Friday, 23 February 2024
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

Eurostat's latest data reveals Croatia's minimum gross salary for 2024 at 840 euros, placing the country midway on the Eurostat scale. Despite this, when factoring in purchasing power parity, Croatia's standing sees a marginal improvement.

According to Eurostat's rankings, Croatia secures the 15th spot among 27 European nations in terms of minimum wage, reports Forbes Croatia

Luxembourg leads the first group with the highest minimum gross salaries, exceeding 1500 euros, with the minimum wage set at 2571 euros. This is followed by Ireland (2146 euros), the Netherlands (2070 euros), Germany (2054 euros), Belgium (1994 euros), and France (1767 euros).

The second group, comprising nations with minimum gross salaries between 1000 and 1500 euros, features only Spain (1323 euros) and Slovenia (1254 euros).

In the third category, where minimum gross salaries are less than 1000 euros, Cyprus leads with an exact figure of 1000 euros, trailed by Poland (977 euros), Portugal (956 euros), Malta (925 euros), Lithuania (924 euros), and Greece (910 euros). Croatia follows in this group, setting its minimum gross salary for 2024 at 840 euros. However, net earnings range between 614 and 640 euros in Croatia, contingent upon allowances.

Behind Croatia, Estonia's minimum wage stands at 820 euros, followed by the Czech Republic (764 euros), Slovakia (750 euros), Latvia (700 euros), Hungary (696 euros), Romania (663 euros), and Bulgaria, where the minimum wage is 477 euros. Additionally, the list includes candidates and potential candidates for EU membership, with Turkey leading (613 euros), followed by Serbia (543 euros), Montenegro (532 euros), Albania (385 euros), and North Macedonia (360 euros).

 

Duran Duran, British rock music icons, are returning to Croatia for their premiere performance at the Pula Arena on Tuesday, July 30.

One of the greatest pop bands of all time, they time their comeback seven years after a sold-out concert at the Šalata Stadium in Zagreb.

The new performance in Croatia is scheduled at perhaps the most beautiful concert venue this part of Europe has.

The two-thousand-year-old amphitheatre in Pula will be the perfect stage where Duran Duran will remind us of their timeless collection of hits and an opportunity to hear their new album, Danse Macabre.

 

Spanish low-cost airline Vueling has announced that it will not resume its flights to Zagreb this summer, marking the end of its twelve-year service to the Croatian capital. Despite maintaining seasonal flights since 2012, including during the Covid-impacted years of 2020 and 2021, the airline has decided to discontinue its operations on this route. Last summer, Vueling operated two weekly flights between Zagreb and its hub in Barcelona, a reduction from the three weekly flights offered in 2022. Throughout its twelve-year tenure, the carrier primarily operated two weekly flights. Although ticket sales for the route were suspended some time ago, the airline had previously expressed interest in potentially returning to Zagreb, reports EX-YU Aviation.

However, Zagreb will continue to maintain its link with Barcelona through Croatia Airlines, the national carrier of Croatia. Croatia Airlines will resume seasonal flights between the two cities on April 2, initially operating twice per week and increasing to three weekly flights from May onwards. This maintains the same frequency as last year. Additionally, Ryanair will introduce three weekly flights between Zagreb and Girona, a city located approximately 100 kilometres north of Barcelona Airport, starting April 1.

While Vueling will discontinue its service to Zagreb, the airline will continue to operate flights to Croatia with services to Dubrovnik and Split. From both Barcelona and Rome Fiumicino, Vueling will operate flights to these two Croatian coastal cities, offering a total of 33 weekly flights to the country during the peak of the 2024 summer season. The airline will operate eight weekly flights from Barcelona to Dubrovnik and daily flights to Split. Additionally, there will be a daily service between Rome and Dubrovnik, and eleven weekly flights to Split, representing an increase from last summer's six weekly flights and daily service respectively. However, Vueling will not restore its seasonal service between Paris Orly and Split, which operated twice per week last summer and was launched in 2022.

Foreign cruise ships in the Croatian Adriatic in 2023 completed 646 sailings with 868,500 passengers, which is 14 or 2.2 percent more sailings and 37.1 percent more passengers than in 2022, according to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

In total, 85 foreign cruise ships sailed the Adriatic in 2023, three more than in 2022. In addition to more cruise trips and more passengers on them, these ships also stayed longer in Croatia than in 2022, for a total of 1,474 days or 11.3 percent more.

Dubrovnik Leads Cruise Tourism Surge in Croatia Record Numbers in the Adriatic in 2023

Photo - Bozo Radic / CROPIX

By months in 2023, the months with the highest number of cruise trips by foreign ships, 107 and 102, were August and June, followed by October with 95 trips, and July and September with 86 and 88 trips, respectively.

Dubrovnik was the most visited cruise port in Croatia last year

Unlike during the pandemic years, foreign cruise ships arrived in the Croatian Adriatic every month in 2023, and in the last four months, from September to December, there were more of those trips per month than in 2022. The largest increase, of up to 120 percent, was recorded in December with 11 cruise trips.

In 2023, cruise ships came to Croatian waters under the flags of a total of 14 countries, with ships flying the Maltese flag the most numerous.

CBS also reports that in 2023 there were fewer cruise trips in the Croatian Adriatic than in 2019, 11 percent less, and there were 22.5 percent fewer passengers compared to that record pre-pandemic year.

