Sunday, 05 July 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Dubrovnik has many attractions away from the magnet of the historic Old City centre and it seems that the Dubrovnik Bridge and the cruise ships are proving just as popular as the monuments and beaches. Today on the observation point that overlooks the bridge and the Port of Dubrovnik tourists gathered to have their photos taken with the mega cruise ships in the background.

There were plenty of cruise ships to choose from as three cruise ships carrying over 6,000 passengers docked in the port today. This weekend will be slightly less crowded, as far as cruise ships are concerned, with seven ships expected brining around 8,000 passengers will arrive.

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An earthquake rumbled through the town of Ston on the Pelješac peninsular today at exactly 12.02. According to the Seismological Centre the epicentre of the quake was 20 kilometres northwest of Ston near the town of Janjina.

It was a fairly moderate earthquake that measured 3.0 on the Richter scale and the main epicentre was at a depth of around 2 kilometres. No material damage was reported.

International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik is going to bring beautiful music to our town for the 4th year in a row. It starts on August 26th and ends at Semptember 23rd and there will be 16 different concerts in the Rector's Palace.

Damir Milat, director of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, has proudly presented the Festival on the press conference that was held today.
- This is quality festival that brings quality artists – said Milat and emphasized the role of Maestro Christoph Campestrini, who is music director of the Festival and well known to the audience all over the world.

Matija Novakovic, president of the Arts Council of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, has said that Festival is modest when it comes to budget, but when it comes artistic accomplishments it's everything besides that. He also emphasized the importance of supporting the young artists.

As a representative of the City of Dubrovnik came the Deputy Mayor Tatjana Simac Bonacic who said that Dubrovnik strongly supports the Festivals for years now and will keep doing it in the future.

- The additional experience is the location – the Rector's Palace – added Simac Bonacic and said ''thanks'' from the City of Dubrovnik.

In 2016, new series of great concerts are coming. The beginning of the festival will be organized in cooperation with Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra is preparing new concerts where the audience will have an opportunity listen to a great soloists such as Martina Filjak, Yuri Favorin, Daniel Froschauer, Dubravka Šeparović Mušović, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Maroje Brčić, Elisabeth Most, Edin Karamazov, Đana Kahriman, Diana Haller, Janja Vuletić, James Dick, Andrew Tyson, Renata Pokupić, Naira Asaitran and others. As the conductor will also perform Canadian Charles Olivieri-Munroe, German conductor Stefan Sanderling, as well as the two Croatian conductors - Tomislav Fačini and Mladen Tarbuk.

Mladen Tarbuk, also an Artistic Director of Dubrovnik Summer Festival, was there to emphasize the connection between two festivals.
- It's important to have culture outside the Dubrovnik Summer Festival too – said Tarbuk and said that the ''Spanish note'' from the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has transfered to the Late Summer Music Festival. He added that he strongly believes in the future of the young artists and in the future colaboration.

Yana Tiefbenkel, director of the project ''Key to the Future'' said that programme includes artists who have a vision and are shaping the future of the art. She added that this is a great way to uninte the culture scene of Croatia.

Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra is supporting the young artists and to show that they have presented young addition to their orchestra on todays press conference: Azusa Ymauchi from Japan, Alena Shapacka from Belrus, Hiwote Taddese who has roots in Etiopia and Dana Kahriman, Iva Vukic and Karmen Pervitic from Dubrovnik.

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The list of the most innovative world economies in 2016 is definitely dominated by European representatives, whilst Croatia has also found its place on the upper part of the list. According to this year's Global Innovation Index (GII) among 128 countries which account for 97.9 percent of the world economy, Croatia is on the 47th position.

In comparison to last year Croatia has dropped by seven places on the list in 2016. However, on the last year's list there were 141 countries. This year neighbouring countries of Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary have placed better than Croatia (Slovenia placed as the 32nd and Hungary as the 33rd). Croatia is followed by other countries of the former Balkan country Yugoslavia such as Montenegro (51st), Macedonia (58th), Serbia (65th), whilst Bosnia and Herzegovina has had the worst ranking on the list in 2016 (87th).

The Global Innovation Index is a project of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and Insead Business School. In forming the list of economy innovation several areas have been taken into consideration such as a development of infrastructure, stability of institutions, market and business sophistication, creative production and research. Croatia has placed as 42nd in the stability of the institutions.

According to the Global Innovation Index this year Croatia has the worst ranking in the category of market sophistication (73rd) which includes the access to finance, protection of investors or the number of projects financed by risk capital. ''The result of this research is not surprising if we compare Croatia to other neighbouring countries and comparable economies'', commented Zdeslav Santic, the chief economist at Splitska Banka.

