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 2018 UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev had a few touches of Croatian this year. Apart from the fact that Luka Modrić, the Real Madrid star midfielder, winning his fourth Champions League, the final was opened by the most popular Croatian pop duo, 2Cellos.
Photo - Tonci Vlasic
As Liverpool FC and Real Madrid walked out onto the pitch at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev they were greeted by the 2Cellos.
Luka Šulić wore a Liverpool shirt and Stjepan Hauser a Real Madrid one, although when asked by the media who they wanted to win they were very diplomatic and commented “I hope the match will be as interesting as possible with lots of goals.”
From a population of 4.1 million a massive 1.23 million people are retired and receiving a pension. The aging population of Croatia, combined with a migration of young professional workers, means that the over 27 percent of the county are retired, or one of the highest figures in Europe. In comparison 18 percent of the UK are retired and 15 percent in the USA.
Can Croatians look forward to a generous pension in their old-age? According to latest statistics the average pensioner in Croatia is more likely to be worrying how to pay the bills than planning a weekend break by the sea. The average pension in March 2018 in Croatia was a mere 2,552 Kunas, or around €345 or £302 or $402.
1.23 million people received a pension in Croatia in March 2018 and for that figure around 847,000 had less than the average pension of 2,552 Kunas. Whereas at the other end of the scale a little over 49,000 pensioners had a pay-out of over 6,000 Kuna.
You are travelling to Croatia and want to keep up with your favourite Netflix serial or catch the latest blockbuster. Can you watch Netflix in Croatia? The answer is yes. Whether you are sunning yourself on the beaches in Dubrovnik or trekking in the wilds of Slavonia you be able to watch your favourite Netflix show.
As of the 6th of January 2016 Netflix has been available in Croatia.
However, you’ll have to check which serials and films will be available in Croatia, because due to licensing agreements the playlist of Netflix varies from country to country. As of the end of last year there were 205 TV shows and 568 films available on the Croatia version of Netflix. Which when you compare it to other countries, USA 1,081 TV shows and 4,579 movies, is quite often less than you are used to.
However, thanks to a European Union regulation in 2017 all the 28 members are able to watch the same choice of programs. The agreement, which was part of the European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy, enables users to enjoy the content while traveling across Europe in the same way they would access it at home.
In fact, 190 countries throughout the world now have Netflix.
So if you are travelling from within the European Union Netflix will be able to recognise you home country through payment details and provide you with exactly the same service. Will UK citizens be affected by Brexit, and possibly lose this service, is yet to be announced. So if you are travelling to Croatia for a fortnight on the beach this summer you’ll be able to entertain the children or catch up on Breaking Bad with a cocktail in your hand.
With the sea temperature a balmy 22 degrees and the sun beating down on the city the beaches of Dubrovnik were full yesterday.
The iconic Banje Beach, with its glorious views over the Old City of Dubrovnik, was full of colourful towels and swimsuits yesterday as temperatures almost reached 30 degrees.
The forecast for today is for more of the same with blue skies and sunshine expected all day.
Check out the photo gallery from Tonci Plazibat
It is truly summer in Dubrovnik. The Old City bathed in bright sunshine and glorious blue skies today as the summer arrived in full force. With temperatures touching 29 degrees the ice-cream shops in the city were doing a roaring trade this morning.
And if you were thinking of cooling off in the Adriatic Sea then temperatures are now 22 degrees, in other words perfect. The Stradun was alive to the sights and sounds of tourists and the museums and boutiques had a constant flow of visitors.
Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat
The world looked on as Prince Harry drove his new wife Meghan Markle away in a stunning E-Type Jaguar after their wedding. However, it would appear that the Royal couple weren’t the first to drive the car.
The silver-blue electric E-Type Jaguar had a touch of Croatian as the inventor and entrepreneur, Mate Rimac, participated in the construction of the vehicle. And he also took it for a spin with his girlfriend Katarina Lovrić before handing it over the newlyweds.
On his Facebook profile Rimac published a photo of the couple sitting in the Jaguar with the comment “Many don’t know that Princess Kate tried the Jag before Princess Meghan.”
The now legendary Jaguar that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drove away from their wedding to a reception at nearby Frogmore House is more than just a British classic Jaguar E-Type, it is an electric car. The 1968 model was converted to an electric vehicle.
One of the most important goals of the Croatian government is full integration into the European Union, meaning amongst other points the introduction of the Euro as the official currency. A goal has been set to bring in the Euro and kick out the Kuna by 2022.
