Sunday, 23 September 2018
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.


One of the most popular beaches in Konavle, in fact in the entire region, Pasjača Beach now has a safer path thanks to the instalment of a new fence.

Although the Pasjača Beach is certainly one of the most spectacular in the wider region the walk down to it has been for years rather dangerous. But now thanks to the Municipality of Konvale a new security fence has been put up to increase the safety for bathers.

The new fence, over 80 metres in length, covers many of the areas that were without any guard rail until now. The older part of the fence will be replaced next year.

pasjaca fence 2

The Croatian government have announced the largest ever spend on employment programs as they aim to retrain unemployed people to fill holes in the job market. The Labour Minister commented that the government plans to spend 2.5 billion Kuna on employment programs this year.

"Never in the history of Croatia has more money been allocated for employment, because this year we are investing 2.5 billion (€337 million) Kuna in employment programmes, including 1.6 billion Kuna (€216 million) for active policy measures, and 900 million Kuna (€121 million) for specialised programmes," commented the Minister.

The unemployment rate in Croatia is at a record low, mainly thanks to the booming tourism industry and the migration of Croatian workers to other European Union countries.

There are currently around 134,000 unemployed people in Croatia which means that the unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. However, there is a shortfall of workers for the tourism industry so this new employment plan will provide funds for retraining unemployed people to fill positions in the tourism sector.

Every year Dubrovnik is inundated with fans of the globally popular HBO serial Game of Thrones. They come to marvel at the locations, buy a souvenir or sit in the iron throne on the island of Lokrum, but some fans take their Dubrovnik Game of Thrones experience to the extreme.

- Fun fact: Croatia practically invented nudism. They have the third largest nudist colony in the world and all beaches are top or clothing optional. So #WhenInCroatia bring on the titty glitter – commented this Canadian on her Instagram site with a rather revealing photo.

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The former leader of the Labour Party and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, has been relaxing in Dubrovnik on holiday.

This August the former Prime Minister spent a couple of weeks in Dubrovnik on vacation and enjoyed the Old City and the Adriatic Sea. Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Blair commented that “This is my first time in Croatia and I am completely blown away. I really didn’t know that Dubrovnik was so beautiful. I will certainly come back,” commented Blair.

Tony Blair (65) was the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom for ten years from 1997 to 2007 and leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007.

Traffic was blocked towards the Dubrovnik Airport this morning after a Citroen C3 finished on its roof after a road traffic accident. The 65-year-old lost control of the vehicle and blocked the main road from Dubrovnik to the airport.

The accident happened at around 10.30 this morning and the ensuing traffic jams tailed back for kilometres. The police and emergency services were on the scene quickly and the reason for the accident has yet to be confirmed.

Croatia has Finland’s support on its path towards joining the Schengen Area and the euro zone, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said in Zagreb on Monday after meeting with Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic-Buric.

Croatia is making good progress on fulfilling the criteria for accession to Schengen Area and Helsinki supports its efforts to continue in that direction, and when all criteria are met, Finland will back its accession, Soini said.

Finland also supports Croatia on its path towards joining the euro zone, but it will not be easy to fulfil all the criteria, said Soini, a moderate Eurosceptic and critic of EU safety mechanisms and bailouts.

“We did that in Finland. It means austerity measures, and budget control. But it is a good thing for boosting investments and the wellbeing of the nation as a whole,” he added.

Relations between the two countries are very good, but trade, which currently stands at €65 million a year, needs to be improved, the ministers said.

This October an economic delegation from Finland will arrive in Croatia to discuss boosting cooperation, Pejcinovic-Buric said.

Finland, Croatia, and Romania are the three EU countries which will hold the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union from January 2019 to June 2020. The first meeting between the three countries will be held in Zagreb in some 10 days, where shared priorities will be defined, Pejcinovic-Buric said.

After the recent pollution to the Dubrovnik water system the Public Water Company announced that the water is once again safe to consume again.

“A detailed overview of the water supply system and the results of the microbiological analysis of water show that the water in the Dubrovnik network complies with the Law on Water for Human Consumption and can be used for drinking,” stated the Public Water company.

Adding that water quality controls are carried out on a regular basis.

“For me and my family it is a great experience to come to Croatia and see these amazing sights,” commented Yuri Cortez as he arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday. Adding that he wanted to discover more about “really beautiful places” like Dubrovnik.

Cortez, a professional photographer for AFP, was catapulted to world fame after crushed by Croatian players during the World Cup semi-final against England. Given that photographers stand so close to the action it is probably surprising that something like this hasn’t happened before. Mario Mandžukić scored the winning goal and in ecstasy and euphoria charged towards the Croatian fans behind the goal, as teammates jumped on his back they are inadvertently crushed the Mexican-based photographer.


Cortez meets a fan on the Stradun - Photo Mark Thomas 

It was a moment captured all over the world. The Croatian players helped him back to his feet and one even planted a kiss on his forehead. Cortez has shaken but not badly injured and as he lay on the ground he remembered his profession and clicked away, bringing some truly unique images.


The 2018 World Cup in Russia was a success for Croatia is more ways than one. Firstly, on the field Croatia had their best ever result winning the silver medal, but off the field the positive feelings and goodwill towards the country was priceless. And the Cortez incident was only a small chapter but one that the Croatian Tourist Board used to the maximum. They invited him and his family to come to Croatia for an all-expenses paid holiday with his family. Cortez, who was born in El Salvador but lives in Mexico took a 20-hour flight to get to Zagreb and is clearly enjoying the unexpected fame.

“I was surprised when the Croatian players charged towards me but I never stopped taking photos, it was a great experience,” smiled Cortez.


World Cup moment - Photo by Yuri Cortez 

“Dubrovnik is a famous city. The history and legends of this city are very interesting. I am also a fan of Game of Thrones so that is an added bonus,” concluded Cortez.

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