Friday, 21 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.


“Croatia officially rules,” commented the lead singer of the American rock band One Republic, Ryan Tedder on his Instagram story. Tedder (39) is enjoying a Mediterranean vacation and has visited Rome and is now in Croatia.

After a flying visit to Dubrovnik the rocker took a luxury yacht to the island of Hvar. It is rumoured that One Republic were in Rome to record their latest album and are now in Croatia to relax.


Forest fires have lit up the night sky tonight. In the town of Ivanica on the border of Croatia and Bosnian and Herzegovina a forest fire is filling the sky with black smoke. These photos were sent to us by a reader and clearly show the size and scale of the fire. A dry storm is currently over the region and it is possible that the fires were started by lightning.

So far there is now news from the Dubrovnik fire brigade as to if they will assist in fighting the fires. Just three days ago a forest fire in the same area was extinguished with help with the fire brigade of Zupa. A strong to moderate southerly wind will make fighting the fire even more challenging. The Dubrovnik Fire Brigade have reported that they are aware of the blaze and that they have sent a team on site to observe the extent of the fire and possible fire-fighting measures. 


Fires burn over the border - Reader's photo



Croatian captain and real Madrid midfield star Luka Modrić has been shortlisted by UEFA as one of the players of the year for 2017/2018.

Modrić is in lofty company with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah the other two candidates in the three-man list.

According to UEFA the winner will be named – along with the UEFA Women's Player of the Year and UEFA Champions League positional award winners – during the group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 30 August.

Along with picking up a silver medal with Croatia at this year’s World Cup in Russia Modrić was also named Player of the Tournament and won the Golden Ball. Interestingly there are no French players in the top three candidates, although the French striker Antoine Griezmann came in fourth position.


Three candidates - Photo UEFA 

The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations. Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

Lionel Messi came in fifth position, Kylian Mbappé, Kevin De Bruyne, Raphaël Varane, Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos.

Croatia has another link with Ukraine after the opening of a consulate in Split. At the opening ceremony held today the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, commented that “The consulate would help to advance economic co-operation and trade and investment between the two countries.”

The Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Split is Ivica Piric, a retired Croatian football player and president and co-owner of Arsenal-Kiyv football club.

“Consul Piric showed throughout his professional career, but also with his great heart and expressions of solidarity with Ukrainian children in the last few years, that we can help each other in difficult situations,” Plenkovic added.

Last year about 80,000 Ukrainians spent their summer vacation in Croatia with the vast majority on the Adriatic coastline.

Oprah Winfrey is currently cruising the Croatian Adriatic with the Italian businessman Giancarlo Giammetti. The talk show host, actress and producer appeared on a photo taken by Giammetti on a luxury yacht with the comment “An evening in Dubrovnik with a great woman I am proud to call a friend @oprah.”

Giancarlo Giammetti is the Honorary President of the fashion giant Valentino and is also the cofounder of Valentino Company.
It had been rumoured back in 2007 that Oprah planned to purchase real estate in Dubrovnik, however this proved to be only a rumour. At the time it was thought that Oprah was interested in a stone house in the heart of the historic Old City of Dubrovnik on the market for $5 million.

Oprah has yet to be spotted in the Old City of Dubrovnik on this trip, but it would appear that she is on-board a luxury yacht on anchor between the island of Lokrum and the Old City. Giammetti on the other hand has been more adventurous and has explored the stone streets of the city.

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Giancarlo Giammetti enjoys the sights of the Old City of Dubrovnik - Photo Instagram 


Giancarlo Giammetti on the Adriatic - Photo Instagram 


Your octopus salad whilst sitting with a view over the Adriatic could well cost you double in the future. Whether cut into slices as the Japanese like it, served in a salad or grilled on the BBQ octopus as a meal is becoming a victim of its own success. The global growth for this delicious seafood is at its highest ever and over the past two years the price of octopus has doubled. Octopus in Dubrovnik is a particularly sought after dish with the majority coming from the Adriatic Sea.

Unlike fish or some form of seafood it has proved very difficult to farm grow octopus so the global market relies on catching them in the open sea, however this year’s catch is proving weaker than normal and combined with the higher demand for this healthy seafood has led to a huge increase in prices.

The value of a normally large octopus caught by local fishermen increased from 7 euros to 14 euros per kilogram over the last two years. Typically, the price is higher in other countries, such as the US, which are not specialized in capturing octopus.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced that it expects prices to continue to grow with the rumour that demand is growing in virtually all major markets, including Japan, the US, China and Europe.

Scientists in Japan and Spain are working on oyster farming techniques that they hope to adopt to farming octopus but are not ready for work yet.

In June 2018, there were 2.6 million arrivals of tourists who realised 11.9 million tourist nights in commercial accommodation establishments. Compared to June 2017, there were 4.0 percent more arrivals and 1.5 percent less nights.

Domestic tourists realised 234 thousand arrivals and 781 thousand nights, which is an increase in tourist arrivals of 13.0 percent and in tourist nights of 14.4 percent, as compared to June 2017. Foreign tourists realised 2.4 million arrivals and 11.1 million nights, which is by 3.2 percent more arrivals and by 2.4 percent less nights than in June 2017.

The most foreign tourist nights in June 2018 were realised by tourists from Germany (21.8 percent), Austria (10.2 percent), Slovenia (8.9 percent), Czech Republic and Poland (7.8 percent each) and the United Kingdom (6.4 percent).


In June 2018, tourists aged 55 to 64 realised the most nights, nearly 2 million, which accounts for 16.8 percent of the total realised nights. They were followed by tourists aged up to 14 and tourists aged 45 to 54, who realised nearly 1.9 million nights each, i.e. 15.8 percent of the total realised nights for each age group.

Increase in tourist arrivals and nights in the first six months

In the first six months of 2018, tourists realised 6 million arrivals and 22 million nights in commercial accommodation establishments, which is an increase in tourist arrivals of 12percent and in tourist nights of 9percent compared to the same period of 2017.

In the period from January to June 2018, domestic tourists realised 889 thousand arrivals and 2.2 million nights, which is an increase of 11percent in arrivals and 10percent in nights, as compared to the same period of 2017.

The proportion of live births which occurred outside marriage in the EU stood at 43 percent in 2016. This is just over 15 percentage points above the value in 2000. From 2000 the share steadily increased by around 1 percentage point each year, signalling changing patterns of family formation, with births occurring in non-marital relationships, cohabiting couples and to lone parents.

In eight EU Member States in 2016 there were more live births registered outside marriage than within marriage: France (60 %), Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 59 %), Estonia (56 %), Sweden (55 %), Denmark (54 %), Portugal (53 %) and the Netherlands (50 %).

In contrast, more than 80 % of live births in Greece, Croatia and Cyprus were registered within marriage. Between 2015 and 2016, extramarital births increased in almost every EU Member State with the exception of Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In Bulgaria and Ireland there was no variation. In the EFTA countries Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the proportion of births outside marriage in 2016 was below 25%, in contrast to Norway (56%) and Iceland (70%).

Births outside marriage Member States 2016

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