Thursday, 29 October 2020
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


Funny and a bit bizzare story comes from the island of Korcula. Couple of days ago, somebody stole chapiters from the Marco Polo House, for reasons unknown.

After noticing that they are missing, the City of Korcula published a Facebook post aimed at the strange criminals.

-We kindly ask the people who stole chapiters from Marco Polo House to return them by the end of this week. Otherwise, the City of Korcula will report the case to the police – they wrote.

The story has a happy ending, shared by the Mayor of Korcula Andrija Fabris. He published a photo of the chapiters that were returned during the night, adding that kind words can make wonders!

marco polo 2

Screenshot from the Facebook page of the Mayor of Korcula


Stjepan Hauser, one half of the popular Croatian duo 2Cellos, has published a couple of amazing videos from Dubrovnik at his official Facebook page, followed by almost four million people!

In his suit, but barefoot, Hauser performed Amazing Grace and You Raise Me Up at the Fort Lovrjenac and absolutely delighted his fans and each video has over 200 thousand reactions!

The latest performance takes you to ''walk of shame'' stairs, which are well known to Game of Thrones fans – and they will surely enjoy the theme played by Hauser right there on the spot! But, in case you don't know, these are Jesuit Stairs that will take you to the Saint Ignatius Church.

Enjoy amazing music by this talented cellist combined with amazing shots from Dubrovnik, and let us know which song do you prefer!

Croatian Institute of Public Health has published numerous recommendations today, one of them being focused on spending time on the beach this summer.

As with everything, the most important thing is to maintain hygiene and distance, and all the information must be placed in a visible place.

Hand sanitizers must also be available in visible places. The concessionaire is obliged to provide a person who can supervise the prescribed measures and disinfect the deckchairs several times a day, and obligatorily after a certain guest no longer uses the deckchair. They must also take into account the distance between people.

As it comes to beaches, the maximum number of people is 15 per one hundred square meters. While being in the sea, it is necessary to keep a distance of the prescribed meter and a half.

It is recommended to place trash cans with appropriate lids in all open areas. The Croatian Institute of Public Health will regularly sample and analyze the quality of sea water.

As for the catering facilities within the bathing area, they must adhere to the previously published recommendations. Employees must adhere to prescribed measures, from daily temperature measurements to reporting any sign of illness. Also, their superiors must provide them with education and introduce them to the new rules of conduct.

As part of the celebration of the International Museum Day, May 18th, Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (MOMAD) has prepared a rich and interesting program for all ages. The special feature of this year's program is that all programs will be presented virtually, on the social pages of MOMAD.

The program starts at 10 am, with a virtual guide through the permanent exhibition, which can be viewed on the Facebook page of MOMAD (Umjetnicka galerija Dubrovnik / Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik), and the viewers will get the chance to briefly be introduced to the permanent exhibition by the senior curator at MOMAD, Rozana Vojvoda. In addition to the permanent exhibition, a virtual professional guidance will be organized through the current exhibition of Duro Seder "Sederotonin". The viewers will be guided through the exhibition by the curator of MOMAD Jelena Tamindzija, at 6 pm.

Senior curator of MOMAD Rozana Vojvoda will also present "Transformations of Space" - spatial interventions at the exhibitions of the Art Gallery Dubrovnik 2016 – 2019’’, and the video will be available from noon.

The content for the youngest is also virtual, and will be led by the museum pedagogue Ivona Simunovic. The program for children starts at 2 pm with a small workshop for children "Kartoline" where little creatives will have the task of making a postcard with the motif of the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik with drawing techniques. At 4 pm, an online ART quiz for children is also scheduled.

Program # MDM2020 ends at 8pm with the virtual opening of the exhibition "Enrolling the City" whose curator is Jelena Tamindzija, and which will be available from Tuesday, May 19th at the Dulcic Masle Pulitika Gallery.

