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.
According to results of the second survey of the Media Clientelism Index (MCI) presented last week, the position of Croatia has worsened as well as the situation regarding the institutional framework that regulates the work of media, especially its exposure to clientelistic practice, pressure, politicization and unjustified influence.
The survey was carried out as part of the ''Civil Response to Clientelism in Media – Media Circle'' project in six Southeast European countries - Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Romania.
''Clientelism and politicization of the media is a rule rather than an exception. In each of the surveyed countries there is a lack of freedom in the media which is largely controlled by various political, economic and financial interest groups'', explained Munir Podumljak, the executive director of the Partnership for Social Development non-governmental organization.
None of the countries in the region has established a comprehensive media register in order to provide the public with an insight into the situation in each section of the media market, whether by type of the media or by their ownership structure.
As far as access to business results of privately owned media is concerned, it was unsuccessful in most countries except in Croatia and partly in Macedonia where indicators for television and radio broadcasters were available.
Around 200 media in Croatia and nearly 800 in Serbia used the state support for the media in 2015. The total value of financing in Croatia was 10,9 million Euros.
Additional funds assigned from the state budget for promotion and advertising in Croatia amounted to 31,5 million Euros. The total revenue of advertising agencies in 2015 amounted to 511,2 million Euros, whilst their profit was 21,3 million Euros.
The last weekend before Christmas in Dubrovnik was filled with glorious sunshine and stable temperatures. The historic Old City of Dubrovnik was busy as locals and tourists made the most of the pleasant winter sunshine.
The forecast for this week is for more winter sunshine and temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees. And for Christmas Day the forecast is for a partly cloudy day with highs expected to reach 14 degrees.
easyJet is planning a huge expansion into the Croatia market for 2017 including many new routes added to Dubrovnik. In total easyJet has added seven new routes for next year to Croatia of which four will be operating to Dubrovnik Airport. The low-cost airline is an important partner for Dubrovnik and since 2009 has transported over 1 million passengers to Dubrovnik. This year easyJet was the second busiest airline flying into Dubrovnik, bringing just under 190,000 passengers, after Croatia Airlines. And 2017 will be another bumper year as new flights from Basel, Belfast, Manchester and Naples will be introduced to Dubrovnik.
In a report on the specialised website EX-YU aviation the senior route manager of easyJet, Dimitris Schoinas, commented that "We are pleased to be announcing a significant investment in Croatia making nearly one million seats available to and from the country in 2017. The new flights will offer more choice to European tourists to spend their holidays in the beautiful seaside resorts of Croatia, as well as to Croatian passengers to connect to Europe".
The news that easyJet will increase their operations to Dubrovnik comes after news that the biggest low-cost airline in the world, Ryanair, will not fly to Dubrovnik next year. The director of Dubrovnik Airport, Roko Tolic, commented at the recent Southeast Europe Aviation Summit that Ryanair’s terms were “unacceptable” and that the airport has the same conditions for all airlines. Talks between the airline and the airport, as well as the City of Dubrovnik, had been going on but it would seem that they have now broken down. It can be assumed that Ryanair had demanded significant tax breaks and incentives to fly to Dubrovnik, which they already enjoy at other airports in Croatia such as Zadar. And during the summer months Dubrovnik Airport is already extremely busy, this year almost 2 million passengers passed through in a record year, so the addition of Ryanair is not as necessary as it is in other Croatian airport. However the budget airline had also promised to operate flights through the winter months which would have been much more attractive for the city’s tourism industry.
The traditional concert of the Dubrovnik Brass band will be held tonight at 7.30pm in the Revelin Fortress. The concert will feature Christmas classics and always has a great festive spirit with the conductor and band encouraging the audience to join in the fun.
Entrance to tonight’s Christmas Concert is free of charge.
Decorations hang over the Stradun, the aroma of mulled wine, the sound of carols...yes Christmas has come to Dubrovnik. The festive feel can be felt throughout the whole city, from the historic Old City to Lapad and Gruz, Dubrovnik is a winter wonderland.
Photos – Dubrovnik Winter Festival + Niksa Duper (Hanza Media)
Whilst in Dubrovnik over the Christmas holiday period it is important to taste the local festive specialities, from the sweetest of desserts to a glass of brandy. One such delicacy is cod, yes cod at Christmas, well not on Christmas Day but on the run-up to the big day.
And this winter season in Dubrovnik the Dubrovnik Tourist Board has teamed up with ten restaurants, meaning you don’t have to make the cod dish yourself...you can taste theirs.
As a prelude to the celebration of Christmas and New Year’s, the traditional Codfish Days will be held in Dubrovnik restaurants from 19 to 24 December. Along with the unavoidable prikle doughnuts, dried figs and glass of homemade herb brandy, try Dubrovnik’s codfish delicacies! As part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival and in collaboration with Dubrovnik restaurants, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board is organizing the Codfish Days.
Cod is an inseparable part of the Dubrovnik holiday table and in addition to the traditional recipes our creative chefs will offer some quite exceptional dishes that are worth giving a try. Codfish is a must on Dubrovnik holiday tables. Every household has its little secrets and ways of preparing this traditional dish. It is especially festive on Christmas Eve when the streets are decorated with bay leaf laurels, bitter oranges, and lights, and when the intense aromas of cod dishes, prikle doughnuts, and the songs of traditional kolenda carollers fill the streets.
This year the Codfish Days will take place as a prelude to the celebration of Christmas and New Years, from 19 – 24 December. Along with the obligatory prikle doughnuts, dried figs, and glass of homemade brandy, try Dubrovnik’s codfish delicacies in following restaurants Amfora, Dalmatino, Klarisa, Marianno, Mezzanave, Orka, Orsan, Pantarul, Rozario and Takenoko.
Dubrovnik had a real Christmas feel today as the traditional “Christmas Fairytale” came to town. In a program organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board the children’s choir of Dubrovnik, the theatre company Kolarin, the dance studio Lazareti, Le Petit Festival and Trio Elves Ad Libitum all organised special programs for the gathered children.
Saturday morning was a time for song, dance and fun as Santa Claus handed out presents to the children; he also had some help from the Santa Bikers! The festive fun in Dubrovnik was turned up to the maximum on this last weekend before Christmas.
Check out our gallery from Tonci Plazibat
Bikers from Dubrovnik and the surrounding area brought smiles to the children’s faces of the Dubrovnik Children’s Home, Dom Maslina, today with their Santa Claus costumes. Carrying bags of sweets and candy the “Father Christmas Bikers” arrived in a cloud of noise and immediately made the children laugh.
The festive bikers traditionally hold this biker rally every Christmas and today was an ideal day as the winter sunshine proved great for riding.
Well done Dubrovnik Bikers!