Saturday, 23 March 2019
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.


A Libertas public bus caused a moment of mayhem at a busy Dubrovnik crossroads yesterday afternoon at around 5.00pm as, for some unknown reason, the bus pulled a U-turn.

A reader of The Dubrovnik Times sent us this photo as the bus manoeuvred across the busy junction. Of course due to the length of the bus it couldn’t make the U-turn in one go so it was more of a three-point turn.

“I was driving back home and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The number 9 bus performing a complete U-turn in front of me. A professional driver with multiple passengers performing such an illegal and dangerous manoeuvre. How is this possible and how can the driver justify putting the passengers and other roads users at risk?” commented the eyewitness to this unusual manoeuvre. We can only presume that the driver had lost his way or it was his first day on the job. 

The demographic crisis facing Croatia is one of the largest and most complex problems the country faces. Hundreds of thousands have already left the country to look for a brighter future in other European Union members and has meant that Croatia’s actual population is certain to dip below 4 million.

By far the most affected region of Croatia is Slavonia, the area of Croatia with the lowest GDP per capita, and no research has shown that the financial strength, or weakness, of counties has a direct correlation to the migration.

In 2017 the county with the largest level of migration was the Vukovar-Srijem County, which is 18th in Croatia in terms of GDP per capita, whilst the second most affected county in 2017 was the Brod-Posavina County (next to last on the GDP per capita list) and the Požega-Slavonia County, which is 19th on the GDP list.

Whereas the county with the lowest rate of migration, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, has the fourth highest GDP in Croatia

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a decision to halt all operations of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Europe. The Boeing 737 Max 8 was previously grounded by some twenty airlines and the Chinese Civil Aviation issued a ban on 100 airplanes, which is a quarter of a global fleet.

In Europe, the British, the Germans, the French and the Irish all banned the aircraft but Croatian authorities decided not to join the growing number of countries banning the aircraft, even though at least one of these Boeing planes flies in Croatian airspace every day.

However, the decision has now been taken out of Croatian hands as the European Union has taken the decision for them. The EASA has issued a directive, which came into force on Tuesday at 7.00pm (CET) to suspend all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Europe. In addition, EASA issued a Safety Directive, which came into force at the same time, suspending all commercial flights operated by third-country operators in, within or outside the EU's above-mentioned models.

An investigation into the tragic accident of the Ethiopian authorities with the support of the National Traffic Safety Committee, as the aircraft was designed and built in the United States, is underway. EASA has offered its assistance in supporting the accident investigation.

The US still refuses to ban the aircarft with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) stating that their review showed "no systemic performance issues."

Burh Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, glowed in the Croatian colours last night. The Croatian flag lit up the Dubai night sky in honour of the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic, who arrived in the largest city in the United Arab Emirates for meetings.

The Mayor of Zagreb met with the Mayor of Dubai, Dawood Abdul Rahman Al Hajiri, and Mohamed Alabbar, the owner of Eagle Hills, who is in charge of realizing the construction project in Croatia’s capital entitled Zagreb Manhattan. The Croatian delegation travelled to Dubai following an invitation from Al Hajirija.

The Zagreb Mayor published these photos of the world’s largest building in Croatian colours.

The Nikon photo of the month for March features Dubrovnik and the iconic Dubrovnik city walls.

The photographer of this fantastic and atmospheric Dubrovnik photo was Ružica Dodig, a nun from the city who works as a nursery teacher in the student home “Paola Di Rosa.”

In an interview for the Croatian Catholic Network she commented that “My first steps in photography are related to Nikon's equipment, so I'm honoured that Nikon has chosen my photo for the monthly photo.”


The glass ceiling for female employees in Croatia is sadly as strong as ever. According to a survey carried out by the Croatian Employer’s Association 77 percent believed that men are much more likely to reach their professional goals than women. The chances of women being promoted are also much less than men, even though the number of female directors in the country is slowly, but steadily increasing.

The report, which was published last week, was entitled “Women in the business world” and the association questioned 186 of their members.

“The women’s issue is not a topic to be solved only for the International Women’s Day, but throughout the year, because companies that promote gender equality are more successful and more competitive on the market,” commented the President of the Croatian Employers’ Association, Gordana Deranja.

These Chinese tourists won’t forget their trip to Dubrovnik in a hurry. Last night the gale force northerly winds hit the Dubrovnik region and caused havoc with the traffic system. The Dubrovnik Bridge was closed due to the strong winds but the Chinese tourists, in a Polish registred camper van, didn’t take any notice of the signs telling them not to cross the bridge and ended up stranded in high winds at the beginning of the bridge.

The north winds, which generally blow the strongest over the bridge, flipped the camper van onto its side, slightly injuring the two Chinese tourists.

This morning the wind died down a little and allowed emergency services to rescue the van. A tow truck pulled it upright and then into the nearby parking where, with the help of jump cables, it was brought back to life and the two Chinese tourists were allowed to continue their journey. Presumably in the future they will pay more attention to all the signs.

chinese van stranded on dubrovnik bridge

Just before the camper van was blown over - Photo Tonci Plazibat 

flipped on its side

Gale force winds flip the camper

The Ston Tourist Board has confirmed that Day of Ston Oysters will be held on Saturday March 23, therefore: on the first Saturday after the holiday of St. Josip who is worshiped on Pelješac as their patron saint.

It should be recalled that until the postponement of the Day of Ston Oysters occurred after an inspection found the presence of the norovirus on three of the five control points in the Bay of Mali Ston.

It has since been established that the virus is no longer present and a Senior Veterinary Inspector from the Metkovic Office of Food Safety in the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that he had checked five control points and that the virus was no longer present.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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