Sunday, 26 January 2020
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.


The first of three ships departed from China's Nantong to Peljesac, onto which the first 30 segments of the span structure of the future Peljesac bridge were loaded. These are the parts of the main load-bearing beam, that is, the road section on the bridge. According to the available information, the first ship with parts of the span structure of the Pelješac bridge should arrive within a month, writes Jutarnji List.

Installation of the span structure begins after the construction of the bridge pillar. Specifically, parts of the span structure will be initially mounted on each side of the pillar. When the installation begins, it is estimated that 48 meters of span structure will be assembled per week.

The Chinese company CRBC started work on the construction site of the Peljesac Bridge on July 31, 2018 and one third of the planned works have already been completed.


The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs on Thursday advised Croatian citizens to exercise caution and obtain detailed information on the novel coronavirus outbreak before travelling to China, but did not recommend delaying travel to the country for now.

The Ministry advised strict adherence to the usual measures for reducing the risk of respiratory diseases, and recommended closely following news from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization about the state of the virus outbreak and the preventative measures to be taken.

The number of patients in China diagnosed with the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus reached 571 on Thursday, 17 of whom have died, the Chinese authorities said.

The number of afflicted people might increase in the coming days, when millions of people are expected to travel from large cities, such as Wuhan, for celebrations of the Lunar New Year starting on Saturday.

Cases of the disease have been reported in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, as well as in the Chinese special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.


The Croatian capital will have a new flight connection this year to Tunisia. The flagship airline of Tunisia have announced that they will fly once a week from Monastir to Zagreb throughout the summer months.

Tunisair will fly every Wednesday, using the Airbus A320, with the opening flight for this year on the 27th of May. This isn’t the first time that Tunisair has connected Zagreb and Tunisia, as according to EX-YU Aviation the same service was operated six years ago.


As part of his official visit to Spain, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, held a bilateral meeting yesterday with the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism María Reyes Maroto Illera.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, during the meeting Minister Cappelli presented to the Spanish side the priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union within the tourism sector related to advocating responsible and sustainable development policies with an emphasis on promoting the diversity of tourist offer and the development of underdeveloped tourist areas. He also stressed the importance of using information and communication technologies and digitalisation of the tourism system and the need to establish a common European regulation for digital platforms for the provision of tourism services.

The Minister also presented Croatia's initiative to establish a European tourism brand for joint promotion of Member States in distant markets, and called on Minister Reyes Maroto Illera to support the promotion of tourism in European policies and institutions. In addition, Cappelli stressed that joint efforts should be made to strengthen the withdrawal of funds from EU funds for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in tourism.


The e-Citizens system, which currently has 817,575 users, has become richer for three more e-services since the beginning of this year. One of the innovations, at least regarding tourism, is the new e-Nautical service, reports

From now on, through the e-Nautical service of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, the online registration of the arrival of a foreign vessel or a Croatian boat in Croatian territorial waters is enabled, in order to pay for and download the electronic certificate for payment of the navigation safety fee.

Also, through the e-Citizens system it is possible to get an insight into the data of the register of ships, an informative calculation of the sailing and pollution protection fee, as well as an informative calculation of the residence tax paid by the owners or users of the vessel for themselves and for all persons who stay on that vessel.

There are now 66 electronic services available to e-Citizens users, which can be accessed at

Is the scourge of corruption that has plagued Croatia for years finally coming to a slow end? According to latest data from the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2019 Croatian corruption is falling. Of the 180 countries ranked in the index Croatia came in at 63rd position with 47 points, a drop of three places from 2018.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index the most transparent countries in 2019 are Denmark and New Zealand with 87 points, Finland with 86, and Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland with 85 points. The most corrupt countries are Syria with 13, South Sudan with 12, and Somalia with only 9 points.

Croatia is still among the most corrupt countries of the European Union, with the exception of, Romania and Hungary with 44 points, and Bulgaria with 43 points. Greece advanced by 3 points and outpaced Croatia by 48 points. The EU average is 64 points, so Croatia is 17 points behind.

Neighbouring countries didn’t do so well in the research, with Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are placed below Croatia. And indeed all falling or remaining at the same level as 2018.

Transparency International Croatia believes that corruption is related to the greed, theft and irresponsible behaviour of individuals. The departure of disappointed citizens from Croatia is a consequence of the poverty of the majority of the population caused by corruption, rather than the desire to quickly acquire wealth in other regulated countries.

"Croatia currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, putting its fight against corruption a priority in its activities, while lagging 17 points below the European Union average and as much as 40 points above Denmark's most transparent member,” commented Davorka Budimir, President of Transparency International Croatia.


The A1 motorway that will, when completed, link the very south of Croatia to the rest of the country has taken another step forward to being completed. The path of the motorway, which starts in Zagreb, stopped in the town of Ploce, around a 1.5-hour drive from Dubrovnik and has been stuck in limbo ever since. Now an agreement has been drawn up in Zagreb to prepare the study documentation for the section Metkovic to Dubrovnik, that is to the outskirts of the city in Osojnik.

On behalf of the Management Board of the Croatian Motorways the president Boris Huzjan signed an agreement for the preparation of the study documentation for connecting South Dalmatia to the motorway network system in the rest of the Republic of Croatia on the route from Metković to the future Pelješac bridge and from the Doli section to the City of Dubrovnik.

The preparation of the study documentation implies to determine the justification for the construction of the highway from the Metković interchange to Dubrovnik, in the first phase through the Peljesac Bridge and access roads currently under construction.

Quite why is has taken so long to carry out this study documentation is unknown. The A1 motorway was started years ago and only now is a solution being sought for the section from Metkovic to Dubrovnik.


Fancy buying a place in the sun in Dubrovnik? Looking for an apartment with a difference? How about a chapel? This must be one of the strangest real estate deals in Dubrovnik for some time, an ancient stone chapel that has been converted into an apartment. The chapel, named Our Lady of Sorrows, is currently up for sale, and the price for this 25 metres squared unique apartment is 120,000 Euros. Meaning that the unusual apartment will cost you 4,800 Euros a metre squared. An online advert states that the Dubrovnik real estate is “a single-storey stone house with a 15 square metre garden.”

The chapel was originally constructed in 1710 and is located in the suburb of Lapad. According to a report by Dubrovacki Vjesnik the chapel was sold by the original family who owned it to a private individual who then converted it into an apartment.

The online ad for the chapel Our Lady of Sorrows chapel adds that it is a “Unique property, in the centre of Lapad, of historic significance, completely renovated following the guidelines and permission of the conservator.”

chapel for sale in dubrovnik

Looking for a rather unusual Dubrovnik address 

The owner states that “A lot of effort and money has been invested and unfortunately due to illness I have to sell it.” And clearly the owner is willing to be constructive with the payment terms as the ad states that the Lapad chapel apartment can be exchanged for “A smaller studio or apartment (Zagreb or Dubrovnik) or a new car can be taken into account. All options are available only to serious and real buyers who know how to appreciate such a valuable unique property.”

It certainly is a unique real estate offer, and one that could quite easily find its way onto AirBnb or in the near future, if a buyer is found.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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