As of Friday, May 15th, the City of Dubrovnik, through the Administrative Department for Tourism, Economy and the Sea, is re-establishing the ship line Gruz - Gornje Celo. The first departure of the ship Europa from Gruz is at 6.30 am, and public sea transport from the port of Gruz to Kalamota and vice versa will take place twice a day.

The sailing schedule is defined in such a way that from Monday to Friday the ship will depart from the port of Gruz at 6.30 am and at 3.30 pm, while the return from Gornje Celo is scheduled for 7 am and 4 pm. The afternoon schedule is the same on Saturdays and Sundays, but the morning departure is a bit later. Departure from the port of Gruz is at 9 am and 3.30 pm, while the return from Gornje Celo is at 9.30 am and 4 pm.

The ride is free for students and pensioners, adults residing on the island pay 10 kuna per direction, while for non-residents the price is 20 kuna per direction. The passenger ship "Europa" has a capacity of 63 passengers (of which 33 passengers indoors) and is adapted to winter sailing conditions.

One of the most read British websites, The Guardian, has published an article yesterday titled ‘Croatian police accused of spray-painting heads of asylum seekers’, saying that Croatian police are allegedly spray-painting the heads of asylum seekers with crosses when they attempt to cross the border from Bosnia.

As they write in the article that you can read here, The Guardian has obtained a number of photographs of what has been described by charities as the “latest humiliation’’ perpetrated by the Croatian authorities against migrants travelling along the Balkan route.

Ministry of the Interior reacted to the article today. You can read their whole reaction in the article below: 

The British portal The Guardian published an article yesterday, another in a series full of factually unfounded accusations against the Croatian police in the treatment of illegal migrants.

This time, the unfounded accusations went a step further and the article states that Croatian police officers sprayed the heads of migrants who tried to enter the Republic of Croatia illegally with the intention of marking, humiliating and traumatizing them, because their heads were painted in the shape of a cross and the migrant population is mostly Muslim.
Croatian police officers are accused of xenophobia in a pretentious way, with bias and sensationalist articles, and it is especially absurd that such accusations are imputed to police officers of a country that has extremely good and friendly relations with the Islamic Community.

It is particularly worrying and deserves the strongest condemnation that such an article, which clearly encourages religious intolerance, was placed in the public eye during the month of Ramadan.

screenshot the guardian

Screenshot from The Guardian 

The construction of how migrants are marked with the sign of the cross because of their religion shows the absolute ignorance of the author of the article and the pre-formed attack on the Republic of Croatia without knowing the basic facts. It is widely known that the Republic of Croatia has excellent relations with the Muslim religious community, which is highly valued in Croatian society, which stands out in the world public as an example of cooperation with religious communities. We would also like to remind you of the conference "Muslim Communities in Europe - Rights and Duties", which pointed out that the Islamic Community in Croatia has been promoting an idea that can serve as a model in resolving the Muslim issue in Europe and Christian minorities in the Islamic world.

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia has previously received various accusations against the state border protection procedures, but in this case we are particularly astonished at the extent to which the author of the article goes with the constructions.

As in all previous cases of accusations against the Croatian police, we immediately conducted an urgent check through the competent police administrations, which includes access to records on the treatment of migrants, interviews with shift chiefs in police stations and police officers who served in the presumed time and tours of locations along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was established that in the area along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time indicated, the Croatian police did not carry out activities against migrants nor did they record their movement towards the Croatian border, ie the allegations in the article are not true because they did not occur.

Unfortunately, even in this bizarre case, we believe that this is only one in a series of already established accusations, because the Croatian police consistently implements measures to protect the EU's external border and does not tolerate illegal entry into the Republic of Croatia. The Republic of Croatia is constantly exposed to pressure from various interest groups aimed at weakening measures at the Croatian border. In 2019, Croatian police arrested more than thousand people for human trafficking and aiding illegal migration. The fact of establishing the camp "Lipa" which is not 25 kilometers from the border, as stated in the article, but only 5 kilometers generates the same problem of organizing illegal migration to the Republic of Croatia, and differs from the former camp "Vucjak" only in better humanitarian conditions for the accommodation of migrants.

