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 City of Dubrovnik as an investor has obtained the first building permit for the reconstruction and expansion of the Lapad coast. The investment is estimated at around 40 million Kuna, covering the area from the port of Batala to the Faculty of Economics.
The project ultimately foresees a two-way road on the Lapad coast, as opposed to the current one-way road. In addition to the reconstruction and extension of the road the project also includes a whole new drainage system as well as a new public lighting system and telecommunication network. Along the entire length of the road, on the left hand side, a new footpath will be installed, while the right hand side there will be a “green belt” and parking spaces.
Construction works are planned to start at the end of this year, and the whole project will be funded by the City of Dubrovnik and EU funds.
Finishing a construction project on time in Croatia is rare, finishing it ahead of time is almost unheard of. However, that is exactly what has happened with the first stage of the new Peljesac Bridge. The last of a total of 148 permanent pilots on the construction site of the Peljesac bridge was completed on Thursday night, ending the job a full 12 days ahead of schedule.
The last pilot was 126.6 meters long and one of the most critical for the bridge’s foundation.
According to the plan of construction the last pilot had to be in place by the 12th of May. The original plan was to install one pilot per day, however the Chinese construction company managed to install two a day, and sometimes three a day depending on the weather conditions.
I was gazing through my window onto yet another grey and cold May day in Dubrovnik when every electronic communication device in my house lit up like the fireworks display for the opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. “It’s a boy!” Finally, there was an answer to the question that I had been constantly asked (mainly with my female friends) for the last two weeks. Meghan was a mum! And Harry a dad! A nation celebrated. A nation had a new prince. Although by the time you read this the name of the new Prince will have been announced I am writing in the dark as deadlines loom.
I am not a betting man but I have a feeling he will be an A – Arthur, Albert or Alexander. How cool will it be if we had another King Arthur. Of course due to traditions the baby already has an official royal title before he has name, yes say hello to the Earl of Dumbarton. So far traditions have been respected, modern technology used and the couple have shown a new face of the Royal family.
The birth was formally announced on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on an easel, carried by two butlers which relayed the fact that “the Queen and the Royal Family are delighted”. And then much more casually Prince Harry used Instagram to announce the news personally. Of course he doesn’t have his own social media account, none of the Royals do, but the official account of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Yes, one of the things that the new-born will have to get used to is a life lived in the spotlight of the world’s media. From the day he was born to the day he dies this latest member of the British Royal family will be in the public eye. This little soul is blissfully unaware that he is a Royal and that the world is watching me, or even the future that lies before him.
I am not going to lie the birth of a Royal baby is huge news in the UK, it has firmly swept Brexit under the carpet (at least for now) and brought a smile to the faces of millions. Harry and Meghan are like the UK version of Angelina and Brad Pitt. And not just on the island that is Great Britain, but also around the world. Figures show that the birth was the most covered birth, in terms of international news coverage, since Prince Louis in April 2018. So far Meghan and Harry have been able to keep the location of the hospital a secret from the UK press, that is quite an impressive feat as the British press are probably the most aggressive in the world. I am hoping that they followed the tradition that his brother and Kate followed by having their baby at the St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Simply because they always use a wing of the hospital that has a slight touch of Dubrovnik, yes it’s called the Lindo wing, just a Đ away from being connected to our folklore guys.
So they have followed tradition, added some modern flavour, but hoiw have they shown that new Royal face. Harry has always had this reputation as a “lovable rouge.” Whilst William has been the serious, family man, Harry was viewed more of a playboy. In Star Wars terms Prince William in Luke Skywalker and Harry takes the role of Hans Solo.
The introduction of Meghan has certainly brought a newer, calmer version of the young Prince. And the couple showed their humanitarian side by announcing that instead of the public sending gifts to the new-born they donate to charity. Harry and Meghan asked the public to donate to four children's charities, instead of sending presents for the royal baby. And the latest news shows that these four charities have been absolutely bombarded with gifts of all shapes and sizes. One of them, “Little Village”, a clothes, toys and equipment bank for young children, has received donations from around the world and had a surge in volunteer applications. It is a wild time in the UK, a time of celebration, and I think they really need a celebration on the island at the moment.
