Monday, 14 February 2022

Adriatic-Ionian Highway to Pass through Trebinje, Not Dubrovnik?

February 14, 2022 - Is the regional branch of the Adriatic-Ionian highway going through the hinterland, from Pocitelj to Aranđelovo near Trebinje and completely bypassing Dubrovnik and Croatia?

While there is euphoria in Croatia about the imminent launch of the Peljesac Bridge, the first neighborhood Public Company, FBiH Motorways, has just announced a public call for a preliminary and main project of the Adriatic-Ionian Corridor, section Stolac - Interregional junction Pocitelj, about 23 kilometers long, reports Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

This news would not be so crucial for Croatia if it did not lead to a new possible traffic (dis)connectivity problem for Dubrovnik-Neretva County.  And it has people wondering if Pocitelj is becoming the central hub from Trieste to Greece, and the new Peljesac bridge just a local bypass?

After 20 years of waiting for the road junction, no one on this side of the border wants to think that the Peljesac Bridge and access roads could 'lose out' if the regional branch of the Adriatic-Ionian highway goes through the hinterland, from Pocitelj to the endpoint Aranđelovo near Trebinje on the Montenegro border and completely bypasses Croatian territory. 

So far, the Adriatic-Ionian traffic route has been talked about as a benefit for the traffic-isolated south, primarily due to the completion of the Peljesac Bridge and the expected passage of the highway through the Neum area.

Whether our largest infrastructure project will fit into this mold should be more apparent after March 15, when the deadline for applications from contractors interested in building the Stolac-Pocitelj section expires. The contractual value of the documentation is estimated at 6 million convertible marks without VAT, and the planned completion date is 18 months. The designers see the beginning of the route in Pocitelj as a connection with the Pan-European Corridor Vc (from Venice to Kyiv). In addition to Stolac and Capljina, it would include Ravno, Ljubinje, Trebinje, and further towards Montenegro, without a visible connection with Croatia.

However, in Croatian professional and political circles, they do not believe that the Peljesac Bridge will remain marginalized on the future road route.

On the topic of road construction in the hinterland, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić points out:

"Each state is thinking about how to connect its territory, so we do not want to comment on these intentions and moves of our neighboring BiH and the Federation of BiH. As for the Republic of Croatia, it is planned to connect the extreme south of Croatia by highway from the Metkovic junction to Osojnik with an exit to BiH (as part of the Adriatic-Ionian highway), the expressway Zračna Luka - Dubrovnik - Osojnik, and the expressway Brijesta - Perna. This is stated in Croatia's National Development Strategy and all spatial plans of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and supported by the conclusions of the Government at the session in Dubrovnik in 2019," said Dobroslavić and reminded that for all the listed planned roads, study documentation is being prepared from Hrvatske ceste, i.e., Hrvatske autoceste, and realization is expected.

Last year, at the seminar of the Croatian Engineering Association and the Society of Civil Engineers in Zagreb, Dobroslavić reiterated that the position of Dubrovnik-Neretva County has always been to connect the extreme south of Croatia to the motorway network as strongly as possible.

"We must do it quickly to benefit our fellow citizens and tourists, but these are, let's not forget, geostrategic solutions for the Republic of Croatia. We see instabilities around us, and we need to think about ourselves and our security. Therefore, the only possible connection of Croatia is by a highway, which in our opinion should be the Adriatic-Ionian highway that passes through Dubrovnik-Neretva County," said Dobroslavić.

The position of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure in the field of road construction towards the southernmost county is also unequivocal:

"Southern Croatia must be connected by highway after constructing the Peljesac Bridge. Therefore, this part of Croatia deserves to be the largest construction site in the road segment. Apart from the Peljesac Bridge and the highway to Dubrovnik, one of the biggest segments must be the connection of Dubrovnik Airport with the City of Dubrovnik. We are also planning to reconstruct the Peljesac road with the Orebic bypass with a new ferry port in Orebic," said the State Secretary at the Ministry Tomislav Mihotić last autumn at the same meeting in Dubrovnik.

Croatian Motorways, meanwhile, has intensified talks on building 47 kilometers of motorways with another 14.7 kilometers of connecting roads from the Metkovic junction to the Dubrovnik (Osojnik) junction at the cost of 1.2 billion kuna.

