Monday, 21 October 2019
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

On the last day of this year's edition of the Good Food Festival, the always popular Dubrovnik Table was held. Stretching almost the entire length of the main street, the Stradun, through the Old City of Dubrovnik, this gastronomic event also has a humanitarian nature. And this year a record amount of 78,655 Kuna was raised. All the proceeds are earmarked for the Association for the Protection of the Rights of Psychiatric Patients and the Advancement of Mental Health and Quality of Life at Lukjernica and the Society for Multiple Sclerosis in the Dubrovnik - Neretva County.

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With a performance from the vocal group Klapa Ragusa, the opening ceremony was announced by Mayor Mato Franković, and the delicacies and wines disappeared in record time to the delight and satisfaction of numerous visitors and caterers.

In addition to the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, the organizers of the Dubrovnik Table were the Dubrovnik - Neretva County, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce - Dubrovnik County Chamber, the Chamber of Crafts of the Dubrovnik Neretva County, the Catering Guild and the Dubrovnik Tourist Hospitality and Catering School.

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At around 7.40 this morning armed robbers held up security guards transporting money from the Dubrovnik Airport. After a busy weekend at the Duty Free Shop in the airport the cash was picked up this morning by security guards in a security van.

From information released two armed men approached the security guards on a motorbike and stole the money before speeding away.

As confirmed by the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department, the robbers stole the money and rode away in an unknown direction, the search for them and the stolen cash is intensive, as is the identification of all relevant information.

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Armed police at all Dubrovnik intersections - Photo Tonci Plazibat

The robbery was clearly carried out by someone well versed with the transferring of money from the airport. The robbers not only knew what time the security van would arrive but also that the weekend funds from the Duty Free Shop are transported on Monday morning. They also knew where the van would be waiting.

The investigation is ongoing. Unconfirmed reports are stating that over 100,000 Euros was stolen. The event was captured by surveillance cameras, but as the robbers wore helmets, their identity is not yet known. This is the first armed robbery on motorcycles in the Dubrovnik area.

More news to follow…

 

Of all the ports in all the towns in all the world, she anchors in mine. The luxury yacht Casablanca moored up in Cavtat over the weekend and certainly turned heads. The Croatian owned and operated yacht with a base in Split has 19 cabins and a crew of ten.

Advertised as “One of the most wanted yachts for charter in Croatia!” Casablanca turned into a tourist attraction over the weekend in Cavtat with many taking the opportunity to take a selfie with the 53-metre-long yacht in the background. And at around 50,000 Euros a week to charter Casablanca represents relatively good value when compared with many of the other mega yachts that drop anchor in and around the Dubrovnik region.

Casablanca will surely be back in Cavtat soon. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.

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It probably wasn’t the most stress-free place to be yesterday but that didn’t seem to bother the presidential couple as the travelled to London for a romantic break. “A personal present to Jacob for his birthday.

A relaxed trip to London,” wrote Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, on her Facebook account together with a photo at Zagreb Airport. On arriving in London the couple managed to avoid the Brexit protests in the city centre and headed for a show.

Kolinda celebrated her husband’s 51st birthday in style with an evening at the theatre. “Two Ladies” starring Croatian actress Zrinka Cvitešić and British actress Zoë Wanamaker.

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What’s missing from this photo? The Bay of Zupa, just south of Dubrovnik, doesn’t seem the same without the Eclipse mega yacht blocking out half of the view. Yes, it would seem that the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has sailed off into the Adriatic sunset, well at least his luxury yacht, the second longest in the world, Eclipse has.

After dropping anchor in front of Cavtat in early September the $500 million yacht has been a tourist attraction for the past two months. Although a constant flow of small tender boats were seen arriving at the yacht on a daily basis, presumably bringing with them food and other provisions, the owner of Chelsea F.C was never once spotted in Dubrovnik or nearby Cavtat.

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Eclipse in front of Cavtat a few days ago - Photo Mark Thomas 

That is not to say that the ninth richest UK citizen, even though he was refused a British passport, didn’t spend the whole time relaxing on his floating home. And as Eclipse has its own submarine maybe Abramovich was enjoying the crystal, clear Adriatic underwater scene. And jet skis were also spotted buzzing around Eclipse so he really may have been enjoying some time alone.

The Russian is a huge fan of the Dubrovnik region and has been a constant annual visitor over the past decade. And overnight Eclipse has raised anchor and sailed away to presumably warmer climes, such as the Caribbean. See you next summer Mr. Abramovich.

 

Parliament on Friday designated October 21 National Road Traffic Safety Day in order to raise awareness of the safety of all participants in traffic.

MPs supported by a majority vote a joint motion by the domestic policy and maritime affairs committees which initially asked that October 21 be observed as National Day Without Mobile Phones in Traffic, but eventually accepted the government's arguments that it be designated National Road Traffic Safety Day.

The government agreed that mobile phones are a big traffic safety problem but noted that their use is only one of four factors affecting safety, the others being speed, alcohol and not wearing a seat belt.

Parliament also endorsed reports on the execution of the state budget and application of fiscal rules in 2018 and the first half of 2019 as well as the 2018 report on the work of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.

Demand for passenger cars in Europe recovered in September after falling in the previous month, with Croatia seeing double-digit growth again, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

In September 3,550 new cars were registered in Croatia, a massive 22.8 percent more than in the same month from last year. In August, their numbers rose 6.7 percent.

In September, 1.2 million new cars were registered in 27 EU countries (excluding Malta for which data were not available), 14.5 percent more than in the same month last year.

Double-digit rates of demand growth were recorded in four of the five major EU markets last month. In Germany, the number of registered new cars increased by 22.2 percent, in Spain by 18.3 percent and in France and Italy by 16.6 and 13.4 percent respectively.

In the United Kingdom, however, recovery has been very modest, with demand rising by 1.3 per cent, due to poor consumer confidence before Brexit.

Demolition work, which preceded the reconstruction of the former Stadion Hotel, has been taking place in the city centre for a little over a month. And the banging will continue for around another ten days as the final stages of the work is carried out.

The City of Dubrovnik has invested around 18.3 million Kuna into the construction of a new sports object, or rather the development of an existing one, in the city. The main public swimming pool, which is also home to the city’s most successful sports club Jug water polo team, has long been need of reconstruction. Whilst the actual pool area is modern and even features a sliding roof, the rest of the building has looked a shambles for decades. The future new part of the building will contain a water polo museum as well as accommodation units and commercial spaces.

According to information from the city the deadline for completion is 15 months, meaning that by around February of 2021 the building will be in function. With the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, promising that “We expect the works to be completed in May 2020, followed by interior decoration. I expect the complex could open for Saint Blaise in 2021.”

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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