Friday, 13 December 2019
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Tonight there will be fireworks in front of the Port of Gruz between 9:30 and 10 pm because of private event. The light show will last around four minutes.

You don’t need to be a part of this event to see the fireworks, so grab your camera, find a perfect spot and just enjoy it.

A few days ago, the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic went to the United States in order to participate at the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, which is taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York from the 12th to the 25th of September 2017.

Upon arrival to New York, the Prime Minister Plenkovic, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejcinovic Buric, met with representatives of the Croatian Community in the US from New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington.

‘’I am glad that during our visit to New York, organized by our Embassy, Consular Offices and the Permanent Mission to the UN, we have this opportunity to meet with representatives of Croats living in the US, not only here in New York but in other states. Even representatives from the Croatian World Congress from Los Angeles, Croats from Washington, Philadelphia, Houston and other cities came here to meet with us’’, commented Plenkovic.

On this occasion, Plenkovic emphasized the importance of gathering all of those who wanted to contribute to their homeland. He also reminded of the 25th anniversary of Croatia’s membership in the UN and the speech that was then held by the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The Foreign Minister Pejcinovic Buric and the Croatian Ambassador to the United States Pjer Simunovic called Croats living in the US for cooperation.

Plenkovic also commented the first appearance of the US President Trump at the UN General Assembly by saying that Trump’s speech should point to the main guidelines of the US foreign policy. He added that it is notable that this year’s UN General Assembly will not be attended by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chinese President Xi Jinpin, thus, Plenkovic concluded that Trump’s speech would be a dominant topic for the next few days.  

The Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is to address to the UN General Assembly on the 21st of September 2017.

Christina O, a private motor yacht that once belonged to billionaire Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis, came to Dubrovnik yesterday and docked in front of island of Lokrum. Christina O is named after Onassis' daughter and it served as an iconic beacon of a glamorous lifestyle.

This yacht is one of the largest in the world but it’s especially famous because of its guests through the years and stories that follow them.

Apart from Onassis' mistress Maria Callas and his wife Jackie, he entertained celebrities such as Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Rudolf Nureyev, Greta Garbo, Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy and Peter Sagan. Princess Grace of Monaco had her wedding reception with Prince Rainier onboard in 1956.

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In 1998, the yacht was purchased by Greek shipowner John Paul Papanicolaou, a family friend of the Onassis dynasty.  After an extensive refit programme, finished in 2001, he returned the vessel to her former glory.

Christina O has a master suite, eighteen passenger staterooms, and numerous indoor and outdoor living areas, all connected by a spiral staircase. Compared to a typical 21st-century superyacht, her staterooms are small and Christina O lacks the indoor boat storage that is now standard; however, the number of living areas is large, and the amount of outdoor deck space is very generous.

The aft main deck has an outdoor pool with a minotaur-themed mosaic floor that rises at the push of a button to become a dance floor, and there is a helipad on the promenade deck. The bar stools in Ari's Bar retain the original upholstery crafted from a very soft, fine leather made from the foreskins of whales.

Croatian scientists have acheived groundbreaking success – they are the first in the world to invent a test that could predict diabetes! They discovered markers that show if a person can get diabetes in order to prevent it – reports Croatian radio-television (HRT).
    
HRT talked with one of the scientists, prof.dr. Gordan Lauc.

- Thanks to the revolutionary discovery of our scientists, the illness can be delayed and prevented -Lauc said and added that diabetes is to a large extent caused by our habits – eating too much and not moving enough.

- This test will show if a person is at a risk of getting diabetes within a few years and we hope that the test will encourage people to change their lifestyle - he explained.

It is a biomarker test on which 1,500 people have been working on for five years. The first phase of the clinical research has already been completed. The second phase will be conducted in China, Germany and Croatia. In Croatia, 2,000 patients will be included in the research, recruited by their family doctors.

Sources close to the production of ''Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'' currently being filmed on Vis, have confirmed the arrival of the world popular Hollywood actor Andy Garcia.

Garcia is to arrive on the island of Vis this week to join the film crew and play the role of Fernando Cienfuegos in the sequel of the romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried.

The famous Cuban American actor Andy Garcia became known in the late 1980s and 1990s, having appeared in several successful Hollywood films, including ‘’The Godfather Part III’’, ‘’The Untouchables’’, ‘’Internal Affairs’’ and ‘’When a Man Loves a Woman’’. In the 2000s, he starred in ‘’Ocean's Eleven’’ and its sequels, ‘’Ocean's Twelve’’ and ‘’Ocean's Thirteen’’, and ‘’The Lost City’’.

Garcia was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Vincent Mancini in ‘’The Godfather Part III’’. He was Emmy Award- and Golden Globe Award-nominated for his leading role in ‘’For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story’’.

The popular actor is also known for strict privacy and animosity towards the Hollywood lifestyle as well as for rejection of filming nude scenes. Garcia always avoids answering questions about his private life and reluctantly exposes himself on covers of magazines.  

