Friday, 22 November 2019

Croatians are second bottom of the European Union in terms of life satisfaction. According to a new survey by Eurostat the Finnish are the most satisfied citizens in the European Union whilst Bulgarians are least happy.

In a survey carried out by Eurostat, the statistical wing of the EU, entitled “How satisfied are people with their lives?” “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” people across the European Union were asked.

On a scale from 0 (“not satisfied at all”) to 10 (“fully satisfied”), the mean (average) life satisfaction of EU residents aged 16 and over was 7.3 in 2018, an increase compared with 7.0 in 2013.

The highest life satisfaction was measured in Finland and Austria, with the Finns averaging 8.1 on the survey. Whilst the lowest was in Bulgaria which saw only 5.4 on the survey, followed by Croatia in second bottom position with 6.3, and Greece and Lithuania both with 6.4.


Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica has announced that a bill on the population census, which has been put up for public consultation, also envisages the electronic collection of data, apart from census takers who will collect data in the field.

This will be the first time for Croatia to conduct a population census by census takers and also to have an e-census conducted simultaneously.

"The draft act is currently being discussed. We will see what the next steps could be," Malenica said.

The electronic collection of data is expected to be conducted from 1 to 10 April 2021 through the e-citizen system, and will provide and opportunity for citizens to present the necessary data about themselves and their households online.

The second stage, set for 16 April to 7 May 2021, will be conducted on the ground by census-takers in households which have not been covered by the e-census.


"The garden must first be prepared in the soul first or else it will not flourish," states a famous English proverb. Whether it is a flower box hanging from an apartment window, a small garden behind a modest home or acres and acres of manicured public parks the green spaces in England are kept with the upmost care.

“Everything is so green and it looks like somebody organised it with a ruler,” commented my wife as we flew over south England coming into land. She was right, from the air parts of England look like a huge patchwork quilt, a cornucopia of greens, browns and yellows. Just about everyone has a garden of some sorts. Of course one of the reasons why my wife was right is that there is certainly enough rain to keep everything in bloom.

As we picked up the rent a car and made our way further south to my family we soon got off the major roads and into the wilds. Within a short space of time we saw pheasants, foxes and deer roaming close to the road, and even on it. Green fields as far as the eye could see, every inch of the land worked in some agricultural manner. I couldn’t help thinking that Slavonia, or even the fields of Konavle, should look like this. There is no abandoned hectare. From cattle to crops every inch is used. And in the spaces where nothing will grow then farmers “plant” another type of money spinner – solar panels. Great waves of black panels feeding the electrical grid.

Arriving in my mother’s village every home has a display of flowers, my own mother’s garden has so many that you have expect Sir David Attenborough to appear from the foliage filming a nature documentary. After a couple of days my mother suggested “Why don’t we visit a garden today.” Surrounded by gardens already my wife raised her eyebrows. But this was no ordinary garden. Within almost walking distance of her house is one of the crème de la crème of English gardens, Rosemoor.
The Royal Horticultural Society own and look after over 200 gardens in the UK and they are the utopia of English gardens. As it was a rainy day I have expected us to be the only ones there, wrong, it was packed. We paid our 11 pound entrance fee (make your own judgment in comparison to the City Walls) and entered a masterpiece.




If gardening was a work of art, then we were looking at a Monet. Even my young niece, who was at first less than impressed to be walking in a “boring garden,” soon changed her tune and was exploring. You have never seen lawns like this before, they looked flatter and smoother than a snooker table. The work that goes into keeping these gardens immaculate is endless. The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.

We turned a corner and I saw one example. A gardener was cutting the hedge that divided one garden from the next. This hedge was over two metres tall and at least the same width. It stretched for over 200 metres and yet it was perfectly measured as if cut from stone. The rest of my family had wandered away but I was mesmerized by the gardener. He was trimming the top, but every now and then he would stop and run his eye along the top to make sure it was straight.

But it still seemed strange to me that he could get the whole hedge so perfect. That was until he pulled out a sprit level and laid it on top of the hedge to make sure that it was 100 percent flat and straight. The same spirit level that builders use to check walls this rain-soaked gardener was using to check his green hedge. This hedge was probably over 50 years old, so somebody before him had presumably done the exact same thing. Years and years of constant care and hard work.

