Latest News from Croatia
Croatia on Monday started another phase of lifting preventative measures that were imposed in mid-March to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and parts of schools reopened on Monday but with the observance of special epidemiological measures. Intercity travel, rail services and domestic air transport also reopened.
Ivo Tomasevic, secretary-general of the Bishops' Conference, the permanent assembly of Catholic bishops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told BIRN on Friday that a mass to commemorate the killings of Croatian Nazi-allied troops and civilians by the Yugoslav Partisans at the end of World War II will not be cancelled despite condemnation from politicians, anti-fascist activists and many public figures.
On that day in 1945, anti-fascist Partisan forces reclaimed the city from Nazi-allied administration of the Independent State of Croatia, NDH, a puppet state established in 1941 and run by the fascist Ustasa movement with the support of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, which passed harsh racial laws against Serbs, Jews and Roma people.
Sven Marcelic, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Zadar, told BIRN that one problem facing Croatia during the EU presidency is that, owing to the pandemic, "it is completely enclosed within a national framework", and so cannot fulfill its leadership function in the EU "at a moment when de facto it does not preside".
Hundreds of thousands of workers in Balkan countries have lost their jobs due to economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, official statistical data show. And many fear the real numbers of job losses could be considerably higher, as not all countries in the region have compiled comprehensive records.