The highway project from Metkovic to Dubrovnik was divided into two sections. The first section is the Metkovic - Peljesac junction - Duboka junction, about 22 kilometers long, which includes the construction of 17.5 kilometers of motorways from Metkovic to the Peljesac junction and 4.45 km of highway from the Peljesac junction to the Duboka junction.

The second section would go from the Rudine junction to the Osojnik junction and include the fast road from the Ston junction to the Doli junction (5.5 km) and the connecting road Slano junction to DC8 (4.7 km). The motorway section from the Rudine junction to the Osojnik junction is 29.5 kilometers long and includes constructing a connection between the Rudine junction and the existing road network.

According to HAC, these two motorway sections will continue on the access highways on Peljesac and the Peljesac bridge.

However, domestic road construction experts find it difficult and reluctant to talk about projections for the future because they have repeatedly proved ungrateful. However, it is enough for the layman to remember that the complete profile of the highway includes four lanes, which is not feasible due to the narrowed territory in the extreme south. It isn't easy to go with much narrower roads.

Minister of Transport Oleg Butkovic commented on his visit to the City of Dubrovnik two years ago about the strategic project of the expressway to the Dubrovnik Airport and explained why everything still stands:

"We are currently investing 6.7 billion kuna in transport infrastructure; these are large infrastructure projects. We cannot do all projects at the same time. The project is announced, and we will make it when the project and study documentation is ready, done, and finished, and it will be a candidate for the next operational period. We are completing the Peljesac Bridge, the Airport, and of these big projects, this will be the next one we will work on. There will be no problems; the expressway will relieve the state road. The D8 road is congested, and there must be a relief," said Butković.

For more news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Meet We{dn}esdays, Digital Nomads Croatia Nationwide Drinks Night

February 13, 2022 - Another milestone of cohesion in Croatia's digital nomad journey, as DNA Croatia announces the first We{dn}esdays Digital Nomads Croatia nationwide drinks events. 

After 19 years living in a country famed for its bureaucracy and infighting among interest groups, I am finding the Croatian digital nomad story to be beyond refreshing. So much cohesion and positive energy from talented and motivated stakeholders, who are gelling and forming a focused and cohesive roadmap to develop this new sector and opportunity for the country. 

At the heart of everything (at least it seems to me) is the energy of the Digital Nomad Association Croatia - the first of its kind in the world, if I am not mistaken - which is coordinating, connecting, advocating and promoting the sector with vision and energy. 

The recent Digital Nomad Reflection Day was the first time all the key stakeholders got to know each other and find out what others are doing in the sector. Four hours on Zoom flew by, and it was one of the best brainstorming sessions I have been part of in my time in Croatia. Read more in Cohesion, Unity & Planning at Croatian Digital Nomad Reflection Day 2022.


The latest landmark on the journey is DNA Croatia's announcement of we{dn}esdays, drinks for digital nomads and friends this Wednesday (16th) from 19:00 in bars in several cities all over the country: Swanky Monkey in Zagreb, The Daltonist in Split, Mama's in Dubrovnik, Beach Bar Bamboo in Zadar, and Rakhia Bar in Rijeka. A chance to meet other nomads, or find out more about the lifestyle if you are interested in becoming one or getting into the nomad tourism sector. There will be special drinks discounts for those coming. 

This is the first such event, and it will be repeated. All welcome. I will be raising a glass at Swanky Monkey, which is something I have been known to do there on occasion. So all welcome and please join. 

In other news, DNA Croatia has also launched its new Facebook page, which will be powered by the community. You can follow it here

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

First Gay Bar in Dubrovnik to Open this Summer, Locals Pleased

February 9, 2022 - The first gay bar in Dubrovnik should open this season. Although there is no official confirmation yet, one well-known Dubrovnik catering duo decided to make this business move, which is supported by the fact that Dubrovnik is a gay-friendly city.

The first gay bar in Dubrovnik should be located in Marojice Kaboge Street, allegedly where there was a shop before. The caterers who intend to open it did not want to comment on anything until the opening was 100% certain, but the citizens were happy to share their opinion with the press, writes Dubrovački vjesnik

"There were so many gays, male and female, this summer that it's not normal. Thirty percent of the restaurant work I had was thanks to them this summer, and that's no small thing. They are the best guests in the world, the best consumers, extremely smart, intelligent, decent and cultured people," said Nikola Nikić, who is also a caterer.

