Thursday, 08 December 2022
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 final round of games in Group F today and three teams are pushing for a place in the round of 16, with Croatia currently topping the group. Croatia face Belgium and Morocco play against Canada today for a place in the later stages of the World Cup in Qatar and three teams are battling it out, with only Canada eliminated.

So what are the scenarios for Croatia, who currently top the group on 4 points, to pass into the round of 16. Basically not to lose. A draw against Belgium would see Croatia through to the knockouts, and with a win they would top the group. In case Croatia loses and Canada beats Morocco, the goal difference will decide the second qualifier (either Croatia or Morocco).

Belgium need to win at all costs

Belgium will qualify if they beat Croatia. However, if it’s a draw then Belgium will have to wait for the result of the other game. A draw might also be enough if Morocco get beaten by Canada with at least a 4-goal margin. A defeat would see them get knocked out. Meaning that Belgium have to go all out for the win today against Croatia.

Morocco needs at least a draw against the already eliminated Canada, and that would be enough It goes through irrespective of the result of the other group game.



The US Navy destroyer USS Forrest Sherman and the Spanish Royal Navy frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon have arrived in Split, the Ministry of Defence reported on Wednesday.

The ships sailed in yesterday, and they will be visiting the Croatian Navy and the city of Split in the port until December 2.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Forrest Sherman is a command ship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. It is 155.30 metres long, 20 metres wide, 9.4 metres draft and 9.2 tons displacement. Its speed is 30 knots. The crew consists of 380 members.

Frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon, Álvaro de Bazán class, has been in the service of the Spanish Royal Navy since 2012. It is 146.7 metres long, 18.6 metres wide, 7.8 metres draft and 5.8 tons displacement. It reaches a speed of 28 knots, and its crew consists of 192 members.

Groups of NATO ships SNMG2 and SNMCMG2 are integrated multinational naval forces whose role is to provide constant support to the Alliance in the implementation of operations, military exercises and diplomatic activities.


A whopping 75 percent of Croatians believe that the introduction of the euro as the official currency will lead to price increases. The Croatian MEP, Biljana Borzan (SDP), presented results from a survey of Croatian citizens on the introduction of the euro, and according to that survey 75 percent think that prices will increase.

The survey was conducted on a relevant sample of 805 participants in cooperation with the Hendal agency. Citizens' views on the key government measures regarding the introduction of the euro were examined - the information campaign, double reporting of prices, code of ethics and secret buyers.

37 percent of people asked though that Croatia wasn’t ready for the introduction of the euro.

And the MEP believes that much of this distrust of the euro is due to the bad practise of the government in informing citizens. “In our country, the campaign started three months before the introduction of the euro, which is late compared to other countries that went through the same process,” stated Borzan.

FIFA announced on Tuesday evening the names of the referees who will officiate the matches of the third round of the World Cup group stage, which will be played in groups E and F on Thursday.
The teams from group F are the first to take the field, and they play their matches at 4:00 p.m.

In this group, Croatia and Morocco have four points each after two rounds, Belgium has three, Canada is the only one with no points and no chance to advance.

The match between Croatia and Belgium will be led by the English referee Anthony Taylor, assisted by compatriots Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn, and the fourth referee will be Ištvan Kovač, from Romania.

Marco Fritz, Tomasz Kwiatkovski, Rafael Foltyn and Benoit Milot will be in the VAR room.


Banks in Croatia in the first nine months of this year operated with a total profit of five billion Kuna, which is about one billion Kuna or 25 percent more than in the same period last year, according to data published on Tuesday by the Croatian National Bank (CNB).

"The operations of credit institutions in the first three quarters of 2022 resulted in a profit in the amount of five billion Kuna. Return on assets (ROA) was 1.3 percent, which is a slight increase compared to the end of 2021 when ROA was 1.2 percent, and return on equity (ROE) increased from 8.8 percent to 10, 2 percent," states the central bank in its commentary on developments in the banking system for the first three quarters.

According to the data from the CNB on the operations of credit institutions, which was created on the basis of data that the central bank received from the banks themselves, out of 21 banks that operated in Croatia, 19 banks ended the first nine months with a profit, and only two reported a loss.