As for ports of call, nothing changes every year - in 2023, foreign cruise ships were most often in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County on cruise trips, where 48 percent of all 646 trips were made, while Dubrovnik was the most visited port with 475 cruise visits.

Split-Dalmatia County is in second place because almost 27 percent of all trips were in its waters, and the remaining 25 percent were in Zadar, Istria, Šibenik-Knin, and Primorje-Gorski Kotar Counties.

Dubrovnik was followed by Split with 300 visits by foreign cruise ships, then Zadar with 160 visits, Hvar with 110, Korčula with 101, Šibenik with 89, and Rovinj with 63 visits.

 

For the fourteenth time, as part of the 1052nd Festivity of St. Blaise and the celebration of the Day of the City of Dubrovnik, an international rapid chess tournament “Open Dubrovnik 2024” was held. The tournament is traditionally supported by the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Sports Community, and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

Once again, the Congress Hall of the Student Dormitory proved to be a perfect choice and an excellent venue for playing chess. 72 competitors from 5 countries participated, playing 9 rounds with a tempo of 10 + 5. The judging was excellently performed by the experienced duo Islamović - Jerković.

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Photo - Dubrovnik Chess Club

It was tense until literally the last move: young Marin Grgantov led the entire tournament, but the outcome in the last round brought first place to Montenegrin FIDE Master Armin Mušović, who was also the top favourite by rating, and in the end scored 7.5 points.

Second place with the same number of points was won by long-time member of the Dubrovnik Chess Club, CM Marko Jelčić, and third place was taken by CM Marin Grgantov.

"We are particularly pleased that a large number of our domestic chess players of all ages participated. There were some very nice results, but we won't single out anyone for special mention; there will be time for praise. For many of them, this was their first competitive tournament, and we certainly hope it is just the first of many in the future," stated the organisers.

 

After the preparatory work of removing the existing asphalt covering and concrete slab, which was in poor condition, the reconstruction of the Ombla Bridge continues. High-pressure washing of the bridge structure from the top and bottom sides is currently underway, along with drilling for anchoring and installation of reinforcement, as preparation for the construction of a new reinforced concrete slab.

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Photo - Grad Dubrovnik

A series of specialized works will follow, using special materials such as epoxy, which require specific conditions, longer drying times, and avoiding vibrations from traffic during that time. Additionally, the works will be carried out in two phases, lane by lane, as one lane must always remain accessible in case the Dr. Franjo Tuđman Bridge is closed due to strong winds.

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Photo - Grad Dubrovnik 

The rehabilitation of the Ombla Bridge, worth 494,302.50 euros, is being carried out by the company Mar d.o.o. under the professional supervision of Graf d.o.o. According to the project of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, new reinforced concrete slabs will be constructed, a new waterproofing system for the bridge will be installed, and a new asphalt covering will be applied. The works also include the construction of a new sidewalk and pedestrian railing.

 

Luka Modrić is nearing the end of his career and is about to receive a contract unlike any he has ever seen?

The saga continues over where Luka Modrić (38) will play next season. Because the captain of the Croatian national football team's contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of this season. For now, it's unknown whether Florentino Perez, as the club's president, will offer him a new one. And while it remains uncertain, all combinations are possible.

Every day brings a new option regarding a potential employer, but there's still no information from the right source. As long as it's like this, all these speculations are possible. Thus, this one emerges, as shared by Eduardo Inda on the El Chiringuito show.

"He (referring to Luka Modrić) stayed because of the coach. After a few months, he is neither the 12th nor the 13th player on the team. That's why he's upset. In a nice way, because he's decent, he told Carlo Ancelotti that he's being played. Ancelotti didn't tell him he would be a starter, but he told him he would play and that he counts on him. Does he really count? This season, he's the 15th or 16th player on the team," Inda explained, adding that Modrić could continue his career in Saudi Arabia.

"That's a lot of money. First, they offered him 40 million euros, and then 60 million euros per season. It would be a brutal end to Modrić's career," said Inda, the director of the Spanish portal Okdiario.

It should be noted that the aforementioned journalist has 'predicted' several times that Modrić would continue his career at Manchester United. Before that, he once 'packed' him off to Saudi Arabia, and yet we see Modrić still wearing the Real Madrid jersey.

 

The City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board are pleased to announce the jubilee 25th Dubrovnik Carnival, which will take place from February 9th to 13th. This traditional event is organized in cooperation with cultural institutions and other partners, with the aim of reviving the city during these wonderful days of February and reminding us all of the long-standing tradition of masquerading.

The Carnival will open with the "Masked Kindergarten Day" on Friday, February 9th, when at 10 o'clock, masked groups from the Pčelica kindergarten will stroll down Stradun, followed by the masked groups from the Dubrovnik kindergarten at 10:30. After the cheerful stroll down Stradun, the youngest masqueraders will perform on stage in front of the Cathedral, followed by the announcement of the best groups at 11 o'clock by the professional Carnival jury, who will also award the winners with generous prizes.

After the masked kindergarten day, in the evening, we invite all citizens and visitors to join the traditional party at the Lazareti Club for the "Masquerade under the Arches" starting at 8 PM. An evening filled with masquerades, laughter, and great music awaits you.

For all masquerade enthusiasts, the Kantunić Art Studio has prepared a large number of masks that will be available as gifts, allowing everyone to perfectly "fit in" to the masked stroll around the city, and costumes can also be rented at the Prinčipes Boutique.

The Dubrovnik Carnival invites everyone - come one, come all!

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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