Saturday, 25 June 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.


Croatia will be heading to Qatar this November to take part in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The team is riding high after managing its best finish in the competition last time out in 2018. The team has qualified for Group F, pitting it against Belgium, Canada, and Morocco. Fans and pundits are pretty confident about the nation’s prospects of making it into the knockout phase, though odds of around 66/1 to win the competition make it the 10th favourite. It hasn’t stopped bettors from placing wagers on the Croatian football team, with free bet promotions from many bookmakers helping to improve the value. 


If they can go all the way in Qatar and win the biggest prize in football, the Croatian players will become some of the country’s most successful athletes in its history. 

They’ll be joining a list of other big names in Croatian sport, including these legends. 


Goran Ivanisevic


Born in 1971, Goran Ivanisevic is now a 50-year-old who resides in Monte Carlo, Monaco. But before he moved to the principality, he became Croatia’s most successful tennis player, earning the tidy sum of $19.9 million in prize money in the process. 

Ivanisevic turned pro in 1988 where he saw some early success in both doubles and singles competitions. However, it was his solo efforts where he had the most success. 

With just one year of experience behind him, Ivanisevic reached the quarter-final of the Australian Open, a feat he repeated the following year at the French Open. After a string of almosts, the Croat finally managed a Grand Slam win at Wimbledon in 2001 after he beat Patrick Rafter in the final. 

Doing so, Ivanisevic set several records. He became the first (and only) man to win the Wimbledon singles tournament as a wildcard entrant, as well as the first Croat to win the competition. 

Since hanging up his racket, he’s gone on to coach several famous players, the most successful being Novak Djokovic. 


Mirko Cro Cop


Mirko Filipović, who is better known as Mirko Cro Cop, is a Croatian MMA fighter and kickboxer. At 47, he is now retired, but didn’t hang up his gloves all that long ago. 

Cro Cop began fighting professionally back in 1996 and continued, on and off, until 2014. During that time, he won 26 of his 34 fights, 13 of which were from knockouts. He fared even better as an MMA fighter, which he took up in 2001. Between the PRIDE Fighting Championship and the UFC, Cro Cop competed in 49 bouts, winning 35 of them and drawing another two. 

During his career, Cro Cop has picked up a whole host of awards and titles, including the K-1 World Grand Prix, the Rizin World Openweight Grand Prix, and the IGF Championship. Through this success, he’s also broken several records, including being the only MMA fighter to win three World Grand Prix championships, and the only person to win K-1, Pride, and RIZIN. 


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Josip Skoblar


Josip Skoblar is one of the most successful Croatian footballers of all time. At 81, he is long retired from playing, having competed for Zadar, OFK Belgrade, Hannover, Marseille, and Rijeka during his career. During his two decades on the pitch, he made 429 appearances and scored 254 goals in domestic competitions. 

Skoblar also spent six years in the Yugoslav national team, achieving 32 caps and scoring 11 goals. Most of these were in friendly matches, but he managed one against Uruguay in the 1962 World Cup, and another against West Germany in a qualifying match for Euro 1968.

After hanging up his boots, Skoblar went on to manage 13 different teams, including the Lebanese national team and Marseille. Even at his age, he continues to work as a coach for the French team. 

Skoblar’s career has been a highly decorated one, having won the Division 1 in France in both 1970-71 and 1971-72 and the Yugoslav Cup on two occasions. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a single top-flight season, the European Golden Shoe, and is the third-best all-time goalscorer for Marseille.


Airbnb hosts are continuing to profit from the return of holidays, and with searches for ‘Airbnb host requirements’ increasing 200% in the past month, there is no shortage of European homeowners interested in earning a secondary income. But where do Airbnb listings have the most potential to see the highest profits?


Curious to find out, compared average prices of Airbnbs in cities across Europe to uncover the most profitable city to own an Airbnb!


The results



Average Airbnb rental price per night (€)

Average monthly profits (€) (30 days)










































London is the most profitable European city to host an Airbnb

Airbnb owners in London could see more profits than any other city analysed, can reveal. A three-bedroom home in the English capital is rented out at an average of €328.07 a night on Airbnb, 60% more expensive than in Manchester (€205.27). Those renting out their Airbnb homes full-time can expect an average of €9,842.10 per month: 66% more than the profits seen in the German capital, Berlin (€5,927.70).


