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.


“You can have the best idea in the world but without realisation you have absolutely nothing,” commented the Australian businessman in front of me in the busy Dubrovnik café bar. Of course he was right. And it the realisation part that stops most people from achieving their dream or turning that great idea into a profitable business. For realisation requires hard work, determination, focus and sacrifice. It also requires time; it’s not going to happen overnight.

Unfortunately, many of these qualities have somehow been lost. We now live in a world of “instants.” From instant success to instant fame and instant wealth. I personally don’t believe in any of these “instant” fixes.

“So I have a man come to me asking to borrow half a million dollars,” continued the Australian, oh yes, by the way he is a banker. “I asked him what he need the money for and he said to start a new online retail business. Then I asked to see his business plan and he pulled from his pocket a screwed up piece of paper,” laughed the banker. “When I told him that a) he wasn’t really well prepared and b) had already thought of his idea he quickly gave up on the idea,” he smiled at me over his coffee.

There is no substitute for hard work. You can have the best education, be the most talented in your profession, have the most experience, but all of these are useless if you aren’t prepared to work hard. Hard work will bring success even if you have no talent, no experience and no education. “What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work,” once said the great Stephen King.

“And then two weeks later the same man came into my office and asked to borrow $200,000 for a different online business, this time he had a full and complete business plan and wasn’t going into competition with,” continued the Australian. “I decided to lend him $100,000. If he worked hard then the other $100,000 would come by itself,” he finished with a sip of coffee.

Imagine if you have goals you want to achieve you will work harder towards them. You devise a strategy. Lack of one you will be lost in your journey. Hard work brings success to those who put their efforts in the right direction. Direction of putting efforts plays a pivotal role in bringing success. And that direction is decided by what success means to you. For example:- Crossing a river A) You want to cross a river and reach the other side of it, if you keep floating in the river waving hands and legs up and down hoping that you would cross the river, it will bring nothing but hopelessness and failure. In short, you won’t succeed despite of your hard physical work. B) You want to cross the river and get to the other side of it. You look towards the side, analyse the speed and direction of waves and swim right towards the decided direction with all your efforts, you will 100 percent get a success in result.

In short hard work alone doesn’t bring success, but without it you are dead in the water.

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the importance, and the respect, for hard work. In years gone by our great-great grandfathers would wake up before the sun rose and work in the fields, or down the mine or in the factory. I’m not saying we should go back to these “dark” days but at least to take on some of that hard work mind set. Germany is not one of the most successful and prosperous countries in Europe by chance. The Chinese are not the world’s largest economy because they got lucky. They have values and they respect those values.

I have no doubt that Dubrovnik especially had those values in the not too distant past. When you see the work that was put in to build those stone facades and walls, this took lots of work. The ancient vineyards and olive groves, the stone walls between fields that stretch uphill for miles, again hard work. If we today had only half of their determination and work ethic just think were we would be. Yes, the system is bad, the government is disorganised and the general level of state control poor, but that isn’t an excuse to give up.

I’ll leave the last word to the British businessman Sir Richard Branson “Overcoming fear is the first step to success for entrepreneurs. The winners all exemplify that, and the hard work and commitment they have shown underlines what is needed to set up a business.”

For the past couple of days the drinking water had been contaminated and is not for consumption. And whilst citizens fill up water from cisterns or buy bottled water tourists are seemingly still unaware of the problem and are still drinking the contaminated water from the public fountains.

With temperatures soaring cooling off with some cool water is always a good idea, but not when the water supply is contaminated. Since Wednesday the water supply in the city has been undrinkable due to pollution caused by heavy rains, however the public fountains are still working and tourists are still drinking.

Surely from a city that lives from tourism someone from authority should have thought about this situation and closed off the water to the public fountains? Whoever is in charge is hardly seems fair that tourists are drinking water and yet citizens have been warned not to.


The nautical industry in Croatia is certainly big business and contributes greatly to the tourism industry income, it is also however an industry full of missed opportunities. One small step has been made this week with a new proposal from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

The government has put forward the proposal that amendments to the Maritime Code need to be introduced to make it easier for foreign owners to register their yachts in Croatia.

The plan is to boost the competitiveness of the Croatian shipping sector and empower the status of sailors on the domestic and foreign markets as well as reduce administrative barriers and pave the way for the full digitisation of the maritime sector.

These moves would “make the Croatian flag more attractive for foreign owners, who will register their vessels, notably large yachts, in the (Croatian) register,” commented the Minister of Maritime Affairs Oleg Butkovic while outlining the proposed amendments.

This will also adjust the national maritime legislation to the new solutions in the European Union and to international treaties signed by Croatia, Butkovic said.

He explained that the models of registering vessels would be modernised, and that the register would be fully digitised with the centralised data pool in that e-register.

A tonnage tax regime for yachts will be also introduced, and all this will make the Croatian register more attractive for foreign vessels.

This will also facilitate longer stays of vessels in Croatia, and enable higher consumption, Butkovic said.

Consequently, a positive financial effect is certain and will have an impact on ship construction and repair activities, having in mind that yachts spend up to 10 percent of their value on regular annual maintenance, the minister said.

