Saturday, 26 June 2021

Quarantine Escape or Something More: How French Youth Live In Croatia

26 June 2021 - One TCN intern interviewed four young French people who recently moved to Croatia about their everyday life, impressions, and preferences here. A look at how French youth live in Croatia. 

They came to Croatia for different volunteering projects regardless of coronavirus pandemic, but likely would recommend their new abode to fellow countrymen as a good place to survive quarantine. The luckiest of them Mathias (26) got a chance to arrive in Split in February 2020, Axelle (22), and Clemence (22) joined him nearly a year later. Mathilde (23) came to Zagreb sometime between this period, in September 2020. 

Is the weather similar to Nice?

The climate is continental – low temperatures in winter and high temperatures in summer. “In Zagreb, there is often a fog during the winter,” Mathilde shares.  Thick fog looks unusual for newcomers and from time to time creates true ‘Silent hill’ views in Zagreb country. “It’s not windy, but you don’t see the light of the sun during two months,” she continues.

On the contrary, Split is a windy city, however, even during the winter the sun shines a lot. There are winds in France, Mathias notes. He fails to find a French analog to the well-known Split ‘bura’, a cold north-west wind that long till 10 days in winter. But there is ‘mistral’ wind in France, similar in the name and effects to Croatian ‘maestral’ that comes to Split from the north-east in summer.

If you’re sensitive to weather, you’ll probably feel winter winds in Split. Summer winds will help you. The wind cools the atmosphere, thus summer heat is handled easier in the Dalmatia. Axelle and Clemence who came to Split for spring and summer characterize the weather solely as perfect. Both moved from the northern part of France and began to enjoy sunbathing here.  Mathias compares the climate in Split with Nice. “Similar in many senses… Apart from the landscape – there are more islands and mountains in Croatia,” he said.

Is air-con needed?

My French respondents almost don’t use air conditioning. Mostly they don’t have a need for it. Axelle actually doesn’t know whether there is any air conditioner in their office. The office is situated on the first floor, it’s cool there. As for apartments it’s normally equipped with air conditioning systems. However, girls in Split are satisfied by shade from the inner yard of their house. During the summer, they just open windows wondering for what purpose these double shutters are designed. They’ve never met such a design in France. Mathilde doesn’t use the air conditioners for ecological reasons. It pollutes the atmosphere a lot.

Why do you apricot jam in a croissant?

Young people are usually simpler with food. Two of them are vegetarians, but they easily adapted to Croatia. “In France, we consume a lot of cheese,” Axelle claims. You can buy some basic cheese here like Emmental, you can buy soft cheese like mozzarella and feta. Mathias who isn’t a vegetarian, but a foodie confirms that fact.  “There is a huge lack of French cheese .” You’ll survive, but you’ll miss cheese. “I need cheese in my life,” Axelle says and goes to buy it without looking at brands.

On the plus side, there are many fresh vegetables in Croatia. Mathilde enjoys visiting open markets – you can talk, practice Croatian, create links with people, and support local producers. And prices are cheaper than in the supermarket.  Furthermore, the open market challenges your traditional tastes. While as in supermarket you’re guided by familiar names on the shelves, open market encourages you to improvise and try something new. Clemence started to eat much more vegetables in Croatia. Mathias who also visited the fish market has enriched his nutrition with seafood.

Food prices in Croatia are lower than in France. However, moving here you should configure your expectations correctly. Prices are lower, but not really low. And, of course, this isn’t about imported items. As a result, Clemence eats less ‘Nutella’ here. Hopefully, it was not a huge loss. Mathilde praises Croatian pastries, whereas she loved French pastries as well. ‘Burek’ is a universal pleasure; it has vegetarian options with cheese or spinach. ‘Burkifla’ or ‘strudla’ are a nice choice for the sweet tooth. The only stuff you should be careful with is a croissant. In Croatian bakeries, they often offer croissants with apricot jam (‘marelica’) and French often describe its taste as disgusting. Just clarify on a cashier that you want a normal croissant!

