Hvar party tourism is expanding on Jelsa? How to grab the island of Zecevo while no one is watching?
Are you a foreign investor who thinks that solving paperwork in Croatia lasts indefinitely? You obviously don’t know the right people. Croatia that foreigners do not see – how Croatia really works. It has been 11 years since a group of Norwegians bought land near Sucuraj to open a 270m-euro, luxury Nikki Beach Resort in the east of the island of Hvar, the largest investment ever on the Croatian coast and 500 jobs. Eleven years later, Norwegian investors have still not become owners of the land.It has also been about 11 years since investors bought a large piece of land near the Old Town of Hvar, which Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli said would build a $ 140 million hotel and resort, Four Seasons, the first representative of the Four Seasons chain. in Croatia. In June 2017, it was published that construction should begin by the end of 2017, and that the first guests will arrive in 2019. Along with 350 jobs. The year 2019 is getting closer, but nothing has been built yet, nor has a building permit been issued, just as the contract for the access road has not been signed. Some already doubt whether the project will be realized at all.And the eviction continues.Hvar seems to be a real nightmare, a place where it is impossible to do any work.Unless you know the right people, of course…And if you have willing and adaptable local (and higher levels) authorities, who are willing to do things at a speed that would suit even the fastest investor.This is how the story of Jelsa and Vrboska begins, which provokes considerable local anger, and many questions are asked.PICTUREAn idyllic, almost virgin island, owned by the state and managed by Croatian Forests, protected as a significant landscape, but whose legal status has quietly changed in recent months without public discussion or at least notice, where a concession was quietly granted to the person involved. by renting a boat, and where there are growing suspicions that the partisan combination of Carpe Diem from Hvar, with the main bar in the town and the nearby entertainment island, is getting closer to repeat in both Jelsa and the islet of Zecevo. Zečevo is located in the sea in front of the sleepy Vrboska, near Camp Nudist, whose perfect location makes it one of the most popular nudist camps in Croatia and is an important source of income for the island, which the invasion of Zecevo would immediately destroy.There are many ways to look at what has been happening in the past few months in relation to Jelsa and Vrboska, and one of those ways is the leaflet about the miraculous changes in Zečevo, which appeared a few days ago and was published on at the end of this article.I prefer to look at the whole story through what he said, both officially and unofficially, and through what he did, one of the most involved in this story, the SDP chief of Jelsa, Nikša Peronja.Peronji, a young lawyer from Jelsa, this is the second term of the mayor. This is a period of great changes for the city, and in the last few years several large infrastructure projects have been underway. In this sense, he should certainly be acknowledged for his significant achievements, and although part of his plans met with strong opposition, what caught my eye while watching Jelsa from relatively distant Varaždin was that only positive stories about Jelsa were published in the media. . One regional journalist published exclusively positive stories in the national media, so Jelsa seemed to be a truly perfect place. Either that or, for some reason, the negative stories never made it to the media… There was something I remembered again when I watched a political sketch during the carnival earlier this year, otherwise known for its sharp and sometimes poisonous political satire – The mayor called on everyone who criticized something on social media in Jelsa to delete their comments. He was so successful in that persuasion that most did as he requested so the negative reactions on the internet disappeared without a trace.I first heard rumors that Carpe Diem is taking over the island of Zečevo last summer. I immediately called Chief Peronja and asked for a meeting. He was always willing to take his time and over the years I really enjoyed our conversations. There was no truth in the rumors, and besides, although Zečevo was managed by the Croatian Forests under concession, as chief he would control the working hours of the catering facility. Everything seemed like a false alarm. It was July 2017.Photo: Total Croatia NewsWhen I returned to Jelsa for Easter earlier this year in late March, I came across a lot more rumors. Not only did Carpe Diem take over Zečevo, but they also took over one of the most attractive facilities in Jelsa, the City Café, which is located just below his office and behind the legendary bench which is one of the symbols of Jelsa.There were so many rumors that Chief Peronja, after once again agreeing to have a beer to discuss the situation, was the only person in the whole city who had not heard of Carpe Diem arriving in the city, and this ignorance was confirmed to me both orally and By SMS.And then the whole thing became even more suspicious, as one coincidence followed another. The mayor admitted that he had coffee with one of Carpe Diem’s owners the previous summer, around the time he denied that Carpe Diem had anything to do with Jelsa and Zeceva, and for a full three months AFTER giving the concession for Gradska kavana to an IT company without employees – whose directors are directly connected to the same Carpe Diem boss he hung out with three months later. However, he still knew nothing about the arrival of Carpe Diem in Jelsa or Zečevo. You can read TCN’s first article on the alleged arrival of Carpe Diem in Jelsa, written on March 31, at a time when the mayor reportedly