Friday, 22 February 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

The populist Croatian political party Zivi Zid (Human Shield) will join forces with the Italian Five Star Movement at the upcoming European Union elections in May. Luigi Di Maio, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, announced on Friday that his party would come together with four different political parties across Europe, including Zivi Zid, to fight for the European Parliament elections.

The five parties will put forward a combined program, and include political parties from Poland, Greece and Finland. Currently none of these five anti-establishment parties has a seat in the European Parliament.

At a press conference held in Rome Di Maio said that the new group would aim to fight corruption, improve social equality and put together a migration strategy. In order for a parliamentary group to be formed in the European Parliament, it is necessary to have a quorum of 25 MEPs from seven EU countries.

Turkish Airlines will fly twice a day to Dubrovnik from Istanbul this summer. The airline has announced that they will connect Dubrovnik with Istanbul fourteen times a week, up from eleven times a week from 2018, from June of this year.

In 2018 Turkish Airlines brought just over 70,000 passengers to Dubrovnik, a massive 27 percent increase over 2017, and with these new flights this number is sure to increase this year.

In fact, Turkish Airlines was Dubrovnik Airport’s sixth biggest airline, in terms of passenger numbers, in 2018, and in a report on the specialised website EX-YU Aviation the airline stated that “"Our plan is to launch another route to Croatia so we can better connect the country to the world and bring even more tourists."

And according to reports Turkish Airlines is, in cooperation with the Croatian National Tourist Board, currently promoting Zagreb and Dubrovnik across Asia.

What a weekend in Dubrovnik! The sunshine poured down on the city this weekend as temperatures hit the mid-teens.

All week in Dubrovnik the city can expect blue skies and glorious sunshine and in fact now is the ideal time of the year to visit the city if you want to avoid the crowds and have time and space to explore the attractions.

The forecast for all of next week is for more sunshine and rising temperatures.

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And in the other direction snow!

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The Real Madrid star and Croatia national team captain, Luka Modric, could well be looking to purchase a luxury villa in an elite suburb of Dubrovnik. The winner of the Ballon d’Or is rumoured to have his eye on a spectacular villa overlooking the Adriatic and the Old City of Dubrovnik. The midfield ace arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday and was spotted in a popular restaurant.

He is currently suspended from playing for Real Madrid, and didn’t feature in their match at home today against Girona, and it could appear that he has taken the free time to do some house hunting. The Dubrovnik Times has learned that Modric has taken a shine to one particular seafront villa in Dubrovnik after doing some propety hunting and could well be looking to invest, although noting has yet to be confirmed.

The winner of the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award, and The Best FIFA Men's Player and Ballon d'Or awards, Modric had a year to remember last year when he took Croatia to the finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as well as winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.

Saturday was a day of traditional folklore in the Old City of Dubrovnik as the ensemble Linđo held a performance in front of the St. Blaise Church. Numerous tourists gathered to watch the dancers twist and twirl and took the opportunity to take a photo with the dancers.

As the weather was absolutely glorious, blue skies and sunshine with temperatures around 15 degrees, it was a great day to be in Dubrovnik and to experience some traditional folklore dancing. These performances are organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and are held every Saturday in the Old City.

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Real Madrid midfield ace and Croatian national captain, Luka Modric, is enjoying a break in Dubrovnik. The winner of the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award, and The Best FIFA Men's Player and Ballon d'Or awards, Modric had a year to remember last year when he took Croatia to the finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as well as winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.

And as Luka Modric is suspended for Real Madrid’s next game in La Liga, today against Girona, he quite clearly took the opportunity to visit Dubrovnik. This photo of Modric with the President of the Square “five-a-side” football club, Zeljko Raguz, in a popular Dubrovnik restaurant, Pantarul.

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Split could well be the centre of a new filming industry as an American company is reportedly interested in hiring the Spaladium Arena to turn into a major studio. According to reports the American company wants to turn the arena into the largest filming studio is this part of Europe and have offered to pay rent of $250,000 a month and pay for all the costs of the complex. The offer has already been discussed by the company that runs the arena.

Spaladium Arena is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena located in the centre of Split and was opened at the end of 2008. One of the first major events to be held at the arena was the World Handball Championship. However, over ten years later the arena, the arena is closed, in fact it closed in August 2013 as the operators couldn’t afford to pay the maintenance costs.

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This new deal could breathe much needed life into the arena, and would also create much needed jobs for the Split region. And according to the newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija the filmmakers that are interested in renting the arena almost took it a few years ago for the filming of Robin Hood starring Taron Egerton, a movie that was largely filmed in Dubrovnik. As Croatia is attracting more and more interest from international film producers, especially after the success of the series Game of Thrones, opening a large studio in Split would seem to make sense.

The memorial statue to the first Croatia President, Frano Tuđman, has once again come under attack and this time it will need to be repaired. The statute, which was only installed on the 10th of December last year, will need to be repaired unknown perpetrator throw eggs at the stature a few days ago and apparently these eggs have already started to eat into the bronze statue.

RTL news reported that even though employees of the Public Cleaning Company washed off the eggs as soon as they noticed them the damage had already been done.

This isn’t the first time that the Frano Tuđman statue has come under attack in its short history. Already the statue has been the target of graffiti artists and one attack saw a swastika sprayed on the base of the statue.

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