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Federal agents uncovered the college admissions scandal by accident while working on unrelated case

first_imgPaul Archuleta/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The FBI uncovered the $25 million nationwide college admissions cheating scandal by accident while agents were working an unrelated securities fraud case, two law enforcement sources told ABC News.The Boston-based agents received a tip from someone connected to the securities fraud investigation about the alleged $400,000 bribe paid to the then-head women’s soccer coach at Yale to fabricate athletic credentials, the sources said.The coach then cooperated with the investigation, according to the sources, which spiraled into what prosecutors called the largest college admissions cheating scam ever prosecuted in the United States, as 50 people were indicted, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.FBI-Boston declined to comment about the origin of the case, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.Universities could remove studentsTwo elite universities embroiled in the college admissions scam took steps Wednesday that could prompt the removal of any of the students connected to the scandal from the schools.The University of Southern California and UCLA are both reviewing the admissions applications of students whose parents allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to guarantee their children got into the colleges and scored high on college entrance exams.Loughlin’s two daughters are currently enrolled at USC and the eldest daughter of Huffman and her husband, actor William H. Macy, attends an undisclosed elite college ensnared in the scandal.“We are going to conduct a case-by-case review for current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government,” USC said in a statement. “We will make informed, appropriate decisions once those reviews have been completed. Some of these individuals may have been minors at the time of their application process.”The school’s statement added, “Applicants in the current admissions cycle who are connected to the scheme alleged by the government will be denied admission to USC.”UCLA officials are conducting a similar review.“If UCLA discovers that any prospective, admitted or enrolled student has misrepresented any aspect of his/her application, or that information about the applicant has been withheld, UCLA may take a number of disciplinary actions, up to and including cancellation of admission,” a statement from the school reads.At a news conference Tuesday, Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said “the vast majority” of students who benefited from the scams are still enrolled in colleges and in many instances were unaware of the bribery. But prosecutors say some students eventually may be charged.Several elite Los Angeles-area prep schools have been subpoenaed in connection with the college admissions cheating scam, a source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.The Los Angeles Times first reported subpoenas were issued to unnamed schools said to be among the most prominent private schools in the area.The prep schools are not accused of wrongdoing. Rather, the source confirmed, the subpoenas seek records related to some of the families allegedly involved in the scheme.‘Full House’ actress arrestedLoughlin was taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday in Los Angeles after she, Huffman and 48 others were charged in the alleged wrongdoing that has prompted repercussions from Hollywood to the boardrooms of major companies.Loughlin, 54, flew to Los Angeles overnight from Canada, where she was filming a Hallmark movie, sources told ABC News.She appeared in federal court in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon where a judge read the fraud charges against her and she acknowledged she understood them. She was released on a $1 million bond.A judge granted Loughlin permission to travel within the United States and to Vancouver to complete shooting her movie, which isn’t scheduled to wrap up until November. Once she completes filming, she must surrender her passport in December unless she submits proof of another project in British Colombia or elsewhere, the judge told her.Loughlin was ordered to appear in Boston Federal Court on March 29 with the other defendants.A former cast member on the ABC sitcom “Full House,” Loughlin and Oscar-nominated actress Huffman, 56, are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the coast-to-cost scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest and the University of Texas.The feds dubbed the investigation “Operation Varsity Blues” and said it was triggered by an unrelated investigation by FBI agents in Boston.Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and appeared in Los Angeles federal court.Widespread briberyLoughlin and Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the indictment.U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made her first comments about the scandal Wednesday in a interview with Fox News.“Every student deserves to be considered on their individual merits when applying to college, and it’s disgraceful to see anyone breaking the law to give their children an advantage over others,” DeVos said. “The department is looking closely at this issue and working to determine if any of our regulations have been violated.”Lelling announced the stunning indictment Tuesday and said the parents charged in the scam represent “a catalog of wealth and privilege.”Coaches fired, CEO steps downAs shockwaves from the arrests spread across the country, the fallout for some of the defendants was swift.Hercules Capital, Inc., one of the largest venture capital companies in the country, announced Wednesday that its chairman and chief executive officer, Manuel Henriquez, had stepped down.Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, California, and his wife, Elizabeth, 56, were among those charged in the case.Gordon Caplan, 52, a partner in the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, based in New York, was placed on a leave of absence and stripped of all management responsibilities, the firm said in a statement.Caplan allegedly paid a purported charitable contribution of $75,000 to a sham charity established by William “Rick” Singer, who prosecutors said masterminded the scam, according to the indictment. The money was used to pay a proctor of an ACT test to correct answers Caplan’s daughter gave on the exam, the document alleges.USC officials fired its famed water polo coach, Jovan Vanvic, who allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for scholarships for children of the rich. USC also terminated Donna Heinel, the school’s senior associate athletic director, who was also charged.Vanvic, 57, who led the USC Trojans to 16 NCAA national championships, was arrested Tuesday in Hawaii at a Waikiki hotel. He made his first appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon wearing a gold and cardinal red USC athletic jacket.Stanford University fired its longtime sailing coach, John Vandemoer, 41, who has already pleaded guilty to federal charges of racketeering conspiracy.Vandemoer’s attorney, Rob Fisher, told ABC News his client “made a mistake that happened to be part of a giant conspiracy” and is “very remorseful.”