Wednesday, 19 September 2018
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.


The Croatian Navy will assist with a NATO operation the Mediterranean from the 5th to the 21st of September. The missile boat Vukovar left from the Port of Split at the beginning of this week to join in the NATO mission Operation Sea Guardian.

With a crew of 32 and a commander the Vukovar will be the first Croatian vessel to participate in this operation, which was launched in November 2016.

Operation Sea Guardian aims to reinforce maritime situational awareness and counter-terrorism efforts through hailing and boarding suspect vessels and capacity building in the Mediterranean Sea. It focuses on gathering information about maritime activities in the region to help identify possible security concerns and develop maritime security awareness.

The Croatian Defence Minister, Damir Krsticevic, commented that "We are aware that the security of NATO and Croatia is defended not only on Croatian borders but also in places where threats emerge.”

The Operation Sea Guardian is under the operational command of the Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, United Kingdom.

Luka Modric is in the running for another award, the Best FIFA Player for 2018, after already winning the UEFA Player of the Year. It has been an impressive year for the Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfield ace, winning the silver medal in the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia, the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup and the UEFA Player of the Year.

Modric faces the same competition he did for the UEFA award, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.

Even though France won this year’s World Cup there wasn’t room for any of the French squad in the top three, although French coach Didier Deschamps is nominated for the coach of the year.

A panel of FIFA legends and experts drew up 10-man shortlists for each award and a jury consisting of national team captains, coaches, selected journalists and fans choose the winner, each group accounting for 25 percent of the vote.

And Modric isn’t the only Croatia hoping to win an award, the Croatian national team coach, Zlatko Dalic, has also been nominated for coach of the year alongside Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane.

The winners will be announced on 24 September at Royal Festival Hall in London.


One of the most popular beaches in Konavle, in fact in the entire region, Pasjača Beach now has a safer path thanks to the instalment of a new fence.

Although the Pasjača Beach is certainly one of the most spectacular in the wider region the walk down to it has been for years rather dangerous. But now thanks to the Municipality of Konvale a new security fence has been put up to increase the safety for bathers.

The new fence, over 80 metres in length, covers many of the areas that were without any guard rail until now. The older part of the fence will be replaced next year.

pasjaca fence 2

The Croatian government have announced the largest ever spend on employment programs as they aim to retrain unemployed people to fill holes in the job market. The Labour Minister commented that the government plans to spend 2.5 billion Kuna on employment programs this year.

"Never in the history of Croatia has more money been allocated for employment, because this year we are investing 2.5 billion (€337 million) Kuna in employment programmes, including 1.6 billion Kuna (€216 million) for active policy measures, and 900 million Kuna (€121 million) for specialised programmes," commented the Minister.

The unemployment rate in Croatia is at a record low, mainly thanks to the booming tourism industry and the migration of Croatian workers to other European Union countries.

There are currently around 134,000 unemployed people in Croatia which means that the unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. However, there is a shortfall of workers for the tourism industry so this new employment plan will provide funds for retraining unemployed people to fill positions in the tourism sector.

Every year Dubrovnik is inundated with fans of the globally popular HBO serial Game of Thrones. They come to marvel at the locations, buy a souvenir or sit in the iron throne on the island of Lokrum, but some fans take their Dubrovnik Game of Thrones experience to the extreme.

- Fun fact: Croatia practically invented nudism. They have the third largest nudist colony in the world and all beaches are top or clothing optional. So #WhenInCroatia bring on the titty glitter – commented this Canadian on her Instagram site with a rather revealing photo.

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The former leader of the Labour Party and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, has been relaxing in Dubrovnik on holiday.

This August the former Prime Minister spent a couple of weeks in Dubrovnik on vacation and enjoyed the Old City and the Adriatic Sea. Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Blair commented that “This is my first time in Croatia and I am completely blown away. I really didn’t know that Dubrovnik was so beautiful. I will certainly come back,” commented Blair.

Tony Blair (65) was the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom for ten years from 1997 to 2007 and leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007.

Traffic was blocked towards the Dubrovnik Airport this morning after a Citroen C3 finished on its roof after a road traffic accident. The 65-year-old lost control of the vehicle and blocked the main road from Dubrovnik to the airport.

The accident happened at around 10.30 this morning and the ensuing traffic jams tailed back for kilometres. The police and emergency services were on the scene quickly and the reason for the accident has yet to be confirmed.

Croatia has Finland’s support on its path towards joining the Schengen Area and the euro zone, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said in Zagreb on Monday after meeting with Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic-Buric.

Croatia is making good progress on fulfilling the criteria for accession to Schengen Area and Helsinki supports its efforts to continue in that direction, and when all criteria are met, Finland will back its accession, Soini said.

Finland also supports Croatia on its path towards joining the euro zone, but it will not be easy to fulfil all the criteria, said Soini, a moderate Eurosceptic and critic of EU safety mechanisms and bailouts.

“We did that in Finland. It means austerity measures, and budget control. But it is a good thing for boosting investments and the wellbeing of the nation as a whole,” he added.

Relations between the two countries are very good, but trade, which currently stands at €65 million a year, needs to be improved, the ministers said.

This October an economic delegation from Finland will arrive in Croatia to discuss boosting cooperation, Pejcinovic-Buric said.

Finland, Croatia, and Romania are the three EU countries which will hold the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union from January 2019 to June 2020. The first meeting between the three countries will be held in Zagreb in some 10 days, where shared priorities will be defined, Pejcinovic-Buric said.

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