And according to a new report by the European Commission to fully join the euro zone Croatia fulfils all the criteria but one. To be a part of the euro zone and to bring in the Euro a member state must be a part of the Exchange Rate Mechanism for a minimum of two years. Croatia has yet to fulfil this last step.
The report included seven countries which, upon joining the EU, have taken on the obligation of introducing the euro as official currency: Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden. The report said the countries in general showed high nominal convergence, but none of them fulfilled all the formal criteria for joining the euro zone. Two countries, Croatia and Bulgaria, fulfil all the convergence criteria apart from taking part in ERM, said a press release from the European Commission.
The Exchange Rate Mechanism is basically a system that ensures that fluctuations between the euro and the currency of an individual state, in this case the Kuna, do not disrupt the financial situation inside the single market.
Only Croatia, of the countries included in the report, has brought its legislation completely in line with the regulations set by the European Monetary Union, the release said.
I admit it I cried. And no, I am not the kind of person that blubbers at weddings. And no, it wasn’t the first sight of the bride, or even the first kiss that had me in tears. Yes, the Royal Wedding, the wedding of the decade, had me glued to the TV screen last weekend. Coverage started on the BBC at six o’clock in the morning, presumably we were going to see what they were planning for breakfast. And what time did I start watching, yes you guessed it at six o’clock. I actually love these Royal occasions.
Maybe I inherited the love of all things Regal from my parents, well more precisely my mother. I remember, as if it were yesterday, watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana walking down the aisle in St Paul's Cathedral in 1981 to the echoing sounds of “Trumpet Voluntary.” So yes, of course I watched the latest instalment of Royal Family memories.
The streets of Windsor packed with flag waving fans from all over the world. Girls wearing T-Shirts with “Sparkle like Markle,” or “I want to Marry Harry.” Thousands and thousands of happy, smiling faces and all brought together to celebrate love. And the American influence gave the whole day a sprinkling of Hollywood. But in my humble opinion it didn’t need any outside help from Hollywood, in fact the two most annoying parts of the ceremony was the singing of Stand By Me in the chapel and the American priest, who started off perfectly and then just went on way, way too long. These regal events don’t need any help from Hollywood to be special, far from it.
The bride looked resplendent in a very elegant dress, the bridesmaids were delightful and once again Princess Charlotte stole the show with her waves to the press and general fun-loving approach to life. Dressed in his uniform the groom and his brother looked smart and he even kept his beard, although he needed special permission from the Queen as members of the Armed Forces should be clean shaven when wearing their formal uniform. He looked as nervous as a rabbit caught in headlights but his brother acted as a calming force.
And how refreshing it was to see a complete non-royal enter the Royal family. There is no blue blood in the Markle family. Meghan is not royal or British, so she breaks that rule. She is American and comes from a blue collar family. She is mixed race. And I for one think that is bloody brilliant. She has already shock up the traditions, Meghan is a divorcee; until recently that was not allowed. The Queen has never attended a church wedding for a divorcee. She didn’t even attend her own son Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla; she only attended the reception. But there she was in the front row looking stylish with her husband, Prince Phillip, who only six weeks ago had had hip surgery.
Prince Harry and Meghan broke another tradition by not inviting heads of state to their wedding, yes Prime Minster Teresa May had to watch from her living room. Instead they invited 1,200 people from the public to be on the grounds of Windsor Castle at St. George’s Chapel. Even the cake at the reception was a break from history, the cake is served is always a fruit cake, but the newlyweds plumped for a lemon butter cake. It is a day full of century old traditions and yet a fresh approach to many things.
There can be no doubt that Prince Harry was thinking of his mum through most of the day. Even when Meghan and Harry drove away in the silver-blue E-Type Jaguar the new bride was wearing Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring on her finger. She even made a point of showing the ring to the waiting press. A nice touch.
And in fact it was Princess Diana that started my tears. There was a point in the ceremony when the two brothers were waiting for Meghan to come down the aisle (and bravo to Prince Charles for volunteering at short notice) and William looked at Harry and said “Do you remember what Mum used to say,” with Harry responding with a smile “Yeah, I know.” That moment, two brothers now two husbands, two people so moulded by her love…that was the moment.
A great day, and so impressive I even watched it again on Sunday, yes the BBC pretty much repeated the whole ceremony again the day after. Thankfully without the “Stand By Me” and a shortened version of American Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon. And so the Royal Family moves into a new modern future and I for one wish them all the best of luck.