"I said this summer, whoever opens a gay club first will bring in a lot of money. And first and foremost, it's my idea, the story has spread, and lo and behold, I've heard about it opening too," he added, stressing that the announced location would be ideal because no one would mind the noise. Besides, it's the only dead-end in town.

"Indeed, those who have traveled the world know that every city in the world has one or more gay clubs. Will I go there? One hundred percent, I will! I am ‘open-minded.’ I've been to gay clubs in Florida. It's a lucrative business. Just as we knew Hard Rock would come one day, here it came, just as Mcdonald's would come one day. As everyone arrived, so did the gay club. Welcome! It is high time that they also have a post where they will hang out, which is better. I welcome the first gay bar!" Nikić concludes.

"Dubrovnik needs everything. Of course, as long as it is tasteful and in some standards, it is not debauchery," said Edi Jertec from Dubrovnik, who added:

"Dubrovnik is a city that is open to everyone. After all, Dubrovnik is one of the few to host a cruise ship for gays, men or women. Dubrovnik has even had gay conferences. Everyone has always been welcome in Dubrovnik. They are cultured people, specific like everyone else. I don't see a problem with that."

"Excellent, I am in favor," agrees fellow citizen Katarina Dadic, adding:

"It should have happened a long time ago, and other things, not just a gay bar, because there are more and more guests in Dubrovnik looking for something different. In my opinion, it's a complete success; whoever opens it will profit. There are a lot of gay guests in our country. I have my customers, believe me, they are the best guests. They say they're best friends with women, too."

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Solardo Presents Higher Dubrovnik Announces Biggest Lineup Ever!

February 3, 2022 - After two years of unforgettable sell-out shows in Dubrovnik, mighty Manchester duo Solardo aims for a hat trick in 2022. In conjunction with Pollen Presents, Solardo announces their largest festival to date from September 23-27th: Higher Dubrovnik. 

The pair curate their biggest-ever lineup with international tastemakers, showcasing some of the world's top house and techno talent, a testament to the Manchester duo’s musical depth. The first wave of names includes Marco Carola, FJAAK, Nicole Moudaber, Mall Grab, Maya Jane Coles, Vintage Culture, Nic Fanciulli, Lee Foss, and many more. After multiple sell-out shows at WHP, Circus Liverpool & London, Higher is now set to grow into a multi-venue event across this historic city. Accommodation and ticket packages start at just £529, with party passes for what is one of Europe’s leading house and techno weekenders starting at only £249. 

Dubrovnik is famous for its vibrancy, with enchanting views sweeping over the terracotta rooftops, distinctive cobbled Old Town streets, numerous plazas and museums that detail the rich tapestry of Croatia’s past. Many may also recognise the city from hit series and films like Game Of Thrones and Star Wars. It is a truly unique backdrop for a series of world-class house and techno parties and this now globally renowned weekender takes place across its most essential sites, from an ancient fortress to a panoramic terrace high above the city and overlooking the piercing blue Adriatic Sea. 

Each location has its own charm and character and will be brought to life with world-class sound and production. You can expect plenty of stunning views over the walled city and glistening sea, with breathtaking sunsets and sunrises every day as you enjoy beachside takeovers, pool and fortress parties and terrace sessions like no other.  

House and techno duo Solardo lead the charge and since being crowned DJ Mag’s Best Breakthrough Act of 2016 and Best Duo of 2017 has never looked back. They have released on the likes of Elrow, Toolroom Records, and Green Velvet’s Relief Records, have topped the Beatport charts, and run their own vital Sola label. Now they bring their excellent curatorial skills to another mouthwatering Higher event. 

They will be joined by a who's who of house and techno talent from across the board, including Music On's Marco Carola, Berlin outfit FJAAK, Mood label head Nicole Moudaber, party starter Mall Grab, the always cultured Maya Jane Coles and global star Vintage Culture, as well as plenty more from wAFF, Lee Foss, Mason Maynard, Andrea Oliva, Ben Hemsley, Eli Brown, Shermanology, Nic Fanciulli and plenty more. 

Away from the music, there is a rich array of cultures to explore around the city, whether you meander on foot through the lime-paved streets, travel via cable car up to the fortress or simply lay back on the beach and soak up the good vibes. For those wanting an even more unique experience, add ons include VIP upgrades and sea-faring boat parties.  