I’ll leave the last word to Prince Harry "How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody."
The Croatian Networking Regulatory Agency (HAKOM) has informed users of electronic communications services that as of Wednesday, May 15, 2019, sending SMS messages and calls from Croatia to any number from EU countries will be cheaper. All Croatian operators have to adjust the prices of their calls and SMSs to the EU-level limit.
The new prices are for sending an SMS will amount to 0.55kn / SMS, while the price of a call will be 1.76 kn / min.
The new regulation applies to all EU member states, including the outermost regions, which are part of the EU single market.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, with his associates, is currently visiting a sister city, Venice, where he opened the exhibition "The Place of Intermittent Departures" on Thursday.
The exhibition is organized in the framework of the 58th Venice Biennale, where Dubrovnik is appearing for the first time, and was realized in co-operation with the twin cities of Dubrovnik and Venice and the Art Gallery of Dubrovnik. The opening ceremony was attended by the Croatian Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Korzin, and numerous domestic and international artists from the world of art.
Although the two Mediterranean cities have co-operated before in the field of economy, especially tourism, the exhibition is the first concrete project in the field of culture since the conclusion of a friendship charter that opened the door to similar co-operation in the future. Namely, the aforementioned charter of 2012 emphasized the strengthening of cultural exchanges between the two twinned cities.
The exhibition is located in the Tesa 100 area at Arsenal Nord, and it will remain open until the 24th of November.
Hollywood actress Jessica Alba will visit Dubrovnik this summer as part of the NEM congress. Alba (38) will come to Dubrovnik in June this year and will be the star attraction at this popular television congress that brings a whole host of television decision makers from all over the world.
NEM will be held in the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace from the 10th to the 13th of June. And the Hollywood A-liner isn’t the only star coming to Dubrovnik for the congress, Alba will be joined by fellow top actors Gabrielle Union and Alan Cumming.
Alba will take the opportunity to present her latest project, along with Union, Las Finest, a TV series based around the work of the DEA.
Dubrovnik is experiencing one of the wettest starts to May ever and it looks set to continue for a few days longer at the very least. With temperatures barely scraping up to the low teens and grey, overcast skies blotting out the sun the first week of May has been more autumnal than summery.
Instead of relaxing on the beach and topping up their tans tourists have been hiding under umbrellas and wrapped warmly in coats. The summer has yet to start in the city and the forecasters are predicting that the wet spell will last for at least another week.
The forecast for this weekend is for gloomy skies and rain with temperatures on Saturday expected to be between 20 and 15 degrees with possible thunderstorms. Whilst Sunday will see temperatures drop to between 18 and 14 degrees with periods of rain.
“This weather is unbelievable, I’ve had enough of the rain and I’m still wearing my winter jackets. I’ve never seen a start to May like this before,” commented a resident of the Old City.
And the wet weather will continue for most of next week with temperatures stuck between 19 and 14 degrees. The start of the week could see lightning and thunder on Monday and Tuesday with rain and showers for the rest of the week.
The sun and blue skies aren’t forecast until the following weekend, the 18th and 19th of May.
Enlargement of the European Union will be one of Croatia's priorities and it will help candidates on their journey toward membership, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejcinovic-Buric said at ministerial meeting of the Adriatic-Ionian region held in Budva, Montenegro on Wednesday.
A forum of the EU Adriatic-Ionian Strategy was held there on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since 2014, Brussels has endeavoured to establish cooperation between member states and membership candidate countries from Southeast Europe.
Officials from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Greece attended the meeting along with officials from Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and San Marino.
"Enlargement will be one of Croatia's priorities next year," Pejcinovic Buric said.
This was the last meeting of ministers from the region before Croatia takes over the chairmanship of the Council of the European Union in January 2020. "We believe that 70 million residents who live in the Adriatic-Ionian region and that it encompasses four member states and others outside of (the EU) represent potential for cooperation," the minister told reporters.
The European Commission initiated this type of cooperation five years ago and it unfolds within common projects in four themed units: blue growth/maritime cooperation; transport and energy connections; environmental protection; and sustainable tourism.