Tuesday, 03 October 2023

The heads of diplomacy of Croatia, Austria, and Slovenia are united in their stance that Western Balkans should join the European Union as soon as possible. They published this statement on Monday.

In a joint column published by media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministers Gordan Grlić Radman, Alexander Schallenberg, and Tanja Fajon emphasized that the Russian aggression in Ukraine has made the EU more attractive to Eastern Partnership countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. At the same time, Western Balkan countries are facing unprecedented threats to stability and increased foreign policy dilemmas.

The ministers welcomed the new EU enlargement approach, which places greater importance on the geostrategic perspective with less bureaucracy compared to previous periods. They also noted that the decision made last year to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina was based on strategic considerations.

However, they stressed that this strategic approach should not lead to a lowering of EU enlargement standards. They emphasized that the comprehensive implementation of reforms remains crucial.

They outlined specific steps that should be taken without delay. The first step is for the European Union to start accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina by the end of this year.

The second step is for Montenegro to continue its reform path towards the EU, which depends on the formation of a new government in the country. The third step is to make progress in negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

All EU member states have called for a "more creative" and "dynamic" relationship with accession countries based on fair and rigorous conditions, and even some form of integration at this stage, such as the participation of ministers from the region in the work of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

They concluded by stating that EU enlargement is not just a political option but a geostrategic imperative today.

According to the data from the eVisitor system for tourist arrivals and departures, in Dubrovnik, from January 1st to September 30th, 2023, there were 1,071,075 tourist arrivals and 3,436,426 overnight stays, which is 19 percent more in arrivals and 9 percent more in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

From January 1st to September 30th, foreign tourists accounted for 1,017,522 arrivals and 3,295,431 overnight stays, while domestic tourists accounted for 53,553 arrivals and 140,995 overnight stays. The most numerous guests came from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Croatia, and Ireland. In terms of accommodation type, there were 552,259 arrivals with 1,702,659 overnight stays in hotels, while private accommodations recorded 368,215 arrivals and 1,280,104 overnight stays.

During September, there were 168,372 arrivals and 544,734 overnight stays, which is 14 percent more in arrivals and 6 percent more in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. Dubrovnik reached three million overnight stays on September 6th this year, which was 15 days earlier than the previous year. Domestic guests had 5,246 arrivals and 13,545 overnight stays in September, while foreign guests had 143,187 arrivals and 531,189 overnight stays.

The most numerous guests in the past month came from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Poland, and Croatia. Currently, there are over 14,000 guests in the city.


“Are you sure you can’t find that text you wrote?” asked an American friend. It wasn’t until I started to dig that I realised just how long I have been writing these columns. I had changed laptops countless times and the text she was asking about I had written before the popularity of websites. An analogue text in a digital world.

The actual text that she wanted to read was about the seven stages of a foreigner coming to live in Croatia. I guess the same text could apply to any country.

She is currently going through stage 3, a difficult stage to be in.

Yes, she is an ex-pat, although I’m not particularly keen on that description. Try as I might it seems that at least for now that text is missing in action. So I’m going to update that old text with my five stages of surviving Croatia!

Stage One – “Welcome to Disneyland” – rather like foreplay with a new partner. Everything is new, exciting and promising. The grass looks greener, the sea bluer and the sun bigger. You are like a baby in a new world and discovery is fun. You learn a few basic words and think you are a local. Spoiler alert – you aren’t! Armed with the vocabulary of a toddler and the optimism of a superhero, you're ready to conquer the world.

Stage Two – Rose Tinted Glasses – Nothing bothers you. Things that would have had you pulling out your hair in your home country just feel like you’re making memories. Grumpy staff in the supermarket is a “local experience.” Frustration with sorting out the piles of paperwork is a rewarding challenge. And getting charged twice what the locals do is “good for the local economy.” You can’t imagine living anywhere else. The first two stages last (at least for me) the first couple of years.

Stage Three – The Honeymoon Is Over – the first bump in the road. Obtaining a visa is like trying to break into Fort Knox armed with a toothpick. You'll navigate Kafkaesque bureaucracies, fill out more forms than you knew existed, and attend more interviews than a Hollywood celebrity. At some point, you'll wonder if a wedding to a local is a legitimate shortcut. What was once exotic is now excruciating! And this is the stage where many just pack their bags and head home. Your brain realises that this isn’t a holiday in the sun anymore. And a stage where I often here “back home this would be so much easier.” The truth is that yes; it probably would be.

