Saturday, 22 February 2020
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 former Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, had requested an office when she left her position as the leading politician after losing the Presidential elections, and she has got her way after the Croatian government granted her wishes. On Thursday the government passed a decision to grant Grabar-Kitarovic the use of a state-owned villa in Zagreb which she will use as her office in the future.

Apart from the office, Grabar-Kitarovic was also given the right to a car, a driver, and two staffers, with all the office expenses paid for by the government, reports the state agency HINA.

And the Minister for State Property, Mario Banozic, commented that “Most probably, it will be one section of the building, covering about one hundred square meters, which can be physically separated from the rest of the residence.”

According to Croatian law, any former president can ask for a state-funded office. The only former head of state who used this right so far was Stjepan Mesic, who served in 2000-10. After stepping down, he moved into a state-owned house in Grskoviceva Street which was converted into his office.


Dubrovnik might well still have its winter jacket on, however mild and sunny, but that hasn’t stopped the plethora of stunning photos on Instagram.

Check out our top five Dubrovnik Instagram photos from this week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.


When compared with newspapers, TV and magazines, the radio industry is a media that is still holding its position on the market and proving popular with the public. And although newspaper circulation is falling drastically across the country the number of radio stations has remained solid and in fact across the European Union is one of the leaders.

In 2009 there 192 radio stations in Croatia whilst in 2017 this number had dropped to 157, and 904 people were employed in the radio industry. In 2017 Croatia was in ninth position as to the number of radio stations.

In the European Union in 2017 Spain had the largest number of radio stations with a massive 963 stations, followed by Italy 720 and Greece with 622. Whilst at the other end of the scale Slovakia has only 16 radio stations, Estonia 10 and Luxembourg only 6 different stations.

Taking into account member state population size, the number of radio broadcasting enterprises per million inhabitants also differs greatly between EU Member States. The highest ratios were recorded in Slovenia (76 radio broadcasting enterprises per million inhabitants), followed by Greece (58), Cyprus (43), Croatia (38), Hungary (32) and Portugal (28), while the lowest ones were observed in Germany, Poland, and Slovakia with 3 radio broadcasting enterprises per million inhabitants.

On this day, eleven years ago, Dubrovnik was under a thick blanket of snow as a polar front brought extremely cold weather to the whole region. On the 18th of February 2009 Dubrovnik was hit by one of the strongest snowstorms in its history and the whole city was under 10 centimetres of snow.

One of the largest snowstorms in history hit the city on Wednesday the 18th of February. After thunderstorms and rain, and then with the strengthening of the north wind the temperature dropped to -1 ° C, and then heavy snow fell in the Dubrovnik area for almost the entire second part of the day.

Of course the heavy snow brought a complete collapse to the traffic of the city and even some parts of the city were left without electricity, meaning many citizens were left in the cold.



The levels of gross domestic product across Croatia are just as diverse as the landscape with the capital having by far the largest GDP. According to figures just released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) the GDP per citizen in 2017 amounted to 11,893 Euro. Along with Zagreb the other three bid earners were Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Expressed in Kuna, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2017 was 88,726, which is aa increase of 5.4 percent compared to 2016. Statistics also show that the GDP per capita in Croatia was only 61.7 percent of the EU 28 average.

The final annual GDP for Croatia in 2017 amounted to 366.43 billion Kuna or 49.12 billion Euro.

Zagreb completely dominates Croatia’s GDP with more than a third of all business activities taking place in the capital. In 2017 the total GDP of Croatia was 125 billion Kuna, or 34.1 percent of the total Croatian GDP. In fact, Zagreb was the only area of Croatia that saw GDP higher than the EU 28 average.

Only three other counties have a GDP higher than the Croatian average, Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
According to the CBS, Virovitica-Podravina County has the lowest GDP per capita in 2017, which was 45.8 percent less than the Croatian average.


“My first ever Croatian show! See you in July, Rovinj! Xx,” commented the hugely popular singer Dido on her Twitter account as she announced her first ever concert in Croatia.

Dido, who has had global hits with Life for Rent, Here with Me and Thank You, is one of the biggest selling English singers of all time and has won a string of awards including Brit Awards, two Grammy nominations and two World Music Awards.


Dido will perform at the Rovinj Summer Music festival on the 25th of July and already the organisers have announced her concert on their social media channels with the message “Dido's coming in Croatia for the first time ever. We're going to revive some beautiful years in Rovinj!”

Dido's first two albums are among the best-selling albums in UK chart history, and both are in the top 10 best-selling albums of the 2000s in the UK.

The largest infrastructure project in Croatia has fallen victim of the coronavirus. The Pelješac Bridge, which is currently being constructed by China Bridge and Road Company, has been affected by the virus as the factory that produces the steel structures for the bridge has been shut down in China due to the coronavirus.

The virus has paralyzed the whole of China and now the factory where the steel structures are made for the Pelješac Bridge. This however does not mean that work will cease in Croatia, but the question is what will happen when it comes to installing the new structures.

Croatian Roads said the contractor had not asked for an extension of time. The bridge is scheduled to open on July 31, 2021.
“The contractor has previously and in advance taken all necessary measures to prevent the possibility of a potential threat to the construction site. Site protection has been put in place, measures have been taken and implemented in accordance with clear instructions,” commented Croatian Roads, for


The days of Croatians requiring a visa to visit the US could soon be a thing of the past as the United States is expected to cancel visa requirements for Croatia by the end of the year.

Only citizens of four European Union members, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, are still not covered by the US Visa Waiver Program, after Poland joined up in 2019. However, the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Gordan Grlic-Radman, said in Munich on Friday that the US was indeed on the brink of cancelling visas for Croatian citizens.

“We have met all the conditions and this is only a matter of time. It is in the interest of both Croatian and US business people," commented Grlic-Radman. The Croatian Minister met with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in Munich on Friday ahead of a major security conference.

And as well as the end of visas for Croatian citizens the double taxation situation between the two countries should also come to an end by the end of 2020.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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