Monday, 18 November 2019
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. 

17th of October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

According to, Eurostat figures show that in 2018, 6.2 percent of the population, or as many as 31 million people in the European Union, were poor. By official definition, a person is poor when he or she cannot afford at least four of the nine items deemed necessary for a decent life. These include paying your bills on time, living in a heated apartment or home, owning a car, washing machine, TV, eating meat regularly, the ability to bear unexpected expenses, and at least a week long vacation trip.

-When it comes to Croatia, at first glance, the situation seems to be improving, as Eurostat announced in May that it had reduced its poverty rate to 8.6 percent. Year after year, progress and work on reducing poverty is evident, when you have in mind that Croatia had a record percentage not so long ago in 2012, when as many as 15.9 percent of the extremely poor people were living in the country. At that time, the GDP of the average Croatian citizen was as much as 39 percent lower than the GDP of the average EU citizen – writes, adding that even though the results have improved, Croatia is still at the bottom and is considered one of the eight poorest EU members with as many as 350 thousand citizens living below the statistical limit of extreme poverty.

Irish low-cost air carrier Ryanair has announced a new route from Germany to Rijeka for summer 2020 timetable – Avioradar reports. The new route will connect Rijeka with Hahn Airport near Frankfurt, starting from April 4th, 2020 with one flight a week, every Saturday. The number and the operational days of this route are the same as this year's route from main Frankfurt Airport to Rijeka, which is no longer in offer for next year. Therefore, this probably presents the change of routes to Rijeka.

There will also be some changes on routes from Frankfurt to Pula. This year, Pula Airport was connected with both airports in Frankfurt, with two flights a week on Mondays and Fridays, on both routes. It's the same like it's for Rijeka, the route from the main airport in Frankfurt to Pula is no longer in offer for the next year. However, the route Hahn - Pula will get an additional flight, compared to this year. Flights on Mondays and Fridays will be increased with a third flight, on Sundays. This route will start with flight operations on March 29th, 2020.

The last concert of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra at the Rector's Palace, for this season, will take place on Friday, October 18th. The orchestra will be conducted by maestro Tomislav Facini, while Dubrovnik pianist Stefani Grbic will perform as a soloist. The concert starts at 8.30 pm.

Stefani Grbic started her music education in her hometown in the class of Maria Grazio, and continued at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the class of Tomaz Petrac, where she graduated and received her master's degree in 2011. She studied at Accademia della Steinway Society in the class of Federico Gianello and is currently at postgraduate specialist study at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, in the class of Katarina Krpan. During her education, she participated in seminars by prominent artists such as Tomaz Petrac, Vlasta Gyura, Ruben Dalibaltayan, Noel Flores, Federico Gianello, Vladimir Krpan, Katarina Krpan and many others. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Second Prize at the 2013 Florence International Piano Competition, and the 2010 Preseren Prize for interpreting Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. The recording of the concert was transmitted by Radio Ars Slovenia and Dubrovnik Television.

Grbic has a keen interest in opera, leading to her participation as an accompanist and artistic associate in opera projects, in the comic opera, WA Mozart "Cosi fan tutte" at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and GF Telemann "Pimpinone" and A. Salieri "Prima la musica e poi le parole'' in Biel at the Swiss Opera Studio and has given numerous recitals with distinguished soloists.

She regularly performs as a soloist and chamber musician and has so far performed at the Ljubljana Music Youth Cycles at the Krizanke Hall, Croatian Cultural Club of Switzerland in Baden, at the Vecernjakova domovnica Award in Bad Homburg, Croatian Music Youth (Youth for Young People cycle), HR Project - promotion of contemporary Croatian composers, Darko Lukic tribune in the cycle Young in Lisinski, Vinkovci Classical Music Scene, Epidaurus Festival in Cavtat, Sorgo - Dubrovnik Music Workshop, Konavle Art Festival, Tino Pattiera International Festival of Opera Arias and Late Summer Festival.

The program brings Mozart's Piano and Orchestra Concerto No. 21 in C major, Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 4 in A major "Italian" and the second movement of the Concerto for Orchestra by the Dubrovnik composer Ivan Koncic.

This weekend, October 19th and 20th, is reserved for the first Mljet Outdoor Festival! It will be held at Pomena and the goal is to enable visitors to get acquainted with the natural beauties of the Mljet National Park, as well as the gastronomic offer of the greenest Croatian island through recreational activities and workshops. The event is organized by the Mljet National Park Public Institution, the Desa Association and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.