Wine is wine, if you do it in France, you’ll probably die!

Apart from croissants with apricot jam, one more strange thing the French can occasionally order in a cafe is coffee with cold milk. It’s better to specify what kind of milk you want – hot or cold, because during the summer season Croatian cafes often serve coffee with cold milk as in southern Europe. Axelle came from northern France and never expected to have something hot ordering a coffee. Otherwise, typical for the Balkan region ‘Turkish coffee’ is rarely found in modern Croatia. Expats including my respondents from France don’t like it. “First 2-3 sips are ok, but next you feel this nasty coffee ground…”

A coffee drinking culture must be attributed to the advantages of life in Croatia. You can take one coffee and stay for 3 hours. “You can’t do it in France. If you stay more than an hour, it’s anticipated you will order one more coffee or another drink,” Axelle explains to me. And it’s not only about the economics of cafes. In France, you sit in a cafe for half an hour and then go back to your business. In Croatia, there is this chill way of life. You drink a coffee, chat, and sunbathe, and don’t hurry. Croatians consume a lot of coffee. When it’s too much for Clemence and Axelle, they switch to beer. Mathilde hates coffee, however still has a lot of Croatian friends. She drinks hot chocolate. She misses 'churros’ to hot chocolate.

Mathias spent enough time both in Split and Zagreb and would prefer Zagreb cafes and bars rather than Split ones. Such places have more variety, events, and different peoples there. Mathilde who is been living in Zagreb for almost a year doesn’t attach importance to it. She’s not a huge bar lover. She settles for ‘Antibar club 44’ where she holds her French evening with students. Axelle and Clemence also have their favorite place to drink in Split. In ‘Tri volta’ there is no crowds or fancy drinks as ‘ice coffee’ or ‘Aperol spritz’, but the location and atmosphere are great.

In public drinking beyond bars and its terraces, the biggest surprise for the French was a way of drinking wine. Croatian youth usually dilute wine. Red wine plus coke has the special name ‘bambus’. White wine is diluted by sparkling water. Both kinds of wine can be watered down. This practice has a simple explanation: diluting enhances the taste of cheap wine that youth usually buy. Also, this practice is known in Italy and Spain, but not in France. Wine is wine, Axelle claims emotionally. “If you do it in France, you’ll probably die!” Clemence echoes.

Let me pay for anything!

Nobody from my young respondents spends much money on entertainment mainly because of plenty of outdoor activities. Mathias became a true expert in hanging out with people in Split. This activity requires only being at the right place at the right time. That is late in the evening on Matejuska pier and after midnight on Ovcice beach. Girls prefer Matejuska, because the public is more varied there. Youth and locals gather on Ovcice beach. In fact, Axelle and Clemence once visited the Croatian party where they were the only foreigners. It was not bad, however, it’s certainly easier to start a conversation as the majority speaks English.

Axelle shares that she would like to visit the ‘Froggyland’ museum in Split. Till the moment she didn’t manage it. With Clemence and other friends, she also tried to go to the cinema, but finally, it was ‘sold out’. Split actually discourages finding these kinds of entertainment. When you have leisure time, go straight to the beach, read a book in the shade, relax, run along a coastal line – there are so many easy ways to enjoy in Split. Mathias concludes that museums didn’t impress him and the cinema was normal. You can watch original American or French movies with Croatian subtitles.

Mathilde has succeeded to go to the cinema about 10 times. Interested in art she visited several museums in Zagreb. She’s visited once a classical concert at the Croatian National Theater. It’s a pretty good cultural gathering, although Mathilde recognizes that she would have better if it were not for the language barrier. She doesn’t go to the cinema or museum spontaneously, only when friends invite her. A pleasant surprise is that an inviter pays. Croatians are very welcoming and open people, thus you often fall into situation “Let me pay for anything!”

Where is the name of the bus stop?