Stage Four – Adapt or Arrivederci - homesickness creeps in like a relentless stalker. You'll long for the comfort of your favourite toilet paper brand and the TV shows you never watched back home. If you’ve managed to survive stage three, then stage four is the hardest. It’s all about complete assimilation. From conquering the language to getting to grips with forging a new life. I say new life because this is the stage that you have to leave your old life behind. I am not saying forget it, far from it, but you are now like a teenager in a new world and you’ve got to learn to live with those teen years of angst. By far my biggest piece of advice is learn the language. Not only for communication but it opens so many more doors, and is a sign of respect to your new home.

Stage Five – Home from Home – I would like to say “well done” you have made it. Although that wouldn’t be totally honest of me. Finally, after surviving countless mishaps and cultural faux pas, you'll start to feel like a local. You'll order food with confidence, master local customs, and even tell jokes in the native language that make the locals laugh (or cringe). You'll have an international posse of friends and become the go-to tour guide for visiting relatives.

In conclusion, moving to a new country is like participating in a never-ending sitcom. You're the lead character stumbling through hilarious misunderstandings and cultural clashes, with each day bringing a new episode. So, embrace the chaos, savour the laughter, and keep the aspirin handy for those cultural shock induced headaches.

“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get.” – Forrest Gump.

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to


About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik

Split's Hajduk has, for the first time in its club history, surpassed an incredible milestone of 100,000 members. It's unlikely that the mobilization of the Hajduk faithful will stop here, as the club's goal is to conclude the year 2023, marking its 112th anniversary, with at least 112,000 members.

Even this figure already places Hajduk in the top tier of European clubs. For example, among German clubs that operate under a membership model, only a handful manage to surpass the magical number of 100,000 each year. Currently, among Bundesliga clubs, only Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Cologne, and Eintracht Frankfurt have achieved this feat, along with Schalke and HSV (also with 100,000 members) in the second division.

This year's membership campaign by the Our Hajduk association carries the motto "Impossible is Our Goal." This very slogan has been used in the stands of Poljud Stadium for many years, especially during Hajduk's matches against favored European giants.

Across the entire continent, in addition to the mentioned German clubs, there are very few social clubs with larger memberships than Hajduk, including renowned names like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Porto, Benfica, and Sporting. According to some sources, Hajduk ranks among the 15 most popular social clubs in the world.


Hvar: A Haven of Sustainable Tourism

In today's fiercely competitive tourism industry, sustainable tourism isn't just a trend; it's a necessity. Hvar, a Croatian gem, stands out as a shining example of sustainable tourism, with innovative initiatives that prioritize both luxury and environmental responsibility.

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"Maslina" Resort - This upscale resort redefines luxury by offering personalized experiences while minimizing its environmental impact. The resort's foundations were built on sustainability, preserving existing sites and incorporating centuries-old olive trees into the landscape. Hygiene products are olive-based, packaged in glass to reduce plastic waste. Wooden bicycles are available for rent, emphasizing eco-friendliness. "Maslina" highlights that guests are willing to pay for a healthy atmosphere, valuing service over prices.

"Valamar Amicor Green Resort" - Located in Stari Grad, Hvar, this resort demonstrates that small details can make a big difference. Children are greeted with sustainable welcome gifts, including DIY wooden birdhouses and canvas tote bags. The resort encourages hands-on learning with gardening activities and daily workshops on ecology and recycling. All vehicles are electric, cottages boast solar panels, and sustainable materials are used extensively. Local ingredients take precedence in the kitchen, contributing to a greener future. "Valamar" sets an example for tourism by seamlessly integrating sustainability into its operations. Tourists willingly engage in waste separation and environmental respect, promoting flourishing greenery and offering hope for a sustainable future.

Hvar's dedication to sustainable tourism illustrates that luxury and environmental responsibility can coexist harmoniously. These initiatives not only enhance the guest experience but also set the stage for a more responsible and sustainable future in the tourism industry.

Lastovo: Preserving Starry Skies and Sustainability

Untitled design 2023 09 29T083126.469Lastovo, a remote Croatian island with just a few hundred inhabitants, embodies both isolation and natural beauty. It remained closed to foreigners until 1988 due to militarization during World War II. Today, it's a designated nature park, welcoming a growing number of visitors without compromising its unique way of life. Lastovo's distinctive charm extends to its night skies. Clear evenings reveal the Milky Way, visible without telescopes. Astronomers gather year-round to study the island's celestial wonders, and sustainable tourism aims to attract visitors year-round, reducing the summer season's pressure.

The secret behind Lastovo's breath-taking night skies lies in its isolation. Limited development and infrastructure changes, coupled with responsible lighting to combat light pollution, ensure pristine stargazing. Lastovo's skies serve as a testament to the rewards of sustainability, inviting all to find solace beneath the celestial canopy. Anytime, always, and forever, Lastovo offers a sanctuary for the soul and the senses.