According to these data, the biggest profit in the first nine months of this year was achieved by Zagrebačka banka, 1.55 billion, and two more banks reported more than 1 billion in profit - Erste&Steiermärkische Bank 1.07 billion and Privredna banka Zagreb (PBZ) 1 .04 billion.

In terms of profit in the first nine months, OTP banka (662.7 million) and Raiffeisenbank Austria (275.5 million) follow, and in sixth place is the largest bank owned by the states, Hrvatska poštanska banka (HPB) with a profit of 126.4 million.

On the other hand, J&T banka, whose loss in nine months amounted to 10.1 million, and Nova Hrvatska banka, with a loss of 52.2 million, were the main losers. Nova hrvatska banka is the new name for the former Russian owned Sberbank, which was taken over in mid-April and is part of the HPB group.


We have all been enjoying some winter sunshine over the past few days, but that is about to change as winter, along with grey skies, is coming. The last November sunshine didn’t really lend itself to the festivities and the opening of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, frankly it was far from winter weather. However, the skies have turned grey and a north wind is keeping it fresh.

Highs today will reach 15 degrees, which is still relatively mild compared to other European cities, and tomorrow 16 degrees. And it is only the drop in temperatures that will give a winter feel, we will be lucky to see the sun until the end of the week. Rain, showers and generally overcast weather will be the norm this week, and we can expect one or two showers today.

The long-range forecast shows similar weather until the middle of December.


Croatia Airlines and Airbus have signed a contract for the purchase of the most modern Airbus A220 aircraft, and Croatia Airlines will replace all aircraft with a new unified fleet by 2026 and completely switch to jet-powered aircraft, the domestic airline announced on Tuesday.

The national airline stated that the replacement of the fleet for Croatia Airlines represents a long-term process of transition of the entire business, and that there will be a period of adaptation of all business processes to the new aircraft.

This, they say, will further optimize the operations of the national airline, ensure better occupancy of the passenger cabin, better utilization of the crew, while Croatia Airlines will become an even more environmentally friendly airline and will significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

In addition, significantly higher quality and more pleasant flights will be provided to passengers, as well as far more economical and sustainable operations, according to the press release, which does not include financial details of the contract.

The President of the Croatia Airlines Management Board, Jasmin Bajić, stated that considering the demands of passengers, trends in the highly competitive Croatian and global aviation market, fuel prices and CO2 emissions, as well as the goals of the EU's green policies and the no less important fact of the "year of production" of the existing fleet, the decision on fleet replacement of Croatia Airlines is imperative and fully compliant with the adopted post-covid strategy.

"I am happy that we are entering a new business development cycle with a partner whom we know well and who, based on long-term cooperation, really offered us conditions that we are now able to accept. Using the areas of existing contracts, the renewal of the fleet represents the continuation of our cooperation with Airbus, i.e. the existing contract by which we will completely replace Croatia Airlines' old aircraft with new ones by 2026", said Bajić.

Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Business of Airbus Christian Scherer stated that he is glad that Croatia Airlines is the new user of the A220 aircraft.

"The A220 is ideal for Croatian aviation needs due to its operational flexibility and efficiency, which will help the company achieve its ambitions of regional and international connectivity and the provision of superior services in any aspect, whether it is passenger comfort or travel economy and flight occupancy," he said. is Scherer.

Croatia Airlines reported at the beginning of October that by 2026, it will replace the existing aircraft with the Airbus 220.

As announced at the time, the replacement of the fleet will be realized through the order of six new A220 aircraft, which were contracted as an addition to the existing contract concluded by the company in 2008, then for A319 aircraft, which were then replaced in 2015 with the A320 neo type, to after the adopted strategy, the A220 type, with a capacity of 127 and 148 seats, would be chosen for the new development cycle.


In the past week, 33 new cases of Covid-19 infection were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. There are 13 people from Konavle, 8 from Dubrovnik and Metković and four from Zupa Dubrovacka.

43 people recovered: 19 from Dubrovnik, ten from Metković, seven from Konavle, two from Opuzen, Vela Luka and Župa Dubrovnik and one from Kula Norinska.

In the past week, 279 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 267,591 samples have been analyzed.

One person positive for coronavirus is currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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