Croatian hospitality is one of the reasons to make traveling your hobby here. Mathias and Axelle recall the other reasons. Croatia is a comparatively small country, most destinations are easily reached. There are a lot of historic towns, wonderful nature places. Islands aplenty stand alone. “You go on the islands and suddenly feel like you are in another county on vacation. I like island vibes!”  Axelle and Clemence visited Vis together loved the nature of the island-geopark.

Zagreb is a student city in Croatia. There are more students and more expats as well than in Split, therefore society seems more liberal and open-minded. Varazdin looks like a typical Central European town. Pula is pretty boring during the winter, but nice in summer, Mathias lists his travel within the country. “I’m not a fan of Slavonia. This is not a region for tourists, except Vukovar, maybe, for those who are interested in history. It’s good to visit when you live in Croatia for a long time,” he says.

Split is a very special story. Mathilde surprises by its closeness to mountains and sea. French who constantly live in Split loves it for a combination of historical heritage and daily dynamic life. “Diocletian’s palace is a miracle, Clemence tells. I like to go for a walk there. And now after many walks, I can say that I really know it.” Axelle stresses one more advantage: “A lot of sights are situated next to Split – Solin, Klis fortress, etc.” Omis, a tiny city with rocks is suited for hiking, meanwhile, there are enough hiking places just by the way from Split to Omis.

In regards to transport within the country Mathias’s used to prefer trains in France. A train as a comfortable and ecological means almost doesn’t exist in Croatia. It’s a disadvantage. But my French respondents quickly learned how to deal with buses. They usually travel by bus. The fact that bus stops in Croatia have no names was a little challenging for the first time. Axelle remembers how she was checking her way on Google maps. “It just takes some getting used to. In France each stop has a name.”

Could you, please, write down the name of this movie in Croatian for me?

“I don’t see any difference in culture between France and Croatia,” Mathilde states. The point is that the French consider ‘culture’ as a broad concept, barely the same that ‘civilization’, i.e. Croatia relates to the same European Christian civilization as France. Looking in-depth Croatian culture is not well-known in France.

Axelle purposely read about Croatia before coming here to have basic grounding. After 4 months in Split she knows, for example, Split raised pop-diva Severina. Clemence listens to rapper Nucci. Although he’s from Serbia, his music can be related to the ‘Balkan turbo-folk genre. They would like to know more popular songs, movies. etc. Croatians are glad to recommend some good stuff, but a problem is that they pronounce names in Croatian, and it’s difficult to catch and to remember too.

'Pomalo’

My respondents note the obvious visual difference – there are only white people on the streets. Society is more homogeneous. Dress is more homogeneous as well – no brassy, no sexy. “Don’t distinguish yourself,” the Zagreb expat concludes. Otherwise, Mathias and Clemence report that in Split people care about appearances much more, than in cities of France. Clemence is used to seeing fancy girls with big sunglasses and other attributes in Split every day. “Even on Monday morning… Once I was walking down the street in my probably worse-than-usual, after-party look. These girls looked at me really oddly…” she remembers.

Streets are cleaner in Croatia. It’s clean in France, Axelle stands up, but you can see some trash from time to time. Croatians are not taught since childhood to sort the garbage, to recycle as much as it’s done in France. “From the first glance they seem less informed, but in real life they’re more concerned,” Clemence shares her observations. Streets are safer too. “I feel really safe here. I have no fear,” French girls from Zagreb and Split agree in this. In France, you’d better go in a group of 2-3 girls together at night. And anyway somebody will impose a conversation, follow you. In Croatia, you can calmly be alone on a street at any time.

