Monday, 17 February 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.


As many as 17.5 Croatian households are unable to pay their bills on time, according to a 2018 Eurostat analysis – reports. There are only two nations that are 'worse': Bulgarians, whose 30.1 percent of households are unable to pay their bills, and Greeks who are at the top with 35.6 percent of households with that problem.

The Dutch are the most liquid, with only 1.5 percent of households having problems paying their bills on time. Czechs are not that far with 2.1 percent, as well as the Swedes and Austrians with just over two percent of those who are problematic.

Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal follow. The nations with two-digit problems, in addition to those on top are Hungarians, Latvians, Cypriots, Slovenes and Romanians – writes.


Blue Monday is definitely over for drivers, since in Croatia petrol and diesel prices dropped today!

This morning petrol prices across the country are 10.187 kuna, which is a drop of 11 lipa from the last price of 10.187 kuna. The most sold Eurosuper 95 can be found at various petrol stations with the price from 9.94 to 10.04.

Diesel prices dropped below the 10 kuna limit - from 10.08 kuna to 9.84 kuna.

The price of gas oil also went down, from 5,447 to 5,258 kuna. Only the price of autogas increased from 4.708 to 4.74 kn.

Mayor of Vrgorac Ante Pranic gave the direcors of city institutions instructions on banning the use of plastic packaging in city institutions as well as at the events organized by the city, which should be replaced by glass and biodegradable paper packaging – reports.

The directors gathered by Pranic this morning were given instructions on stopping the consumption of bottled water at work meetings by the city government and at the City Council meetings.

In the future, water should be served in glass jars from the city water supply network.

All establishments will receive special waste disposal containers by Friday to separate the collected paper – reports.

European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Suica suggested on Monday, at a meeting of COSAC (The Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union) presidents in Zagreb, that the Conference on the Future of Europe should begin in Dubrovnik on May 9th – reports.

Suica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, is in charge of organizing a Conference on the Future of Europe, which, according to the European Commission's idea, should start on May 9, 2020, on the Europe Day and last for two years, but the topics, framework and form still need to be agreed by Commission, Council and European Parliament.

-The opening could be held somewhere in Croatia, my suggestion is Dubrovnik - Suica said, adding that if this suggestion is accepted, the Croatian parliament should play an important role in this – writes.

The conference is intended to be a forum for connecting European citizens, civil society and European institutions, with the aim of motivating Europeans to tell what kind of Union they want and how to govern it.

In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 11 traffic accidents, in which three persons got heavily injured, three persons got light injuries, while there were six traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 746 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 471 measures taken due to speeding, 23 measures due to improper overtaking, 47 measures for improper stop and parking, 69 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, seven measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and 26 measures because of using mobile phone while driving.

In the third quarter of 2019, house and apartment prices in Croatia increased by 0.6 percent compared to the previous quarter, while they increased by an average of eight percent on an annual basis, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics – reports. 

New residential buildings prices rose by an average of 2.4 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. In comparison with the third quarter of 2018, new building prices are up for 8.2 percent, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics.

Prices of existing residential buildings are up 0.4 percent on a quarterly basis and eight percent on a yearly basis.

In the third quarter of 2019, housing prices in the third quarter of 2019 increased by an average of 1.8 percent for the City of Zagreb, went one percent down for the Adriatic area and 1.7 percent up for other areas.

On an annual basis, the prices of residential buildings in Zagreb increased by an average of 12.2 percent, in the area by the sea they increased by 5.2 percent, while in other areas prices increased by 3.5 percent – reports.

HBO has announced that the prequel to the Game of Thrones series, which is titled House of the Dragon, will be out in 2022. The series should have ten episodes.

The House of the Dragon will tell the story of the Targaryen House, describing the events that took place 300 years before the Game of Thrones. All the GOT fans will be happy to know that George R.R. Martin is involved in creating the series and draws ideas from his book Fire and Blood.

This is not first prequel that caught the attention of GOT lovers. HBO previously rejected a prequel series under the unofficial title The Long Night, starring Hollywood actress Naomi Watts, after seeing the pilot.

According to the numerous movie lovers website, The Long Night Prequel was set 8000 years before the series the House of the Dragon. It lacked the guidance of George R.R. Martin, who will help in the realizaton of the second prequel. However, he is busy writing the six sequel of the book, and he commented that this is still his priority, but he is expected to write a couple of scenarios just like it was the case with Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones fans surely know that a part of the series was filmed in Dubrovnik, which was called King's Landing. It still remains to see if our city will find its place in the newest series.

The Croatian National Tourist Board presents the Croatian tourism offer at the Vakantiebeurs fair, which takes place in the Dutch city of Utrecht from January 15th to 19th. It is the largest tourism fair for business and general audiences in the Benelux area, with more than thousand exhibitors attending the jubilee 50th edition of the fair this year with record number of visitors expected.

-In addition to the appearance at the Utrecht fair, which is attended by a record 18 Croatian co-exhibitors this year, we are also presenting the Croatian tourist offer at the fairs in Stuttgart, Helsinki and Vienna. We use the world's most important tourism fairs, among other things, for additional meetings with key partners in the most important markets, with which we are intensively cooperating in expanding tour operators' programs for Croatia and introducing new airlines - said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that in 2019, nearly 500 thousand arrivals and about 3 million overnight stays came from the Dutch market.

All visitors of the fair are offered the opportunity to use VR goggles through which they can watch three promotional virtual films about Croatian products and destinations, for which the audience at the London fair held last November expressed great interest. The Croatian booth also hosts numerous meetings with representatives of tour operators, travel agencies and airlines such as TUI, Transavia, the umbrella association of Dutch tour operators and travel agents ANVR, the Travel Club Agents Association and others.

-We are very pleased with the growing interest of the airlines in Croatia, and the evidence is the introduction of three new routes from the Netherlands and Belgium to Croatia this year, more precisely the flights of Easyjet from Amsterdam to Zadar, or Ryanair from Maastricht to Zadar and TUIfly airlines from Brussels to Pula - said Ivan Novak, Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Representative Office for Benelux.

Also, this year for the first time at the Croatian Tourist Board booth there is a presentation of Croatian products with the aim of enriching the fair offer and a better presentation of Croatia as a diverse tourist destination, so visitors of the fair have the opportunity to taste top Croatian wines and cheeses.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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