is a unique opportunity that should not be missed, because about 1200 tourist workers from all over Croatia will come to Slavonia. “Achieving this cooperation is not a simple matter of good will, it should be worked on persistently. Every year, we give Vukovar-Srijem County a mandarin tug, and this year they gave us an apple tug. It is of course all symbolic, but it shows what kind of friendly relations we have”, Said the prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva County Nikola Dobroslavić, and suggested that at the traditional meeting of winemakers of Dubrovnik-Neretva County with caterers and hoteliers in early February to present the products of family farms represented in the Agro-cluster. We fall for eggs, lettuce, mussels, potatoes, etc.… it all comes from imports, and domestic production is at its lowest levels. On the other hand, it remains a pity at the moment because again there is no synergy of the whole of Slavonia. It is precisely the lack of clusters, cooperatives… whatever you call them all these years that is one of the main reasons for the decline of agriculture in Croatia. Today, due to the great influence and power of imports, and the disconnection and collapse of agriculture, it is much more difficult to connect everything. It is the model of cooperatives that has proven to be crucial in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, etc.… where farmers have connected and networked, and thus have quality, technology, quantity and are competitive, while in our country individuals alone can certainly not be competitors. One plastic example, in our country there are 10 tractors for every 10 farmers, while in a cooperative there is one tractor for every 10 same producers. Thus, the cost of procurement, maintenance and production is divided into 10 of them, and the tractor is therefore both efficient and cost-effective. By the way, Vukovar-Srijem County established several agricultural clusters last year, and concrete meetings have already been held. Thus, Agro cluster held a meeting with the municipality of Tar-Vabriga and hotel and catering companies from Istria, and also the hotel companies Valamar and Plava laguna were presented the project of connecting and networking family farms in Vukovar-Srijem County. Also, this year, instead of the previous five counties, ie five tourist brands and products on the market, Slavonia will finally act as one tourist brand – Slavonia. I also hope to end the crazy practice that each Slavonian county develops its own tourist product and brand, without such important synergies. What does Osijek-Baranja County or Vukovar-Srijem County mean to a domestic guest, and especially a foreign one? Absolutely nothing. On the contrary, the perception of Slavonia from Zagreb and below is precisely from Baranja, Osijek, Požega, Sl. Brod to Vukovar and Ilok. And now we return to the beginning of the story. Why the whole of Slavonia did not unite, saw its capacities and quantities and thus united united to the Dubrovnik-Srijem County, and the tourism sector in general. Again, there is no coordination and synergy, which is certainly a shame. Because if we go back to logic to the example of clusters / cooperatives, it is the only logical and sustainable one. center_img Of course, as there are many challenges in the whole process, first it is necessary to define the needs of hoteliers, secondly whether we have sufficient quantities, as well as the possibility of stable delivery throughout the season, because the tourism sector has a daily need for large quantities, uniformity of quality, storage and refrigerators. transport and finally when we define everything we can talk about the price of the product. Comment: A combination of blue and green Croatia It is important, at least at the beginning, as one of the conclusions of the meeting is that all hoteliers from the Dubrovnik-Neretva County have expressed interest in cooperation as well as readiness to resolve any difficulties. At the end of May 2018, the Agreement on Cooperation between the five Slavonian counties was finally signed, which is the basis for joint participation in the preparation and implementation of development projects in eastern Croatia. show the tourist potentials of eastern Croatia that can be domestic, but also European and world tourist brand. In conclusion, the efforts of Vukovar-Srijem County in the past year should be praised, clusters have been established, concrete meetings have been held, but certainly a broader story, especially through the context of synergy of all five Slavonian counties, and how we must speed up all processes because we are years late. Also, the focus must be on market development, and policy can only be a plus and an upgrade, not the only path of development. After all, the purpose of policy is to create positive frameworks for development. This is a broad topic, and I opened and mentioned one small segment and there are a lot of challenges ahead of everyone that we can finally talk about the combination of blue and green Croatia. It was concluded that there is room for cooperation in marketing products from Vukovar-Srijem County to the tourism sector in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and in that direction a presentation of these products will be organized at the traditional meeting of winemakers with caterers and hoteliers. Also, a visit of representatives of tourist agencies of the southernmost Croatian county to Slavonia will be organized, in order to explore possible ways of cooperation and overcome the problems of spatial distance and transportation costs. It was also jointly agreed that subsidies for the Osijek-Dubrovnik flight would be sought. The President of the Professional Group of Hoteliers at the Dubrovnik County Chamber, Željko Miletić, said that the preconditions for cooperation with large hotel houses had been created.I believe that colleagues will do everything to connect hotel houses with family farms and that we work together. You have a range of products that are in demand, I believe every hotelier is on the trail of that”, Said Miletic. SYNERGY FINALLY! FIVE SLAVONIAN COUNTIES SIGNED AGREEMENT ON JOINT COOPERATION RELATED NEWS: A working meeting was held in Dubrovnik, attended by the delegation of the Vukovar-Srijem County and representatives of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The topic of establishing stronger economic cooperation between blue and green Croatia was discussed. SLAVONIA WILL FINALLY BRAND IT AS A TOURIST DESTINATIONlast_img read more

