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 Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, said on Wednesday, on the occasion of the Ukrainian national holiday, that he is sure that Russia will realize its mistake with its "adventurous move" and withdraw from Ukraine.
As the six-month-long Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the country marks Independence Day on Wednesday after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
“We are sure that in the coming period, the Russian Federation will realize that it was actually an adventurous move, that peace, justice, and the functioning of a world international order based on respect for borders and sovereignty cannot be ensured in this way," Grlić Radman told reporters after the government session.
"We expect the withdrawal of Russian soldiers and the recognition of Ukraine's sovereignty," he added.
The head of Croatian diplomacy congratulated the "proud country of Ukraine" and added that Ukrainians showed immense courage in defending their homeland, just as Croatia did in the Homeland War.
Grlić Radman believes that the democratic world is on the right side by helping Kiev and believes that the European Union's solidarity with Ukraine will be maintained even though not all countries are equally affected by the consequences of the war.
On Wednesday, the government submitted to parliamentary procedure amendments to the law on value added tax, which, in addition to the necessary elements of adaptation to the introduction of the euro, foresees a reduction of the VAT rate to 5 percent on the delivery of wood chips, pellets and firewood, as well as a zero VAT rate for solar panels.
According to Finance Minister, Marko Primorc, the amendment to the law proposes a change in the provisions related to the introduction of the euro, as well as further tax relief and mitigation of price increases faced by citizens and the economy.
Thus, it is proposed that the delivery of heating from thermal stations, including fees related to that delivery and the delivery of firewood, pellets, briquettes and wood chips, performed from the day the law enters into force until 31 March 2023.
Furthermore, it is proposed that VAT be taxed at a rate of zero percent on the delivery and installation of solar panels on private residential buildings, residential premises, and public and other buildings. This rate, the minister stated, would be applied to the delivery and installation of solar panels only for final consumption, i.e. to deliveries to citizens and their energy communities, or to multi-apartment buildings and persons performing activities of public interest.
This opens up space for lowering prices as an incentive for the use of renewable energy sources, said Primorac.
In the explanation of the proposed law, it is stated that the proposed measures will reduce the revenues of the state budget based on VAT in the amount of about HRK 120 million annually.
Two leading UK publications, The Times and The Telegraph, have published reports on Croatian beaches and islands as unmissable world tourist destinations. This publicity came about due to cooperation between the Croatian Tourist Board office in London and the editors and journalists of the aforementioned media.
The Times, through the article 25 best secret beaches in Europe, included two Croatian beaches among the 25 best beaches in Europe, Pasjača near Konavle and Ropa bay on the island of Mljet, placing them alongside the attractive beaches of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
"These kinds of announcements in the prestigious British media are extremely valuable for Croatia. Guests from Great Britain love Croatia, which is confirmed by the data of the eVisitor system, according to which the British have achieved 120,000 arrivals and almost 700,000 overnight stays in the current part of August, which compared to the same period last year represents a growth of 77 percent in arrivals and 100 percent in overnight stays. The British especially prefer the Dubrovnik-Neretva and Split-Dalmatia counties, and we have great announcements for the upcoming post-season," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board in London, adding that the British have made around 2.6 million overnight stays in the current part of the year.
August is proving to be a busy one for Dubrovnik with thousands of tourists enjoying the guaranteed sunshine in the south of Croatia.
In the first half of this week, 22,500 tourists stayed in the city, or 10 percent more than at this time last year, and 15 percent less than in the same period from the record breaking 2019.
The most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik currently are from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, USA and Spain.
Immediately after the end of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the jubilee tenth International Music Festival "Dubrovnik in Late Summer" will start with its program, organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO), which will be held from August 26 to September 23, 2022.
At yesterday’s press conference, the Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik, Jelka Tepšić, thanked and congratulated the DSO for their persistent efforts to make this Festival an important factor in the cultural offer of the city.
"It is important that after the end of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, we have quality content intended for our audience and our tourists who visit the city in September, and precisely those who come at that time are guests who want to consume more cultural content," said Tepšić.
