More Than Just Sausages, Mato Franković Discusses Dubrovnik Winter Festival

By 29 September 2017

Despite everything else on the agenda, Dubrovnik's Winter Festival found itself at the top.

There have been some harsh critics of Dubrovnik's Winter Festival over the past couple of years, particularly in regard to the traditional ''christmas cottages'' which are placed all along Stradun and beyond. Many locals feel that a UNESCO World Heritage Site isn't the place for what they see as ''a cheapening of Dubrovnik'' with sausages and hot dogs. Many others, on the other hand, love the way the festival has been organised so far and the life that it has breathed into the city during the otherwise rather empty winter months. As with most things in life, you can't please everyone, and finding some sort of balance really is everything.

As Dubrovnik Press Portal reports on the 28th of September, 2017, Dubrovnik's City Council adopted a revision of the budget for 2017 following a majority vote. During the introduction, Anita Burić explained that the rebalancing of the budget mostly relates to the allocation of funds to various city administration departments. It was readily pointed out that the budget of 432 million kuna has been increased by two million kuna.

While you'd logically imagine that the City Council debate on the rebalancing of the budget would be at the very top of the agenda, the theme was in fact trivialised by the discussion that followed about the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, or, more specifically, what exactly will be spent on its organisation, and what the outcome for this year will look like.

''What are the total costs for the Winter Festival? I can't accept the fact that two million kuna has been allocated for the festival without any explanation,'' Councillor Ljubo Nikolić protested, making an expected reference to the sausage theme.

Franković calmly responded that nothing about 2017's Winter Festival has been left unclear and that everything surrounding it is transparent, retorting that this festival is not just about sausages.

"I think that everything regarding the Winter Festival is transparent, it's a clear program, and it is clear how [and in what way] the money will be invested. I'm sure that the final winter program will be fruitful and we don't need to look at it just as a cost. It isn't just about sausages, the city will live [become alive] during the winter months. I don't look at the festival as a cost'' stated Mayor Mato Franković.