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.
Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream, let’s face it you can throw a camera in the air and capture a great image. And every day Instagram is filled to overflowing point with some absolutely stunning images of the pearl of the Adriatic.
We have selected our top five just as a weekend pick-up. Check out our top five spirit lifting Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.
Russian Ambassador to Croatia, Anvar Azimov, said in an interview today with RTL that Croatia can expect a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future.
In the interview with RTL, Anvar Azimov revealed that Zagreb can soon expect a visit from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, but also from President Putin himself.
The Russian Ambassador’s five-year mandate is coming to an end and he will soon be leaving his position in Croatia. “My five-year term in your beautiful hospitable country, which my family and I loved very much, is coming to an end. I am glad and proud of the last 5 years of my diplomatic career and of finishing it in your country,” commented Azimov.
He explained that Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov, will make a visit to Zagreb this year, “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the visit was postponed, but I hope it will come in late October,” added the Ambassador.
And when asked if President Putin himself would visit Croatia the Ambassador said that “Our president’s visit is on the agenda and I am sure it will come sooner or later.”
When asked about the recent elections in Montenegro, and the possibility of the country moving away from NATO and closer to Russia and how realistic that was, the Ambassador stated that “Russia never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, especially during election campaigns, neither in the USA nor in Great Britain, nor during elections in Croatia, and especially not in Montenegro.”
The popular British airline, Jet2, has announced that all their flights to Spain have been cancelled as well as flights to some airports in Croatia.
Jet2 has announced all flights to mainland Spain and areas in Croatia have been cancelled until later this year.
‘Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the current UK government advice, we’ve also taken the difficult decision to suspend flights to mainland Spain up to and including 31 October 2020. Flights to Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split and Pula) are also suspended up to and including 31 October 2020,” stated Jet2 in an official statement.
With both Spain and Croatia removed from the safe travel corridor list by the UK government it comes as no surprise that Jet2 has taken this measure. British tourists now have to spend 14-days in self-isolation when returning home from Croatia, and clearly interest and ticket sales have dropped considerably.
Jet2 went onto to say that “We’re obviously very disappointed to be making this announcement, as we know how much our customers look forward to their well-deserved holidays in these fantastic destinations.”
Jet2 operated a regular service between the UK and Dubrovnik and is one of the most important carriers. However, with the numbers of new Covid-19 cases steadily on the rise in both Dubrovnik and the rest of Croatia, and the school year on the verge of beginning this move is logical. One reader of The Dubrovnik Times commented "Unfortunately my trip was cancelled I should have been coming to Cavtat tomorrow. First time in nearly 30 years I will not have been able to come."
Jet2 has announced that customers can rebook with no admin fee, get a credit refund or a cash refund. Concluding that “We understand how hard customers work and save for their well-deserved holidays and we’d like to thank them for their continued patience and understanding.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Zdravko Maric, said on Friday that the economic downturn this year would be slightly smaller than originally anticipated, and a full recovery is expected in 2022, and that the goal is to get out of the crisis as soon as possible.
"This year we will see a decline in economic activity, it will be slightly smaller than we originally expected, and according to our projections, next year's growth will close to plan. In any case, we do not expect a full recovery in 2021, it will take until 2022. But it is a challenge and it largely depends on us, not to prolong it again for a few more years, as was the case in the last crisis," said Maric in Opatija, where he participated in the conference Croatian Money Market, reports HINA.
The current government projection is for GDP to drop GDP by 9.4 percent this year.
Maric also pointed out that, despite the severity and depth of the crisis, Croatia was more prepared to enter the crisis in terms of the macroeconomic picture than in 2008, adding that "we need to get out of this crisis as soon as possible" because it took us 11 years last time, and only in 2019 did we reach the level of GDP from 2008.
He also pointed out that a significant perspective has now opened up, which can be a great opportunity for Croatia in this challenging situation - the new generation EU instrument, which can be used for a quality transformation of not only economic recovery but also resilience.
When asked when these European funds will be available, Marić answered that full implementation will start in the second half of 2021, but also that by then Croatia will have a certain amount available in the form of advances.
"While waiting for the national recovery programs of the member states and their evaluation, in the second half of 2021, funds will be available to member states in the form of advances. Next year Croatia will receive at least 10 percent in the form of advances, about 3 billion Kuna,” stated Marić.
Regarding the Covid-19 crisis, Maric said things were under control. "We are rational, we are implementing measures, we are trying to react in time and adequately, there are many challenges, some activities are still affected, measures are continuing for some sectors. We all need a healthy and positive climate, without irrational and unrealistic promises," he concluded.
In the last 24 hours, 28 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. These new cases include 12 males and 12 females from Dubrovnik (9 males and 7 females have an epidemiological link), 2 males from Ston who have been diagnosed with an epidemiological link and one male from Slivno who has also been diagnosed with an epidemiological link. One female person who does not reside in our county is also infected. 8 new cases are all connected with one wedding in the county.
10 people have made a full recovery - 3 from Dubrovnik, 2 from Župa dubrovačka, 3 from Metković and one each from Kula Norinska and Zažablje.
There are currently 20 people positive for Covid-19 hospitalised in the Dubrovnik General Hospital.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 10,264 samples have been sent for analysis.
There are 550 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been determined.
In the last 24 hours, 334 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected across Croatia as testing gets ramped up. The number of active cases in Croatia has reached a total of 2,703.
There are currently 2,703 active Covid-19 cases across Croatia, with 283 people in hospital and 15 on a ventilator.
Unfortunately, over the past 24-hour period one person has died due to the virus.
Since 25 February 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 11,428 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of whom 195 have died and 8,530 have recovered.
There are currently 9,042 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 183,912 people have been tested, of which 4,047 were tested in the last 24 hours.
The Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, has tested negative for coronavirus. The mayor took the Covid-19 test after being in close contact with a person positive for Covid-19.
"After testing for Covid-19, I was found to be negative. According to the epidemiologist's instructions, I will remain in self-isolation until 16.9 as a precaution, and as I said earlier, I will perform all business tasks online," commented Mato Franković wrote on his Facebook profile.
The mayor’s wife was yesterday confirmed as positive for Covid-19, and she is also now in self-isolation.
During July this year, 5,132 new passenger cars were newly registered in Croatia, which is the best result this year, writes Večernji list.
Since the beginning of the year, 22,568 new cars have arrived on our roads. By comparison, we bought 6,212 new cars in July last year, and the total number from the beginning of the year to the end of July was 44,368 cars, according to Promotion Plus.
That is a drop of 17.4 percent on a monthly basis and 49.1 percent on an annual basis. Since the beginning of the year, we have "lost" 21,800 new cars. The results for August are still being calculated, but August is traditionally among the weaker months for car sales.
Volkswagen, Škoda, Renault, Dacia and Kia are the top five most popular brands in the Croatian new car market. The top 10 brands also include Suzuki, Hyundai, Peugeot, Toyota and Opel.
Only Volkswagen (15.45 percent) and Škoda (13.59 percent) have sales above ten percent of the market share, while Renault is a little short of that with 9.39 percent.
Looking at the models of new cars that arrived this year, we mostly bought Škoda Octavia (1417 units), Renault Clio (933), Dacia Sandero (675), Volkswagen Polo (671) and Dacia Duster (615).