Friday, 27 May 2022
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

Less than a third of citizens believe that Croatia is ready to adopt the euro in early 2023, and the vast majority fear that the introduction of the single currency will lead to an increase in prices, according to a survey presented in Zagreb on Wednesday.

“The aim of this research is not to create additional panic, but to calm the citizens on the one hand, give them data that clearly and unequivocally states that the introduction of the euro is good for us, and on the other hand encourage the government to inform the public as soon as possible,” said the MEP Biljana Borzan, on whose initiative the research was conducted.

A survey conducted by Hendal in March and April 2022 on a sample of 805 respondents found that 29.9 percent of citizens fully or mostly agree with the statement that Croatia is ready to adopt the euro in early 2023. Whilst 45.5 percent don’t think that Croatia is ready and 24.7 percent neither agree nor disagree.

The vast majority of citizens, 86.2 percent, believe that the introduction of the euro will be used to increase prices.

"We have now gone through several waves of price increases: the corona crisis, the earthquake, the war in Ukraine. This would now be the fourth wave if prices rise. The citizens have had enough of everything. I understand that citizens are expressing some concern about how the introduction of the euro will affect their household budgets," Borzan said.

Borzan emphasized that in Slovenia, since the introduction of the euro, gross wages have risen by 46 percent and prices by 26 percent, while in Latvia wages have risen by 67 percent and prices by 10 percent.

"We see that there is a short-term increase in prices, although minimal. However, the long-term benefit for citizens is very visible and I am sure that it will happen to Croatia as well, because joining the Eurozone actually means economic gain,” Borzan emphasized.

She added that according to the Law on the Introduction of the Euro, it is forbidden for business entities to increase the price of goods or services to consumers without a justified reason.

 

 

A weak earthquake hit the area south of Makarska at around 5.43 this morning, the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre service reports.

According to preliminary information, the magnitude of the earthquake was 3.4 with an epicentre 12 kilometres south of Makarska, in the small town of Katuni.

At EMSC, some users reported their impressions of the quake.

“It woke me up, I thought I was dreaming” and “It shook between two and three seconds”, “Short but strong” and “Thunder, then a little shaking,” written by users from Tučepi, Makarska, Hvar and Brač.

 

Today, the sea temperature in Dubrovnik finally exceeded the magic number of 20 degrees for the first time this year. And with air temperatures hitting the 29 degrees mark it was time to hit the beaches!

According to the report of the State Hydrometeorological Institute, it happened around 2:00 pm, to the delight of swimmers who were scattered on the beaches of Dubrovnik.

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I guess it was inevitable. Why should I be different from everybody else? Why was I special? The answer is that I wasn’t. Almost a third of the population have had it, and now I can add my name to the list, I’m Covid-19 positive.

Yes, I am writing this text infected.

“I can’t believe you haven’t had it already?” said a friend, well a couple of friends had the same line of questioning. “I mean you mix with so many people that you’d have thought you’d have caught it already,” usually came the follow up. Yes, I know I’m a little late. Just as the pandemic seems to be dying I get infected.

In fact, will it actually be declared as over, it looks like it’s kind of been swept under the carpet. It’s been moved from the front pages by an egocentric Russian and now nobody it talking about it.

Day One – I felt a small headache coming on and my bones felt a little achy. I really felt like a case of the flu. Even the flu seems to have died. Just to be on the safe side I tested myself. Negative.

“Yeah, it’s probably some kind of virus, I’m sure I’ll be great tomorrow,” I said to my wife.

Day Two – BOOM! I felt like somebody had driven a tractor over me as I slept. I awoke on day two as if I was in a swimming pool. My mild temperature had been turned up to the max. 39.5!

“I feel absolutely terrible,” I said. Adding “Is it cold in here?” Clearly it wasn’t cold otherwise I wouldn’t be swimming in my own pool of sweat.

“Let’s take another Covid test, your eyes are always a mirror into your health and yours look awful,” she replied. No sooner had the drops of liquid hit the testing box then the two lines of positivity appeared.

Now, I know that Covid has effected people in different ways, I have people close to me who have had differing reactions, from super mild to squashed by a tractor.

Day Two continued with my temperature swinging from 38 to 39, my body thermostat swinging from cold to hot to freezing to boiling, and my body was losing fluids quicker than I could put them in. Even though I felt like I’d been pushed under a train I didn’t have some of the classic symptoms. My sense of smell and taste were still intact, I had no cough, sore throat or any of those classic symptoms. Although for some reason I couldn’t stand the taste of coffee, literally just the smell made me feel sick.

With the restrictions and regulations around Covid changing on a regular basis I had to read up on the latest info. Yes, it was going to be five days in self-isolation. And if this sweating continued I was going to finish my five days looking like a ghost.

I’m not really one for lying in bed, even on a Sunday morning. I’m the “early to bed, early riser” type. So the thought of being bedridden for a few days didn’t fill me with any joy. I dropped in and out of conscious as I tried (and failed) to binge watch another Netflix serial. I was going to have a bigger problem with aching muscles and bones than from the virus. “Unless I get up and walk around a little I’ll be stuck here,” I said to my wife as I tottered like a new-born.

And of course you try to wind the clock back and work out where you got it. I had no idea. As I don’t really know when I got it. Day Three – the road to recovery was slowly beginning. It looked like being a short (but not sweet) experience for me. I’ll still be in self-isolation when you read this, but hopefully with a more normal temperature. Does that now mean I can add another 6 months onto my Covid passport? Is anybody even looking at these things anymore? Probably not.

