Wednesday, 02 December 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Due to the almost complete absence of demand, the Dubrovnik Cable Car will suspend operations until further notice.

The last working day of the Dubrovnik Cable Car will be tomorrow, Saturday, November 28, 2020, the company that operates the cable car have announced.

 

The Croatian economy fell by 10 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, mostly due to a drop in personal consumption. However, the drop wasn’t as bad as the record 15 percent decrease in the previous quarter.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released on Friday the first estimate that gross domestic product (GDP) fell 10 percent year-on-year in the past quarter.

The decline is slightly smaller than analysts' expectations. Seven analysts, who took part in the Hina poll, expected GDP to fall by 10.4 percent on average, and their estimates of the fall ranged from 9.5 to 11 percent.

It is the second quarter in a row that the economy has fallen on an annual basis, meaning it has plunged into its first recession since 2014.

However, the decline in the third quarter was smaller than in the second, when the economy sank to a record 15.4 percent due to restrictive measures aimed at controlling coronavirus.

The real GDP decline of 10 percent is the second largest real decline since 1995.

 

According to CBS data released today, household consumption sank 7.5 percent last quarter from a year earlier.

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The busiest port on the island of Lastovo, Ubli, will soon get a complete reconstruction as part of a 59 million Kuna project.

The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has made a decision on financing the project "Reconstruction of the port open to public transport Ubli on the island of Lastovo" in the amount of slightly more than 59 million Kuna.

This investment will see just over 50 million Kuna from the EU Cohesion Fund and almost 9 million Kuna from the State Budget of the Republic of Croatia.

The realization of this project envisages the reconstruction of the port of Ubli on the island of Lastovo, where the organization of the port will be improved and its capacities will be increased. It is planned to build another ferry ramp with a 110-meter berth. The project provides additional security of docking because now there is only one ferry ramp in the port of Ubli, which is a big problem in case of failure. At the same time, a safe berth is provided for larger ferries, which has not been the case so far, and it is planned to arrange the coast as well as organize traffic and manipulative and pedestrian areas in accordance with the position of the new pier.

 

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Croatia is one of the fashionable tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. But, despite the popularity of its coasts and income from tourism, the growth of its economy is slow and many of its inhabitants do not have stable employment. This reality has occupied the debate of the politicians who have attended the last elections.

This Balkan republic declared its independence in 1991. After the Second World War (1939-1945), it had been one of the members of the federal republic of Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslav states were communist countries: the state controlled factories and the economy in order to distribute wealth among the inhabitants. However, this model collapsed and shifted to a market or capitalist economy during the 1990s. Adjusting the economic model is always difficult, and the country is still trying to adapt.

Furthermore, the Croatian war for its independence, which is included in the so-called Homeland War, lasted until 1995. It left the country's infrastructure and economy as a whole seriously damaged.

Tourism-based economy

With peace, recovery had to come. Croatia focused on the service sector, especially tourism. It stopped betting on the industry, as it had done in the past.

Currently, according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, 70.1% of the economy is based on the third sector, that of tourism and services. Industry contributes to generating 26.2% of the country's wealth, and agriculture only 3.7%.

The 2008 crisis, a hard blow for Croatia

The 2008 crisis shook with great force a state that was still recovering from the war. In the aftermath of the recession, salaries dropped considerably, from 43% of the median salary in Western Europe to 37%, according to the Transform! Europe.

Unemployment was also another serious threat. In 2014, in full recession, it became the third country in the European Union with the most unemployed (17.2% of the working-age population), behind Spain (24%) and Greece (26.5%), according to Eurostat data.

Low unemployment, but low-paying and insecure jobs

Little by little, unemployment fell to 7.7% in 2019, according to World Bank data. In the European Union, unemployment was 6.4%.

Although the situation has improved, the economic crisis left consequences that still linger. In general, wages are very low - Croatia's minimum wage is the sixth lowest in the European Union, according to Eurostat data.

Furthermore, it is easy to be fired and so-called “garbage” contracts abound - temporary, short and poorly paid. One of the toughest jobs is still picking fruit. The rate is about 20 kuna (3.2 dollars) an hour.

