By raising the flag Libertas with verses Hymns of freedom last night, the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival was officially opened in front of the Church of St. Blaise.The most prestigious cultural event in Croatia will traditionally be held until August 25, and in 47 days, at 20 ambient locations, approximately 2.000 artists from around the world will perform about 60.000 drama, music and dance performances in front of an international audience of 80 domestic and foreign visitors , folklore and other programs.The Zagreb Philharmonic, the WDR Children’s Choir from Dortmund, the Pro Musica Academic Choir from Mostar, the Dubrovnik Chamber Choir, the Libertas Mixed Choir and the FA Linđo Women’s Choir performed as part of the opening ceremony, directed by Saša Božić and conducted by maestro Tomislav Fačini. Traditionally, the Folklore Ensemble Linđo participated, as well as the Festival Drama Ensemble, whose representatives this year were Nataša Dangubić, Nikša Butijer, Ozren Grabarić, Nika Lasić, Izmira Brautović and Krunoslav Šarić, who spoke the verses. Hymns of freedom. Students of acting and dance of the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb also participated. Luciano Capurso – Luči with the hit of the Dubrovnik Troubadours caused special enthusiasm of the audience that sang with him. The music of the night.”The financial plan envisages a total budget of HRK 14 million, of which public funds are slightly less than HRK 9 million, and own revenue and ticket revenue amount to HRK 2 million, while sponsors and donors have supported us this year with almost HRK 3 million. The increase was primarily due to the donation of the Caboga Stiftung, but also to the increased sponsorship of Adriatic luxury hotels, with which we prepared two music festival programs in the Vala Beach Club of the Palace Hotel. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal sponsors Mastercard, Hrvatska elektroprivreda, Tele2, Kraš, Ford, Croatia osiguranje and Croatia Airlines, as well as all other partners, sponsors and donors without whom the realization of such a large festival would be impossible.”Said the director of the Games Ivana Medo Bogdanović looking back at the stable financial construction of the 69th Games.The evening ended with spectacular fireworks, which celebrated the beginning of the new festival season, which will present approximately 25 artists from around the world at 20 ambient locations in the city of Dubrovnik until August 2.000.69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival with a new visual identityThe visual identity of the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival is the work of designer Maro Pitarević in collaboration with the Šesnić & Turković studio, and shows the Gate of Ploče with two palm trees and the setting sun in neon colors, reminiscent of the entrance to a nightclub and as such provoked numerous reactions from the profession. but also the citizens of Dubrovnik.By the way, the programs of the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival were seen by approximately 60.000 visitors, acFor the program of this year’s 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, see websites.
The government’s move to establish a new COVID-19 response team to handle the impact the pandemic has had on health and the economy has come too late, as the coronavirus has spread rapidly and paralyzed economic activity, experts have said.Airlangga University (Unair) public policy expert Agie Nugroho Soegiono said the government’s decision to only now establish an integrated team was a consequence of its previous lack of urgency in dealing with the virus when it first spread across the country earlier this year.“The government also lacked transparency and was indecisive in terms of health protocols,” he said on Tuesday. “With this integrated team, all the planning and execution of programs regarding the handling of COVID-19 and economic recovery could go hand in hand as both will be handled under the same institutions with good coordination,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, who acts as the response team’s chairperson, said in a press briefing.Head of the economic recovery task force Budi Gunadi Sadikin and head of the COVID-19 response task force Doni Monardo joined the team to coordinate and integrate the country’s policies on handling the pandemic. They will report to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, the team’s executive chairperson.The response team comes as coronavirus infections continue to rise at a rapid rate nationwide. Indonesia recorded 1,906 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, putting the total number of infections at over 93,600 from only two in early March, according to official data. The death toll jumped to 4,576 with 117 new fatalities on Thursday.The pandemic has battered economic activity as shops, offices and factories are forced to close or limit operations to contain the virus. The Indonesian economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter from 5.02 percent in 2019 and is expected to shrink by over 5 percent in the second quarter due to the pandemic.The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion (US$47.55 billion) in state budget funds to strengthen the healthcare system and boost economic recovery.Latif said he expected the government to have better coordination now that there was a clear order of command.When the virus began spreading in the country, government officials had shown a lack of coordination in handling the pandemic. When the Jakarta administration was planning to suspend intercity and interprovincial buses services in late March to curb contagion, for instance, then-acting transportation minister Luhut Pandjaitan blocked the plan.In another case, the Industry Ministry issued its own coronavirus guidelines that allowed factories to open even though the Quarantine Law stipulated a suspension of workplace activities.A member of the House of Representatives Commission IX overseeing health care and manpower, Netty Prasetiyani, asked the government to create more robust health policy on handling the virus.The government, she said, had been favoring the economy over public health.“It’s not surprising at all. The budget for the country’s COVID-19 response is being [allocated] half-heartedly. As a result, hospitals are overwhelmed and health workers are dying,” she said on Tuesday.Read also: Don’t ‘misinterpret new normal’: Govt expects new team to meet health, economic goalsInstitute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) economist Enny Sri Hartati said on Monday that Indonesia needed better leadership, not just a new government team, as the main problem hindering the country’s COVID-19 response was poor coordination between government ministries and regional administrations.University of Indonesia rector Ari Kuncoro, however, expressed optimism that the team would be effective in handling the outbreak and the economic recovery as it would have more power, a greater budget and better planning compared to the previous COVID-19 task force.“This team is putting both health and economy as the top priority, not one over the other, because if the economic wheels are not running, we can’t fund the health efforts to handle this pandemic,” he said.Topics : Although neighboring countries like Singapore and Thailand reported their first coronavirus cases in February, Indonesia denied suspicions that the virus had also spread into the country despite the millions of Chinese tourists who were coming in.Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) economist Latif Adam said on Tuesday that Indonesia was way behind other countries that had quickly reacted when the outbreak began.“Maybe the government is of the view that it is better late than never,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone.The government launched on Monday a new team to tackle both the public health and economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic under the National Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Response Team.
