‘’Public awareness of the problems encountered by premature born babies and their parents is very low so it is important to educate everyone in our society’’, said the Croatian Parents’ Club of premature babies ‘’Palčići’’ on the World Prematurity Day marked on the 17th of November.
According to data, around 2,000 children are born prematurely in Croatia annually, whilst 400 of them need intensive care.
Premature babies are children born before the 37th week of pregnancy. The preterm births death rate has been constantly decreasing, however, children born too early are very likely to suffer from severe and numerous long-term problems.
Furthermore, premature birth is one of the leading causes of mortality of newborn babies in developed and underdeveloped countries, and the second, right after pneumonia, cause of death of children up to the age of five.
At the initiative of the Parents’ Club of premature babies ‘’Palčići’’, in 24 Croatian cities involved in the marking of the World Prematurity Day purple balloons were released into the sky as a symbol of premature born children in Croatia (the purple colour represents sensitivity and exceptionality).
The first international awareness day for preterm birth on the 17th of November was created by European parent organizations in 2008. It has been celebrated as the World Prematurity Day since 2011.
“Either you have a population of millionaires or magicians,” joked the international property expert sitting across the table from me. “Well we certainly aren’t millionaires, this is Dubrovnik not Monaco, and we aren’t magicians either,” I replied with a smile.
We were in the middle of a conversation about his professional subject and it was going pretty much as I had expected. “So how do young people get their first step on the property ladder,” he added. If I am not involved in a debate about tourism, then pretty much always the second topic on the list is real estate.
Firstly, the concept of the property ladder is almost non-existent in Dubrovnik. It works like this. When you are just starting out on your career you would take a mortgage for a small one-bedroom apartment for a very reasonable price. The first baby step on the ladder. As your career (and salary) develops you sell this (for a profit) and move onto a bigger place. Your original mortgage, which you keep but just transfer onto the new property, increases slightly but so has your salary. You are climbing the ladder. This same situation happens a couple more times until you have the home of your dreams, or at least that is the theory. It works well, most of my friends and family in the UK have followed the same path, unless property prices drop or you get fired.
So how the hell can a young family in Dubrovnik even get on the first step of this property ladder. They would need a ladder just to get on the ladder. I explained this to the real estate expert and again he asked “So how do young people, or any body for that matter, buy houses and apartments.” The simple answer is they don’t.
“Out of my group of friends and family here I think only a couple have actually bought their own property,” I answered.
I then dropped onto the table a copy of Jutarnji List with the property section open and the headline “Dubrovnik most expensive real estate in Croatia.” I could see he was thinking deeply as I translated the article. I shocked him even more as I explained the near impossibility of actually getting a mortgage and the fact that you basically sign away your life (and the lives of your loved ones) to the bank for 25 years. “Of course if you can actually afford the repayments, which most people, without winning the lottery or robbing the bank that is lending them the money, can’t,” I empathised. There is a premium to pay for living in Dubrovnik. And of course it isn’t a unique situation that one city is twice the price of the capital. However, the relation of local salaries and prices per square metre is so far apart that most people simply give up and those lucky ones how reach the first step on the ladder remain exactly where they are.
You’ve basically got to get on well with your parents for you can almost guarantee that you’ll be spending most of your life under the same roof.
“Now on the flipside local real estate agents will argue that there is a high demand for properties in Dubrovnik, mostly from foreign buyers, and that the market regulates the prices,” I offered as some way of an explanation. “If the market is buoyant then they are right, at least from their point of view which is to make money,” he replied. “But there has to be circulation on all levels for a community to be healthy and grow,” came his conclusion. He then lightened the mode by adding “The best time to buy a house is always five years ago.” We all know that Croatia has come a long way since independence but there is a hell of a long way still to go yet. Just ask Kolinda how pleased she is with the pace of movement on a governmental level. Things moved rapidly and then all of a sudden slowed to a snail-like speed.
Of course the “haves” are still living like gods whilst the “don’t have anywhere near as much” are loading up one credit card just to pay for the other three. For as John Paul Getty once famously said “If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.”
Dubrovnik will have eight weekly flights to Helsinki for 2018 after the Finland national airline announced an increase in flights for the next summer season. Finnair already operates flights to Dubrovnik and as a result in the rise in interest in Dubrovnik the airline has announced that they will operate eight flights a week in the summer of 2018. Dubrovnik isn’t the only destination to receive more flights, as Split will have five weekly flights and Pula twice weekly.
Speaking to the website EX-YU Aviation News, Finnair Manager, Satu Haataja, said, "Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan".
Finnair is the largest airline in Finland and transports over 10 million passengers a year, and is also the fifth oldest airline in continuous operation.
Tickets for the Dubrovnik - Helsinki route are already available for sale on the Finnair website and a return tickets starts from around 220 Euros and the first flight of 2018 takes off on Saturday the 14th of April.