still didn’t know Carpe Diem was interested in Jelsa or Zecevo, but – as we’ll see – more than two weeks AFTER the fate of an even more important thing, the island of Zečevo, is sealed. Again allegedly without his knowledge.Something here started to stink more than rotten fish, so I started digging a little and analyzing the public tender for the City Café in more detail. I came across not only one coincidence after another, but also indications that the competition was written for a pre-selected winner, who has since completely violated the terms of the competition, to such an extent that there are good reasons why the competition might need to be canceled and repeated. . More information on this can be found in TCN’s May 2018 article – In beautiful Croatia, all animals are equal, but some are more equal.And I am also sure that it is a pure coincidence that the person who was recently granted a concession on Zečevo is the first neighbor of the building in which the company Gradska kavana is registered.Let’s go back to the leaflet about Zečevo that was published a few days ago (the whole leaflet is below the article). An interesting administrative maneuver was carried out in complete silence, and without any information to the public. This island is actually a forest and was registered as a cadastral parcel, no. 2638. Many years ago there was a restaurant there, but today Zečevo is a pine forest that is most often visited by nudists, a real peaceful paradise. Nothing was allowed to be built there, and the island was under the protection of state institutions.And then someone suddenly, a few months ago, decided to divide the island into two plots, one in the middle of the island and the other on the coast. It remains to be seen who that person is, but we assume that in today’s transparent Croatia it should not be difficult to find out?The division of the plot was done in record time (if by any chance you are a foreign investor in Croatia, you better not read this) – in just eight days, which has not yet been recorded in this country. Except, of course…The request for particle division and categorization change was sent on March 5, 2018, just four days before the new law came into force. Whoever divided the plot was faster even than the law, and after the new law was passed, the new status of the plot covering the center of the island, now managed as agricultural land, had a positive (if you want to build something there) effect for the owner concessions. The ruins on one plot are officially registered as legal buildings. An interesting question is how it is that the island covered with pine forest is categorized as agricultural land, and this could probably be explained to us by someone who could explain to us why the cadastral parcel was divided at all.All of this paperwork was done 18 days BEFORE I found myself having an Easter beer with the chief, who had no idea about anything related to Carpe Diem.And then, you wouldn’t believe it, at a time when no one knew that a concession was being granted at all, a resident of Jelsa named Mr. ST (who, as I mentioned, is a neighbor of Gradska kavana) miraculously found out that a concession was being offered. . Concessions are usually awarded through a public tender, which includes a public notice, but Mr. ST received something a little different, something called a “concession approval”, which not only does not require a tender, but is allegedly only issued by local authorities – so , Municipality of Jelsa managed by the Mayor of Jelsa. Although the chief reportedly knew nothing about Zecevo or plans for the island, his office still appears to have somehow managed to issue a concession.www.geoportal.dgu.hrThere is another very unusual aspect of the whole story, which shows that there is a regional interest in all this. The Croatian coast is in public ownership, and the zone up to six meters from the sea is called the “maritime good”. It usually extends between 6 and 12 meters from the shore, and it is common for hotels and restaurants to take concession on the space in front of their facilities. On Zečevo, the coastal area has been declared a maritime domain, but at an incredible 36 meters, which I have never heard of exists in Croatia. This is very unusual and the question arises – why? I guess today’s transparent Croatia is the same person who can answer who asked for the division of the island is exactly the same person who can explain why the plot was turned into agricultural land and why such a large part of the island is now practically available as a huge beach concession.It is interesting that the decision on the size of the maritime domain, as well as the decision on who receives the concession, is made at the regional level. This is the responsibility of the same body that last year awarded the concession for the famous beach Zlatni rat in Bol to companies without employees, which led to changes in the leadership of the Split-Dalmatia County.I contacted Mayor Peronja via SMS, explaining that I would write an article about the events in Zečevo, and I requested a meeting so that I could comment on it. He has not responded yet, but I will post his comment in full if he decides to respond.However, Mayor Peronja did respond to a leaflet announcing the news of the changes in Zecevo by convening a meeting in Vrboska on Tuesday (July 31st) to explain what was happening in Zecevo. It seems that after months during which he knew nothing about Zecevo, he still has information he wants to share. It will be an interesting meeting.In recent days, there have been unconfirmed reports of construction material being delivered to Zecevo. Although I don’t have any information about it, the small wooden building hasn’t been there before – look at the photo.Below is an anonymous leaflet that drew the public’s attention to the events on Zečevo.Author: Paul Pradbury, Total Croatia News