Friday, 28 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, will once again be in the region this year as he plans to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina in March. His Royal Highness will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on March the 17th and 18th according to an announcement from the British Embassy in Sarajevo.

Prince Charles, who visited Croatia in 2016, will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

The Embassy reported that “His Royal Highness will undertake engagements in Sarajevo and Srebrenica. A key element will be a visit to the memorial at Srebrenica to mark the 25th anniversary of the genocide. His Royal Highness will pay his respects to the victims, accompanied by a number of survivors, including mothers who are still looking for their missing family members.”

The last time Prince Charles was in Bosnia and Herzegovina was in 2007. On that last visit he visited British troops who were serving in Bosnia, and he was joined by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall on that visit.

And on this visit the Prince will also get involved with the armed forces with the Embassy stating that “His Royal Highness will meet UK military personnel involved in securing a safe and secure environment in Bosnia, and bolstering the Bosnia-UK defence relationship.”

 

Croatia’s inevitable journey towards adopting the Euro as the official currency and ditching the Kuna has moved a step closer with the Minister of Finance reporting this week that the country has completed almost half of the 19 measures needed to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II).

Zdravko Maric, the Croatian Minister of Finance, has said that half of the 19 different measures in six categories had been closed. This means that the path towards the joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) is ever closer and therefore the adoption of the Euro as the official currency is still on course.

A letter of intent was sent to join the ERM II in July last year, as well as a plan to reform the economic situation, and the European Central Bank is expected to deliver a decision on Croatia joining the banking union.

Maric expects that Croatia will have completed all measures by the end of Croatia’s presidency of the EU.

If all goes to plan then Croatia is expected to adopt the Euro by 2024 to 2025.

 

Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed meaning that as of today, Friday the 28th of February, there are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Croatia.

"The first infected person is from Zagreb and hospitalized at the Infectious Diseases Clinic and the other case is from Rijeka and is in hospital in Rijeka. Both cases are mild symptoms,” commented the Croatian Minster of Health, Vili Beros, at a press conference today.

These two new cases take the overall number of coronavirus cases to five in Croatia.

The third case was confirmed on Wednesday in a man who had recently returned from work abroad, from the northern Italian city of Parma. He was placed in quarantine at the Rijeka hospital the same day.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic appealed for calm in a news conference, after local media reported that panicked shoppers had invaded some supermarkets in Zagreb to stock up on supplies fearing a massive outbreak in the coming days.

 

Like icing sugar on top of a chocolate cake a dusting of snow is covering the very top of the mountains in Konavle this morning.

This sky-scraping mountain range, the southernmost in Croatia, always gets a dash of white in the winter but this year, due to the unseasonably warm temperatures, the mountains have had to wait until today for the snowy cover.

The highest mountain in the range, Snježnica, has an easy height to remember as it is exactly 1,234 metres above sea level.

The snowy photos were captured this morning by the Facebook group - Zavazda Konavle.

dusting of snow on konavle mountains 2020

Photo by - Zavazda Konavle

 

Supermarket shelves across Croatia are emptying as people stock up on flour, pasta and disinfection products. The major supermarkets in Croatia have reported a higher turnover over the past few days as people panic buy in fear of a spread of coronavirus.

The first case of coronavirus in Croatia was recorded yesterday and all major points of entry into the country are being strictly controlled.

"In the past few days, we are seeing an increase in traffic and increased business activity in all stores and in Konzum's online store. Despite the increased demand, we have adequate supplies of all items and our stores and warehouses are well equipped," reported Konzum for the news agency HINA.

Photos of empty supermarket shelves across Croatia have appeared on social media, and it appears that people are worried about stocks of flour, pasta and milk. Also certain products connected with personal hygiene, such as protective gloves, disincentive hand cleaner and face masks are almost all sold out.

 

Looking for some cheap luxury five-star accommodation this summer, look no further than Dubrovnik. The pearl of the Adriatic is often thought of being as an extremely expensive holiday destination with some of the costliest hotels in Croatia, but according to a recent report by the luxury travel guide, The Hotel Guru, Dubrovnik in fact offers the cheapest five-star hotel accommodation in Europe.

“If you’re looking for a top five-star hotel experience in a European city, consider Dubrovnik. We found that the Croatian city costs, on average, £105 per night. And, that’s not all. Our analysis also revealed that Dubrovnik is top when it comes to the best customer rating,” comments The Hotel Guru on their website.

Yes, it might seem strange to many travellers but Dubrovnik’s five-star hotels were rated as the cheap option in Europe. A night in a five-star hotel in Dubrovnik came in at only £105 a night, or around 125 Euros a night, and was followed by Berlin, Porto and Stockholm on the price list. London came in at a whacking £303 a night, whilst Paris was £384 a night and Venice the most expensive at a whopping £424 a night.

Dubrovnik has the most five-star hotels of any destination in the whole of Croatia, including the capital, and has over 50 hotels in total.

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Photo - The Hotel Guru 

 

There will be direct flights between Bulgaria and Croatia as of 1 May, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said. Croatia's national airline Croatia Airlines will service the flights between Sofia and Zagreb three times a week until the end of October 2020.

Croatia Airlines has confirmed for the Bulgarian Embassy in Zagreb that the direct flights might be extended to the winter period of 2021, depending on the passenger flow and financial indices.

The opening of the scheduled flights is a direct result of the visit of Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva to Zagreb on 18 October, 2019, when the topic featured on the agenda of her talks with her Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic Radman.

The direct flights are expected to further increase the tourist flow between the two countries. Last year, Croatia was visited by 42,283 Bulgarians, up by 16.7% from 2018, and Bulgaria was visited by 29,270 Croatians, up by 31.1% from 2018, the Foreign Ministry said.

 

Zagreb International Airport has implemented all necessary measures for the protection of passengers and employees for the prevention of coronavirus and is in constant contact with the competent services and institutions that monitor the situation and provide instructions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Franjo Tudjman Airport in the Croatian capital, in co-operation with the competent Border Inspection Service, was controlling and coordinating all activities and procedures for the prevention of coronavirus.

"The Border Inspectorate at the Zagreb Airport has a 24-hour on-call duty, as well as a medical team at the Zagreb County Health Centre. Standard procedures have been agreed with the airport for the arrival, transfer, transit and departure of passengers by category, location of their inspection and possible containment or isolation, at the discretion of sanitary inspectors,” commented Zagreb Airport.

Regarding the employees of the airport, they emphasize that for the prevention and protection of them, protective masks, gloves and disinfectants have been purchased, which are used by employees who are in direct contact with passengers when needed.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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