And on that grey overcast day I was remembered of all the hard work, tradition, dedication and care that it takes to make things work. There is no overnight, magical cure for anything. Whether you are trying to build a business, attempting to lose weight, raising your children or indeed running a country. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Rosemoor. As a wise author once wrote “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

The collaboration between the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Caboga Stiftung Foundation continues with a free concert performed by the London Handel Players Ensemble at 8:00 pm on Saturday the 16th of November at the Kaboga St Bunich. The concert will feature works by Händel, J.B. Lully, M. Marais, J.S. Bach, A. Campr, J. Leclair and J.F. Rebel.

The London Handel Players ensemble, praised by the New York Times for its "spiritual depth" and "impeccable musicianship", captivates audiences around the world with their performances and albums. Since debuting in 2000 at the Handel Festival in London at Handel's Parish Church of St George Hanover Square, the ensemble has regularly performed baroque chamber acts and concerts in leading concert halls and festivals in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, and has collaborated with world-leading singers.

Free tickets for this concert can collected at the Festival Palace in the Old City of Dubrovnik from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. In cooperation with the public bus company Libertas, a free shuttle bus will also be provided, departing at 7:30 pm from Pile.

Croatia has recorded over 20 million arrivals and 107 million nights in one year for the first time, the Tourism Ministry said on Friday.

According to the eVisitor system, which records the tourism turnover in commercial and non-commercial facilities and the nautical charter, 20.1 million arrivals and 107.03 million nights have been registered as of today, up 5% and 2% on the year respectively.

"This historic result, this challenging year for tourism... is proof and confirmation of the quality of the synergy of the public and private sectors, without which such results would not have been possible," said Minister Gari Cappelli.

"I'm confident this record will motivate us all to continue to build and make Croatian tourism even better," he added.

National Tourist Board director Kristjan Stanicic said that after last year's entire tourism turnover was surpassed last month, "these historic 20 million tourist arrivals additionally confirm the strength and stability of Croatia's tourism sector."

He said 2020 would be challenging and that many tour operators and airlines had announced that they would expand their programmes for Croatia.

This year so far, the biggest number of nights was generated by tourists from Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, South Korea and China.

The coastal resorts of Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Porec, Split and Medulin recorded the biggest number of nights.


A 75-year-old woman was injured in a fire at a family home in Soline caused by a gas bottle explosion early today. The fire broke out at around 11:30 today and smoke billowed across the Zupa hillside.

The Dubrovnik General Hospital says the patient sustained superficial injuries to her hand, face and scalp. Fire engines from Dubrovnik and Zupa attended the blaze and quickly got the fire under control.

The police and ambulance services were also quickly on the scene. 


So you think you know a little about Croatia, take our Croatian quiz and find out just how much. Are you a winner or a sinner?

15 questions on Croatia that will test your knowledge (with a few easy ones thrown in the mix). Let us know how you got on. And if you get them all correct then you are a true Croatian ace!

Check out the quiz below and have fun



Smoke is drifting across the hills of Zupa as a house burns in the villages of Soline.

The family house, on the hillside, caught fire around 11:30 today and fire trucks from Dubrovnik and Zupa are already on the scene and fighting the fire.

The police and ambulance service have also been called to intervene and the sound of emergency vehicles sirens is echoing around Zupa.

More news to follow....

fire in zupa dubrovnik


Every cloud has a silver lining. The changeable weather over the past week in Dubrovnik certainly has some advantages, and one of them appeared this morning, a glorious rainbow.

This stunning photo was sent to us by a reader and shows the colourful rainbow over the Port of Dubrovnik.

The forecast for the weekend is for more unsettled weather with rain and overcast skies predicted.

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The Ministry of the Interior has submitted to the public debate a new draft law for foreign nationals that includes a new model for the regulating of work visas for foreign nationals.

The new proposal would abolish the need for a quota system for work visas for foreign nationals. The current quota system for visas has received many negative comments from employers in Croatia. It is seen as being too restrictive and as tourism grows, and indeed a large number of young Croatians leave the country to find employment in other EU member states, the necessity for a workforce grows every season. This new draft law puts forward the proposal that the employment system for foreigners is made simpler and would abolish any quota system.

However, until this new law comes into effect the Minister of Tourism has sent a proposal to the government to increase the number of work visas for foreigners for next year to 30,000. In 2019 around 21,000 work visas for foreigners were issued in the tourism sector alone.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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