The special feature of this year's Festival, with the title "The Winner's Circle", are the performances of artists who have won awards at international music competitions. They were introduced by the chief conductor Marc Tardue, emphasizing that in the coming days in Dubrovnik we will "hear the future of classical music", while the director of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Damir Milat, also introduced the sections of the Orchestra itself, which will also perform in its chamber ensembles.
Miroslav Drašković, director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, also spoke at the press conference, emphasizing culture as an important way of promoting the city's tourism.
The international music festival "Dubrovnik in Late Summer" will see 14 concerts of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with four conductors and over 20 soloists, in cooperation with Laus Academy Dubrovnik.
At this year's Seatrade Cruise Med conference, which will be held on September 14 and 15 in Málaga, Spain, the winners in nine categories of the Seatrade Cruise Awards will be announced, and Dubrovnik is among the three finalists in the most important category "Destination of the Year".
This award is given for significant strides in the management of cruise tourism and the City of Dubrovnik's project "Respect the City" has been highlighted in achieving success in terms of the future of cruise tourism and its sustainability.
By implementing strategies, measures and solutions and with the cooperation and support of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Dubrovnik was able to develop and create a systematic, joint approach in a short time aimed at solving some of the most important issues, such as the problem of excessive tourism and a large influx of guests from cruisers.
Adjustments were made through various measures and careful planning of cruiser arrivals/departures daily, weekly and annually. Considering the large daily concentration of passengers in a relatively limited city area, better and more specific communication with cruise companies whose ships sail into the port has been achieved, organization on the ground is more efficient and results in a more appropriate schedule of cruisers and control of the flow of tourists.
The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has reached an agreement with the company Electronic Arts, a global leader in digital interactive entertainment content, and in the game EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 players of the game will be able to play with the Croatian national team, it was announced on Tuesday on the official website of HNS.
EA SPORTS announced this July the details of the new edition of the most popular football simulation in the world, EA SPORTS FIFA 23, which will be available from September 30 this year. The Croatian Football Association has announced that all players will be able to select the world runners-up, the Croatian national football team.
"We are extremely happy that we have reached an agreement with EA SPORTS regarding the inclusion of the Croatian national team in the FIFA 23 game. We know that players around the world, and especially Croatian fans, have been wishing for this kind of news for years, and I am glad that they will now be able to play FIFA with their favorite team in the most beautiful jersey in the world. This is an important step forward towards the younger population and game fans, and we will continue to work in this direction in the future," said the president of HNS, Marijan Kustić.
HNS thus became one of 300 individual licensed partners in the game, through which more than 19,000 athletes in 700 teams, 100 stadiums and 30 leagues from all over the world are available. In addition to the best clubs and national teams, players can also choose from some of the most famous competitions in the world, such as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Conference League, Premier League, Bundesliga, LaLiga Santander, CONMEBOL Libertadores and CONMEBOL.
"We are delighted that the Croatian national team has joined the EA SPORTS family and will be available in FIFA 23," said James Salmon, Marketing Director at EA SPORTS FIFA. "The inclusion of this nation will allow us to continue to provide fans with an authentic and rich interactive football experience in FIFA 23 and beyond."
Lonely Planet China, the Chinese version of the most famous travel guide publisher, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on the Chinese market this year, and on this occasion they have created a special edition for August in printed and digital form, in which Croatia, together with France, Italy, Velika Britain, Thailand, Mauritius and Scandinavian countries, included in the list of the world's most attractive tourist destinations.
The special edition also contains a small urban guide about Dubrovnik, the author of which is the multi-award-winning journalist Si Ma Yan, who specializes in creative travel and lifestyle topics and who is also known as a great lover of our country.
"Dubrovnik has been an attractive destination for many tourists for many years, and the publication of a guide about Dubrovnik in the Chinese Lonely Planet is an excellent promotion of Croatia and the pearl of the Adriatic on the Chinese market. Also, Dubrovnik has always been a must-visit destination for Chinese tourists, and it's really a big deal that this magazine, which has an audience of several million people, included us in celebrating its important anniversary. Namely, in less than a month, two key Chinese travel magazines, Lonely Planet and National Geographic China, published wonderful reports about Croatia, which gives our country additional visibility on the large Chinese market," said Franka Gulin, director of the HTZ Representative Office in China.