Monday, 03 August 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.


In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County one new case of Covid-19 infection was recorded in the last 24 hours. According to the Civil Protection for the Dubrovnik-Neretva-County this latest patient is a female from Blato, who is an employee of the Home for the elderly and severely ill, Mother Marija Petković in Blato, she was tested before returning to work from vacation.

A total of 6,262 samples have been analysed since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of today, there are no hospitalized persons positive for Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

There are 176 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours there were no violations of self-isolation measures.


Just before 12 o'clock on the part of the road between Pločice and Molunat in Konavle, a car with Zagreb registration plates caught fire while driving.

Firefighters were quickly on the scene and succeeded in putting out the blazing car, and according to the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, fortunately no one was injured, only material damage was caused.

So far no official reason as to how the car caught fire has been announced. Fortunately, the burning vehicle didn’t cause any forest fires in the dry grassland nearby.

burning car konavle


Zagrebačka bank is rated the best bank in Croatia in a global ranking of 1000 of the world’s quoted banks in the inaugural issue of THE STATEMENT, a new banking magazine launched by the London-based Lafferty Group. Zagrebačka bank scores particularly highly for Financial Inclusion.

The banks in Croatia are on average rated higher than those of Ukraine and the US, but lagging behind Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and the UK.

The research is generated from the LAFFERTY 1000 global banking database, which scores the one thousand banks for quality across 21 metrics and rates them from 1-star for the weakest to 5-stars for the best. Other findings include - 

- Only 5 of the 1000 banks receive 5-star ratings and all are based in emerging markets

- With three exceptions, the mainly universal banking giants of Europe, North America, Japan and China that are designated as “globally significant” by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are rated from poor to average at best.

- Italy’s UniCredit comes bottom of the group, with a 1-star rating.

These findings contradict the view, long held in the financial industry that the UK and the US are the leading countries for industry achievement.



THE STATEMENT is a new Lafferty Group digital banking magazine. It is being established at the height of the economic, financial and human crises caused by the global coronavirus pandemic in order to help progressive banks and bankers find a new way ahead for the industry.

The magazine takes as its starting point the current state of 1000 of the world’s largest quoted banks and rates each of them for their quality and sustainability using 21 metrics – from financial performance to how they treat a range of stakeholders including staff, customers, the unbanked, regulators, the environment – and not least shareholders.

The bank quality rating system on which the database is anchored uses a heuristic methodology to analyse the signals that banks are sending out in their annual reports – intentionally or otherwise – and combines them to score the overall bank. It uses the annual report because of its unique status as the primary vehicle for management of a bank to communicate and account to shareholders and other stakeholders.

Michael Lafferty, Chief Executive of Lafferty Group said, “Banks from emerging markets are now setting the pace in world banking. They are more focused and unfettered by the mistakes that have done so much damage to Western banks. These mistakes include a misguided love affair with universal banking and the destructive ideology of shareholder value”.

The number of Covid-19 patients in the world exceeded 18 million on Monday, and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the consequences of the pandemic will be felt for decades to come.

More than 690,000 people have died due to the Covid-19 virus since it first appeared in China late last year, reports HINA.

New sources of infection are being recorded in countries that managed to bring the infection under control at an earlier stage, and many governments are now being forced to reintroduce quarantine measures, despite fears of further economic collapse.

A state of emergency was declared in the Australian state of Victoria on Sunday, and the authorities introduced the night curfew as the strictest measure so far in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. A curfew has been introduced in Melbourne for the next six weeks, a ban on gatherings at weddings is in force, and schools and universities are returning to 'online' teaching.

In other parts of the world, the situation is much more difficult, and in South Africa the number of infected has exceeded half a million.

Possible fatigue in fight against Covid-19 

In Latin America, unwanted records are being broken, bringing the world's hardest-hit region closer to 5 million infected people, reaching 200,000 deaths on Saturday.

Latin America, which has about 8 percent of the world’s population, has close to 30 percent of those infected and dead worldwide. The most affected countries in Latin America are Brazil and Mexico, which make up nearly three-quarters of all deaths in the region. Brazil, the hardest hit country in the region and the second worst hit in the world, has more than 2.73 million infected and more than 94,000 dead.

