Monday, 03 August 2020

Croatia is celebrating its fifth anniversary today as a full member of the European Union. Croatia signed its EU accession treaty on the 9th of December 2011 and became a member of the union on the 1st of July 2013.

Croatia became the 28th state to join the European Union.

The country applied for EU membership in 2003, and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council in mid-2004. The entry negotiations, while originally set for March 2005, began in October that year together with the screening process.

The accession process of Croatia was complicated by the insistence of Slovenia, an EU member state, that the two countries' border issues be dealt with prior to Croatia's accession to the EU.

Croatia finished accession negotiations on 30 June 2011, and on 9 December 2011, signed the Treaty of Accession.

And the European Commission President commented yesterday that “From the day it joined the EU, Croatia has acted positively as if it were one of the founding countries.” Adding that the European Union had become more complete with Croatia’s entry.

I believe I can fly

Jun 30, 2018

Heights and I have a relationship, I don’t go near them and they don’t come near me. Yes, one of the phobias that I have is acrophobia, in fact it’s probably the only phobia I have. I have tried on many occasions to conquer this fear, but all attempts have left me shaking like a leaf in the north wind. I’ve been up the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the domed roof of St. Paul’s Cathedral and even on the roof of Harrods and they all left me trembling like a jelly.

So when I got a call “We would like you to invite you as a guest to our newly opened attraction, a zip line in Dubrovnik,” I was hesitant to agree. “You’ll fly 60 metres above a rocky beach at speeds reaching 50 kpm,” the call continued. Yes, that wasn’t helping. But you only live once.

I had tried a zip line once, a long time ago when I was younger and more stupid. I dragged along my wife for moral support. So this latest thrill-seeking attraction is in Vrbica. It is kind of tucked away and the line, which is a monumental 250 metres long, hangs precariously over a beach that can only be reached by boat. We met our guides for the day, who were cool, calm and collected, of course they had done this ride many times before. I, on the other hand, was slightly less composed.

“OK, before we take you to the wire we need to do some training and safety course,” said the friendly guide. We donned helmets and a harness that squeezed me in places I didn’t want to be squeezed. “One of the most important things you’ll need to learn is how to brake,” smiled the guide. I agreed 100 percent. “When you come to near the end of the ride you’ll see a guide and he will give you two signs. If you see him gently patting his head it means you need to slow down, and if you see him spinning his arm then speed up,” he added. OK, I don’t think I’ll need the speed up sign, I thought to myself. “Now we will take you to the start point,” he said as he wandered off through the woods.

If you ever want to commit suicide, then the cliff that I found myself standing on the edge of would be the perfect location. The beach was way, way down somewhere in the distance. “I guess there is no chance of the wire breaking,” I nervously joked. The comment only brought a smile form the guide. So that is how I found myself strapped onto a tiny wire 60 metres over a rocky beach. To give you an idea of the height, the Dubrovnik Bridge to the Adriatic is 50 metres. Yes, I might as well have been flying.

“When you are ready just let go of the brake and gravity will do the rest,” shouted the guide in my ear. I had no real desire to a) let go of the brake and b) rely on gravity to take me across. I am not sure if I closed my eyes, because I can’t really remember much of the first few seconds after take-off, but then I looked down and saw my feet dangling with lots of nothing between them and the beach. I picked up speed rapidly. The air rushed past and so did a seagull. Now I know how a bird feels and if I am reincarnated as a bird I will immediately crash into a window. The only sound was the zipping wire above my head. I moved my head slightly to catch some of the view and Sipan, or was it Lopud, flashed by. I was going surprisingly fast. And even more surprisingly I was starting to enjoy it. Yes, I was basically hanging from a metal wire and flying through the air with nothing but a seagull to keep me company but it was fun.

