Thursday, 22 August 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.


The last time Croatia operated flights to the United States was in the summer of 1991, the year of the Homeland War, when the American airline Pan Am maintained flights four times a week from New York to Zagreb.

Earlier this year the Croatian ambassador to the US announced that the Embassy had continued discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the reestablishment of direct flights to Croatia as soon as it was economically possible.

On the other hand, a European carrier has been negotiating with Zagreb International Airport about possible seasonal flights to New York for the next summer season. Jacques Feron the general manager of Zagreb Airport previously said that it would be "fantastic" for the Croatian capital to offer direct flights to the United States. "In the US, New York would be an excellent destination, although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports", commented Mr Feron.

The announced direct flights between the United States and Croatia might not be far away, but a final agreement is yet to be reached.

Is Dubrovnik about to be the scene of another Bollywood blockbuster? One of the biggest stars in India is currently in Dubrovnik and it looks like she is filming here. Huma Qureshi published a photo on her Twitter account in Dubrovnik along with the comments, “In gorgeous Dubrovnik, Croatia... Surprise coming up...shooting something super fab...can't wait to share with you all.”

Qureshi is an actress and model who has earned several nominations for her on screen performances. She is also well known for her work in making commercials after an award winning Samsung advert. So Dubrovnik could well be the location of a new international advertising campaign. It is also believed that the Indian advert film maker Vivek Daschaudhary is also in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik sprung to fame in India and with the Bollywood community after the blockbuster movie “Fan” starring Shah Rukh Khan was filmed in the city in the spring of 2015.

It seems that some people are so happy to be in Dubrovnik that they just want to closer to the stone. No, this English tourist hadn’t fallen over, slipped on a banana or felt unsteady; she simply started rolling around on the Stradun to the obvious amusement of her friends.

She seemed extremely happy just to be in Dubrovnik and, as far as we could gather, was just taking the opportunity to get up close and personal with the city.

rolling dbk 2

rolling dbk 3

The Guardian newspaper has placed Croatia is third place as the most attractive destination for solo travelling. If you are travelling on your own then Dubrovnik should be on the list of places to visit.

This leading UK newspaper has published a list of the top ten destinations for solo travelers and India and China are ranked in the top two positions, with Dubrovnik in third place. Take a cruise along the Croatian Adriatic coastline and visit Montenegro, recommends the UK publication.

Other destinations in the top ten include skiing in France, West Africa, Colombia, Spain, Morocco and Japan.

"The main reason for having the Daylight Saving Time (DST) in history was for saving coal which was the main source of energy. But nowadays we can no longer claim that the DST has a positive impact on saving energy. Exactly the opposite, due to the turning the clocks backwards in the autumn and forward in the spring, people keep their air conditioners running longer hours in the summer and they usually turn on their heating devices earlier in the fall. Thus the energy consumption is always increasing, whilst the total savings are minor and insignificant, unlike the past when we were not experienced in this kind of technological development’’, explains Davor Skrlec, the Croatian member of the EU Parliament.

Accordingly, he followed an online survey from the 12th to the 19th of October 2016 on the topic of whether such practices should be kept or terminated in Croatia. In a sample of over 1,500 respondents for all of Croatia who belong to different age groups, environments and levels of education, 85 percent of them said that the Daylight Saving Time in Croatia should be abolished.

The world countries such as India, Japan and China do not use the Daylight Saving Time method. More recently, Russia and Turkey abolished this practice, and now an increasing number of countries around the world are seriously reconsidering the effectiveness of the DST.

Dubrovnik could soon have another major event, this time a sporting event, held in the city. The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, today met with former tennis player and founder and director of the specialised sports management company Croatia Top Spin, Branko Horvat. The pair discussed the possibility of organising, in conjunction with the Dubrovnik Tennis Club, an international tennis event in 2017.

The idea is to hold a tennis challenger event in June of next year at which two or three major stars of the world of tennis would compete. The mayor commented that he supported the idea and that the idea of developing the city’s tourism brand into sporting events was a positive step. He also added that with the rise of Ana Konjuh in the rankings has helped raise the city’s profile as a sporting city.

The number of women members in the ninth Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski Sabor) rose from nineteen on the day of the new parliament's inauguration, the 14th of October, to thirty a week later after some male members opted for other duties and posts and were replaced by their female colleagues.

On the other hand, the number of women elected at the parliamentary election in November 2015 was only 15.2 percent, the fewest in the past 15 years. Thus earlier this summer the Government Office for Gender Equality called on political parties in Croatia to abide by the law and include at least 40 percent of women on their lists for the parliamentary elections, noting that Croatia ranked as the 92nd out of 193 countries in the world by percentage of women in its national parliament.

After the latest elections the ratio of male to female MPs in the Croatian Parliament is now 121 to 30, which means that the share of women is 25 percent i.e. within the average of unicameral parliaments in Europe.

According to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union women's participation in parliaments in unicameral assemblies or in lower houses worldwide is 22.9%, and Europe's average for unicameral assemblies is 25.8%. Nordic countries have the highest number of women among their MPs, around 41 percent.

Last week the Croatian Railways Infrastructure company announced that the European Commission had granted 241 million Euros for the reconstruction of the existing track and construction of a second one on the railway line from Krizevci via Koprivnica to the state border with Hungary.

Earlier this summer after the European Commission had made a preliminary decision about co-financing the project; the Croatian Railways Infrastructure signed an agreement with the EU Commission’s agency INEA that secured co-funding of this megaproject from the Connecting Europe Facility with 85 percent or a little more than 241 million Euros.

This way the Croatian Railways Infrastructure will continue with the modernization of the so-called Mediterranean Corridor at the section between Zagreb and the Hungarian border. In July this year the company started with works worth almost 200 million Euros on the reconstruction of the existing track and on the construction of the second one of the railway line between Dugo Selo near Zagreb and Krizevci.

According to a statement by the Croatian Railways Infrastructure this project will increase the line capacity, enable speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, shorten travel times, allow usage of interoperable trains and increase the level of safety.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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