Six months after the WHO declared a global health crisis due to the new coronavirus, the UN agency is now warning of possible "fatigue" in the fight against the pandemic. The WHO said Covid-19 continues to pose a major global threat, adding that the effects of the pandemic would be felt for "decades to come".


July, the height of the tourist season, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was yet another challenging month for the tourism industry with occupancy rates down 60 percent on last year. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the Dubrovnik region the hardest, with flights severely limited and hotel rooms and private accommodation half full. Whereas other regions, especially the north of Croatia and Istria in particular, are seeing growing numbers of tourists Dubrovnik is still way down on numbers compared to previous years.

During July 2020, there were 132,173 tourist arrivals and 862,649 overnight stays in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, this means that across the county only 41 percent of the overnight stays, compared to July 2019, were achieved.



And without doubt the main reason for these less than impressive figures are the lack of guests from the county’s traditional travel markets, such as the UK, US, South Korea and Australia. In fact, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board stated that “Absence of tourists from the USA, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other intercontinental tourists and tourists from a number of European countries such as Finland, Norway, Ireland (countries where Croatia is among the countries with mandatory fourteen-day quarantine upon return into the domicile country), strongly reflects on the tourist results in the Dubrovnik - Neretva County.”

There are currently, 36,624 tourists vacationing in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, of which 29,190 are foreign guests and 7,434 are domestic, which is 50 percent down when compared to the same day last year. The most numerous are domestic tourists, followed by tourists from Poland, Slovenia and Germany.

22,000 tourists are currently vacationing in private accommodation, or 53 percent of traffic since the beginning of August 2019, while about 8,000 tourists are registered in hotels, which is 39 percent compared to the beginning of August last year.

There will soon be some respite from the melting temperatures that have boiled Dubrovnik over the past few days. This weekend was a mini heat-wave with temperatures in the shade reaching a baking 35 degrees, and without a cloud on the horizon it’s been wall to wall blue skies.

August certainly opened in fine form with typical summer weather. There is, according to forecasters, going to be a short pause from the heat with a storm expected to roll over the south of Croatia from Tuesday. The Croatian Metrological and Hydrological Service predicts that the storm will run all the way down the Croatian Adriatic coast, starting in Istria on Monday and working its way to Dubrovnik by late afternoon on Tuesday.

Forecasters expect that Wednesday will be the wettest, and indeed coolest day, as the storms hit with highs to drop to around 21 degrees, almost a cold snap in the middle of August. Thursday will be a mixed bag with showers and sunshine and temperatures also around 22 degrees. But by the end of the week normal Dubrovnik summer service will be resumed, the clouds will clear, and a sunny and warm day is on the cards. Next weekend will also see calm and warm weather with zero chance of rain.

The sea temperature in Dubrovnik is currently around 25 degrees.


Ryanair, one of the largest low-cost airlines in Europe, has reopened flights between Frankfurt and Rijeka. The first flight from Frankfurt, Hahn Airport, took off yesterday, writes Croatian Aviation.

The Ryanair flights will operate until the end of October, and this first flight had 133 passengers on board.

The flights will run on a weekly basis, every Saturday, until the 24th of October, and this is good news for Croatia’s tourism industry as German tourists have shown the most interest in visiting Croatia.

This isn’t the only Ryanair flight to Rijeka this summer as the airline is alsp operating flights to London Stansted.



In the past 24 hours there have been 36 new cases of Covid-19 detected in Croatia, meaning that the number of active cases in the country is currently 738.

The highest number of new cases was recorded in the Vukovar-Srijem County, with 26 new cases, followed by the Split-Dalmatia County, with 11 new cases, and the City of Zagreb with 8 new cases. In fact, the Vukovar-Srijem County has the highest number of active cases in Croatia, with 173 cases, followed by the City of Zagreb with 143 cases and the Split-Dalmatia County with 124 active cases.

There are 131 patients in hospital across the country and from this number 6 are on a ventilator. 

Unfortunately, over the past 24 hour four people have passed away in Croatia due to Covid-19.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 5,260 people have been infected with Covid-19, of which 149 have died and 4,373 have made a full recovery.
There are currently 2,662 people in self-isolation, and to date, a total of 121,320 people have been tested, of which 984 were tested in the last 24 hours.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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