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European Court of Justice: Decisions on the protection and rights of air passengers

first_imgSee the judgment of the Court with the above decisions HERE The first decision concerns related flights of passengers who, through a single reservation, have purchased tickets departing from a Member State to third countries. Namely, the airline with which the ticket is reserved is obliged to compensate the passenger for delays on connected flights of other non-European companies. Previously, only passengers were entitled to compensation for missed connections within the EU, but now this has been extended to all trips from the EU to the world.  The second court decision deprives the passenger of the possibility of reimbursement of the costs of the same trip, in case of denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of departure, cumulatively – ie simultaneously from the airline and the tour operator. On July 10, the European Court of Justice issued two decisions relating to consumer protection in air transport.  center_img The Court points out that the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the amount of the ticket from the tour operator in accordance with the provisions of the Package Arrangement and Related Travel Arrangements, but consequently can no longer claim reimbursement from the airline. Source: UHPA / ECTAA / Photo: Pixabay.comlast_img read more

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Ecology and sustainability as a trend that is becoming imperative

first_imgHowever, it is not only about the way of traveling, but also about ecologically aware destinations and accommodation, etc.… Awareness of ecology is growing strongly in our main emitting destination – Germany, which is strongly turning to stimulating the green economy and electric cars. In the coming period, many cities in Germany will ban the driving of diesel cars, and Germany has recently adopted strategic goals in the field of climate protection, worth 40 billion euros by 2030. And that’s just the beginning, because as much as someone thought it was a big expense, how much would it still cost if we didn’t do anything now. We are already feeling the effects of climate change on our skin and it is affecting tourism more than we are aware of. RELATED NEWS: Following a great example of how to tell a story in tourism and promotions in tourism by French National Railways (SNCF), we bring another example of the same company how to send a strong message in a different and efficient way and get attention in the forest of the same and classic campaigns. More and more tourism companies will want to position themselves, and thus promote sustainability and ecology as a comparative advantage and how they are in line with trends. Although, this is no longer just a trend, but a need and demand of a society that is waking up. But this is a long and complex topic, which we will deal with more throughout 2020. The main message of this story is the awareness of ecology and sustainable development, which is becoming more and more pronounced as a motive for travel and an imperative for the development of tourist destinations. Let’s go back to a great promotional video, as a motive for writing this article as a great promotion and storytelling. In the context of ecology and sustainability, they sent a strong message from SNCF. Simple, powerful and clear. Watch the video. The movement of the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg raised a lot of media dust, and we even got the “Greta effect” which spread primarily to Scandinavian countries, but also to large parts of Europe, encouraging passengers to use environmentally conscious train travel. HOW TO SELL A STORY AND ENCOURAGE TRAIN TRAVEL? THE FRENCH NATIONAL RAILWAY KNOWS THE RIGHT FORMULAlast_img read more