The 28th member state of the European Union

Croatia is the 28th member state of the European Union. The country came to the EU immersed in recession and with an unemployment rate of 20%, but will these figures reverse in the short term? The statistics show that EU funds may reactivate its economy, but will not reach the population.

Although the inclusion of this country in the EU may be a boost for its economy, it is not so clear that it is also positive for its population, since it is estimated that a good part of its young people will have to emigrate to other countries of the Eurozone in search of employment.

In fact, to avoid avalanches, Germany or Austria have already announced that they will resort to their right of moratorium to avoid large flows, although in reality it could mean an improvement for their battered pension system.

It is also worth mentioning that Croatia's accession to the group of EU member countries occured without the nation meeting the criteria recommended in the Stability and Growth Pact, 60% debt over GDP and 3% deficit, when statistics Officials gave Croatia a debt over GDP of 63.5% and 5.3% in terms of the deficit.

But day by day, slowly but surely, Croatia is improving its economy slowly, with aid from the EU. The country is now one of the most attractive investment destinations in Europe and one of the indications is the increased trading of shares of Croatian companies and the increasing demand for trading apps among Croats.

 

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"Adherence to all measures and instructions adopted so far is of key importance because responsible behaviour can reduce the spread of coronavirus infection. Everyone must be aware of the responsibility for their own health, the health of their families and fellow citizens,” commented the Civil Protection Headquarters at today’s press conference.

In the last 24 hours, 4,080 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 22,408.

“Last week, we had a 15 percent increase in the weekly figure, the week before it was seven percent, and the week before it was four percent. Our current incidence is on the 24th place in the list of European countries, so only three countries have a higher incidence than us. These are Slovenia, Austria and Luxembourg. Everyone else has a lower incidence,” commented Krunoslav Capak.

In terms of mortality, we are in 12th place in the list of European Union countries.

"If we have a downward trend in the numbers of new patients and newly hospitalized, then we can talk about some easing of measures," Capak said.

 

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In the last 24 hours, 4,080 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 22,408. Today’s figures represent a record day for the number of new Covid-19 cases and over the past 3 days Croatia has seen 11,692 new cases.

There are currently 2,240 patients in hospital across Croatia, including 266 people on ventilators.

Unfortunately, over the past 24-hour period a further 48 people passed away due to the virus, meaning that the death toll from Covid-19 in Croatia has now reached 1,600.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 119,706 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 1,600 have died, a total of 95,698 people have recovered, of which 3,349 recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 51,514 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 724,820 people have been tested, of which 11091 in the last 24 hours.

 

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In the last 24 hours, 49 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

These new cases are 21 people from Dubrovnik, six from Metković, five from Konavle (four of them from the Home for the Elderly), three each from Blato, Lastovo and Vela Luka, two people from the Dubrovacko Primorje, one person each from Ploče, Opuzen , Ston, Župa dubrovačka and Zažablja and one person who does not have a residence in the county.

A total of 25 males and 24 females were infected, and an epidemiological link was established for 29 individuals.

Unfortunately, one male from Konavle died from Covid-19 (born in 1942).

On a positive note 43 people have made a full recovery - 14 from Dubrovnik, nine from Metković, five from Konavle, four from Opuzen and Župa dubrovačka, two from Blato and Ploče, one from the Dubrovacko Primorje and two people who do not reside in the county.

53 people tested for coronavirus are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Seven patients require intensive care, one patient is on oxygen, one is on non-invasive ventilation, and five are on invasive ventilation.

In the last 24 hours, 246 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 24,461 samples have been analysed.

There are 803 people in self-isolation, and no violation of the self-isolation measure has been recorded in the last 24 hours.

The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County continues to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.

 

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The flagship airline of the UK, British Airways, has announced a number of flights between London and Croatia this Christmas season. British Airways will briefly re-establish the London Heathrow-Zagreb route at Christmas and New Year, according to a report on Croatian Aviation.

The on/off flight schedule of British Airways from London to Croatia this summer has seen the airline firstly suspend all flights for September and October before introducing a two-week schedule, and then dropping the line again.

Now British Airways have announced five return flights between London and Zagreb over the festive season. British Airways have confirmed that this line will be in operation from December 20 to January 5, the company will perform only 5 return flights on it, far less than originally planned.

 

 

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