Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The Brexit situation is, to say the least, fluid. And many British travellers looking to spend their summer holidays on the beaches of Europe this year have a whole range of concerns regarding their rights in the future, whether in the case of a deal or a no-deal. And of course for the millions of UK nationals who call the European Union home they also have worries on their status in the future.
One of the biggest concerns is undoubtedly their healthcare rights in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
In light of these concerns the UK government has released some fresh advice for UK travellers in the case of a no-deal Brexit. This latest, and updated advice, was published on the official website of the UK government and gives important guidelines for UK nationals looking to travel to Europe after Brexit and the moves they need to make to protect their healthcare.
Here is the advice for the UK government in full:
Healthcare advice for UK travellers in the event of a no-deal EU Exit
Updated advice for UK travellers on the continuity of reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event of a no-deal EU Exit.
Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority and would give all UK nationals the stability and certainty to prepare for our new relationship after EU Exit. However, the government must plan for every possible outcome, including no deal.
All UK nationals who are planning to reside in, travel to, work or study in the EU or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) are strongly advised to check the country-specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK about healthcare arrangements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The Department of Health and Social Care has been working closely with EU member states and EFTA states to protect existing healthcare arrangements for these and other groups. However, it is not possible for the UK government to guarantee access unilaterally to healthcare abroad.
Actions for UK nationals
Visitors to the EU
The government always advises UK nationals to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations. UK nationals, including those with pre-existing conditions, planning to visit a country in the EU/EFTA on exit day should continue to buy travel insurance.
Any questions regarding individual travel insurance policies should be directed to the relevant insurance companies or refer to guidance published on the Association of British Insurers (ABI) website.
Residents in the EU
Substantial numbers of UK nationals will already be eligible for or enrolled in local health services, because of their residency, benefits or employment status. There is no reason to think that a no-deal scenario will affect these arrangements where EU countries offer equal access to healthcare.
UK nationals resident in the EU are advised to register their healthcare entitlement with their local authorities, if they have not already done so. This may mean that they will need to join a social insurance scheme and contribute as other residents do. Others will need to buy private healthcare insurance.
The UK government’s offer
In order to continue to support the healthcare needs of UK nationals, we have made an offer to EU member states and EFTA states to maintain the existing healthcare arrangements, in both a deal or no-deal scenario, until 31 December 2020.
This would mean that we will continue to pay for healthcare costs for current or former UK residents for whom the UK has responsibility who are living or working in or visiting the EU.
We have brought forward legislation to enable us to implement new reciprocal healthcare arrangements.
Although we are hopeful that EU member states will accept our offer, as a responsible government we have developed a multi-layered approach to minimise disruption to healthcare provision for UK nationals currently in or travelling to the EU:
If EU member states do not agree to extend the existing healthcare arrangements before exit day, many of the arrangements for access to healthcare in the EU would change for UK nationals. Healthcare arrangements in many member states would revert to those that apply to the rest of the world.
In a no-deal scenario, UK nationals may no longer be able to use their EHICs when travelling to the EU.
In 2018 a total of 9.9 million Kunas worth of food was donated to Croatian charities, which was down almost a million Kuna when compared with 2017.
The Croatian Tax Office collected data on the amount of food donated to Croatian charities as part of an action which will be launched in Brussels to mark the most generous companies. However, the data collected shows that donations have dropped significantly and even more worrying is that around 380,000 tonnes of food is thrown away every day, the vast majority by households.
The biggest donators of food in Croatia in recent years have been the supermarket chain Konzum and the dairy producer Dukat.
With summer rapidly approaching its high time to plan your Dubrovnik vacation. And what better way to relax than to find a stress-free island in the sun and roll out the beach towel.
We have chosen our “Top Five Dubrovnik Island Getaways” to give you all some handy ideas on where to island-hop this summer. With over 1,000 islands dotted along the Croatian coastline you’ll be spoilt for choice, but here are a few ideas.
Given that there are over 250 children actively involved, one of the main concerns of the Župa Dubrovnik Football Club are activities to improve and build the infrastructure necessary for the normal running of training processes and competitions in all ages and categories.
Last year, with the help of the Municipality of Župa, preparatory actions on the construction of an auxiliary football field with artificial grass were begun. The Municipality invested more than 200,000 Kuna in addition to other investments through the Community of Sports, and these works were the basic prerequisite for obtaining the donation from the Croatian Football Association, which was realized today.