In 1999 the Croatian government passed a decision to proclaim the 18th of November is “The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar in 1991” in order to honour in a dignified manner everyone who took part in the defence of Vukovar.
Various events were held in Dubrovnik to mark and remember this day and one of the most colourful was held last night on the main road into Dubrovnik. In front of the mural, which is dedicated to the “City of Heroes,” on the main road members of the Hadjuk Spilt supporters group, known as Torcida, lit candles and flares to commemorate the day.
Atlantic Grupa has launched the production of Argeta pate in the United States with high sales revenue expectation, announced the company a few days ago.
One of the leading food companies in the region, the Croatian multinational company Atlantic Grupa started the production of the delicate spread Argeta in the city of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania. In the first year of its operations, the company expects sales revenue of $3 million.
The Argeta pate will be produced in accordance with strict criteria and top class technology exclusively for the North American market in cooperation with the Brother & Sister company in Harrisburg.
During November and December, in cooperation with local distributers, Atlantic Grupa will launch an intensive distribution of Argeta to almost 2,000 sales outlets in the US and Canada followed by a powerful promotional campaign, first at sales outlets and in digital media.
‘’As one of the bearers of the internalization process in the whole of Atlantic Grupa, we have decided for a brave and ambitious but well-planned and realistic strategy of expansion outside Europe, where we have already confirmed our position’’, emphasized Enzo Smrekar, the director of the Strategic Business Area Delicate pate at Atlantic Grupa.
According to Smrekar, Argeta accounts for 37 percent of the Austrian market, almost 30 percent in Switzerland, whilst in Germany and Sweden the Croatian pate is progressing from stable 10 percent of the market.
‘’We are now opening the door of the American market with a great potential which we will surely know how to use’’, commented Enzo Smrekar.
Looking for a luxury yacht with a colourful history? At a starting price of only 80,000 Euros. One of the yachts of Tito’s former yachts “Jadranka” is up for sale, according to an announcement by the Government of Montenegro the yacht was proclaimed as “redundant for the needs of the state intuitions and bodies” and is therefore up for sale.
The starting price was decided by a court appointed valuator as 80,000 Euros, but it was added that if there were no offers the yacht would be sold for parts and scrap. Jadranka was built in 1977 in a Croatian shipyard and at the beginning of the Homeland War was withdrawn from its berth in Croatia to Montenegro.
There is a good chance that Jadranka will not meet the starting offer of 80,000 Euros as the vessel is in need of very complicated and expensive repairs and is far from seaworthy.
Just at the entrance to the Old City, at Pile bridge, tourist from South Korea made a spontaneous photo exhibition! He presented his photographs that were made on his journeys.
Everybody are welcome to take any photo that they like while passing by. If they wish they can also leave money contribution, but it's optional, since all photos are free.
-I'm not selling pictures, I'm sharing memories. Live today, not tomorrow – it's written above his photos.
There was a great interest around this spontaneous exhibition – amongst locals and tourists. Some were really excited to see the places that they visited captured by the camera of this special Korean photographer.
The festive season is just around the corner and preparations for Christmas and New Year in Dubrovnik are in full swing. And once again, for the fourth year in a row, the city will hold its Dubrovnik Winter Festival. This year’s festival starts on the 2nd of December and will last until the 6th of January. With festive stands dotted around the city serving everything from mulled wine to Christmas meals. And at the opening of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival the Christmas lights will be officially turned on by pop star Gibonni and also the first advent candle will be lit.
On the 8th of December the Christmas program continues with a concert by Croatian pop singer Jacques Houdek in front of the St. Blaise Church at 9.00pm. And then the day after, the 9th of December, the tenth annual “cake party” will be held at 10.00am on the Stradun in the heart of the Old City.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board will organise a “Christmas Fairy Tale” on the 16th of December at 11.00am where a special event for children, including a visit from Father Christmas, will be held, and a 9.00pm that evening the band Pavel will perform.
The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will hold a Christmas concert in the Hotel Lacroma on the 22nd of December at 8.00 pm along with various special guests for an evening of Christmas carols and festive fun. And then on the 23rd of December at 5.30 pm the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dubrovnik will stage a live Nativity scene on the Stradun, while at 9.00 pm Marko Tolja Septet will perform in front of the Church of St. Blaise.
Christmas Eve is a busy day of events in the city starting at midday with a performance of folklore by the Dubrovnik folklore ensemble Lindo, along with the Libertas Choir and the Dubrovnik Brass Band.
On the 30th of December at 9.00 pm the quartet The Frajle will hold a concert. And then on New Year’s Eve a massive party on the Stradun featuring numerous pop singers and bands and a spectacular fireworks display as the clock strikes midnight.
With the first day of New Year the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will hold their traditional concert at midday on the Stardun and then the starting pistol fires at 2.00 pm to begin the New Year 10K run.