Parisian Airbnb hosts receive the second highest income, with nightly rates averaging €295.39. Airbnb hosts in the French capital earn 90% of their London counterparts (€328.07), but income in Paris is 62% higher than in Lyon (€182.07 a night). Full-time hosts in Paris receive an average of €8,861.70 a month: only €29.70 (0.33%) more than Airbnb hosts in Munich in third.


Nightly rates average €294.40 a night in Munich, the third highest in Europe. Airbnb hosts in Munich earn 49% more than those in Berlin (€197.59), and 85% more than those in Vienna (€158.83). Munich’s permanent hosts earn €8,832 a month on average; €105,984 a year, and 14% more than Dublin in fourth (€7,768.20).


Tips on getting a mortgage for a second home

Mortgages expert, Florence Codjoe, outlines some of the considerations to make before getting a second-home mortgage:

Decide between a fixed or variable rate. As with all mortgages, you should decide whether you want a fixed or variable-rate deal. Variable rates might be lower initially, but if rates increase you could end up paying more overall than if you took out a fixed rate. Fixing your mortgage also means you’ll always know how much your ongoing mortgage repayments will cost. 

Wait to pay off your current mortgage. It could be worth waiting until you’ve repaid more (or even all) of your current mortgage. Waiting to pay off your current mortgage could help you get a better deal on a second home mortgage.

Budget for stamp duty. Bear in mind that you’ll also have to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty on top of the normal rates when you buy a second home, so make sure you budget accordingly.”


In April 2022, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, stable compared with March 2022 and down from 8.2 percent in April 2021. And whilst the EU average unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, in Croatia that rate was slightly lower at 6.1 percent, according to figures produced by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 13.264 million men and women in the EU, of whom 11.181 million in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2022. Compared with April 2021, unemployment decreased by 2.543 million in the EU and by 2.175 million in the euro area.

In April 2021 Croatia saw 8.1 percent unemployment, and that figure has been constantly dropping over the past months, to reach the figure of 6.1 percent in April 2022.

The highest rate of unemployment in the EU in April was reported in Spain, 13.3 percent, followed by Greece, 12.7 percent and Italy 8.4 percent.


After comprehensive reconstruction works worth as much as 35 million Kuna, ACI marina Dubrovnik opened the season and welcomed guests in a new, updated marina.

In the past two years, nautical has proved to be the most resilient form of tourism and one of the key hopes, not only for tourism, but also for the entire national competitiveness of the Republic of Croatia. One of the secrets of this success certainly lies in the continuous strategic investments in raising the quality of all segments, with the largest chain of marinas in the Mediterranean, ACI. Moreover, in the last five years, ACI has invested a total of 95 million Kuna in the excellence of the infrastructure and services of its marinas in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County alone. Given the much greater freedom of movement and the positive indicators so far, Croatia expects another successful tourist season.

"It is important to emphasize that this week the Ministry will start a public consultation for private tourism infrastructure of 1.2 billion Kuna, of which certain funds will be allocated for nautical tourism," said the Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, Nikolina Brnjac.

“During the last year, a little less than 25 million Kuna was invested in the reconstruction of the breakwater in the ACI marina Korcula, the tourist artery of the entire island, which now shines again in all its glory. In addition, we have made a very significant investment of about 35 million Kuna in the reconstruction of the ACI marina Dubrovnik and therefore we are extremely pleased that this commendable project and the nautical season itself officially begins here. We believe that sailors will recognize the pursuit of world-class quality, from which these investments arise, and we look forward to the upcoming season, which is very promising, as well as new investment projects that will put our country at the top of nautical tourism," said the President of the Board of Management of ACI, Kristijan Pavić.

The European Union have just reached an agreement on the introduction of a single charger for small electrical appliances, including of course mobile phones. The USB-C charger will become a new standard for the whole European Union.

Clearly this is very positive news for consumers, although will prove a headache for some mobile phone companies who will have to change to the new charger system. Apple will be forced to charge their iPhone chargers. "By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU," the European Parliament reported in a statement.