There is a wide variety of accommodation options for Higher, including the elegant suites, luxury spa, and spectacular views of Valamar Lacroma, the beautiful Valamar Argosy Hotel with its fine restaurant, terrace, wellness zone and infinity pool, the exquisite 5* Valamar Collection Dubrovnik just a few minutes from the Old Town and Tirena Sunny Hotel, a quiet haven close to the historic centre of Dubrovnik.



Andrea Oliva

Ben Hemsley

Chelina Manuhutu


Elli Acula 

Eli Brown 


Joshua James


Late Replies

Lee Foss


Mall Grab

Marco Carola 

Mason Maynard

Maya Jane Coles

Nic Fanciulli

Nicole Moudaber




Steel City Dance Discs

Tini Gessler

Vintage Culture 



Pollen has all the best travel and destination experiences in one place with two special offerings: Pollen Presents and Pollen+. Pollen Presents works with artists like J Balvin, Justin Bieber, The Streets, Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping, Drumcode, and many more to create experiences you can’t find anywhere else. These multi-day experiences combine live entertainment, parties, and relaxation in the world’s most exciting destinations. Pollen+ always gets you more at music festivals and events. Pollen+ partners with the biggest promoter brands and music festivals, including We Are FSTVL, Printworks, Boardmasters, C3, Electric Zoo, Live Nation, and more. You can discover and book these experiences exclusively on

Solardo Presents Higher Dubrovnik is a high-class musical getaway in a beautiful location with some of the underground's most vital DJ talent. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Saint Blaise 2022: Dubrovnik Celebrates Patron Saint and City Day

February 3, 2022 - On February 3, Dubrovnik celebrates its most important day, the feast its patron saint, Saint Blaise (Sv. Vlaho), the man who saved the city from the Venetians in 971. A look at the Saint Blaise 2022 festivities, the 1050th celebration. 

By traditionally releasing pigeons and raising flags in front of Dubrovnik's Saint Blaise Church, the 1050th Festivity of Saint Blaise officially began on Wednesday. 

For over one thousand years, Dubrovnik has celebrated the feast day of Saint Blaise by staging one of the most impressive and iconic annual festivals in Europe, and indeed, the world: the Festivity of Saint Blaise (Festa svetoga Vlaha). The celebrations encompass the whole city and surrounding region.

The festival commemorates Saint Blaise’s salvation of Dubrovnik on the eve of a surprise attack in 971. According to tradition, Saint Blaise’s miraculous intervention successfully thwarted a planned invasion of the city. As an expression of gratitude, the residents of Dubrovnik embraced the saint’s cult, proclaiming him their patron saint and their eternal protector.

The Ragusans' ideal positioning and famed diplomacy made them the arch Adriatic trade rival of the jealous Venetians to the north. Lacking in the diplomatic abilities possessed by the Ragusans, the Venetians would often use force, plotting numerous attempts to attack and invade the Republic and bring it to its knees over many years. Saint Blaise's intervention in the foiling of the surprise Venetian attack, whose boats were already silently waiting outside the city walls, meant more to the city than could ever possibly be expressed.

This tradition is still an intrinsic part of the city's deep sense of not only culture and tradition but also identity. Saint Blaise's likeness can be found all over Dubrovnik, watching over the city and its people, and is as much a part of Dubrovnik's soul as the walls themselves. 


Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

The saint's flag was raised by this year's hosts (festanjuli) - sailor and captain Teo Grbić, and craftsman Toni Cvjetković, to mark the 2022 Saint Blaise celebration on Wednesday. 

After reading Laus, the traditional text that opens the festivities and which ends with the exclamation 'Long live Saint Blaise!', the Bishop of Dubrovnik, Roko Glasnović, greeted the crowd.

Bishop Glasnović said that 'the connection between Dubrovnik and Saint Blaise is not only a testimony to the wisdom and ability of the old citizens of Dubrovnik to happily unite faith and tradition, universal and local, sacred and secular but also a testimony of the primordial tradition of the local church that inherits Christ, under the protection of its patron saint.'

"The festivity is a testimony to this relationship, from the apparition to don Stojko and the defense of the city in 971. Over the centuries, it has developed, changed, and supplemented, going through all the good and bad moments with the city," said the Dubrovnik bishop.

Rector of the Saint Blaise Church Hrvoje Katušić then read congratulations and greetings from all over the world from those who couldn't attend the Festivity of Saint Blaise this year. After that, the gifts were blessed, and in the end, white doves flew from the hands of Bishop Glasnović.