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The main motives of the Spaniards’ travels are rest and recreation, and they usually travel by plane

first_imgWhen traveling abroad, Spaniards most often travel by air and the direct air connection between Spain and Croatia is improving from year to year, especially in the summer flight schedule. Let us add that research shows that the main motives for Spaniards to travel abroad are leisure, vacation and recreation, with a total share of 54 percent, followed by visits to friends and family with 26 percent and business trips with a share of 14 percent. Spaniards most often travel by plane Last year, 315 thousand arrivals and more than 708 thousand overnight stays were made from the Spanish market, which is an increase of 10 percent compared to 2018. “When we talk about Croatia, the favorite destinations of the Spaniards are Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Hvar and Plitvice Lakes. This year we plan to further improve the network of the CNTB’s representative office by initiating all the necessary procedures for opening an office in Madrid due to the extremely important Spanish market and the fact that leading international tourist institutions have their headquarters here.” said director Staničić and added that Spaniards often and gladly travel and discover new destinations, and this is exactly the opportunity that we need to take advantage of in 2020. After Utrecht, Stuttgart, Helsinki, Vienna and Berlin, the Croatian National Tourist Board and its partners represent the Croatian tourist offer at FITUR. In addition to the CNTB, ten co-exhibitors present their offer at the fair, including the tourist boards of the City of Zagreb and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, as well as Abacus Tours, Ilirija – Camp Soline, Atlas, Olivari, Nave Travel, Uniline, Valamar and HUP Zagreb. Photo: Pixabay.com “Together with France, Spain is the leading country for the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Program, which will work in cooperation with governments, destinations and tourism companies to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment, which is an important prerequisite for Croatia in future tourism policy. We used our stay in Madrid, the capital of one of the most visited countries in the world and the seat of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), to exchange experiences in conducting sustainable development policies, which are the backbone of the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council in the field of tourism. The experiences and examples of good practice we exchanged during the meetings with leading tourism authorities and officials will be of great benefit for the development of a new National Tourism Development Strategy based on quality and responsible and sustainable business using modern technologies as creative solutions for the future.”, said Minister Cappelli. Currently, three airlines operate in the winter flight schedule: Croatia Airlines, Iberia and Vueling Airlines on the route Barcelona-Zagreb, Madrid-Zagreb and Barcelona-Dubrovnik. Madrid Fair FITUR is the largest and most important tourism fair in Spain, and this year it is held today, January 22, until January 26. RELATED NEWS: THIS YEAR, THE CNTB OFFICE IN MADRID IS OPENINGlast_img read more

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Open applications for the 2020 World Responsible Tourism Awards.

first_imgYou can sign up HERE This year, judges decided to reward companies and destinations that take responsibility by addressing all the sectoral challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Certificates and logos will be awarded for “highly praised” and “praised” achievements, which can be used in print and online, so this is a great opportunity to identify those who are successfully coping with the current circumstances. Candidate recommendations can be sent until August 3, 2020, by anyone wishing to point out destinations, businesses and other organizations or individuals using tourism or tourism facilities to successfully respond to the pandemic challenge. The World Responsible Tourism Awards are given to organizations, destinations, events or individuals that contribute in an innovative way to connecting tourists with local communities and cultures. finding ways to maintain business to preserve the jobs of the local population or using available facilities so that neighbors can deal with Covid-19,decarbonisation of the travel and tourism sector,support for the protection of wild animals and the conservation of their habitats in the year when the tourist revenues intended for these activities – significantly reduced,building or maintaining “meaningful connections” through marketing guided by the idea of ​​responsible tourism and through appropriate engagements on social media,raising funds to help people, and the protection of wildlife and heritage,development of domestic tourism – looking for examples of companies and destinations that have shifted to increased attraction of the local market, to the promotion of holidays closer to home and the like. Some of the ways the tourism sector can help address challenges include:last_img read more

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Hungary will tighten the border crossing from September 01st

first_img“As the school year begins, we will no longer be able to have the same border crossing system used during the summer”Orban said. Croatia is still on the green list in Hungary, so for now there is no special regime for crossing the border. Under current regulations, those returning from countries with a higher rate of infection must only be quarantined for 14 days unless they produce two negative viruses. What the rules will be from September 01, is not yet stated. According to the media narrative that is being communicated, there is already a pattern of all countries slowly closing or tightening borders due to the beginning of the school year.center_img Hungary will tighten border crossing rules from September 1st to prevent the spread of coronavirus as the number of new infections grows in neighboring countries, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. Reuters.last_img read more

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