In memory of their blissful stay in Split two of my respondents and one more French girl did tattoos with the Croatian word ‘pomalo’. It’s literally translated as ‘slowly’, ‘quietly’, ‘little by little’. “Our tattoos mean more than literal sense. I mean more when I say ‘pomalo’ Clemence explains. ‘Pomalo’ commonly used to describe a Dalmatian/ Croatian mentality in one word: ‘take it easy’, ‘don’t rush’, ‘with pleasure’, ‘relax’, ‘hello’, etc.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 28 May 2021

Croatia's Rafale Decision Reflects Strengthening of Zagreb-Paris Strategic Relations

ZAGREB, 28 May 2021 - Croatia's decision to buy 12 used French fighter jets reflects the strengthening of the strategic relations between Croatia and France, French Defence Minister Florence Parly said on Friday after the Croatian government stated that it had opted for Rafale F3R fighter jets.

The French minister noted that after in January Greece bought 18 Rafale jets, the fact that another EU member state selected the offer made by a European country "is is strong sign, more than a symbolic gesture."

"The French offer turned out to be the best because Croatia is getting the best-assessed and equipped aircraft for the least money," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Zagreb on Friday, adding that the offer was the most favourable one with the best payment in instalments that would not slow down Croatia's accession to the euro area.

Besides the Rafale, bids were submitted by the US, the latest F-16 Block 70, Sweden, the new JAS 39 Gripen C/D, and Israel, the used F-16 Barak.

For more on politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated section.

Friday, 28 May 2021

PM Says Croatia to Have Most Advanced Fighter Jets in This Part of Europe

ZAGREB, 28 May 2021 - By purchasing 12 F3-R Rafale jets Croatia will obtain the most advanced combat aircraft in this part of Europe, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday.

"With today's decision we are not only making the biggest investment in Croatia's Armed Forces since the country gained independence, we are making the biggest investment in a lasting peace and security for Croatian citizens," Plenković said at a government session.

By procuring fighter jets, Croatia is gaining a powerful strategic deterrent for the next 30 to 40 years, which significantly strengthens its international position and its airspace protection and multiplies the overall combat capability of the Croatian Army, said Plenković.

Offer includes training, weapons and year-long warranty

He noted that in addition to the aircraft, the French offer also includes a flight simulator, basic weapons package, ground and test equipment, spare parts, staff training according to the principle of "training of trainers", comprehensive support from authorised representatives of manufacturers for a period of three years and a warranty of 12 months per each delivered aircraft, engine, other equipment and spare parts.

Plenković added that the purchase of Rafale planes would make the protection of Croatia's sovereignty on land, at sea and in the air much more effective, and that the country would acquire a powerful strategic instrument of deterrence, thus raising national security to an unprecedented level.

"The purchase of a multi-role fighter aircraft will strengthen Croatia’s position as an ally within NATO and a partner within the European Union. With this move, Croatia will for the first time reach the level of spending of 2% of GDP for strengthening its defense capabilities, which is the goal of all NATO members," said Plenković.

By significantly increasing its security, Croatia will become more attractive to foreign investors because it will enhance the security of their investments, which in the long run will contribute to a better credit rating and economic development of the country, said Plenković.

The purchase also creates new possibilities for the defence industry in terms of research and development.

Plenković thanked the bidding countries -- the United States, Sweden and Israel -- for their high quality offers and the effort invested in that demanding process, congratulating all involved in the process on protecting its integrity and confidentiality.

"I am particularly pleased to be making this decision today, on Croatian Army Day, as a token of lasting gratitude to defenders and soldiers, those who gave everything for Croatia and those who are always faithful to the homeland," said Plenković.

Defence minister: Partnership with state, not aircraft manufacturer 

Defence minister Mario Banožić said that considering the value of the project, the decision to buy French aircraft was the biggest investment in the army since the 1990s.

He noted that it would enhance the Air Force fighter component's capability and potential and significantly increase the overall combat capabilities of the Croatian Army as well as help maintain the tradition of combat aviation in Croatia.

"As a NATO member Croatia has the obligation to invest in its own defence capabilities by making contributions to the defence budget and also in the part referring to equipment and modernisation," said Banožić.