The President of the Croatian Football Federation, Davor Šuker, today in Zagreb handed over a donation of 500,000 Kuna to the President of Župa Football Club, Duro Lonza, intended for the purchase of artificial grass.
The prestigious British publication, Business Destinations, has named Croatia as the best destination in Europe for conferences and congresses for 2018.
Croatia, which has been working hard to attract more international conferences in recent years, was named as the best Meeting, Incentive, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE) destination for 2018.
“The next 12 months are likely to be characterised by upheaval, particularly in Europe. The UK’s impending exit from the EU is likely to have a major impact on continental travel, with the initial transition period set to be marked by significant uncertainty with regards to freedom of movement and travel visas. The travel providers that react quickly and continue to deliver a value-based offering to business and leisure consumers are the most likely to emerge unscathed from this challenging period. With this in mind, Business Destinations has assembled a list of the most innovative and adaptable travel facilitators across the world,” writes the UK-based magazine.
"This award is important for us because the selection for the awards is done by the magazine's editors together with its readers and business travellers around the world. This market is very important because business travellers are a stable source of revenues, which, depending on trends, is often highest in the periods before and after the peak summer season. Business travellers make up 10-15 percent of all hotel guests," the head of the national tourist board, Kristjan Stanicic, said in a press release.
An earthquake rumbled through the Peljesac Peninsular last night with the epicentre near the town of Orebic. At exactly 9:33 pm the earthquake rumbled through the peninsular with the epicentre 10 kilometres east of the town of Orebic.
The Seismological Service of the Republic of Croatia stated that last night’s earthquake was a “moderate” one measuring 3.3 on the Richter Scale. While citizens reported feeling the quake there are no reports of any injuries or physical damage to buildings.
At a hearing in The Hague today the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, had his 40-year sentence increased to life in prison for genocide and war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Judge Vagn Joesen sitting at the court in The Hague, which replaced the now defunct International Criminal Tribunal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, sentenced Karadzic to life imprisonment for crimes during the period from 1992 to 1995.
In 2016, after a mammoth six-year trial, Karadzic received a 40-year sentence for several counts of crimes against humanity, including the genocide of Muslim Bosniaks in Srebrenica.
"I'm here to represent parents of 1,600 children who had been killed in the war, and for us it is important to see that the court confirmed Karadzic was the one who issued orders to terrorise and shell civilians," head of the association which gathers families of children killed during the siege of Sarajevo, Fikret Grabovica, commented to the Croatian state agency Hina.
Karadzic was caught in 2008 in Belgrade where he had been working as a new age healer under a new identity. The first court case lasted from 2009 to 2016, when he has given a 40-year sentence, after today’s ruling this has been increased to life imprisonment.
There are currently 120 millionaires in Croatia who are worth between 30 and 100 million dollars, including 11 who are worth more than $100 million.
According to recent research by the London-based consultancy company “Knight Frank” the number of millionaires in Croatia has increased by 33 percent over the last decade. However, over the same time period the Croatian economy has slightly weakened and the gross domestic product is several points lower than 10 years ago. Nevertheless, the percentage rise of Croatian millionaires, at 33 percent, is almost double the rise in the European Union which stood at 17 percent.
According to Knight Frank's estimate, Croatia has 11,900 millionaires of a "lighter category", meaning those with assets worth more than a million dollars or six and a half million Kuna. It is important to note that this data does not refer to the total number of Croatian rich people, but only to those registered in the country. However, this London estimate seems considerably lower than the real situation, especially when you take into account the number of citizens who own property along the Adriatic coastline which probably means that the number of domestic millionaires is much higher.
Although delving down into exactly how Knight Frank made their conclusions a clearer picture becomes apparent. Knight Frank does not include the primary house where people live, but additional houses and real estate, stocks and securities, art collections, aircraft, yachts, gold, wine, watches and other items.
The real news, however, is that the prosperity of people in Croatia is slowing down as Knight Frank estimates that the number of millionaires will grow by only 10 percent in the next decade.
There is a noticeable trend of reducing investment in financial assets, and statistics show that almost all wealthy people diversify their investments. The majority of them have property in their company, and 56 percent invest in real estate. It is also popular to have a certain amount of cash, invest in stocks and gold.