For more information visit - croatia.hr

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Ivan Perišić first communicated shortly after his operation, and on Thursday, he posted a photo of himself on crutches with his right, surgically repaired leg immobilized. As a reminder, he suffered a severe injury to the anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Perišić's recovery is expected to take five to six months, meaning he could potentially play a few matches by the end of the season. Perišić's goal is also to represent Croatia in the upcoming European Championship, as reported by Romano.

The Italian journalist also claims that Perišić will fulfill his contract with Tottenham, indicating that he will remain in London for the entire season. This is disappointing news for Hajduk's fans, who had hoped for his arrival this winter. Perišić's potential move to Hajduk has been discussed for months; last summer, Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio reported that an agreement was close, but it ultimately did not materialize.

Perišić sustained the injury in mid-September during a Tottenham training session. It was a non-contact injury, and there were concerns that it might even end his career, considering he will turn 35 next February. However, it appears that the Croatian international is determined to continue playing.

Regarding a potential transfer to Hajduk, Perišić could do so next season as a free agent if he does not extend his contract with Tottenham. On several occasions, he has promised to return to the club where he played in youth categories but never for the first team.

If you've been around the cannabis scene for any length of time, then you know that edibles have become a huge part of marijuana culture. Not only are they an extremely popular way to consume cannabis, but they offer users all sorts of creative and unique ways to enjoy their favorite herb. Whether you're new to the world of edibles or just want to brush up on your knowledge—you’re in the right place! In this blog, we will be diving into Edibles 101— everything from a brief overview of what they are, how best to use them safely, some common types and forms of edibles, plus much more!

Understanding the basics of edibles and their different types

Edibles have been gaining popularity in the cannabis industry, offering a discreet and convenient option for those who prefer not to smoke. Understanding the different types of edibles available can be helpful for those who want to explore this alternative method of consumption. From traditional baked goods like brownies and cookies to gummies, chocolates, and even infused beverages, the possibilities are vast. It's important to note that the effects of edibles can take longer to kick in and may last longer than smoking, so it's essential to start with a low dosage and be patient. With a little bit of knowledge and caution, edibles can be a fun and enjoyable way to consume cannabis.

Exploring the effects of edibles on the body

Edibles have been gaining popularity in the world of cannabis consumption as they offer a discreet, smoke-free way to enjoy the effects of cannabis. But have you ever wondered what happens to your body after indulging in an edible? Unlike smoking cannabis, the effects of edibles take longer to set in and can last much longer. This is because edibles have to pass through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream, which means the onset of effects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The effects can be quite potent and can last up to 12 hours depending on the dose and individual metabolism. Exploring the effects of edibles on the body can help us better understand how to use them safely and effectively.

THC gummies

THC gummies are a popular form of cannabis edibles, offering a sweet and tasty way to consume cannabis. They are made by infusing gummy candies with THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for the “high” feeling. THC gummies offer a smokeless, longer-lasting, and more controllable experience than traditional smoking. When considering using them, it's essential to weigh the THC gummies benefits and risks for a well-informed decision on consumption. They come in a wide variety of flavors, making them an appealing choice for both novice and experienced cannabis users alike. However, due to their delayed onset of effects, it is recommended to start with a small dose and wait for at least two hours before consuming more. Also, always remember to keep them out of reach of children and pets, as their candy-like appearance can be misleading.

How to safely store edibles in your home

Edibles can be a delicious and convenient way to consume cannabis, but it's important to store them safely to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands. First and foremost, always label your edibles clearly and keep them out of reach of children and pets. Consider investing in a lockable container for added security. Store your edibles in a cool, dark place to prevent them from melting or degrading. It's also a good idea to keep them separate from regular snacks to avoid any accidental ingestion. By taking these simple precautions, you can enjoy your edibles with peace of mind, knowing that they're stored safely in your home.

Tips for dosing edibles correctly

Edibles can take longer to take effect than smoking or vaping, so it's important to give them time to kick in before taking more. It's also crucial to know the potency of the edibles you're consuming and to understand how that potency translates into actual milligrams of THC. Finally, make sure to pay attention to your body and how you're feeling, and adjust your dosage accordingly. Following these tips can help you have a safe and enjoyable experience with edibles.

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Edibles have transformed the way people enjoy cannabis, offering a variety of flavorful and discreet consumption methods. From the numerous types available such as gummies, chocolates, and baked goods, to understanding the potent and long-lasting effects they have on the body, edibles offer a unique experience. However, safety measures such as proper storage and accurate dosing can't be overlooked. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned cannabis user, taking an informed approach can ensure you have a safe, controlled, and enjoyable experience with edibles. Remember to start low, go slow, and pay attention to how your body reacts as you navigate through this delicious journey into the world of edibles.