THE DUBROVNIK WINTER FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
• 2nd Dec, Saturday at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
+ turning on the holiday lights and lighting the first Advent candle
• 8th Dec, Friday at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
JACQUES HOUDEK - Mr. Voice sings for you
• 9th Dec, Saturday at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
• 16th Dec, Saturday at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
• 22nd Dec, Friday at 8PM, Hotel Lacroma
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra
Stijepo Gleđ Markos, Tenor
Đani Stipaničev, Tenor
Marija Kuhar Šoša, Mezzo-soprano
• 23rd Dec, Saturday at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
MARKO TOLJA SEPTET
NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
• 30th Dec, Saturday, at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
• 31st Dec, Sunday, at noon, in front of the Church of St Blaise
CHILDREN'S NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY
• 31st Dec, Sunday, at 9PM, in front of the Church of St Blaise - NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION
• 1st Jan, Monday, at noon, in front of the Church of St Blaise
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra
Oysters and sparkling wine on Stradun
• ***2nd Dec until 6th Jan, Brsalje, Gundulić Square and Prijeko
Live music at the weekend
THE TOURIST BOARD PROGRAMME
• 9th Dec, at 11AM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
• 16th Dec, at 11AM, in front of the Church of St Blaise
• Christmas Tale
• 23rd Dec, at 5.30PM, Stradun
Live nativity scene on Stradun (Organized by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dubrovnik)
• 31st Dec, Lazareti
New Year in Lazareti (organized by Lacroma LLC)
• 1st Jan, 2PM, Stradun
New Year's Race (organized by the Extempora Association)
• ***04th Nov – 24th March
11.30AM Saturday Morning in the Old City – Performance by the Folklore Ensemble Linđo, every Saturday in the above mentioned period (performance are cancelled in case of rain)
10AM Pile – free guided tour of the Old City – tours are in English; starting point in front of the Tourist Information Centre
The Triathlon Club Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Sports Association announce marathon Dubrovnik 10K on Sunday, November 19th from 09:30 to 11 am.
It is a race held on the road and the route is Lapad bay – Post office Lapad – INA Orsan, Restaurant Orsan – Solitudo – Mandrac – Copacabana – President – Neptun – Hotel More – Kompas – Lapad bay. There will be two laps of five kilometers.
Therefore, citizens and their guests are asked for co-operation and to not use this route during Sunday's race for security reasons. Traffic will be regulated on the roads.
-We recommend to the citizens that find themselves at Lapad bay during the race to give the runners the advantage and to leave the middle of the promenade for the race - the Triatlon Club Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Sports Association announced.
The 10K race is also the final event of the popular Dubrovnik RUN league, which guarantees the arrival of a large number of runners from the Dubrovnik area as well as the wider region. It also offers the possibility for both beginners and experienced runners to test their shape and speed on one of the most attractive walking/running trails in Dubrovnik.
Despite the abundance of sun and ‘’tourist’’ roofs, Croatia is at the rear among European countries when it comes to the use of solar energy.
Croatia has 300 sunny days a year, rich natural resources and thousands of rooftops of hotel and tourist facilities; however, the country does not make the most of renewable energy resources in tourism, especially solar energy.
Greenpeace Croatia recently held a conference titled ‘’The Role of Tourism in Energy Transition’’ and gathered representatives of professional and civil society associations as well as energy producers, suppliers, state institutions and the tourism sector. However, no one responded from the ministries of tourism, economy, environmental protection and energy, whilst only a small number of tourist representatives participated at the conference.
On this occasion, Marija Tomac from Greenpeace emphasized that the energy transition is a global process, which is necessary in order to switch completely from the fossil fuels to clean or energy from renewable resources by 2050.
‘’Due to climate changes and the prevention of their negative effects, all of us have to be involved in this transition, not only states and governments, but also all economic sectors, where tourism, especially in Croatia, is extremely important because it accounts for 19 percent of GDP and is related to many other activities. Our advantage lies in a good location of hotels, campsites and other tourist facilities that are mostly spread along the Croatian coast which is bathed in sunshine’’, explained Tomac.
Tomac also added that the revenue from tourism rises every year thus it would be worthwhile to invest in the transition to renewable energy resources. Therefore, Greenpeace Croatia initiated a new campaign and published a brochure about the possibilities of wider application of renewable energy resources in the Croatian tourism sector as well as business models for project financing from EU funds.
However, despite all the warnings and possibilities as well as God given energy resources sun, wind etc. Croatia is at the bottom among European countries when it comes to the use of solar energy.
‘’Slovenia has five times more solar capacities than Croatia, whilst Greece has fifty times more. It would be very good for all our sectors to become aware of the fact that roofs of hotels, camps and other tourist facilities are ideal for solar collectors and photovoltaic cells as well as for LED lighting. A quick return of investment could be expected in the period from five to eight years’’, commented the director of Greenpeace Croatia Zoran Tomić.