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 government have announced the largest ever spend on employment programs as they aim to retrain unemployed people to fill holes in the job market. The Labour Minister commented that the government plans to spend 2.5 billion Kuna on employment programs this year.
"Never in the history of Croatia has more money been allocated for employment, because this year we are investing 2.5 billion (€337 million) Kuna in employment programmes, including 1.6 billion Kuna (€216 million) for active policy measures, and 900 million Kuna (€121 million) for specialised programmes," commented the Minister.
The unemployment rate in Croatia is at a record low, mainly thanks to the booming tourism industry and the migration of Croatian workers to other European Union countries.
There are currently around 134,000 unemployed people in Croatia which means that the unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. However, there is a shortfall of workers for the tourism industry so this new employment plan will provide funds for retraining unemployed people to fill positions in the tourism sector.
The former leader of the Labour Party and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, has been relaxing in Dubrovnik on holiday.
This August the former Prime Minister spent a couple of weeks in Dubrovnik on vacation and enjoyed the Old City and the Adriatic Sea. Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Jutarnji.hr Blair commented that “This is my first time in Croatia and I am completely blown away. I really didn’t know that Dubrovnik was so beautiful. I will certainly come back,” commented Blair.
Tony Blair (65) was the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom for ten years from 1997 to 2007 and leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007.
Traffic was blocked towards the Dubrovnik Airport this morning after a Citroen C3 finished on its roof after a road traffic accident. The 65-year-old lost control of the vehicle and blocked the main road from Dubrovnik to the airport.
The accident happened at around 10.30 this morning and the ensuing traffic jams tailed back for kilometres. The police and emergency services were on the scene quickly and the reason for the accident has yet to be confirmed.
Croatia has Finland’s support on its path towards joining the Schengen Area and the euro zone, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said in Zagreb on Monday after meeting with Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic-Buric.
Croatia is making good progress on fulfilling the criteria for accession to Schengen Area and Helsinki supports its efforts to continue in that direction, and when all criteria are met, Finland will back its accession, Soini said.
Finland also supports Croatia on its path towards joining the euro zone, but it will not be easy to fulfil all the criteria, said Soini, a moderate Eurosceptic and critic of EU safety mechanisms and bailouts.
“We did that in Finland. It means austerity measures, and budget control. But it is a good thing for boosting investments and the wellbeing of the nation as a whole,” he added.
Relations between the two countries are very good, but trade, which currently stands at €65 million a year, needs to be improved, the ministers said.
This October an economic delegation from Finland will arrive in Croatia to discuss boosting cooperation, Pejcinovic-Buric said.
Finland, Croatia, and Romania are the three EU countries which will hold the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union from January 2019 to June 2020. The first meeting between the three countries will be held in Zagreb in some 10 days, where shared priorities will be defined, Pejcinovic-Buric said.
After the recent pollution to the Dubrovnik water system the Public Water Company announced that the water is once again safe to consume again.
“A detailed overview of the water supply system and the results of the microbiological analysis of water show that the water in the Dubrovnik network complies with the Law on Water for Human Consumption and can be used for drinking,” stated the Public Water company.
Adding that water quality controls are carried out on a regular basis.
“For me and my family it is a great experience to come to Croatia and see these amazing sights,” commented Yuri Cortez as he arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday. Adding that he wanted to discover more about “really beautiful places” like Dubrovnik.
Cortez, a professional photographer for AFP, was catapulted to world fame after crushed by Croatian players during the World Cup semi-final against England. Given that photographers stand so close to the action it is probably surprising that something like this hasn’t happened before. Mario Mandžukić scored the winning goal and in ecstasy and euphoria charged towards the Croatian fans behind the goal, as teammates jumped on his back they are inadvertently crushed the Mexican-based photographer.
Cortez meets a fan on the Stradun - Photo Mark Thomas
It was a moment captured all over the world. The Croatian players helped him back to his feet and one even planted a kiss on his forehead. Cortez has shaken but not badly injured and as he lay on the ground he remembered his profession and clicked away, bringing some truly unique images.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia was a success for Croatia is more ways than one. Firstly, on the field Croatia had their best ever result winning the silver medal, but off the field the positive feelings and goodwill towards the country was priceless. And the Cortez incident was only a small chapter but one that the Croatian Tourist Board used to the maximum. They invited him and his family to come to Croatia for an all-expenses paid holiday with his family. Cortez, who was born in El Salvador but lives in Mexico took a 20-hour flight to get to Zagreb and is clearly enjoying the unexpected fame.
“I was surprised when the Croatian players charged towards me but I never stopped taking photos, it was a great experience,” smiled Cortez.
World Cup moment - Photo by Yuri Cortez
“Dubrovnik is a famous city. The history and legends of this city are very interesting. I am also a fan of Game of Thrones so that is an added bonus,” concluded Cortez.
Dubrovnik was woken early this morning as a huge storm lit up the night sky. September may only just be here and it is still officially summer time but at 4.00am this morning in Dubrovnik hail feel from the sky. It was a biblical scale storm as lightning filled the darkness, thunder blasted over the rooftops and along with the torrential rain bucket loads of ice fell from the sky.
The forecast for today is for showers and sunshine but the city awoke to bright sunshine and clear blue skies.
Hear the hail falling on Dubrovnik!
Australia's tourism market is more and more interested in cooperation with Croatian partners and the number of Australian visitors is growing, particularly in Zagreb and Dubrovnik, directors of the two cities' tourist boards have said.
Speaking with Hina, Zagreb Tourism Board director Martina Bienenfeld said that until a year ago Croatia and Zagreb were not presented on the Australian market in a more organised fashion. Last year, we decided to present Zagreb's tourism offer at fairs in Sydney and Melbourne, she said.
This year, both Zagreb and Dubrovnik were presented at the Travel Industry Expo in Sydney.
In the first eight months of this year, 21,000 Australians visited Zagreb, generating 43,300 bed nights, which is an increase of as much as 30 percent compared to the same period of last year, Bienenfeld said.
"Last year there were more than 45,000 Australian visitors in Dubrovnik and they generated more than 121,400 bed nights, and that positive trend is continuing this year. By 25 August there were more than 37,000 arrivals and more than 96,400 bed nights," Romana Vlasic of Dubrovnik's tourism board said.
Figures released by the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) show that so far this year (by 29 August) 184,000 Australian tourists have visited Croatia, up 15 percent from last year, generating 577,000 bed nights, an increase of 12% year on year.