On Thursday, the Croatian Parliament passed a new Law on Electoral Districts for the election of representatives to the Croatian Parliament. While the law doesn't alter the existing electoral system, it does introduce some changes to the electoral district map, resulting in approximately 22 percent of voters switching to different districts. The law received support from 77 lawmakers, while 56 opposed it.

Under the new law, Croatia's future parliamentary representatives, totalling 151, will be elected according to the current model, with 10 electoral districts, each electing 14 representatives. Eight representatives will be chosen by members of national minorities, and three by Croatian citizens living abroad in special electoral districts.

The new law, as proposed by the government, ensures equal weight of each vote in every district and complies with the conditions set by the Constitutional Court. In February of this year, the Constitutional Court invalidated the existing Law on Electoral Districts, which will cease to be effective on October 1st.

The most significant change resulting from the redrawing of electoral districts affects Zagreb, which will now be divided into three electoral districts instead of four. Zagreb will fall under the jurisdiction of the first, second, and sixth electoral districts.

The first electoral district covers central parts of Zagreb, Velika Gorica, and a few other municipalities.

The second district includes Bjelovar-Bilogora County, the southern part of Koprivnica-Križevci County, Zagreb County, and the eastern part of Zagreb city.

The third district, as before, encompasses Varaždin County, Međimurje County, Krapina-Zagorje County, and several municipalities in Zagreb County.

The fourth electoral district includes Osijek-Baranja County, Virovitica-Podravina County, and the northern parts of Koprivnica-Križevci County.

The fifth, as previously, covers three Slavonian counties - Vukovar-Srijem County, Brod-Posavina County, Požega-Slavonia County, and the eastern parts of Sisak-Moslavina County.

The sixth electoral district consists of the western part of Zagreb and parts of Zagreb County.

The seventh electoral district, the largest, represents central Croatia, including areas with the highest depopulation rates - the entire Lika-Senj County, the northern part of Zadar County, parts of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the whole Karlovac County, and the western and northern parts of Sisak-Moslavina County.

The eighth district includes Istria County, the city of Rijeka, and specific cities and municipalities in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

In the ninth district, you'll find the northwestern part of Split-Dalmatia County, the entire Šibenik-Knin County, and parts of Zadar County, including the city of Zadar.

The tenth electoral district includes Dubrovnik-Neretva County and parts of Split-Dalmatia County.

Following the government's lead, the Parliament rejected opposition amendments aimed at rearranging some electoral districts, reducing the number of representatives elected by national minorities, and allowing postal and electronic voting for the diaspora.

The opposition reiterated its dissatisfaction today with the final version of the law, the process, and the transparency of its adoption.


In a ground-breaking move, leading Croatian retail chain Konzum has launched the region's inaugural smart store, ushering in an era of seamless shopping. This innovative store boasts an automatic checkout system that effortlessly processes customers' purchases, eliminating the need for traditional checkouts. And yes on the downside, it is likely to leave cashiers and staff out of work in the future.

Konzum's smart store marks a remarkable milestone in the evolution of retail technology, showcasing the integration of advanced sensors and cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI). It joins the ranks of international retail giants such as Aldi, Carrefour, and 7-Eleven, who are actively exploring similar “cashier less” solutions. If you thought AI wouldn’t replace traditional jobs, well you were wrong.


Situated in the heart of Zagreb, the Konzum SMART store redefines the shopping experience. Customers can step into this technological marvel, equipped with a mobile app that simplifies the purchasing process. Shoppers merely need to scan a QR code, select their desired items, and then exit the store. The store's system automatically charges the purchases to the customer's registered debit or credit card, with receipts conveniently sent to the mobile app and via email.

The Konzum SMART store leverages state-of-the-art computer vision technology, featuring an impressive array of 150 cameras meticulously monitoring items and ensuring billing accuracy. This transformative technology is the result of a partnership with AiFi, a renowned AI tech leader.

Jozo Dzakula, Director of the IT department at Konzum, emphasized, "This is just another step forward in the digitization of Konzum's operations. The technology used for this store concept is based on computer vision for recognition, and the space is covered by 150 cameras, thanks to which we can monitor which items the customer took from the shelf and charge only those that he took with him from the store. The goal was to provide customers with a faster and simpler purchase."

This visionary retail giant has already introduced cryptocurrency payments, initially online and subsequently in physical stores. Furthermore, customers can conveniently make payments using the KEKS Pay application while shopping in Konzum stores, further enhancing the versatility and convenience of the shopping experience.

The tourist season in Dubrovnik is flourishing in full swing. According to the latest data, there are an impressive 15,000 guests in the city in the first half of the week, representing a significant increase of two percent compared to the same period last year.

According to data from the tourist registration and check-out system known as eVisitor, tourists are coming from various parts of the world, with the leaders being from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, and Ireland.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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