Warnings of Enormous Fines if Croatian Cafes Open Doors on Monday

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after a number of Croatian cafes and the owners of other such establishments who are currently banned from working publicly stated after the government’s decision to extend the lockdown measures that they plan to open their facilities on February the 1st, which is openly supported by some of their associations, the National Association of Caterers posted a warning on social media, reminding them that any such move would be breaking the law.

As is now known, on Friday, the Association of Caterers in Zagreb announced the opening of at least 100 bars and Croatian cafes on Monday, announcing a meeting over the weekend at which the details of the action will be polished up. Hrvoje Bujas, the president of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (UGP), said on Friday that he would open his own cafe, but noted that he was aware that the association couldn’t promote it because it would be a criminal offense. Instead, they’re looking for another way to exercise the rights they seek, and they’re doing so together with the National Association of Caterers, which had a change of leadership last weekend when Jelena Tabak from Split was elected president after the resignation of Marin Medak.

In last night’s announcement, the National Association notes that the Association cannot knowingly encourage Croatian cafes to open their doors and as such violate the Law on Civil Protection and the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases.

“Such violations entail draconian fines – both financial ones and prison sentences, not only for those who do this, but also for those who incite it, aware or unaware of the law – from 20 to 70 thousand kuna and up to three years in prison. This doesn’t mean that we don’t understand the situation our colleagues who are thinking about it are in, given that there is less and less room for maneuver and more and more accumulated obligations. That doesn’t mean we don’t often think about it ourselves. Despite the news of open catering and hospitality establishments in Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, the fact is that throughout the European Union, there’s a lockdown, except for the working hours of a limited set of establishments in Spain.

Violation of the laws of the Republic of Croatia is something we don’t want to encourage, especially if it means we’re endangering the lives and health of our colleagues,” the National Association of Caterers announced on its Facebook page.

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