“He’s taking full responsibility for his actions. He admits that what he did was wrong and if he had a do over he certainly would not do it again. He was a well-respected coach, he’s never been in trouble with the law before, and he made a mistake that happened to be part of a giant conspiracy. John is very remorseful for the damage caused to Stanford, the students, staff, and the alumni which will be evidenced at his sentencing hearing,” the statement read. “One important distinction to make is that John did not pocket any of the money. The US attorney stated that one coach did not profit and John did not profit personally. They acknowledged that the money went to Stanford sailing and was used to buy new equipment and pay for the salary of an assistant coach.”Wake Forest officials placed its head volleyball coach, William Ferguson, 48, on administrative leave after he was indicted. Ferguson, according to the indictment, allegedly accepted a $100,000 bribe from Singer to designate the daughter of one of Singer’s clients as a recruit for the women’s volleyball team, facilitating her admission to the university.In an email to students and faculty Wednesday, Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch said the student that Ferguson allegedly help get admitted to the school is currently enrolled.“We have no reason to believe the student was aware of the alleged financial transaction,” Nathan wrote.The University of Texas also fired Michael Center, 54, the head coach of the school’s men’s tennis team, who is also charged in the cheating scheme.“After working with campus leaders to review the recent situation with Michael Center, we have decided to relieve him of his duties as our Men’s Tennis coach,” Chis Del Conte, the university’s vice president and athletic director, said in a statement. “It’s a very difficult decision, and we are grateful for the years of service that he has provided, but winning with integrity will always be paramount at The University of Texas, and it was a decision that had to be made.”NCAA launches probeThe NCAA announced it will launch an investigation into the widespread cheating scandal that implicated nine coaches at elite schools.“The charges brought forth … are troubling and should be a concern for all of higher education,” the NCAA wrote in a statement on Twitter. “We are looking into these allegations to determine the extent to which NCAA rules may have been violated.” Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation and a company called Edge College & Career Network, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court on Tuesday to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.Singer allegedly accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 “to guarantee their children’s admission to elite schools,” Lelling said.Federal officials said Singer was a corroborating witness in the investigation and wore a wire to capture some of the conversations with parents and cohorts implicated in the scam.Singer’s inner circle included Steven Masera, 69, the accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation and Mark Riddell, a private school counselor in Bradenton, Florida, who were both indicted in the scam, according to the indictment.Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, California, another employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation, was also charged.How the scam workedSinger would instruct parents to seek extended time for the children to take SAT and ACT entrance exams by obtaining medical documentation that their child had a learning disability, according to the indictment. The parents were then told to get the location of the test changed to one of two testing centers, one in Houston and another in West Hollywood, California, where test administrators Niki Williams, 44, of Houston and Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, California, and an exam proctor helped carry out the scam, the indictment alleges.Riddell would allegedly either take the tests for students or would correct their answers after they took the tests, according to the indictment.To bolster students’ college entrance applications, Singer worked with parents to allegedly concoct glowing profiles of their children, including staged or Photoshopped pictures of them participating in sports, the indictment alleges.In one case highlighted by federal prosecutors, the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, was paid $400,000 to accept a student even though the applicant did not play soccer. The parents of that student had paid Singer $1.2 million.According to the charging papers, Huffman “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000” to a sham charity set up by Singer to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.The actress allegedly made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so, the documents allege.Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, was not charged, but according to the court document he and Huffman were caught on a recorded conversation with a corroborating witness in the case allegedly discussing a $15,000 payment to ensure their younger daughter scored high on a college entrance exam.Roster of CEOsFederal officials mentioned the roster of CEOs charged in the scam. One of them is David Sidoo, 59, a prominent businessman and philanthropist from Vancouver, Canada, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He was arrested on Friday in San Jose, California, federal officials said.“David Sidoo has been repeatedly recognized for his philanthropic endeavors, which is the true testament to his character. The charge that has been lodged against David is an allegation that carries with it the presumption that he is innocent,” Sidoo’s attorney, Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement Wednesday.“We look forward to presenting our case in court and ask that people don’t rush to judgment in the meantime,” he said.Other prominent business leaders indicted included Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, founder and CEO of the private investment firm Dragon Global; Bill McGlashan, 55, of Mill Valley, California, a businessman and international private equity investor; and Gregory Abbott, 68, founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a New York food and beverage packaging company.“For every student admitted through fraud an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected,” Lelling said. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