I had reached over half way and now let out a scream of joy, or fear, make your own conclusion. I could see the team at the other end of the line now, my landing spot. As one of the guides came into view I noticed that he was not patting his head but he was whacking his head violently. “Oh blimey, what does that mean,” the fear and adrenaline had wiped my memory clean. As I sped ever closer I heard his shouts. “Brake, brake, brake…” echoed around the cliff side as he continued to whack the top of his head. “Ah yes, I remember…brake,” my memory came flooding back. I was flying like a kamikaze into the hillside and hadn’t slowed down at all during my flight. With all my strength I pulled down on the brake and was jolted from top speed to no speed in a few metres.

Quite obviously the ride had been so impressive that I had completely forgotten to slow down. As I was unclipped from the wire I looked back up and in a flash had a horrible feeling of acrophobia. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or as Mahatma Gandi once said “Fear has its use, but cowardice has none.”

After the recent unusually wet and stormy period in Dubrovnik the sun finally broke through the clouds today and the whole of the region is backing in blue skies.

The weather forecast indicated a week of settled weather in the city with temperatures rising to thirty degrees. The Adriatic Sea is currently 24 degrees so with the sun shining tourists and locals will be hitting the beaches.

Check out our photo gallery from today over Dubrovnik

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Slovenia has become the latest European Union member country to open its borders to Croatian workers. As of the 1st of July this year Croatians will no longer require a work visa for neighbouring Slovenia.

The Slovenian Labour Ministry announced on Friday that work restrictions for Croatian would be lifted as of the 1st of July. The Ministry commented that “Considering the current situation on Slovenia's labour market, low unemployment rates and a big workforce shortage, there was no need to extend the restriction on Croatian workers for another two years.”

It is believed that between 1,000 and 2,000 Croatians with work permits were employed in Slovenia last year, however with a lifting of restrictions this number is sure to increase.

Earlier this year the Slovenian government put forward a bill to continue with work visas for Croatian until 2020, however this proposed bill didn’t pass through parliament and therefore the restrictions will be lifted. It is believed that the Croatian government will now follow suit and lift the work visas for Slovenians wishing to work in the country.

The United Kingdom and the Netherlands have also recently announced a lifting of work visas for Croatian nationals as of the 1st of July this year. The only EU member still to lift the work restrictions is Austria.

It certainly turned heads this morning. At anchor between the island of Lokrum and the historic Old City is a rather unusual looking super yacht. “Shadow” is fresh onto the seas and this is her first visit to Dubrovnik.

unusual yacht in dubrovnik shadow

This is a super yacht with a difference, an explorers yacht, as it features a number of separate modes of transport, in fact Shadow is classed as a support vessel motor yacht. With a helicopter landing pad, enough space on the deck for two extra speedboats and even room for a small seaplane, this is a yacht for the adventurous types.

With three cabins and a capacity of six guests and 20 crew it’s a height of luxury and was completed in 2017 in the Netherlands. Shadow is not for charter, however similar ships in her range go for around $75,000 a week.

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shadow yacht in dbk croatia

Wimbledon is just around the corner and this morning the draw was held. Dubrovnik tennis talent Ana Konjuh learned that her rival in the 1st round will be 18-year-old Claire Liu from the United States, who made to the main event through qualifications. Liu is currently the 238th in the world ranking list. She had her debut at a Grand Slam tournament last year when she played in the first round of US Open. This will be her first time on All England Club courts. 

On the other hand, the best Dubrovnik tennis player, who is slowly returning after months of getting out of field for surgery, will play in the Wimbledon main event for the fifth time. Last year she achieved her greatest success when she played in the 4th round, where she was defeated by Venus Williams.

The Konjuh-Liu match winner will play in the 2nd round with the winner of the match between Angelique Kerber and Vera Zvonareva. Wimbledon starts on Monday, July 2nd.

The Midsummer Scene Festival continues to delight everybodywith cultural content that has received countless praises from visitors from around the world in recent days. In addition to the day-to-day performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream, great monodrama Henrik V, the emotional concert of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and many other things, the Midsummer Scene on the occasion of its fifth anniversary presents for the first time Polish artists with the performance H (2) O.

