Sunday, 21 July 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.


The long, hot Croatian summer has brought with it a number of incidents for the fire brigade, with numerous forest fires all the way along the Adriatic coast. The latest fire in the Dubrovnik region broke out last night on the island of Mljet.

A thick pine forest caught fire and due to the strong northerly winds quickly spread. According to reports from the Mljet fire brigade no residential properties are in danger at this moment.

Thirty fire-fighters from the Mljet fire brigade were quickly on the scene and along with the assistance of the staff of the Mljet National Park fought the fire to bring it under control. Fifty additional fire-fighters are on standby in Dubrovnik if required and a special ferry line will transfer them if needed.


The fire on Mljet is under control and there is no dnager to houses. The fire broke out in the village of Ropa on Mljet and spread towards Blato. 

It is a well known fact that in this modern technological era, computers, smart phones and the internet are the best way to express one's opinion, to organize protests or even revolutions; in some cases, they even make governments fall or the world jump to its feet.

As far as social networks and politicians are concerned, Donald Trump is best known as the Twitter President, whilst the Slovenian President Borut Pahor is the King of Instagram. However, the question is who are Croatian Trump and Pahor?

At first glance, Twitter seems scarce for Croatian politicians. ''It seems to me that most of our politicians are of a protocol type'', says Ankica Mamic, a communications expert. In other words, Croatian politicians on social networks are boring; followers can only read their congratulations to athletes, posts on where they went and with whom they met, and things like that.

''People do not express any interest in communication and interaction with such profiles because they do not bring anything that cannot be heard or read in the news'', explained Mamic. For example, posts of the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic reach around 400,000 people; however, it is more than obvious that she does not write any of her posts because they are all official, dry and dull, unlike Trump who obviously writes his posts by himself.

Nevertheless, Croatia has a politician interesting to social media. The young member of the Croatian Parliament Ivan Pernar has almost 200,000 followers. His live broadcasts, information on evictions, cell phone recordings in the Parliament, you name it. Pernar cleverly uses all means of the modern era to make a brand out of his profile. ''He is one of those who use all advantages of Facebook quite well. First of all, he is doing all this just to make an incident so people can talk about it'', commented Kresimir Macan, a communications expert.

Just for comparison, the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has only 65,000 followers on Facebook, whilst the popular singer Severina has more than 900,000 followers.

The President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is the most popular political figure on Twitter; however, she has only 43,600 followers, or ten times less than on Facebook. The Prime Minister Plenkovic is way behind her with 15,600 followers, whilst the former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has 13,000 followers. Kosor has managed to survive the political turbulence and keep her position in the Croatian political sky thanks to her sharp, fast and relevant twits on that social network.

This has got to be our photo of the day. These Korean tourists just couldn’t wait to get the perfect morning shot of Dubrovnik.

They were so determined and excited to get their cameras and iPads out that they forgot to get dressed! The whole family was spotted on the Ploce area on Dubrovnik this morning still wearing their pyjamas.

Martin and Valent Sinkovic, the successful Croatian rowers have found their place among top class athletes to be featured on Red Bull cans.

''We are so honoured to be the first Croatian athletes on the Red Bull cans!'', wrote Sinkovic brothers on their Twitter profile.

The brotherly duo, whose successful sport stories are talked about all around the globe, has conquered the world of rowing in only a few years thus confirmed the old saying ''No gains without pains''.

The Sinkovic Brothers have won numerous European and World Championship titles, World Cups, the Olympic gold, they have broken the World Record, and climbed the winning podium 29 times in a row.

After all this huge success in the double skulls discipline, the brothers have decided to change the discipline to the Coxless pairs this year.

Recently, the most successful Croatian sport duo has joined the company of great world athletes such as the Brazilian football player Neymar Jr., Lindsay Vonn, the American alpine ski racer and many others by becoming the first Croatian athletes whose faces adorn the special edition of the Red Bull can.

The Red Bull can featuring the Sinkovic Brothers will soon be available on the Croatian market. In the meantime, Martin and Valent Sinkovic will be preparing for the new discipline, a new competition and a new opportunity to present themselves and try their best in uncharted waters of the next World Championship.