California realtor violently attacked, allegedly sexually assaulted at open house

first_imgKABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — A real estate agent was attacked and allegedly sexually assaulted by a man during an open house in Encino, California, over the weekend and the entire ordeal was caught on camera.Surveillance footage from the front door obtained by ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC-TV shows a man leaning against a wall and speaking with the unnamed real estate agent as she stands on the front step of the house with her arms crossed.She then steps away to look at her phone and turns her back on the man. He looks up directly into the home security camera, takes a few steps toward her before taking a last glance at the camera and extending his arm to shake the woman’s hand.Footage then shows the man suddenly lunging at the realtor and violently pushing her over into a bush as she rolls onto the sidewalk screaming.He runs over to her while she is still on the ground and allegedly groped her chest, according to an interview she did with Fox 11 Los Angeles. He then fled the scene of the crime.The victim, who asked the station not to identify her, said that she remembered seeing the same man at another open house a week before.She became visibly nervous on the front step of the house when the man continued to ask her to take him back inside and grew increasingly frustrated with her refusals before the assault.Frank Bernardo, identified as team leader at Keller Williams Porter Ranch real estate agency on his Facebook page, released a statement on social media regarding the incident.“The agent is doing fine. She is really shook up. She is really upset … she has every right to be. So we take this extremely seriously in our office,” Bernardo said. “It was a female that was attacked but this is a serious situation for everybody.”The victim suffered an injured back and severe abrasions in the attack, according to KABC.ABC News can confirm that a person of interest was detained at 11 p.m. on Tuesday in relation to the violent attack of the unnamed real estate agent. The person is a potential suspect but has not been booked on any charges at this time.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Temperature preferences of the mite, Alaskozetes antarcticus, and the collembolan, Cryptopygus antarcticus from the maritime Antarctic