He added that the decision showed Croatia's determination to develop its own defence capabilities to contribute to its own security and defence as well as that of NATO and the EU.

Recalling the course of negotiations on the purchase of the aircraft, the minister said that the project would be implemented at the government level and that it envisaged partnership with the country from which the aircraft came, and not the manufacturer.

For more on politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated section.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Budapest, Innsbruck, Grenoble Mayors Support Tomislav Tomašević For Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - The mayors of Budapest, Innsbruck and Grenoble have sent video messages of support to Tomislav Tomašević, the green-left coalition's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, the We Can! political platform said on Wednesday.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony says in his message that Zagreb and Budapest are not only geographically close but also friendly cities with many links, underlining how important it is for the progressive green agenda to strengthen its position in the region and to act together to achieve a viable, democratic future.

Karácsony says the policies Tomašević advocates, such as green public transport and recycling, are the key issues on which he is working as mayor too, and calls on the people of Zagreb to vote for Tomašević

Innsbruck Mayor Georg Willi says the challenge today is to find the right response to climate change and that green changes will primarily occur in European cities. That's why Zagreb needs strong advocates of those changes under Tomašević's leadership as mayor, Willi adds.

Grenoble Mayor Éric Piolle says he is looking forward to cooperating with Tomašević in the network of ecological cities flourishing across Europe, from Innsbruck and Amsterdam to Bonn and Hannover as well as many cities in France.

Piolle says Tomašević has been fighting for the environment for years, working on transparent policies and including citizens in shaping their city.

By electing Tomašević as mayor, Zagreb has a chance to join the increasing number of European cities governed by progressive green-left political forces which are making important steps forward in improving quality of life by taking account of climate change and other challenges of the 21st century, Piolle says in his video message.

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

Monday, 23 November 2020

France Expects Croatian Decision on Fighter Jets in 2021

ZAGREB, November 23, 2020 - France is confidently expecting an assessment by a Croatian technical team of its Rafale fighter jets and hopes that in 2021 Croatia will make its final decision on which jets it will buy to replace its Air Force fleet, France's Defence Minister Florence Parly said in Zagreb on Monday.

Parly met with in Government House on Monday.

We are at the Croatian government's disposal for any additional questions and we are confidently waiting for the results and decision by the technical commission. I hope that in 2021 we will know the Croatian government's final decision, Parly told the press after meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Defence Minister Mario Banozic.

She added that it was now up to Croatian authorities to completely independently consider not just the French proposal but all the proposals that arrived from other countries. She recalled that France had offered 12 used Rafale fighter jets that had proved themselves in numerous operations.

Banozic said that the interdepartmental commission would meet after December 12 and make its recommendation taking account of the financial nature of the bid, the technical characteristics, the foreign policy context and the "use by date" of the current MiG-21 jets.

He added that the government could make a final decision early next year.

In addition to the bid by France, Croatia has received bids from Sweden, the United States and Israel.

Parly said that regardless of which bid Croatia opted for, France wanted "to entirely strengthen our strategic partnership," including cooperation within European programmes for industrial development in the field of defence. She added that industry both in Croatia and France would benefit from that.

Parly said that France advocated a stronger European defence and greater strategic autonomy, particularly regarding the numerous challenges facing Europe, like terrorist attacks and the series of crises that have emerged on the threshold of the EU, from Libya to the Balkans and to Nagorno-Karabakh.

More than ever it is essential that Europeans are aware of the common challenge...we know that we can count on Croatia, said Parly.

This is Parly's second visit to Croatia. She visited Croatia in March and met with Prime Minister Plenkovic to discuss the problem of illegal migrants while Plenkovic informed her of his recent visit to the Greek-Turkish border and of the situation there at the time as well as of the efforts by the Croatian police to protect the border.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Zlatko Dalic and Ivan Perisic Address Press Ahead of France Rematch

September 8, 2020 - Zlatko Dalic and Ivan Perisic addressed the press ahead of the Nations League rematch against France on Tuesday evening in Paris.