The inauguration of the 1050th Festivity of Saint Blaise event was attended by the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović, Vice President of the European Commission Dubravka Šuica, Envoy of the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Envoy of the President of the Croatian Parliament Branko Bačić, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak, Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković and others.

On the morning of February 3, Dubrovnik City Day Saint Blaise Day, a Mass will be held in front of the cathedral, led by Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, followed by the relics and flags of the parishes in honor of Saint Blaise.

On the final day of the Festivity of Saint Blaise, Sunday, February 7, a solemn procession will be held to Gorica, after which the flag will be solemnly lowered in front of the saint's church.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Municipal Police to Step Up Supervision of Dog-Walking Rules in Dubrovnik

February 2, 2022 - If you own a dog or plan to bring one on your next adventure in the Pearl of the Adriatic, you will need to take into account the dog-walking rules in Dubrovnik, which from now on will be subject to greater supervision and enforcement by the City's Municipal Police.

As reported today by Slobodna Dalmacija, the Municipal Police has published a notice for all pet owners, with a particular emphasis on dog-walking rules in Dubrovnik.

In the coming period, the employees of the Department of Municipal Police of the City of Dubrovnik will intensify their supervision over the Decision on the conditions and manner of keeping pets and the manner of dealing with abandoned and lost animals and wild animals.

Namely, the said decision stipulates, among other things, that dogs can be taken to public areas if they are marked with a microchip, on a leash, and under the supervision of the owner, and the owner is obliged to carry cleaning supplies.

It is prescribed that pets are forbidden to move on children's playgrounds, flower beds, unfenced sports fields, landscaped city beaches, unfenced yards of schools and kindergartens, markets, cemeteries, and in all places where there is a risk of endangering health and hygiene.

Also, when taking a dog to public areas, they must wear a muzzle if they fall under the category of 'dangerous dog', which category is defined by the Ordinance on Dangerous Dogs. For a safer and more beautiful Dubrovnik, they concluded in the announcement.

For everything you need to know if you have a pet in Croatia or bring them on your next adventure, such as the current laws, the rules when traveling by ferry with pets, the best places to take them for a walk, etc; be sure to check out Total Croatia's page HERE. Now available in your language!

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Film Crews in Dubrovnik with Nowhere to Eat and Drink? Mayor Urges Cafes and Restaurants to Open

February 2, 2022 - With film crews in Dubrovnik arriving for the Amazon series Jack Ryan this month, is the Adriatic Pearl ready?

At last week's City Council session, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković reminded that filming of foreign productions would soon begin and that film crews have nowhere to go for food & drink because almost all restaurants are closed in winter, reports Dubrovacki Vjesnik.

Recall, the new season of the Jack Ryan series will film in Dubrovnik this month, with about 300 people participating in this project. The Amazon Prime series is based on Tom Clancy novels and features John Krasinski as Jack Ryan. 

The mayor told the councilors:

"If we observe the winter period, the city is empty when guests come. And that isn't good. Restaurants don't work for us. We have a big film production coming up in early February, and they have nowhere to eat. The first cruiser is coming to us on February 2, and almost everything in the historic core is closed. We must set clear rules that a certain number of tenants in urban areas cannot be closed; that is, not all can be closed simultaneously. Let them agree together. Or we will arrange an even-odd system," Franković threatened.

"I think that some people confused the situation a bit because with the end of socialism and communism and social ownership, the time of planned economy ended in the 1990s and we entered the period of free trade and free business, i.e., the market," said the president of the Dubrovnik Caterers Association Ante Vlašić commenting on Franković's statement during the recent session. 

In a further review of Franković's statements, the president of the Dubrovnik Caterers Association added:

"I am sorry that some people still do not understand that if they dictate business conditions, they must take full responsibility for the conditions and manner of business and the overall consequences, or all profits and losses resulting from these decisions. If the City needed something like that, it should not have rented the premises it owned, but set up a company and work 24 hours a day and be open 365 days a year. By the way, he bought UTD Ragusa anyway to continue with catering. But it is not possible to take a huge rent for the premises owned by the city company UTD Ragusa and run the business yourself! The city has enough of its own space in which it can open as many restaurants and cafes as it wants if it considers its role in society. But, then the question arises whether the City is the infrastructure and service of citizens or the City is the owner of all events and activities and everything that happens in this area? Do you think that none of the fellow caterers would work if they had financial justifications and opportunities to work?" Vlašić asked:

"Many times so far, when those who worked in the winter were not paid the rent for public areas, people worked. But that was at a time when we could work in the summer and “set aside” some of the money so we could take the risk during the winter. But now, after two years of restructuring, with huge debts from HBOR and HAMAG, we are not able to gamble with our own lives and businesses. If this great film crew needs a restaurant, believe me, they have already contacted some of the restaurants that will be 100 percent adapted to them, and therefore it is completely unnecessary to involve the city, especially those who do not understand how the market and business work," added Vlašić.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

10-weekly Istanbul-Zagreb Flights in February, Animawings Bucharest-Dubrovnik Summer Line Announced

February 1, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as there is a slight reduction in Istanbul-Zagreb flights in February, while Animawings announces another seasonal line between Bucharest and Dubrovnik after Blue Air. 

Animawings, the Romanian subsidiary of Greek Aegean Airlines, introduces seasonal flights between Bucharest and Dubrovnik.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that the first flight between Dubrovnik and Bucharest has been announced for Saturday, June 18. Fights will run until the second half of September (September 17) using A320 aircraft with a capacity of 174 seats in the passenger cabin. Animawings will thus offer a total of 4,872 seats between the two cities.

Croatian Aviation reports that Blue Air will also operate twice a week on this route from June 28. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that Turkish Airlines plans to operate 10 times a week between Istanbul and Zagreb in February this year. 

Although there were 13 weekly Turkish Airlines flights on the Istanbul-Zagreb route in January, there will be three fewer weekly flights in February. This reduction is expected given the state of the pandemic in Europe, but also the fact that passenger traffic in February is relatively low.

Turkish will thus maintain daily operations to Zagreb, with two flights a day announced every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.

A321, B737-800, B737-900ER, B737 MAX8, and MAX9 aircraft with a capacity of 151 to 188 seats in the passenger cabin have been announced. In addition, Turkish Airlines is offering 12,558 seats between Zagreb and Istanbul in February.

Turkish Airlines also plans to operate to Dubrovnik Airport in February. Two flights a week have been announced, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from February 5 to February 26. This makes up 7 return flights on which Turkish Airlines offers 2,266 seats to and from Dubrovnik Airport.

At the very end of last year, this airline also used wide-body aircraft type A330-200 and A330-300 to Zagreb, mainly due to additional ad-hoc demand for cargo.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

City of Dubrovnik Takes Srdj Fort Imperial Through Enforcement

February the 1st, 2022 - The City of Dubrovnik has had numerous issues with proposals for Mt. Srdj which towers above it and which is also home to the Srdj Fort Imperial. Those issues are continuing as Dubrovnik takes the Srdj Fort Imperial through enforcement.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the new legal procedure between the City of Dubrovnik and the Razvoj golf company has passed to the field of enforcement.

According to information on the matter from the City of Dubrovnik, they initiated enforcement proceedings against Razvoj golf in the local Municipal Court for the purpose of handing over the Srdj Fort Imperial, which was the subject of a concession agreement terminated back on June the 4th, 2020 (and concluded way back in 2009).

The City of Dubrovnik had previously peacefully requested the return of this property, they say, but without any success, and therefore enforcement proceedings were initiated as the next step. The enforcement request seeks the transfer of real estate of 18,899 square metres free of persons and property to the City of Dubrovnik as the bailiff.

After the unanimous decision of the City Council of the City of Dubrovnik to terminate the contract for the concession of the Srdj Fort Imperial, they noted that in the further steps taken by their legal service, the concession was to be deleted from the land register.

Regarding the termination of the concession agreement from Razvoj golf, they pointed out even then that they had fulfilled all of the obligations, adding that the decision for termination was illegal and unfounded.

In addition to announcing the next legal steps, they also warned of international arbitration against the state due to the investment in Srdj, and according to many, this is a much more interesting case due to the claim totalling a massive half a billion euros.

On the other hand, the tender for the concession of the Srdj Fort Imperial has no direct connection with the golf project, pointed out Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic.

To make what is now going on in this phase of the situation it's important to point out that Razvoj golf had initially sued the City of Dubrovnik for the sale of two plots on Srdj, which, after the end of the dispute initiated by the Republic of Croatia, turned out to be state property, and not city property.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 31 January 2022

Hunt for Dubrovnik Seasonal Workers Begins, Chefs and Waiters Needed Most

January 31, 2022 - The hunt for Dubrovnik seasonal workers begins, with chefs and waiters most in demand for the 2022 tourist season. 