Mljet Outdoor Festival is co-funded by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the Government Office for Associations of the Republic of Croatia. The project aims to optimize the visits to the National Park, raise awareness of the natural and cultural values of the protected area, and contribute to the economic well-being of the local community and the sustainable development of the island of Mljet by improving the visitor system, visitor infrastructure and educational programs in the Mljet National Park.

Mljet Outdoor Festival begins on Saturday, October 19th at 2 pm with a free tourist sightseeing tour accompanied by the Institution's guide. Also, there will be a presentation of local producers, as well as gastro workshops organized by the association Desa, as part of which all interested will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare some of the traditional dishes from the island of Mljet, while for those who are looking for a more active fun there will be free cycling National Park tours. Saturday will end with a free fishing dinner and a Kopito group concert.

Sunday will begin with organized seaside relaxation exercises, while guided walking tours will be organized for those who prefer a more active stay in nature.

mljet outdoor festival

Lecture by French Ambassador to Croatia Gaël Veyssiere will be held on Wednesday, October 16 at 4:15 pm at the University Campus (classroom 131).

Croatia will take over the presidency of the European Union Council for the first time next year. This will be an important moment, both politically and institutionally, primarily because its presidency will take place in the specific context of a European institutional cycle marked, among other things, by the uncertainty associated with Brexit and the rather turbulent international environment.

The first Croatian Presidency will be a period of many challenges and opportunities, also in the view of communication. The Presidency is also a great opportunity for communicating about Europe with Croatian citizens, but also about Croatia at European and international level. These are some of the issues that Ambassador Gaël Veyssiere will address to students and anybody else who decides to listen the lecture.

Before taking office in Croatia, Ambassador Gaël Veyssiere was the head of the cabinet of the three ministers and secretaries of state in charge of the European issues (2017-2019); previously he was head of the Press Office (2014-2016) and Head of the European Union External Relations Service (2016-2017) at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. He worked twice at the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union in Brussels, where he served as spokesman from 2010 to 2014.

Apartment and house prices in Croatia have risen by an average of 10 percent this year, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce reported – writes, adding that the prices are uneven. For the price of a garage in Dubrovnik you can buy a whole house in Vukovar.

The average price of an apartment in Dubrovnik in September was almost 3,900, and houses were 4,700 euros per square meter. They use an example of house on sale in Vukovar, which is 35 thousand euros – equal to eight square meters in Dubrovnik.

In the last year, real estate prices in Slavonia have increased by three percent, on the coast nine, and in Zagreb - by as much as 14.5 percent.

The rise in real estate prices in Croatia in the last year is 10.4 percent. In Europe, we are in third place, behind Hungary with 14 and Luxembourg with 11.4 percent. There are several reasons for the rise in real estate prices, and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce says one of them is subsidized housing loans – reports.

Cruiser Braemar owned by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, with Dubrovnik captain Jozo Glavic, broke the record, making it the longest ship to cross the Corinth Canal.

95.82 meters long and 22.5 meters wide, Captain Glavic passed through the canal without major problems, and for him this represents a moment he will always be proud of and will always remember. He has been preparing for the passage for a long time and believes that passing is a great recognition for his company. He also points out that almost all the passengers went out on deck to witness the moment and were astonished and delighted after passing.

-Congratulations to Captain Jozo Glavic and his team on Braemar's record-breaking transit of the Corinth Canal – wrote the company below the video. Take a look at this historical moment below!

A favorite program of film, Latin and pop music will be the second concert of the Autumn Music Variety cycle, organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. It will take place at the Rector’s Palace tonight, Tuesday, October 15th, at 8.30 pm. 

The concert will be conducted by Slobodan Begic, while the soloist will be trumpeter Dzemal Cakic, and numerous interesting arrangements were made by Damir Butigan.

The film and popular music program has attracted numerous local and foreign audiences in recent years. For all those who want to hear their favorite program, as well as those who would like to listen to the concert for the first time, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra pops band for this occasion prepares music from the films Fragrance of a Woman, Godfather, Memories of a Geisha, James Bond, Titanic, from the Game of Thrones series, then all-time hits like Guantanamera, Volare, Sway and New York New York, as well as music by Queen, ABBA, the Beatles and numerous other popular compositions.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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