first_imgThe thermal preferences of Alaskozetes antarcticus (Acari, Cryptostigmata) and Cryptopygus antarcticus (Collembola, Isotomidae) were investigated over 6 h within a temperature gradient (−3 to +13 °C), under 100% relative humidity (RH) conditions. After 10 days of acclimation at −2 or +11 °C, individual supercooling points (SCP) and thermopreferences were assessed, and compared with animals maintained for 10 days under fluctuating field conditions (−6 to +7 °C). Acclimation at −2 °C lowered the mean SCP of both A. antarcticus (−24.2 ± 9.1) and C. antarcticus (−14.7 ± 7.7) compared to field samples (−19.0 ± 9.0 and −10.7 ± 5.2, respectively). Acclimation at +11 °C increased A. antarcticus mean SCP values (−13.0 ± 8.5) relative to field samples, whereas those of C. antarcticus again decreased (−16.7 ± 9.1). Mites acclimated under field conditions or at +11 °C selected temperatures between −3 and +1 °C. After acclimation at −2 °C, both species preferred +1 to +5 °C. Cryptopygus antarcticus maintained under field conditions preferred +5 to +9 °C, whereas individuals acclimated at +11 °C selected +9 to +13 °C. For A. antarcticus, thermopreference was not influenced by its cold hardened state. The distribution of field specimens was further assessed within two combined temperature and humidity gradient systems: (i) 0–3 °C/12% RH, 3–6 °C/33% RH, 6–9 °C/75% RH and 9–12 °C/100% RH and (ii) 0–3 °C/100% RH, 3–6 °C/75% RH, 6–9 °C/33% RH and 9–12 °C/12% RH. In gradient (i), C. antarcticus distributed homogeneously, but, in gradient (ii), C. antarcticus preferred 0–3 °C/100% RH. Alaskozetes antarcticus selected temperatures between 0 and +6 °C regardless of RH conditions. Cryptopygus antarcticus appears better able than A. antarcticus to opportunistically utilize developmentally favourable thermal microclimates, when moisture availability is not restricted. The distribution of A. antarcticus appears more influenced by temperature, especially during regular freeze-thaw transitions, when this species may select low temperature microhabitats to maintain a cold-hardened state.last_img read more

Holcomb: Another “stay at home” order could be considered

first_img Google+ By Network Indiana – October 5, 2020 12 2965 Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Holcomb: Another “stay at home” order could be considered Pinterest Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Google+ (Photo supplied/State Of Indiana) Governor Eric Holcomb said he would consider another stay at home order if the data concerning the coronavirus says it would be prudent. Holcomb also said he believes the pushback on the statewide mask mandate is a natural reaction to being told what to do.“Until we get to the day where we have a lot of therapeutics and a vaccine that’s effective, we’re gonna have to do the things that responsibly contain this,” Holcomb told WISH-TV host Phil Sanchez, on Sunday “All Indiana Politics”.Holcomb said he makes decisions based on data and had originally hoped Indiana would be in Stage 5 of the Back on Track plan by July.Instead, Stage 5 began just two weeks ago.“Well, maybe it was wishful thinking and we were leaning to do everything we could. But, you don’t control this virus.”Holcomb’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3, election, Dr. Woody Myers, has said he would be willing to shut the state down again. Holcomb said essentially the same.“If the numbers dictate it, then we would have to. You wouldn’t take anything off the table if the numbers dictate it,” he said.Responding to a question about the mask mandate, Holcomb said he believes there is fatigue over wearing masks in Indiana, but said it’s also all over the world.“So, that’s just a natural kind of reaction to, what would I have to do,” he said. “And, we know it’s transmitted through the air and so, how do we reduce those odds?”Holcomb stressed physical distancing and masks and not gathering in large groups. CoronavirusIndianaLocal Previous articleSouth Bend students return to classes this weekNext articleA warm, dry, sunny week ahead in Michiana Network Indianalast_img read more

BREAKING: Several Dead, Many More Injured In Explosions At Ariana Grande Concert In Manchester

first_imgIn a terrifying scene, a pair of explosions rang out at the end of pop singer Ariana Grande‘s concert at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England this evening. The story is still developing, but initial reports from police indicate that several people were killed in the blasts, and many more have been injured.Terrifying photos of scared and bloodied concert-goers have begun to surface via British news outlets.Erin McDougle, 20, from Newcastle told The Guardian: “There was a loud bang at the end of the concert. The lights were already on so we knew it wasn’t part of the show. At first we thought it was a bomb. There was a lot of smoke. People started running out. When we got outside the arena there were dozens of police vans and quite a few ambulances.” A group of young men from Sheffield said they had seen at least five people covered in blood and others being carried out by bouncers. “Ariana Grande had just gone behind the curtain and the lights came up when there was this massive bang and a big cloud of smoke. I saw five people with blood all down them.” Sophie Tedd, 25, from Darlington, said the noise and smoke seemed to come from the tiered seating stage right. “We were sitting on that side then suddenly there was this big bang in the block next to us. Everyone started screaming and we nearly got trampled on. There was a burning smell.”Police have instructed all people to stay away from the arena as they assess the situation and tend to those in need of help.We will be sure to update you on the horrifying events in Manchester as more information becomes available.[via The Guardian][Photographs: Joel Goodman/LNP]last_img read more