Poland’s auto-enrolled employee pension plans (PPKs) passed their first legislative hurdle on last week after politicians in the country’s lower house of parliament voted in favour of the bill.The lower house, known as the Sejm, voted the government’s bill through by 229 in favour to 197 against, with two abstentions. The bill now needs approval from the Senate (the upper house) and president Andrzej Duda.If it is passed, the law will come into effect on 1 January 2019, with the first tranche of enrolment – for large private companies with at least 250 employees – starting on 1 July.Auto-enrolment will subsequently be implemented for other tranches of companies in six-month intervals, with the final deadline – for small private companies with fewer than 20 workers, as well as all state-owned companies – set for January 2021. The system is obligatory for employers and voluntary for employees. Workers up to age 55 years will be automatically enrolled with the option to opt out, while workers aged 55-70 can choose to opt in.The government is aiming for a 75% participation rate – some 11.4m by the end of the last enrolment phase.Employers will contribute a minimum 1.5% of gross salary and employees 2%, with the option to increase this by a further 2.5% and 2% respectively.In order to reduce the burden on those earning lower wages, the law has scaled down the basic employee contribution rate for workers earning less than 120% of the minimum wage to a minimum 0.5%.In all cases the state will contribute a “welcome” bonus of PLN250 (€58), and an annual subsidy of PLN240.The government estimated that, by the end of 2027, the total value of accumulated PPK assets could range from PLN138bn, with the minimum 3.5% contribution, to as much as PLN294bn with the maximum 8% contribution.Stakeholders back reforms Wawel Castle in Krakow, PolandAccording to a recent survey conducted for the Polish Insurance Association, 66% of respondents assessed the new system positively and 22.2% were negative.The most appealing feature was that PPKs were deemed private, inheritable funds, the survey found – particularly significant after the previous Polish government transferred sovereign bond assets held in second-pillar funds to the first pillar in 2014, prompting legal action from some savers.Respondents to the insurance association’s survey were also positive about the voluntary nature of the schemes, and subsidies from employers and the state.The range of providers, initially limited to investment fund companies, was expanded to include open pension fund managers (PTEs), insurance companies, and managers running existing employee pension funds (PFEs), all with at least three years’ relevant experience.Mariusz Wnuk, vice president and chief investment officer of the Pocztylion-Arka PTE, said his firm would be offering PPKs.“Our company has managed an open pension fund for 20 years since the beginning of the second pillar reform, and PPKs are very close to the idea of a second pillar,” he said. “As a matter of fact, they seem to be better designed as an important part of our pension system and capital market.”Each PPK provider will have to offer at least four funds or sub-funds with investment strategies tailored to the age of the participants. OFEs, in contrast, can only provide one portfolio, with no exposure to Polish government bonds.Both PPKs and OFEs are subject to a cap on investment in foreign assets of 30%.Wnuk added: “The PPK act will regulate eligible asset classes, investments and allocation limits for different age groups. On the other hand, [permitted] allocation differences will reach 30%, which gives us space for discretionary decisions.“Our first view on investment strategies is to use the legal limits and guidelines to build core portfolios and use more active strategies the younger the members are.”Participants will be able to access their fund for retirement purposes after age 60, with the option to take 25% as a lump sum.The remaining 75% is paid out in a minimum 120 monthly instalments, or a shorter period but with the penalty of capital gains tax.Members can also access 25% of their fund should they or a dependant fall ill. Participants can also tap their fund for a short-term loan to build or purchase a house or flat.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie was forced out of Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers with an ankle injury, but he won’t miss any further time. Head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters that Barrie will play in the team’s game against the Buffalo Sabres onTuesdayMORE: Sidney Crosby is Sporting News’ NHL Athlete of the Decade “So we’ll have to just see how he is when we get home,” Keefe said via Twitter.While Barrie ultimately will move on past a temporary setback, the Victoria, B.C. native has had a rough go at it in his first season with the Maple Leafs. Typically a high-scoring offensive defenseman, Barrie did not score a goal until his 20th game in blue and white.Barrie has 13 points in 34 games played with the Maple Leafs this season. Toronto acquired him in an offseason trade that sent Nazem Kadri to the Colorado Avalanche. Barrie, 28, went straight to the Toronto locker room during Saturday’s game after he blocked a shot from Edmonton Oilers forward Gaetan Haas with his left shin.This is what sent Tyson Barrie to the locker room#Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/wHTrPqoWyx— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 15, 2019According to TSN’s Kristen Shilton, Barrie returned to the ice twice to test out his leg: first during a TV timeout later in the first period, and again after the first intermission before he and the Leafs’ training staff called off his participation for the night. Shilton described Barrie’s movements as “gingerly” during his on-ice tuneups and wrote that he appeared to heavily favor his left leg.After the game, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters that X-rays on Barrie’s ankle were negative, but he “just didn’t feel comfortable enough to go back.”