Ivan Perisic has fond memories of the Stade de France. Perisic played for the first time for the Croatia A national team at Saint-Denis on March 29, 2011, in a friendly match that ended without goals in front of seventy thousand spectators. Tonight, he and the Vatreni will replay the World Cup final in Russia, unfortunately without spectators. The Nations League meeting between France and Croatia begins at 8:45 pm.

DSC_3432.JPG

Slobodan Kadic

"When you play for Croatia, it doesn't matter who is on the other side, this match is special because it is the first against France after the Moscow final during which we dominated in the first half, but we, unfortunately, received two goals. We tried to change things in the second half, but it didn’t work. There is no rematch; this is a new game for me. There are a lot of new players on both sides, France will play in the new system, so this is a completely different story. I hope that we will be ready; we have to give our best," says Ivan, who is just getting in the right shape after a hard but successful season and a few days off until the start of new obligations.

"After the Champions League final, I only had seven days off, in general, neither of us is one hundred percent, but that should not be a reason not to get something positive out of these two games. We didn't get into the game against Portugal well; we didn't stand well on the pitch, there wasn't enough aggression, we didn't even try to play, which is one of our best traits, we just kicked the ball… There are many things we need to fix and do better because it won't end well if we continue like that. We spoke, we know where we went wrong, tomorrow is a new day, a new game, and we will get something positive. Not even France is one hundred percent, because most of the players, almost no one has played games. However, we have to give the maximum be it 45, 60, or 90 minutes. We are playing for Croatia against the World Cup finalists, every game must be like the last one for us," points out Ivan and points out the strength of the next opponent.

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Slobodan Kadic

"France is a football force and, regardless of the character of the match, they have a player staff of about forty or fifty top players. Simply, whoever they put you don't know where the greater danger will come from, and they also have a great coach, and we will really have to be at a high level if we want to get a positive result."

Coach Zlatko Dalic spoke in selected words about Perisic's contribution to Croatia's game.

"Ivan is one of our most important players, the holder of the game, this year he had a great season with Bayern, which he crowned by winning the Champions League. When there are not a few main players, Modric, Rakitic, and Vrsaljko, he is the one who, as captain, will be the main one on the pitch on our side. He said that he is not very well prepared, which is normal considering that he recently played in the Champions League final. Still, I expect him to be the team leader, get a new impetus with him, and raise the level of our game compared to the game against Portugal," says Zlatko Dalic, who is aware of the fact that the team failed in Porto.

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Slobodan Kadic

"We suffered a very difficult and painful defeat that we absolutely deserved. There were many bad things, it was not a game at the level of the Croatia national team, but we must understand that it is the beginning of the season, that there are a lot of new players in the national team. After all, our goal is the European Championship; we have to make a selection of players through these matches and try to find what is best. This is not the same team that played in the World Cup in Russia, which is normal; we had to make a slight change of generations. I repeat, we were not good in Porto. The players' physical condition is not at the level; there was not enough energy and aggression, we simply overslept in the game. We will make some team changes because some players who played first cannot run in another strong game in three days. We will have to change the way we play and approach; we have to be much more responsible; there has to be a lot more discipline in our game. Anyway, I expect a better match than in Portugal. I have tremendous respect for the French world champions who have great players. We have to set ourselves up much better, helping each other in the defense phase. Against Portugal, we lacked that compactness and homogeneity; we were not together; we were not close; there was no support. We stayed in situations where the opponent had a surplus; it looked like Portugal was playing with 15, and we with 10 players. Even harder work awaits us against France."

Of course, everyone misses the fans.

"We all miss the fans, and football doesn't make sense without them. We are all handicapped, but, given the overall situation, we need to adapt to the new measures. It is not easy for us; football is played because of the fans. I hope they will return to the stands soon," concluded Dalic.