This week Vis is expecting the arrival of Amanda Seyfried, whilst Pierce Brosnan and his colleague Colin Firth are expected to arrive on the island soon.

Peace Boat, Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization came to Port of Gruz in Dubrovnik. They work to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.

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Peace Boat carries out its main activities through a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages. The ship creates a neutral, mobile space and enables people to engage across borders in dialogue and mutual cooperation at sea and in the ports that they visit, as explained on their official page.

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- In different ports, we have different programs with local people, because the Peace Boat is on the voyage around the world, during which we stop at 25 ports - said Mine Karaki, representative of Peace Boat for Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

She added that in Dubrovnik they visited Desa Association, where they met the widows from Homeland War and talked about women’s issues, but also cooked and tasted traditional cuisine.

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According to the latest information, Austrians, Chinese and an Italian-Turkish group are bidding for the construction of the Peljesac Bridge in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

In the restricted procedure of public procurement, Strabag from Austria, Astaldi and the Turkish Ictas as well as the Chinese company China Road Bridge Corporation (CRBC) with partners have submitted their offers in the second-round tender.

The criterion for the selection of a bidder, according to the new Public Procurement Act, is the most economically advantageous offer. The Croatian client Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads) estimated the value of construction works at 1,756 billion Kunas excluding VAT; however, so far the bids (without VAT) exceeded this amount.  The Italian construction group Astaldi with its Turkish partner offered 2,551 billion Kunas (344,799 million Euros) for the bridge construction, the Strabag company from Austria offered 2,622 billion Kunas (354,440 million Euros), whilst the Chinese company CRBC offered the amount of 2,08 billion Kunas or 281,298 million Euros for the bridge construction.

After the evaluation of the bids in accordance with Croatia's Public Procurement Act, the competent Commission that includes representatives of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, and the Croatian Roads company will reach the decision on the selection of the most competitive bidder.

The value of the construction of the Peljesac bridge is estimated at 422 million Euros, whilst the EU will contribute 85 percent of the cost. The bridge will significantly improve the everyday life of Croatians, through reducing the travel time between Dubrovnik and Split. It will also greatly benefit tourism, trade and will reinforce the territorial cohesion of the South Dalmatia region with the other part of the country.

The Peljesac Bridge will connect the Dubrovnik–Neretva County to the rest of the country, by crossing the Mali Ston Bay over the Adriatic Sea. This will enable an undisturbed flow of goods and people, especially during the high tourist season.

In addition, the bridge will be 55 metres high and 2,4 kilometres long, with four lanes. The EU is also funding supporting infrastructure, such as the construction of access roads, including tunnels, bridges and viaducts, the building of an 8km-long bypass near the town of Ston and upgrading works on the existing road D414.

The bridge is expected to be opened in 2022.

According to nautical guests’ votes, Marina Punat is the best Croatian marina in 2017.
A few days ago, Marina Punat on the island of Krk was presented with the ''Golden Anchor Jutarnji list 2017'' award as the best marina on the Adriatic this year. ACI Marina Slano near Dubrovnik won the second place, whilst the Olive Island marina on the island of Ugljan was voted the third best Croatian marina.

The special acknowledgement ''Moja najdraza marina'' (''My favourite marina'') according to the nautical reviews went to ACI Marina Cres on the island of Cres, whilst Adriatic Croatia International Club d.d. – ACI received a special acknowledgement for exceptional contribution to the development of the Croatian nautical tourism as well as for the full support to the organization of Nautical Patrol of the Jutarnji list 2017.

The ''Golden Anchor Jutarnji list 2017'' award is the final of the summer project Nautical Patrol of the Jutarnji list which was carried out from the 23rd of June to the 18th of August this year. The project encompassed 32 marinas from the island of Ugljan to Dubrovnik, with 11,500 berths, whilst the main goal was to identify and compare the quality of services in Croatian marinas in order to improve the quality of nautical tourism in the country. Hanza Media organized the project under the sponsorship of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ).

''Nautical tourism is a product of exceptional global attractiveness, which records high rates of growth in the world. Nowadays Croatia is one of the leading nautical destinations, especially on the Mediterranean, therefore the Ministry of Tourism has great expectations from nautical tourism'', commented the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli.
Cappelli also added that this project, which involved more than 1,000 boaters on 32 locations, ensured the reference data on advantages and disadvantages of each Croatian marina and made an excellent basis for analysis that would surely serve as a good starting point in creating the next nautical year.

The survey questionnaire was completed by guest boaters in each marina who rated each category from 1 to 5 such as the orderliness, organization and cleanliness of a marina, staff hospitality, catering, and entertainment and sports contents. These answers accounted for 70 percent of the total marina rating, whilst the rating of the nautical patrol accounted for 30 percent, but for the overall impression of the marina.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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