Luka Modric has made the front pages of many sport’s publications throughout the world after picking up the UEFA Player of the Year. In a gala ceremony in Monaco after the draw for this year’s Champions League Modric won the award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah who also made the three-man shortlist.

It has been an amazing season for the Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfield ace. With his country he won the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup as well as being awarded the Golden Ball as the best player at the tournament. And he also won the Champions League with Real Madrid as well as winning the UEFA Midfield Player of 2017/2018.

40464273 2223385481041235 6310830988314279936 n


Modric has become the first ever Croatian player to win the UEFA Player of the Year, and he is in lofty company with previous winners including Ronaldo, Messi and Iniesta.

Previous Winners

2017/18 ─ Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia)
2016/17 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2015/16 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2014/15 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
2013/14 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
2012/13 ─ Franck Ribéry (Bayern & France)
2011/12 ─ Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
2010/11 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)

Modric won a massive 313 votes and was 90 votes ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in second place. As UEFA stated “Modrić's understated class was more evident than ever last season, the diminutive midfielder helping Madrid to a third straight UEFA Champions League title before then guiding his country to their first FIFA World Cup final. Though the 32-year-old is neither a prolific goal scorer nor an outright defensive shield, his dynamism and quality in possession set him apart.”

And the praise has been coming in from all over the football world “"It's not easy to stop Modrić because he's such a clever player – he can read the game so well and can play in many different areas," commented Manchester United manager José Mourinho. And his teammate in the Croatian national team Ivan Rakitić said "He is a player who has a very different talent, he improves anyone who is around him. It shows when he is not on the field – Madrid are a different team without Luka."

LUKA MODRIĆ - 313 votes

Cristiano Ronaldo - 223

Mohamed Salah - 134

Antoine Griezmann - 72

Lionel Messi - 55

Kylian Mbappé - 43

Kevin De Bruyne - 28

Raphaël Varane - 23

Eden Hazard – 15

The tap water in Dubrovnik has been contaminated by the recent heavy rains and is not for consumption. Cisterns will be again placed around the city today with fresh drinking water.

It had been rumoured that the Dubrovnik public water system had been contaminated with the bacteria Escherichia coli or E. coli, but this has been denied by the Public Water Company.

After numerous tests on the water quality the water company stated that “"After the heavy precipitation the water is not drinkable.”

The Public Health Institute carries out monitoring of the public water supply in the entire Dubrovnik-Neretva County and in such situations, samples the water for human consumption in Dubrovnik's water network.

To conclude the water in Dubrovnik should not be consumed for the time being.

On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, the 30th of August, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic spoke to the families of missing persons in Croatia in the city of Karlovac.

Still today there are 1,922 people missing from the Homeland War.

“The Great Serbia aggression inflicted a lot of wounds on Croatia, but the biggest one of all is the wound of the missing. We have repaired material damage, we have buried our victims with dignity and we can honour them, but the fate of the missing still remains unsolved. This is a moral debt we, as a country, owe to our missing and their families,” commented the president.

She emphasized that steps had been taken, but more were needed, with the Serbian President and that she would continue to insist on dialogue on this matter.

She said she would continue to insist on the fate of the missing as the key element of further dialogue and full normalisation of relations between the two countries, as well as Croatia’s support for Serbia’s joining the EU, because “the truth about the missing is a political minimum, and no one in Croatia should ever settle for less.”

The Croatian captain and Real Madrid midfielder has been awarded by UEFA as the player of the year!

At a gala ceremony as part of the draw for this season’s Champions League Modric won the award. Modrić was in lofty company with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah the other two candidates in the three-man list.

It was a day of awards for Modric who also picked up the award as the UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season.

“I'm proud of this great prize. I would like to thank all those who voted for me, teammates and trainers. The biggest motivation in my life is my dad. He took me to my first training and taught to fight for my dreams. I owe it all to him,” commented Modric after collecting the award.

HC1 6282 31121

An Austrian driver attempted to smuggle over the Croatian over 60 kilos of marijuana in 56 packages stowed in his car yesterday. A routine border check at the border between Croatia and Montenegro at 1.40 yesterday afternoon revealed a huge concealment of drugs in this 51-year-old Austrian's car.

With the help of police officers from the Gruda Police Station in Konavle the customs officers questioned the man regarding smuggling and searched the entire vehicle. What they found was 56 packets of marijuana and 5 packets of hashish, in total almost 63 kilos of drugs. The estimated street value of these drugs is 120,000 Euros.

Whilst searching the car the customs officers also discovered a “starting” pistol and two machetes.

Following the completion of the criminal investigation, the Austrian citizen was handed over to the detention supervisor of this Police Administration to await the court case.


Mostly cloudy



Mostly cloudy
Humidity: 70%
Wind: NE at 11.27 km/h
Mostly cloudy
22°C / 27°C
Partly cloudy
24°C / 27°C
Partly cloudy
23°C / 26°C
Partly cloudy
22°C / 27°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook


Subscribe to our Newsletter