Wednesday, 19 September 2018
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

The days of moving your forward in the spring and an hour backwards in the autumn could well be over after the European Commission released the findings of a survey that revealed the vast majority of EU citizens are against it.

4.6 million people across Europe responded to the survey asking whether daylight saving time should be stopped and an overwhelming 84 percent said yes.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker commented that “The people want this; we will do this.”

Now the proposal will be debated by the EU commissioners and then the national governments of the member states.

Daylight saving was first adopted during the First World War in the UK to give factories extra daylight to work in. It was introduced by European governments at the beginning of the 1980s to save on energy costs. Research has shown that the time change negatively affects people’s sleep patterns, especially with the elderly.

Although the EU put forward a proposal that each member state decide whether to cancel daylight saving time this would seriously impact on the coordination of business.

If the EU decide to stop daylight saving time they won’t be the first to do so, already Russia, Iceland and Turkey have stopped the practice.

The laws on flying a drone in Croatia are relatively strict, however not everyone abides by the rules. This tourist was filmed yesterday flying his drone in the centre of the ancient Old City of Dubrovnik.

With thousands of tourists sightseeing in the city and a group gathered around him to watch take-off he flew his drone along the main street, Stradun, and then landed back by the Orlando Statue in possibly one of the busiest parts of the city.

Flying over the Old City is strictly forbidden due to the possible dangers to the large number of people in the streets, and near the airport is also prohibited. But this tourist seemed oblivious to the risks and happily flew the drone around over the heads of hundreds of tourists.

As a local drone owner explained to The Dubrovnik Times, “Clearly the rules for locals and tourists aren’t the same, whilst we are forced to follow extremely tough rules tourists are able to flout these without any punishment.”

If you unaware of the rules, as this tourist clearly was, then take the time to read this guide on Filming With A Drone In Croatia: Things You Should Know

Croatia is on track to make a record breaking 12 billion Euros from the tourism industry this year, commented the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli.

The minister was speaking to the press after a meeting of the Tourist Council of the Croatian Tourist Board, which discussed the situation in the tourist industry and proposals and plans for next year.

"We estimate that revenues from domestic and foreign tourists this year will come close to €12 billion. We don't think that lowering prices during the summer will do any damage because total revenues for the first half of the year were already higher than (at the same time) last year,” commented the minister.

Cappelli said that there would be a lot of investments in the tourist industry next year as well, adding that the industry expected the government to resolve the problem of a labour shortage in the sector and to cut taxes.

Looking to rent long-term in Croatia, well you’re going to need to dig deeper in your pockets. According to a report by the publication Poslovni Dnevnik the price of long-term renting in Croatia has skyrocketed in recent years. Compared to last year rents are up to 30 percent more expensive, with all the cities along the coastline jumping the most. A combination of apartments being rented to tourists and real estate sold to foreign buyers has made simply finding a place to rent near impossible, and when you do be prepared to pay significantly more than before.

"Flats for year-round rent are very difficult to find, it's mostly only for the period from October to June, when owners start doing short-term rents to tourists. So only students can rent, as the off-season suits them, and families have huge problems as they get kicked out of their flats when the summer season starts," commented a real estate agent in Zadar for Poslovni Dnevnik. And it this same situation is happening in Dubrovnik. Apartment owners are seeking the obvious financial benefits of renting to tourists than the long-term security of renting. An average two-bedroom apartment in Dubrovnik will cost upwards of 600 Euros a month with larger ones starting at around 800 Euros.

Research assistant Marina Tkalec at Zagreb's Faculty of Economy pointed out that the rise in rent and real estate prices can have multiple economic and social effects, as not only these shoot up the price of living in cities, they also affect personal choices people make in terms of education and employment.

The famous British actor, Warwick Davis, has been speaking to the BBC about his role in The Last Jedi which was partly filmed in Dubrovnik and how his trip to the city was unfortunately a waste of time.

“In The Last Jedi there was a deleted scene I flew all the way to Dubrovnik to shot for one night, it was a sauna scene and they had me playing this very bizarre one-eyed naked alien. There was a moment when the heroes were escaping and the came galloping over the roof and cause the roof to shatter and the roof to fall down. I’m there horrified and keeping my dignity with a very tiny flannel and the whole sequence was cut from the film. It was a lovely comic moment but if you look at the broader picture then it would have slowed the film down,” joked Davis in an interview for the BBC.

And the scene is quite clearly visible from the deleted cuts of The Last Jedi, in the video below look at the scene from 1.50 to 2.05. And the scene also ties in with another video that was shot behind the scenes when a stuntman leaps over a stone wall in the ancient Old City of Dubrovnik.

The new car industry in Croatia is experiencing a boom year with total sales up over twenty percent so far this year. Boosted by a vibrant tourist industry that has seen the need for more cars for rent as well as more taxi drivers new car sales in the country have risen incredibly.

From the beginning of this year until the end of August a total of 47,167 new cars were sold which is an impressive 21.8 percent increase over the same period from 2017. August alone was a bumper month with over 30 percent more cars sold in that month than August 2017.

The most popular brand in Croatia is still the German giant Volkswagen, even after the recent negative publicity surrounding the company. Then comes the French car maker Renault and in third position Opel. The biggest selling model was the Skoda Octavia followed by the Renault Clio.

But Croatians are still suspicious of electric cars. Out of the 41,167 new cars sold only 41 were electric vehicles, whilst 19,579 were diesel.

A fishing ship caught fire in the Dubrovnik Adriatic this morning. The boat was located in the Ombla River in Mokošica.

The reason for the fire is still unknown but according to reports from the scene flames were seen 20 metres in the air.

The fire brigade, including several vehicles, as well as the police ship are on the scene and the fire has since been extinguished.

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Dubrovnik has a new waterfall! These photos were sent to us this morning of what appears to be a broken pipe at the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik resort beach.

Water, presumably fresh water, was cascading through the broken pipe and down onto the beach. “A random broken pipe started gushing water at the beach. Does anyone know if this is normal?” commented the concerned eye-witness to The Dubrovnik Times. Quiet clearly it isn’t normal and it is also a horrible waste of fresh water.

The waterfall has since stopped revealing the broken pipe.

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