Source: HNS

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Friday, 1 February 2019

Six New Direct Connections to France in 2019 Announced

6 new direct connections to France have been announced in 2019. That is the result of contiually growing number of tourists arriving to Croatia from France: in 2018 Croatia saw 592,000 French tourists, who stayed here for over 2 million nights, which is over 8% increase when compared to 2017. 

To further increase that interest of French tourists in Croatia, Croatian health tourism was promoted at the Les Themalies in Paris, the leading exhibition in France for water therapy and wellness. The exhibition's 37th installement saw more than 30,000 visitors, and over 300 exhibitors, and Croatian exhibition, presenting Croatia's strenghts in health, wellness and spa segment was well visited. Many of the visitors wanted to know if their health-insurance would be able to cover their stay at the Croatian health, spa and welness centres, but they also enquirerd about the prices, availability, quality of the services provided, accommodation etc. The people promoting Croatia at the stand stressed the Croatian strongest points, such as excellent climate, high-end accommodation facilities and top-notch medical staff. Danijela Mihalić Đurica, director of the Croatian Tourist Board in France stresses that their Office is extremely happy with the overall growth in the number of tourists. Also, she adds that the growth is very significant in the pre- and post-season, and that the French tourists seem to arrive more to the regions where they don't traditionally come, such as Istria, Kvarner, Zagreb or Slavonia. Those changes are the result of the increasing offer on the French market by the tour operators. The information coming from them suggests that the growth will continue in this year as well, the director says.

And, of course, better flight connections between Croatia and France will support that growth. Six new direct connections to France announced are Lyon to Dubrovnik and Split , Marseille to Rijeka and Bordeaux to Pula connection by the Spanish low-cost airline Volotea, Air France will introduce Split to Paris direct line, and EasyJet will operate between Nantes and Dubrovnik. Air France has also announced that they will increase their number of flights to Dubrovnik by 150%, compared to 2018!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Lastovo Development Project Goes Ahead Thanks to French SMILO Program

Good news for the southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo as no less than a French organisation is set to help the islanders with their management of their resources and further their sustainable development.

As Morski writes on the 12th of January, 2019, SMILO (The small islands organisation) is a French association that has launched an international program to help islands less than 150 km2 in size who want to improve their management of resources, according to Vjeran Filippi, President of local action group LAG 5, which belongs to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and consists of five parts: Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo, the Pelješac peninsula and Dubrovnik primorje.

LAG 5 includes twelve local self-government units: Blato, Dubrovnik primorje, Janjina, Korčula, Lastovo, Lumbarda, Mljet, Orebić, Smokvica, Ston, Trpanj and Vela Luka. Island councils have also been formed for the sole purpose of implementing the program on Lastovo and other islands.

In cooperation with the nature park of the archipelago of Lastovo, and as part of the aforementioned LAG 5 work plan for Lastovo, the island council was formed, and a basic analysis of the needs for sustainable development of the island of Lastovo, as well as strategic project proposals in the field of economic development was elaborated for the implementation of the SMILO Program, added Vjeran Filippi. The project included the local county and the board for the islands as operational support in proper communication with various national bodies.

Katarina Slejko, LAG 5's manager, added that for the island of Lastovo, the SMILO program will facilitate the realisation of projects that local stakeholders regard as crucial phases of the transition to sustainable economic development based on eco tourism, with the promotion of olive oil production and a local market, as well as a supporting project for storing the product.

The islands which choose to establish their cooperation with France's SMILO association can count on a set of experts to help launch their respective sustainable development projects, as well as receive a special label (the SMILO label) that will enable them to communicate with other islands involved in the program and increase their chances of getting their hands on numerous development funds, said Maja Rešić.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more information. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Niko Peric for Korcula online

Sunday, 22 July 2018

More Tourists Choose Croatia After World Cup Success

Croatia's Vatreni did much more for the country than just bring a silver home.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Respected French Tour Operator Coming to Croatia, First Flights in April

The French are coming!

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