Dubrovnik made it to another list of the places you just need to visit! Telegraph has recently published an article titled ‘’The 25 places in Eastern Europe you must see in your lifetime’’ with our City involved.

-With its sublime location, overlooking the calm blue waters of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is one of the world’s most magnificent cities – writes Jane Foster, Telegraph expert, adding that the main draw is the charming car-free old town, packed with aristocratic palazzi and elegant Baroque churches, contained within sturdy medieval fortifications.

-Add to this the beaches, pristine sea, top-notch seafood, and chic five-star hotels, and your holiday is made – explains Foster.

Dubrovnik is not only Croatian representative on the list. Telegraph also recommends Plitvice Lakes, Istria and what is interesting – Museum of broken relationships in Zagreb.

Last year a 21-year old Croatian innovator presented his green invention that was recognized on a global scale almost overnight. However, his success was not a short-lived one but has been growing since then.

Ivan Mrvos from Solin near Split and his team are responsible for designing the Steora smart bench; an innovative product ideal for cities, parks, airports, marinas, business and shopping centres. Their main goal is to raise human awareness about renewable energy and environmental protection.

The smart bench includes batteries, which are powered by solar panels; they provide internet access and the possibility to charge mobile phones and laptops by USB charger. It also gathers data about air quality, humidity, city noise, displays advertising, and provides light at night. Interestingly Mrvos and his team developed their own battery system based on the model of Tesla Motors, which is famous for production of electric cars.

So far, smart benches have been introduced and placed all over Croatia, Montenegro, in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Hong Kong and in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

Last year Mrvos signed an agreement worth 5,33 million Euros with MTK Renewable Energy Investment to deliver 2,700 smart benches to Australia. Mrvos and his team also sent smart benches to USA, Qatar and Switzerland for testing.

After recent setting up the first smart bench in Dubai, bought by the local police, the same night Ivan Mrvos and his company Include received an order for five more benches for the largest city of the UAE.

''Around 11 pm in the evening, or 1 am Dubai time, we got an emergency order to deliver five new pieces as soon as possible. In 48 hours of logistics madness, we produced five benches with the required configuration, and organized delivery by DHL and Emirates. At the end, the benches have been successfully installed in Dubai'', commented Mrvos on his social media profile.

The German retail chain TEDI is entering the Croatian market by opening two stores in Zagreb at the end of this August, confirmed Ines Bakic Zubak, the manager of the Supernova Centre Zagreb.

Two TEDI stores are to be opened in two Supernova shopping centres in the Croatian capital – Supernova Buzin and Supernova Garden Mall. So far, there is no information on potential further expansion to other locations in Croatia.

However, on TEDI's official website there is information that the company plans to reach the number of 2,000 outlets and that they are in search of adequate real estate on attractive and visited locations.

Since the company was founded in Dortmund in 2004, the expansion of its trading network has been marked with an average rate of two new outlets per week. The company closed its first fiscal year with 120 newly opened stores, and by 2006, this figure rose to 400. In 2011, it exceeded the number of 1,200 stores across Europe.

Today TEDI is considered one of the most propulsive companies in non-food industry whose market position is ensured with the network of 1,500 stores with at least 5,000 products on offer at ‘’fair prices’. The company employs 11,500 people in six countries around Europe.

Besides daily household, party, DIY and electrical goods, TEDI’s range also includes stationery, toys as well as drugstore and cosmetic products. Additional highlights are seasonal offers and sales campaigns in their stores.

It is interesting to note that the company is very proud of the fact that a third of TEDI's assortments are purchased from business partners from Germany and other EU member states.

The weekend isn’t the craziest part of the week in Dubrovnik anymore. This hectic Monday brought crowds in the Old City. At moments, for example just couple minutes ago, there were over 9,000 people inside the City Walls. That was counted on the website Dubrovnik Visitors, which counts the number of people that enter the City in order to limit the number under 8,000.

Because the limit was broken, and huge number of people entered the City, the counter turned red. Currently there are two cruise ships in the Port Gruz that brought around 1,900 passengers. There are some traffic jams. A crazy Monday!


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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