A certain activist of the No Name Kitchen association and the Border Violence Monitoring association, two organizations that have been leading the charges against the Croatian police for dealing with illegal migrants for years, is mentioned in the article as a source.

We would like to mention that the No Name Kitchen association, according to available information, was the leader of the attempted violent penetration of hundreds of migrants into the Republic of Croatia across the border with Serbia in December 2018, which was prevented in coordination with the Serbian police. According to the article, No Name Kitchen now carries out its activities in the migrant camp in Velika Kladusa.

Due to the treatment of migrants, Border Violence Monitoring regularly publishes accusations against the Croatian police and the Republic of Croatia, as well as all other countries on the Balkan migrant route. The accusations they publish contain almost no information and data that can be investigated, just like in the article published on The Guardian.

The previous work of the author of this article can in no way be considered professional and objective journalistic reporting. Such "journalistic" articles are based on preconceived notions that the Croatian police abuse migrants, while on the other hand they do not provide any information and data that can be investigated and answered, just as in the case described in the article. 

However, what is obvious, and always deliberately kept silent, is the fact that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the border it is obliged to protect, there are thousands of migrants who are trying to enter the EU illegally and are ready to use all means to achieve their goal, including giving false statements against police officers who stop them on a daily basis in their intent.

The bias of reporting is visible in the fact that numerous cases of violence among migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as attacks on security services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as saving the lives of migrants by the Croatian police, and recently by the Mountain Rescue Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the case of rescuing 11 migrants they fell into a pit while fleeing from the Bosnia and Herzegovina's border police.

Therefore, the accusations of humiliation of migrants by the Croatian police on religious grounds are completely absurd and even dangerous if we take into account the time in which they are placed in public.

When considering these allegations, it is always necessary to ask why a police officer would commit such acts and who is interested in publishing such news, which should always be the starting point for thinking about such articles.

In any case, such and similar articles will not weaken the measures that this Ministry implements to protect the state border.

On this occasion, we would like to emphasize that when treating migrants, the police respect their fundamental rights and dignity and provide them with access to the international protection system if they need such protection, in accordance with general human rights documents, EU regulations and national legislation.

Dubrovnik Main Bus Station was closed on March 20th as part of the preventive measures implemented to fight the coronavirus epidemic will reopen on Thursday, May 14th. 

The Bus Station will work from 8 am to 3 pm. The working hours of the station are defined for the next four days, including Sunday.

The first departure from Dubrovnik on an intercity line is the Dubrovnik-Zagreb line, which departs at 10 pm. The carrier operating on this line is Samoborcek. Other active lines departing from the station are the lines Dubrovnik-Dubrovnik Airport, which currently has two departures, at 8:20 am and at 8 pm.

The Dubrovnik-Metkovic line operates on Thursday and Friday, departing at 12:45 pm.

Regarding the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic in the tourism and transport sector, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met with the Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, at Banski dvori. In addition to the Prime Minister, the meeting was attended by the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic, the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli and the State Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Frano Matusic.

Since tourism is the most important economic branch in the Dubrovnik area, Mayor Frankovic emphasized the necessity of specific assistance measures for this year's tourist season. In the first place, given that Dubrovnik is entirely an airline destination, the importance of ensuring the preconditions for the landing of international flights at Dubrovnik Airport was emphasized.

In that sense, the meeting discussed the possibility of landing charter flights as private aircrafts from the European Union and the United Kingdom to Dubrovnik Airport and the possibility of entering mega yachts. In addition, there was talk of a project to build a new passenger terminal in the port of Dubrovnik.
It was concluded that joint action, a favorable epidemiological situation, as well as a package of measures to help the economy adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, will enable stable business for entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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