Among the TOP 10 most innovative world economies 8 countries come from Europe. The list is topped by Switzerland which ''defended'' last year's title, followed by Sweden and Great Britain. From non-European representatives on the TOP 10 list are the US which placed as the 4th and Singapore which ranked as the 6th most innovative economy in the world.

Summer season is over? Not in Culture club Revelin! Just the opposite: now it's the time for the biggest names and the most attractive programs. Tomorrow night is reserved for the most controversial DJ these days – Claptone.

The man with a golden bird mask has published his first album last year. His global hit is the remix of the Grammy awarded jazz legend Gregory Porter, who was also performing at Dubrovnik last year. ''Liquid spirit'' was frequently played at BBC Radio one and it was one of the most popular songs at Ibiza, where Claptone got the award for the best producer last year.

On Friday, 26th of August, big German DJ star is coming to Dubrovnik for the third time. Audience will welcome him with much love, especially because he just recovered from the hard injury which he got when he fell of the page in February. DJ that was nominated for Grammy, who travels around the world about 15 times a year, is used to perform in front of million of fans! He said it more than once: he loves to come to Dubrovnik and we are sure that Revelin will be full again.

The first weekend of September brings the project ''The Weekend'', which will host the team of one of the most famous discography houses in the world, Toolroom records. Here are the names that represent them: Technasia, Prok&Fitch, Weiss and Pete Griffiths.

Joe.co.uk, one of Britain's leading websites has recently placed the Croatian national flag on the TOP 10 world's best flags list.
The British website which has millions of monthly readers and over 3.6 million fans on Facebook, has made a list of ''10 flags objectively the best in the world.''

Jonny Sharples, who describes himself as somebody who scored 197 out of 197 on Sporcle’s Flags of the World quiz on several occasions and a member of the Flag Institute, ranked the Croatian flag as the 9th best in the world.

“Think back to Euro ‘96 or France ‘98 and what comes to mind? Oh, you said Gazza’s goal against Scotland and Michael Owen scoring against Argentina. Awkward. I actually wanted you to remember Croatia’s amazing checkerboard kits, which were all thanks to the coat of arms on their flag. Actual flag fact: The shields on the coat of arms are taken from the ancient arms of Croatia, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia”, Joe.co.uk described the national flag of Croatia.

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The ''best in the world'' title went to Papua New Guinea. With the “flag fact” that the flag of Papua New Guinea was designed by a 15-year-old. The winner was followed by the Democratic Republic of Kongo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Panama, Swaziland, Mozambique, Croatia and Cyprus which placed as the 10th on the world's best flags list published by Joe.co.uk.

Last month, the Croatia Airlines' CEO, Kresimir Kucko, said that foreign carriers didn't show any real intention in acquiring a stake in the company, despite initial interest from Turkish Airlines. Unfortunately, the situation hasn't changed since.

According to the aviation advisory company Ishka, which analysed the carrier's business, it seems that national carrier will remain on its own, "Any expansion plans will undoubtedly require cash and a willing strategic investor. It appears increasingly likely that Croatia Airlines is going to have to try and manage its expansion plans without the assistance of a strategic partner''.

Even though a privatisation process of the national airline was started three years ago in 2013, it is becoming more than obvious that any progress in its sale will not be made by the end of this year. But despite the situation Croatia Airlines has initiated plans to expand its operations without a strategic partner.

The carrier has also decided to expand its fleet and destination network in 2017 by opening several new bases across the Balkan region. However, the carrier's advisory company Ishka believes that without impetus of external capital Croatia Airlines will face many difficulties and additional pressure with the arrival of new aircraft and with the launching of new routes. The Croatian national airline plans to buy four to six regional jets in 2017 and has ordered four A320neos, two of which are to arrive in 2021 and the other two in 2022. The new aircraft are expected to replace the existing A319 and A320 fleet as they retire.

Going ''under the knife'' and fillers are no longer in fashion. The power of Mother Nature with all its benefits is the new Botox as people are now looking to revive themselves and connect with the earth.

Croatian women have recently gone crazy after a natural Botox from Zagorje in the Krapina-Zagorje County which costs only 70 Kunas. Maybe this sounds like a big joke but in the picturesque village of Konjscina not far from Marija Bistrica lives the Curis family who produce creams made of honey bee venom, according to a recent report on Croatian television.

Made by a secret recipe from New Zealand this cream ''will iron your skin beyond recognition,'' claim the members of this family business.

''Many young girls and women would like to look more beautiful than they already are but the bee venom (toxin melittin) does not work the same day as a filler because the literature teaches us that the venom boosts the production of collagen in the skin thus smoothes and tightens the skin'', explained the beekeeper Ivan Curis.

Members of the British Royal Family are also known as fans of this magical cream. The UK newspaper The Daily Mail reported that “The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall are already fans of bee venom.” However the wonder bee venom costs considerably more in the UK, £150 for a 50-millilitre pot.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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