Sunday, 05 April 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.


Gale force southerly winds brought rolling seas and rain to Dubrovnik this morning with rain predicted for most of the day.

The southwest winds blew for most of last night and, as ever, meant that the region was overcast and stormy. These photos and video were taken by a reader on the beach of Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and show the force of the waves at midday.

crashing seas in december in front of hotel palace

More than often Croatian citizens complain about the overall situation in the country and the government and problems they do nothing about in order to prevent or solve.

Among many, one of the biggest issues in Croatia is child adoption. There are thousands of couples in the country who cannot have children due to medical reasons and they are eager to adopt a child or children. However, the governing system became so slow and inefficient this year that it literally destroys children’s future and prevents them from having a loving home.

Despite the fact that thousands of married couples want to adopt a child, according to data, only one child was adopted from the Children’s Home in Zagreb this year. In previous years, that figure was around 30 to 40 children, however, the inefficiency of the governing bodies led to this devastating statistics.

The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, received an official visit from the Managing Director of Croatia Airlines, Jasmin Bajic, today. At the very beginning of the meeting Mayor Frankovic congratulated Croatia Airlines on a successful season and commented that the national carrier should be of strategic interest to the Republic of Croatia because it is one of the indicators of a stable market.

During the official visit Frankovic and Bajic discussed the future cooperation between the City of Dubrovnik and the national air carrier.

Mayor Frankovic said that currently the City of Dubrovnik currently spends around two and a half million Kuna annually for ticket subsidies for citizens. And added that unfortunately it has not been able to make financially easier for the inhabitants of Dubrovnik to travel to the Croatian capital because in the meantime Croatia Airlines has raised ticket prices.

The mayor also appealed to Croatia Airlines to find new ways to make it easier for the citizens of Dubrovnik to travel to Zagreb as a certain number of these passengers are travelling to visit hospitals in the capital.

Bajić thanked Mayor Frankovic for his comments and introduced him to the way the air carrier operates as well as the problems facing the national air carrier.

It must be egret season in Dubrovnik (and no, it isn’t a stork) as the second sighting of this in the city was recorded today.

The graceful bird seemed quite at home wandering around near a busy road to the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Whether the bird was looking for a mate, a place to next or a lift to the hospital we will never know.

egret bird dubrovnik

As a sign of gratitude for their commitment, IKEA Group will pay more than 1,2 million Kunas to a special pension fund for its employees in Croatia, said IKEA Croatia recently.

Three years ago, IKEA Group introduced ‘’Tack!’’, a unique fidelity program within which the company pays an annual contribution to all its employees for future retirement (‘’tack’’ is a Swedish word for ‘’thank you’’).

‘’We believe in rewarding loyalty and expressing gratitude to colleagues who stay with us and continue to work for the success of the entire IKEA Group. Our colleagues need to know how much we appreciate their experience and commitment, and I am proud that IKEA Group in Croatia will allocate additional 4,176,38 Kunas per employee for pensions of our 295 colleagues this year’’, commented Stefan Vanoverbeke, the director of IKEA Croatia and the regional director of IKEA South East Europe (SEE).

As IKEA Group explained, the same amount is allocated to all those who have worked at least one full fiscal year in the company. After five years of working in the company, the accumulated money is paid to a special pension fund for employees, and then it is paid directly to the fund every year.

It is interesting to note that since the ‘’Tack!’’ fidelity program was introduced three years ago, IKEA Group has paid 509 million Euros to the fund for better pensions of IKEA employees.

The sweetest party of the year, the Cake Party is going to be held on Sunday instead of Saturday because of the weather conditions. The tenth edition of our favourite event is therefore going to happen on December 10th at 10 am in front of Saint Blase Church. 

The Cake party is organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and it offers, as you could guess, a lot of cakes! The sweet delights are donated by the media houses, as well as the restaurants, hotels, etc.

This is one of the most visited events of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, since everyone is invited to buy a piece (or two) of cake, all for good cause! Every year the Tourist Board picks an association and donates all the collected money.

Everyone can participate in the charitable action by buying a voucher for 15 kuna, showing their good will and helping the Association for Dystrophic Disorders, Cerebral and Children’s Palsy and Other Physical Disabilities of Dubrovnik Neretva County.
Don't miss this sweet event and a great chance to help to those who need it.

Croatian national air carrier Croatia Airlines has recorded the two-millionth passenger mark in one year for the first time in its history.

On the 6th of December, the jubilee passenger was welcomed on a regular international flight between Zagreb and Copenhagen.

Therefore, the two-millionth passenger in one year was recorded for the first time in the history of Croatia Airlines, i.e. since the beginning of its operations in May 1991.

So far this year, Croatia Airlines recorded an overall increase of 10 percent in passenger traffic, i.e. 11 percent more passengers in international traffic and 7 percent more passengers in domestic regular traffic in comparison to 2016.

The increase in passenger traffic, among other things, is a result of the introduction of four new seasonal flights in May this year – between Zagreb and Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Bucharest as well as of the continuation of seasonal flights to Lisbon, Milan, Prague and Sankt Petersburg, which were introduced last year. Besides, due to the large passengers’ interest, seasonal flights to Barcelona and Lisbon are prolonged in the winter flight schedule 2017/2018 thus they will be operated for the first time in the off-season period.

The national carrier expects to end this year with 2,100,000 passengers, which will be a record-breaking number of passengers in one year in the history of Croatia Airlines.

According to research conducted by the Department of Economics and Business Economics of the University of Dubrovnik and the Economic Institute of Zagreb, from the third wealthiest country Croatia has become the second poorest new member of the European Union over the past decade.

The research results point to the prevailing trend of decreasing work-intensive activities within the manufacturing industry in all countries of Central and Eastern Europe over the past ten years.

However, in countries with active industrial policy, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, this process was accompanied by a technological advancement of the industry, an increase in sectoral competitiveness and the share of added value of the manufacturing industry in the overall economy, which is why these countries are an example of successful reindustrialization.

On the other hand, in countries such as Croatia, past decade was marked by the decline in industrial competitiveness, the increase in the share of low tech-intensive activities within the manufacturing industry and by the decrease of the industry’s share in the total added value.

In other words, whilst successful former transition countries reindustrialised the economy through their thought-out policies, the process of de-industrialization in Croatia continued and deepened.

The data shows that in 1990, the share of the manufacturing industry in GDP in Croatia was 24 percent, whilst in 2015 it was barely 12 percent. At the same time, the share of high-tech products in the overall industrial production slightly decreased, whilst in all other countries in the region, with the exception of Lithuania and Latvia, increased.

The research also pointed out to further deepening of the differences in the exports competitiveness of the manufacturing industry between the leading countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Croatia.

In countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, there was an increase in the sophistication of export products in high-tech and knowledge-intensive activities as well as the transition from price competitiveness to the one based on quality.

On the other hand, the research results for Croatia reveal the loss of price competitiveness with the lack of improved quality-based competitiveness.

Therefore, it is not surprising that since the beginning of the transition process until today, from the third wealthiest country Croatia has become the second poorest new member country of the European Union.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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