Neil LaBute’s The Money Shot Opens Off-Broadway

first_imgNeil LaBute’s The Money Shot officially opens off-Broadway on September 22 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Directed by Terry Kinney, Elizabeth Reaser and Frederick Weller star in the MCC production, which will play a limited engagement through October 19. Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 19, 2014 View Comments In addition to Reaser and Weller, the cast features Gia Crovatin and Callie Thorne. The Money Shot tells the story of Karen and Steve, two glamorous movie stars with one thing in common: desperation. The night before filming a big scene for the latest film by a hot shot European director, the two meet with their respective partners to make an important decision: how far will they let themselves go to keep from slipping further down the Hollywood food chain? The Money Shot Related Showslast_img read more

Vermont Life Named Among Most Improved Magazines

first_imgVermont Life Named Among Most Improved Magazines Coveted honor among three awards presented to Vermont Life by International Regional Magazine Association MONTPELIER – A revitalized Vermont Life magazine has been named among the most improved magazines in the United States and Canada by the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA). Judges for the 45-member association called Vermont Life “much improved in design and in editorial, but most significantly in its focus. Throughout there is a palpable sense of the readers’ interests and concerns.” During 2007, the year being judged, Vermont Life underwent several changes designed to re-energize the magazine and ignite readers’ interest in contemporary Vermont. “We are thrilled to have won this award,” said publisher Tom Kelly. “It affirms our belief that our new editorial team led by Mary Hegarty Nowlan is headed in the right direction in making Vermont Life a must-read magazine for Vermonters. We believe there is a bright future in covering contemporary Vermont.” The magazine association also awarded bronze medals to Vermont Life in the categories of Essay and Photographic Series. The essay “Four Maples” by Castle Freeman Jr. of Newfane, which appeared in the Autumn 2007 issue, was praised by the judges for being “philosophical without being too academic or self-indulgent.” The article is a eulogy for four grand old maples that presided over the author’s property for generations until disease and old age necessitated their removal. Vermont Life’s winning photo essay, “Brown in Black and White,” featured images by Richard Brown, who took a series of black-and-white portraits in the 1970s and ’80s of a vanishing way of life in the hill farms of the Northeast Kingdom. The photos were enhanced by Brown’s heartfelt recollections of the time. “I guess I didn’t realize it was the end of a breed,” Brown said. “I thought there would always be people like that around, but I was obviously wrong.” Judges for the awards said the photo essay was “very gritty, very real. These photos exude a kind of honesty that is rare.” The images by Brown, a resident of Peacham, appeared in the Autumn 2007 issue. The awards were presented at IRMA’s October annual meeting, held this year in Cape Breton, Canada.last_img read more

North Dakota regulators approve state’s first commercial solar project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Solar power made a breakthrough in North Dakota after regulators on Feb. 26 approved the first commercial solar farm in the state.Stacy Eberl, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Public Service Commission, said that while there is a limited amount of rooftop solar in the state, there are no existing utility-scale commercial solar farms. That’s set to change after the Public Service Commission approved by a 2-1 vote Harmony Solar ND LLC’s proposal to build a 200 MW solar farm in Cass County, near the state’s eastern border with Minnesota.Harmony Solar is a subsidiary of Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy LLC. The $320 million project is expected to come online by Dec. 31, 2020.The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks North Dakota last in the nation for solar power as of the third quarter of 2018, with less than 1 MW of solar energy installed in the state.In 2017, about 66% of North Dakota’s net electricity generation came from coal, more than 25% came from wind, while 5% came from conventional hydroelectric power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2007, North Dakota enacted legislation establishing an objective that 10% of all retail electricity sold in the state be obtained from renewable and recycled energy by 2015, notes Harmony’s application to the PSC.More ($): Regulators approve 1st commercial solar farm in North Dakota North Dakota regulators approve state’s first commercial solar projectlast_img read more