"Great news for citizens, an agreement has finally been reached on the introduction of a single charger for small devices. According to my recent research, 92.9 percent of Croatian citizens support the introduction of the same charger for small devices. Namely, we all have full charger drawers at home, and again with every device we have to buy a new one. My first debate on this topic was back in 2013, as soon as I came to Parliament. If this law had been passed when we asked for it, 110,000 tons of chargers would not have been thrown into the environment", said Croatian MEP Biljana Borzan.

The new law will ensure that by the fall of 2024, all cell phones, tablets and cameras have the same charger. The deadline for laptops is 2025. The law also includes game consoles, speakers, keyboards, headphones and similar smaller devices. "It is extremely important to implement this law in a quality manner, i.e. to make devices without chargers cheaper by an average of two hundred Kuna. It is estimated that with this proposal, EU citizens will save 250 million euros a year,” added Borzan.


New data about the education system in Croatia reveals that there are 880 basis schools in the country and a further 1,120 satellite schools.

There has been a constant decrease in the number of pupils across the country for years, although the number of pupils from the 2019/2020 to 2020/2021 didn’t change drastically.

At the end of the 2020/2021 school year, the number of basic schools, the number of departments and the number of pupils did not significantly change compared to the end of the 2019/2020 school year. The share of female pupils was 48.7 percent. There were 66.3 percent of state basic schools and 100.0 percent of private basic schools that provided school meals.

The teacher/pupil ratio in the regular education in the same school year was 1:8.7. The same ratio in the education of disabled children and youth was 1:1.8. The share of women in the total number of teachers was 81.9 percent.

More than four thousand pupils attended classes conducted in languages of ethnic minorities.


In the past five years, 177,470 Croatian citizens reported temporary departure from Croatia, and 55,821 citizens reported permanent emigration. Thus, a total of 233,291 citizens temporarily and permanently left Croatia from 2017 to 2021, Večernji list writes on Tuesday.

Due to the discrepancy between the data on the number of inhabitants in Croatia of 3.88 million, including about 650 thousand minors, and the number of adult voters residing in Croatia of 3.68 million, the newspaper asked the Ministry of the Interior to send annual data on the number of citizens who deregistered their residence from Croatia due to permanent emigration and on the number of citizens who reported temporary departure from the country.

The Ministry of the Interior sent data on the number of citizens who had permanently deregistered and the number of citizens who reported temporary trips abroad for each year individually and made an interesting note "that the data below do not add up by year because, for example, someone who reported temporary departure in one year may have subsequently reported return, etc.… ”

However, the newspaper did not receive an answer from the Ministry of the Interior to the question of how many citizens who reported temporary departure actually returned to the country, but only a remark that they do not add data by years on temporary and permanent residence.

However, if there was a significant return of citizens who had left, this would be have been determined by the 2021 census, because the Croatian census included all citizens who lived in their place of residence before the reference moment of the census (August 31, 2021).

"Unfortunately, there are no such returnees, otherwise we would have specific data on the number of returnees, and not the answer that maybe someone who reported a temporary departure subsequently reported a return. The reality is that we have incredible depopulation by emigration and natural decline. Unfortunately, the data on the emigration of Croatian citizens and the natural decline of the population is confirmed by the number of inhabitants determined by the 2021 census. We must finally establish a population register to sort out this mess of data,” stated demographer Stjepan Šterc.

In accordance with the established dynamics of activities for 2022, a sounding test of the Orlando column and documentation of existing damage by the combined method of 3D laser scanning and photogrammetric measurements are underway.

Previously, in May, regular maintenance of scaffolding and monitoring equipment was performed, and in addition to documenting the damage, a contingency plan was prepared, an ultrasound examination of the stone and a numerical model of the Orlando column.

The dynamics of further conservation and restoration works will be determined after the meeting of the expert team in July this year, and the results will then be presented to the general public.

It should be reminded that the Croatian Restoration Institute, in cooperation with the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Conservation Department and the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia and the Institute for the Reconstruction of Dubrovnik, is working to repair this extremely valuable part of Dubrovnik's monumental heritage.

Activities related to damage monitoring, as a precondition for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Orlando column, began in late 2018 and early 2019, when the documentation of the existing condition was supplemented, and the Orlando column was protected by scaffolding. In June 2019, seven sensors were placed on the pole to monitor the crack expansion. At the beginning of 2020, a meeting of the expert team was held in Dubrovnik to determine further access to the issue of existing damage.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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