Monday, 27 January 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.


- We have introduced the President of the Republic of Croatia with all the problems of the city of Dubrovnik and the program “Respect the City”, where we want to reduce the number of guests from cruise ships. We also brought up the problems with Croatia Airlines and asked for help because of the fact that we believe we are third-rate passengers of that company, and our citizens are unable to buy cheap air tickets - said the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, after talks with the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović in Dubrovnik today.

Frankovic told reporters that he also made the President aware of the problem of the postal service in the city, where sometimes letters take two weeks to be delivered. The question of the Dubrovnik Cable Car was one of the hottest topics for discussion. - The question about Excelsa Real Estate is that operate in the Republic of Croatia, but not under Croatian law, and yet they are able to carry out economic activities, which is inadmissible,” commented the Mayor about the owners of the cable car. Adding that he has asked the President for arbitration so that Excelsa is forced to pay their obligations.

According to unofficial information, the Croatian government is trying to use the negotiations between Great Britain and the European Union about Brexit in order for the UK to open its labour market for Croatian citizens.

When it comes to Croatian citizens on the labour market in the UK, they are in a very specific situation because, unlike other Europeans, they are still required to have working permits to work in the country.

This limitation, which is currently in force until the 30th of June 2018, Great Britain can prolong for two more years if it proves that the opening of the British market for Croatian citizens would lead to serious market disturbances. However, diplomatic sources state that Croatia considers this prolongation unfounded.

The British ambassador to Croatia Andrew Dalgleish pointed out that it is quite clear how much this issue is important to Croatia.

‘’At this moment I cannot tell you what will be the decision. However, what I can tell you is that the UK government is absolutely aware of the importance of this issue for Croatia and that we want Croatian citizens in the UK, after Brexit, to have the same rights and responsibilities as all other EU citizens’’.

Dalgleish also added that the UK does not want to have one regime for Croats and one for citizens of other EU member countries. ‘’The decision has not been reached yet, but we certainly take into consideration the importance of this issue for Croatia, which is a valuable bilateral partner of the United Kingdom and our ally in the UN and NATO’’, commented Dalgleish.

Lately big topic in the European cooking world is shortage of butter. It’s making the butter cost a lot more than before, as well as the products connected to it.

The lack of butter is a reflection of the major fall of milk production in Europe and is especially felt in France where butter is used in large amounts for the production of bakery products – writes

Some stores in France have informed their costumers about the problem with signs placed on their windows, saying that they are not selling certain bakery products anymore due to lack of butter.  

In France, butter prices rose by as much as 60 percent this year, official data shows, and this will be felt even more  pre-Christmas time when cakes and other products may be missing.

Butter prices have also increased in Croatia as a result of global price movements. The price of butter is on average about 25 kuna per 250 grams, which is around three euro. It is expected that prices will get even higher, also during the pre-Christmas period. Some even went that far in speculating, saying that this might be a year without cakes and cookies for Christmas in Croatia.

Be careful if you are walking in the Pile area of Dubrovnik today as a hole has appeared in the stone pavement.

These photos were sent to us by a reader who almost twisted her ankle in this hole. And as the hole in the pavement is in a busy area of the city, right next to the bus stops and tourist coach arrivals, we hope that the city is on the scene quickly to repair the damage and refill the hole.

be careful dubrovnik

In order to attract new investors, the Croatian city of Bjelovar has come up with an ingenious new approach – to become the first tax free city in the country.

‘’High taxes, high VAT, uncertain political situation, frequent changes in governing structures, introduction of new taxes etc., all these are problems that affect the business climate. Therefore, the city authorities of Bjelovar have decided to help those who express an interest of investing in our city or plan a new investment here by abolishing taxes’’, explained Darko Hrebak, the mayor of Bjelovar.

The city of Bjelovar will be the first tax free city in Croatia, however, the city authorities expect to lose at least 4 million Kunas of the city’s budget in the first year of implementation of the new approach, but they are also hoping for a new employment and investment boom.

The Croatian Pensioner Society (MUH), the largest pensioner’s organization in Croatia, warns that 50 percent of pensioners in Croatia live on the brink of poverty.

Around 570,000 Croatian pensioners receive an average pension of 1,348 Kunas, which remains behind the rise in salaries by 2,55 percent, the most in the last 18 years.

These data only confirm that a large number of elderly people in Croatia live in poverty, that many of them receive an income that is below the level of social assistance and that the situation is worrisome.

The Croatian Pensioner Society (MUH) also stated that, according to the latest data, all pensioners in Croatia who acquired their pensions in accordance to the Pension Insurance Act, on the average receive 2,314 Kunas a month, which accounts for only 38,4 percent of the average salary of 6,018 Kunas.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to neighbouring countries, Croatian pensioners are among the poorest pensioners in the region.

Our resident "Style Guru" has been scanning the streets of Dubrovnik this week for the latest and greatest in fashion.

diva 600 1

diva 500

divas 200 2

divas 200 1

diva 400 2

diva 400 1

Forebears is an interesting website that show how common your surname is and where your family originated from.
The website collects genealogical data from numerous historical books from a whole array of world countries, sorts them and shows the distribution of surnames around the globe.

According to Forebears data, the world's most common surname is Wang. More than 76 million people share that same surname and most of them live in China. In fact, among the ten most common surnames in the world, seven of them can be found in China, whilst the remaining three are most common in India.

On the other hand, Smith is the most common surname in Great Britain, Australia and the United States. There are more than 4 million people in the world who bear that surname; however, it ranks only as the world’s 117th most common surname.

As far as Croatia is concerned, the Forebears data show that the most common surname in the country is Horvat, followed by Novak, Marić, Kovačević, Babić, Kovačić, Jurić, Matić, Petrović and Marković.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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