Wednesday, 19 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.


In June this year Croatia saw the largest growth of all 28 European Union members in terms of industrial production.

In June the industrial output increased by a healthy 4.5 percent compared to May, the largest growth inside the EU.

Eurostat reported that the largest month-on-month drops were recorded in Ireland (8.9 percent), the Netherlands (1.3 percent) and Hungary (1.2 percent). The highest monthly increases were posted by Croatia (4.5 percent), Romania (1.7 percent), the Czech Republic, and Finland (1.5 percent).

"In the EU28, the decrease of 0.4 percent month-on-month is due to the fall in the production of capital goods by 2.0 percent, intermediate goods by 0.3 percent, durable consumer goods by 0.2 percent, and non-durable consumer goods by 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, the production of energy rose by 0.5 percent," commented Eurostat.

According to official reports from the statistics bureau Croatia’s economy grew by 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018 when compared to the same quarter from last year. The reason for this growth is due to higher export growth combined with public spending.

Croatia’s economy, bolstered by the tourism industry, seems to be on track as this was the sixteenth straight growth of GDP in a quarter. In the first quarter of this year GDP increased by 2.5 percent.

Imports have slightly fallen this year and exports are on the rise which has proved positive for the overall economy.

The contribution of domestic demand was also positive. Household spending in Q2 2018 went up 3.6 percent year-on-year, slowing down from Q1 2018, when the year-on-year increase was 3.9 percent.

The sounds of traditional Dalmatian melodies floated over the stone facades of the Old City of Dubrovnik last night and you would be forgiven if you thought it was just another local vocal choir filling the night air. It was a vocal choir, or klapa, but with a slight difference, a vocal choir made up of Samoans from New Zealand.

Christian and Austin Malietoa-Brown, two members of the vocal group, Klapa Samoana, performed in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik last night in front of a packed audience. And it was a magical night, two Samoans singing ancient songs of love in Croatian.

klapa stradun dubrovnik


The performances by the Samoana ensemble are realized and funded by the City of Dubrovnik and the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik. Tonight they will perform one more time in Mokosica in front of the café bar Kiss.

klapa samoana croatia

klapa samona dubrovnik

Klapa Samoana in Dubrovnik - Photos Božo Radić 

Diving and jumping from the rocks around Dubrovnik might look exciting and attractive but it is extremely dangerous. Every year young tourists end up in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, with broken bones and even worse.

However, the need to prove their manhood means that every year more and more tourists take their life in their hands and leap into the Adriatic from overhanging rocks.

It is often the case that tourists who don’t know the sea crash into rocks which are just below the surface. This latest cliff jumper takes the level of stupidity to a new high.

The consequences of the mass emigration and the decreasing number of births is also visible in this school year, which begins in less than a week. Eight schools across the country have been closed while in 117 schools not one new pupil has enrolled. Out of the eight schools to close six closed because they didn’t have any pupils at all, whilst two closed because they will move to new premises, writes

And this alarming situation is affecting the whole country. Only in the Varaždin County and in the City of Zagreb is there no school in which no pupil is enrolled in the first grade.

Six schools in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County have no pupils enrolling this year for the first grade. With two being on the Elaphite islands and a further two in Konavle. These schools will not be closed but will continue to work with children from the second to fourth class.

“We are close friends of your country,” commented German Chancellor Angela Merkel after meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Berlin today. Plenkovic is on the last day of a two-day official visit to Germany in which he held a long working meeting with Merkel.

Merkel added that Germany is cooperating well with Croatia in terms of migration, even though Croatia is still not part of the passport-free Schengen area. "You are doing a great job on the borders, and I wish to commend you for that," said Merkel.

Plenkovic said that Germany is Croatia's number one trade partner and added that some 2.5 million German tourists have visited the country since 2017. He also mentioned the role of Croatians living in Germany, who are well integrated into German society.

Plenkovic and Merkel said that Croatia and Germany will soon sign an action plan on strengthening political, economic and cultural relations.

These tourists to Dubrovnik had obviously just had enough of the summer heat and humidity and both lay flat out in a busy department store soaking up the cooling air-conditioning.

These two young tourists with backpacks as pillows were squeezed up against the wall on the first floor of the Minceta department store yesterday afternoon.

“It was a little unusual to see people sleeping in a busy store but quite clearly they were extremely tired,” commented an eye-witness to The Dubrovnik Times.


According to a new survey from the European Union Croatians are some of the most sociable citizens in Europe. A third of Croatians socialize and hang out with their family and relatives every day, whilst in Denmark this figure is only 3 percent.

Croatians have long had a reputation of being friendly and outgoing and it seems that this latest survey has confirmed this.

Eurostat, the statistical information institutions of the European Union, has released these latest figures showing that 30 percent of Croatians hand out with their relatives every day. The EU average is only 16.7 percent, whilst the highest ranking country, the most sociable country is Cyprus with 45 percent. At the other end of the list is Denmark with only 3 percent of citizens spending time together every day, Sweden with 6 percent and Austria with 7 percent.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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