If anyone tells you that “don’t worry it isn’t that bad” than don’t believe them. It’s like the flu but multiplied a few times, my only hope it that after the vaccines and after catching it, is that I have so many anti-bodies in me to last for at least another year.

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to       

               

The Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) Director Daniel Markic said in an interview with Saturday's Vecernji List that Russia had increased cyber-attacks on Croatia, and that most attacks were aimed at stealing sensitive information from ministries and the Tax Administration.

“In Croatia, not only our institutions were attacked, but also large companies, both from criminal groups and from state-sponsored groups. We have seen a few years ago that NATO and the European Union have started to use the attribution of these attacks, that is, to show and say publicly who is behind these attacks. Given the current situation in Ukraine, there is no reason for us to keep it a secret. Some of these cyber-attacks come from groups linked to Russian intelligence agencies,” Markic said.

He added that the attacks increased after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also because of Covid as our professional and social life often moved to the cyber world. And the interest of certain states and criminal groups has automatically increased.

"This war, which is more or less unexpected, can potentially have very fatal consequences not only for Ukraine, because Ukraine is already suffering severe consequences. But we cannot potentially rule out the possibility that this attack could spread in a military sense. In the meantime, it is our duty first and foremost to be vigilant with anything that might happen in our neighbourhood. Russian influence in the region is well known, especially in Serbia, so we need to be careful. And as we see that the Russian operation in Ukraine is clearly not going according to plan, we cannot rule out the possibility that Russia will use other ways, including activities in the cyber world, to act,” he added.

 

During the week to the weekend, about 9,500 guests stayed in Dubrovnik, which is almost eight times more than at this time last year, and 57 percent of the number in the same period in the record breaking tourism year of 2019.

According to the received registrations of tourists through the eVisitor system, the most numerous guests were from Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Croatia, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Canada.

On the occasion of a large ecological action of cleaning the seabed, which has traditionally been carried out for 25 years in Dubrovnik, and as part of a rich program to mark the jubilee 25th eco action, “Pogled u plavo” visited Dubrovnik to promote diving as an important activity in preserving the marine environment.

Organized by the ABYSS Centre for Diving and Water Sports, Ragusa Ecological Diving Club and Plava Promocija, many citizens and tourists had a unique opportunity to dive along the walls of Dubrovnik with music and see the beauties of the underwater through an underwater photo exhibition.

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"I am extremely happy that we managed to organize a view of the blue in Dubrovnik as part of our jubilee 25th environmental action. This was a great opportunity for our citizens, tourists, and especially children to get closer to diving as an activity with an emphasis on developing awareness for environmental protection. We are aware that the love for nature has been developing since I was a child, so I am glad that more than 200 children have tried diving in the past few days. Maintaining ecological actions has multiple meanings because in addition to removing waste from the sea and expanding the ecological world, it also promotes Dubrovnik as a tourist destination,” said Antun Perušina from the Centre for Diving and Water Sports ABYSS Dubrovnik.

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After a short lesson on diving, safety aspects and diving equipment, many visitors dived under full diving equipment in controlled pool conditions, while the safety of novice divers was taken care of by divers of the State Civil Protection Intervention Unit of the Republic of Croatia.

By diving into the “Pogled u plavo” pool, tourists and citizens had the opportunity to see the beauties of the Croatian underwater through an underwater exhibition of photographs by the famous Croatian underwater photographer Marjan Radović and through photographs depicting underwater pollution to highlight the global problem of underwater pollution and the need to preserve it.

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The view into the blue was conducted in Dubrovnik with the aim of promoting Croatia as a diving and tourist destination, diving offer, the beauty of the Croatian seabed and diving in general as an important segment in preserving the sea and nature, all within the eco action "ECO DUBRVOVNIK 2022" with the cleaning of the seabed begins today at the location of the Old Town Port.

The project “Pogled u plavo” is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

It is obvious that this year we will exceed 100 thousand issued permits for residence and work of foreigners in Croatia, according to Žarko Katić, the State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Jutarnji list writes on Friday.

This is almost 20 thousand more than last year, when the new Aliens Act came into force on January 1 and the system of determining annual quotas was abolished, and in 2021 a total of 82 thousand permits were issued.

That Croatia is now moving towards a record number of foreign workers is already clear from the fact that the Ministry of the Interior issued 45,829 of these permits by mid-May this year, and last year that number was exceeded only in the middle of summer.

At the beginning of August 2021, about 46,000 permits were issued to third-country nationals, as reported by the Ministry of the Interior, most of them in construction (22,799) and catering and tourism (12,396).

Katić presented the latest data on the number of residence and work permits and an estimate of their expected number this year at the Zagreb conference "Economy Beyond the Framework - Our New Neighbours in the Croatian Labour Market" and also noted that more and more workers from distant countries are coming to Croatia, and Nepal has thus become the fifth country in terms of requests for residence and work. The number of workers from India, Bangladesh and the Philippines is also growing.

Employers estimate that Croatia is around 30,000 workers short for this summer season, and by May 19, the Ministry of the Interior had issued 13,035 residence and work permits to foreigners in the hospitality sector, while 20,219 permits had been issued to the construction sector, which has so far employed more foreigners than tourism.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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