On Monday, July 2nd, at 9.30 pm at the Museum of Modern Ard Dubrovnik, actors Anna Rakowska and Piotr Misztela (Teatr Strefa Otwarta) will play Ophelia and Hamlet, and in an unusual way to show the depth and issue of interpersonal relationships from the key scenes of the most famous Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet.

Performance H (2) O breaks stereotypes about one of Shakespeare's most famous works and presents them as modern, young people who in the attempt to manipulate emotions are really craving for closeness and love. The special feature of this performance is the interaction of actors with the audience through improvisation that makes each performance different and unforgettable experience.

The performances of Midsummer Night’s Dream continue every evening at Lovrjenac at 9.30 pm till 4th of July.

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Football excitement in Croatia is getting higher and higher with the match with Denmark approaching at the World Cup in Russia. The clash will happen on Sunday at 8 pm and Croatia is full of self-confidence after three straight wins in their group. Even though many see Croatia as a favourite, Danish forward Martin Braithwaite wouldn't agree with them, saying that Denmark's tougher route to te knockout stages has made them mentally stronger – Reuters reports. 

-The Croats come into this game with self-confidence and belief because everything has gone well for them, but we come into it with loads of confidence because we have stood together when things haven’t worked so well - Braithwaite told reporters, according to Reutres.

-If we end up in a situation where things aren’t working, we won’t be surprised because we’ve already experienced that. If the Croats go behind, we don’t know how they will react - they don’t even know that – said Braithwaite, explaining that he sees that as an advantage for Denmark.

Reuters also writes that Braithwaite is not intimidated by the fact that Croatia have been installed as favorites to win.
-I don’t feel they are any better than us. In qualifying they were second in their group, as we were, and they had to come through a playoff to qualify. It makes no difference that they have started the World Cup a little better than us – he concluded.

Croatia will mark five years of European Union independence on Sunday the 1st of July and according to information from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce the country has benefited economically for membership.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) said that by joining the EU on July 1, 2013 Croatia had achieved one of its main foreign policy objectives and formally became part of the European single market.

With full membership has come the benefits of not having tariffs on exports to EU countries and this has led to a strong increase in exports. However, it also means that other EU members can export their goods to Croatia much easier and cheaper.

Figure indicate that over the past five years, or since becoming a full member of the Union, Croatian exports have increased by a massive 56 percent, with exports directly to the EU leaping 70 percent.

By joining the EU, Croatia has also gained access to €10.7 billion in grants from EU's structural and investment funds. The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds showed that contracts worth €4.8 billion have been concluded by May 31 this year, which amounts to 45 percent of the total funds earmarked for Croatia, with 8 percent of the total allocation already paid out to end users.

Dubrovnik and crowds, crowds and Dubrovnik – it seems that these two words stick together like glue. The Old City can be crowded, especially during the season, but there are many beautiful ways to enjoy Dubrovnik even then. 

However, since Dubrovnik is well known as touristy destination, every year foreign magazines publish all sorts of articles about avoiding the crowds. Recently British Express published an article titled 'Croatia: Beautiful city break alternative destinations to Dubrovnik to avoid the tourists'. It's a bit funny, because article is not aimed at locals, but at foreigners – so it's sounds a bit inconvenient to advise tourists to avoid tourists. But we are not here to judge.

-Croatia is fast becoming the next tourist hotspot for British travellers to visit. Film enthusiasts head to Dubrovnik as one of the main filming locations of TV series Game of Thrones. This has led to an influx in overseas visitors; a survey from Intrepid found that the country has a population of just 4.1 million people, while had 57.5 million visitors in 2016. Cruise ships have also contributed to the number of tourists visiting, with the mayor of Dubrovnik staggering their arrival and departure times to help the problem – writes Express and adds that they reveal some of the best locations in Croatia to visit, without the tourists.

Here's there list:


For more details visit the original article here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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