Why do we have large wine imports and such low import-export coverage?

first_imgIt is the ZOI and ZOZP labels that guarantee consumers, among other things, that grapes and wine come from a specific area and that production conditions and physico-chemical and organoleptic parameters of wine defined by the producer’s specifications are controlled annually. On the other hand, we export quality wines that are recognized in the international market and that achieve a good price. There is certainly room for greater consumption of Croatian wine on the domestic market and abroad, especially with stronger promotion and branding through the protection of the geographical origin of wine with the designation of origin (ZOI) or the designation of geographical origin (ZOZP).  One of the problems is that the specifications of our WOGs are very broad and do not offer the right solutions to manufacturers or answers to consumers. “The time has come for our manufacturers to review the content of the specifications of existing protections and start creating new, more specific ones, which will best transpose the characteristics of the climate, tradition and excellence and thus develop the brand of a particular area. Name protection is a powerful marketing tool for producers, bait and consumer guarantee, and provides great opportunities for the development of local eno-gastronomy and tourism”, Said the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism Dragan Kovacevic.  At the same time, Croatian wines have established themselves on global wine charts, and our winemakers win medals at prestigious world competitions and events. Photo: “With smaller vineyards and a reduction in wine production, high food expenditures in the structure of household consumption in Croatia (28,2 percent) and lower purchasing power of the average Croatian consumer initiate the import of mostly cheaper wine compared to domestic prices. The average import price in 2018 was 1,26 euros, but as much as 75 percent of the amount of imported wine has an average price below 80 euro cents. It is a wine that usually arrives in bulk or in larger packages, without a protected geographical origin, and most often without a variety designation. On the other hand, the average export price of our wine is 2,8 euros, and significant quantities are exported to the EU and third markets at average prices above 10 euros for certain categories of wine.”, Explains Kovačević and adds that Croatian producers must continue to build a brand of quality, primarily through the protection of the originality and geographical origin of their wines.  Dragan Kovačević, Croatian Chamber of Commerce / Photo: Croatian Chamber of Commerce About a million hectoliters of wine are drunk in Croatia annually, of which between 750 and 800 thousand hectoliters come from domestic wineries, while the rest we import (from 250 to 300 thousand hectoliters). Between 50 and 55 hectoliters are exported, usually more expensive wines. Since joining the EU, our production has fallen, and imports have increased, with the area under vineyards also decreasing. Until not so long ago in 2004, we recorded a surplus in foreign trade in wine, and last year we achieved a deficit of 14,3 million euros, with the coverage of imports by exports of only 53 percent. In other words, from the pronounced self-sufficiency in wine production, today it has fallen to a level of about 75 percent.center_img The problems of the entire agricultural and food sector are clear on the Croatian wine market, and despite all the potential for sufficient production and knowledge and tradition, we do not produce enough wine for domestic needs, so we turn to cheap imports. But the question then is what is the problem, why do we have large imports and such low coverage of imports by exports? Four wine regions in Croatia The new Wine Act refers to four regional organizations of winemakers and winegrowers that correspond to four wine-growing, but also marketing regions of Croatia: Slavonia and the Croatian Danube region, Central Hilly Croatia, Croatian Istria and Kvarner and Dalmatia. Winemakers gathered in the National Wine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the professional service of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce are the initiators of this division, and these four regions are the backbone of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce brand strategy “Vina Croatia vina mosaica”. Dragan Kovačević, Croatian Chamber of Commerce: Better branding of domestic wines through ZOI and ZOZP as a remedy against cheap imports Croatia currently has protection for 16 names with a mark of origin, three WOGs refer to the level of the wine-growing region, 12 to the level of wine-growing sub-regions, and only one mark is at the level of position – the world-famous Dingač. “We need to improve the existing wine quality system by redefining existing and defining new protected wine labels that will reflect the specifics of narrower geographical areas. We see the key role of regional organizations in this. It would be pretentious to expect that this will solve all the problems of Croatian winemaking and viticulture, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.”, Concludes Kovacevic.last_img read more

Hermes PUT spends £21m for stake in City landmarks

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img