Hotel houses and caterers in Dubrovnik are looking to fill the missing workforce ahead of the 2022 tourist season, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The labor market is flooded with tenders, workers are wanted outside Croatia, and no one wants to repeat last year's mistake when employment was delayed due to fear of closing the emitting markets. As a result, some seasonal workers have gone abroad, and some have been recruited in the northern Adriatic. But what are the salaries attracting labor?

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average salary in Croatia in November 2021 was HRK 7,333. However, the median net income was HRK 6,149, which means that half of the employees had a lower and half a higher income than that amount. Income in the so-called "real sector" in tourism has always been lower than the national average.

"The lowest salaries in tourism are paid to cleaners and kitchen support staff, around HRK 5,000 net per month. The average salary of a waiter in a Dubrovnik hotel is between HRK 6,000 and 7,500," says Dolores Lujić, commissioner of the Croatian Tourism and Hospitality Union. There is no data for restaurants, but given the high demand for waiters, she is convinced they are not lower. Receptionists are in the rank of waiters.

"Coefficients are generally not applied to them. So, for example, cooks and chefs in a top restaurant in Dubrovnik receive HRK 12 thousand or from HRK 15 thousand to 20 thousand," says Lujić.

According to the Croatian Employment Service advertisements, the most sought-after occupations are chefs and waiters. In Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 67 ads were opened for chefs and 52 for waiters in the entire area. Julijo Srgota, head of the Regional Office of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) in Dubrovnik, says that employers do not rest; advertisements arrive daily from the beginning of the year.

According to the Law on Foreigners, for some jobs, employers must obtain a positive opinion from the CES and the so-called "labor market test", and only then submit an application to the Ministry of the Interior for a residence and work permit for a foreign worker. On the other hand, the tourism sector can obtain work permits for workers from third countries without a labor market test, but only for up to 90 days during a calendar year.

In 2021, the CES office in Dubrovnik received 1,887 applications for employment of third-country nationals. In Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the CES issued 286 positive opinions last year, 10 are being processed, and 1,070 work permits have been issued. On the other hand, the institute refused 71 and suspended 361 work permits. The most significant number of requests related to jobs in construction and catering and tourism, such as building worker, cook, waiter, assistant chef, carpenter, bricklayer, valet, reinforcement worker, civil engineer, and facade worker. Since employers are obliged to enclose income data in their request for the opinion of the CES when hiring foreigners, it turns out that the average salary of a worker who came here from third countries to work as a chef is HRK 5506.9, waiter HRK 5462.6, and baker HRK 4631.8, while employers reported an average salary of HRK 4876 for a maid or HRK 4461 gross for a cleaner.

The average salary of employees in the Dubrovnik Tourist Board in 2019 was HRK 7,724 net. 

The County Chamber of Commerce performed a salary analysis in Dubrovnik-Neretva County companies for 2020. According to their data, the average salary in the provision of accommodation and food preparation services is HRK 4971 net, in trade HRK 4743, in transport HRK 6276, and in administrative and support service activities (90% being travel agencies) HRK 5166.

Compared to 2019, the most significant decline in monthly wages was recorded in accommodation services in tourism and food preparation (22 percent), and the smallest in transport, while in construction it increased by five percent and averaged HRK 4552.

"The highest average monthly net salary was paid in the supply of electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning, HRK 6,811. Paradoxically, the lowest average wage in the county is in the field of education, HRK 3,890.

This applies to private institutions and companies, not schools financed from the budget, but it says how we treat this activity. The data are exact, based on the data presented by entrepreneurs in their final financial reports to Fina," says Nikolina Trojić, President of the Chamber.

Commenting that the average income in the Dubrovnik area is lower than the state, Trojić noted that the coronavirus hit a large part of businesses much harder and that many employees depended on government support for job preservation (HRK 4,000).

Through the Dubrovnik Student Center, the student population, in most cases, works in tourism and catering. In 2021, 6878 contracts were signed through the student service. For comparison, in 2020, 4097 contracts were signed through student services, and in 2019, 10,364 contracts.

"Most often, hourly rates for students last year were between 30 and 35 kuna, and the most sought after jobs were waiters, support staff in catering, cleaners, maids, and other hotel housework," says Marko Potrebica, director of the Student Center Dubrovnik.

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