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.
Today, the 1st of May, is International Workers’ Day and a national holiday in the Republic of Croatia. The President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, issued a statement to mark this day.
“The celebration of the first of May, the International Workers’ Day, has a long tradition in Croatia. We remember with pride all those who achieved a more just treatment for workers, and we thank those who today, too, advocate for their rights, who fight for the best possible standards for them,” announced the Croatian President today.
“The foundation of Croatia’s development and progress, as well as a prerequisite for young people staying in our country, are equal work conditions and contemporary standards for all workers,” concluded the President.
The aim of the hitchhiking competition was to travel from northern Europe, more precisely Poland, to Montenegro.
The winners were the group who got to Montenegro first, but this particular group gave up on winning or even arriving in Montenegro. The reason, they saw Dubrovnik. Enchanted by the beauty of the city the young hitchhikers abandoned any chance they had of winning and decided to spend the rest of their vacation right here in Dubrovnik.
The commented that “they had already reached their goal!”
This is probably not what you would expect to see on the busy main road from Dubrovnik to the airport, a cow grazing.
The wandering cow, which seemed to be enjoying the particularly thick and green grass, was untethered and free to roam, we can only presume that she had escaped from a nearby farm.
Whilst the Croatian government is still debating and considering opening the labour market up to foreign workers to fill the countless gaps in the labour market seasonal foreign workers are turning their backs on Croatia. According to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce of the 4,660 work permits that were allocated to foreign workers this year only 1,188 have been taken up, or less than a third.
“Although the need for workers is high according to data from the 6th of April 2018 only 1,188 work visas have been approved,” commented the Croatian Chamber of Economy. Somewhat unsurprisingly the highest number of work visas for foreigners are in the tourism industry, from restaurant and hotel staff to chefs and cleaners. However, Croatia doesn’t appear to be an attractive destination for foreign workers, and this combined with the mass emigration of Croatians to other European Union countries has caused huge problems for the tourism industry for this season.
“The quotas have not been fulfilled because workers in countries geographically close to Croatia, as well as Croatian workers, have moved to more developed countries in the European Union,” added the Chamber of Commerce.
It is estimated that this year Croatia will not be able to provide all the workers required for the country’s tourism industry. Around 150,000 people work in the tourism industry in Croatia and from this number 20,000 are seasonal workers, a fifth of these seasonal workers were expected to come from abroad however it is already clear that there is a serious shortfall of staff.
"Almost 7 million European Union citizens travel through or live in countries outside of the EU where their own country has no embassies or consulates. Starting tomorrow, all EU citizens will have the right to be treated equally when they need assistance outside of the EU. The new regulation will strengthen citizens' rights, and represents a strong expression of European solidarity," commented the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, today.
From the 1st of May European Union citizens who are travelling outside of the EU can approach any embassy or consulate from an EU member country to seek assistance, if their country of origin does not have representation.
This directive was passed in 2015 and as of tomorrow will come into force.
Besides assistance at times of crisis, EU citizens can also benefit from requesting consular protection in cases of serious illness, when being victim of a crime, when arrested, or in cases of the loss or theft of passport when abroad. Requests for the issue of emergency travel documents account for more than 60 percent of all cases of consular assistance to unrepresented citizens.
According to results posted today the German retail chain Lidl was the most successful retail store in Croatia in 2016. Lidl saw a revenue of an impressive 540 million Euros in 2016 giving them just under 10 percent of the total retail business revenue in 2016.
Retail revenue in Croatia in 2016 amounted to 5.45 billion Euros and Lidl saw the biggest share, followed by Plodine with a profit of 76.2 million Kuna.
The retail business in Croatia showed positive signs in 2016, as of the 3,000 registered companies around two thirds made a profit.
This is something you don’t see every day – a dolphin swimming in the Port of Dubrovnik. This friendly dolphin was spotted this morning lounging around in the warm waters of the Adriatic in a relatively busy harbour in Dubrovnik.
It seemed that the dolphin wasn’t too bothered with the boats and onlookers as it swam in circles around the Gruz harbour. Many locals and tourists took the unique opportunity to get a fabulous photo of Dubrovnik’s dolphin.
Spotting dolphins in the open sea around Dubrovnik isn’t so common, but actually seeing one right in the middle of the main port is extremely rare. Boat owners have been warned not to disturb the dolphin in any way and not to get too close.