Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Lika-Senj Prefect Ernest Petry Reveals Plans in Works for Region

June the 1st, 2022 - Lika-Senj Prefect Ernest Petry has revealed the plans which are currently in the works for this beautiful region of the country.

As Novi list/Marin Smolcic writes, one entire year has passed since Lika-Senj Prefect Ernest Petry (HDZ) took over the helm. It is well known that this period has been very rich in meetings, field trips, decisions and efforts to make up for this part of Croatia which many deem to have been lost and forgotten about many years ago. Add in the global COVID-19 pandemic, and recently market changes caused by Russian aggression against Ukraine, the situation continues to be problematic for all. Lika-Senj Prefect Ernest Petry was asked whether or not he was satisfied with the results of the work done so far:

''Of course, the first year of my mandate is now behind me, during which I tackled many problems with my associates and worked diligently and purposefully. It's certainly important to note that I found an extremely small number of started, concrete projects, so I carefully determined the priorities and plan for the development and launch of Lika-Senj County. Time just flies and I'm aware of all the challenges we've got to face, but I'm also very optimistic and believe in the great future of our region.''

The Croatian Government has launched many projects across Lika-Senj County. What would you single out as being crucial?

''The level of cooperation with the Croatian Government, PM Andrej Plenkovic, all of the ministries and their ministers here has reached an enviable level and it's become clear that without their wholehearted support, assistance and targeted investments, Lika-Senj County would be in big trouble. I'd like to therefore highlight a number of excellent, developmental and strategic projects: the construction of the Plitvice bypass, the construction of the western and eastern bypasses in Gospic, the construction of a water supply for settlements south of Karlobag, investment in road infrastructure and the construction of pavements in Brinje, Lovinac and Vrhovine, investments in Senj, Karlobag , Zigljen, Metajna, the Municipal Port of Novalja, the Fishing Port in Novalja, the construction of a new ramp in the Port of Stinica, the construction of an agglomeration for the Plitvice Lakes area, the construction of the Kosinj/Senj 2 hydropower system, the construction of numerous power plants and the energy renovation of a number of schools.

 A project is also being prepared for the construction of the Centre for Mountainous Agriculture and Livestock, we're improving access to primary healthcare at the Health Centres in Otocac, Senj, Korenica, Gospic and clinics in Donji Lapac, we're equipping the Centre of Excellence for Gifted Children, constructing a building for the Central Land Registry Of the Republic of Croatia in Gospic, and there are many other investments going on in all cities and municipalities in this county. In addition to all of the above, the Homeland War Memorial Centre in Gospic and the Veterans' Institution for the Care of Homeland War Veterans in Otocac will be built, a children's playground will be built in Donji Lapac, a care home will be constructed in Senj, and a new fire station and a water supply network will be built.''

Some places near Karlobag will get a water supply for the first time. How do you assess this project, with the construction of new waterfronts, is there any mention of new ferry docks or ports?

''Small but valuable municipalities in Lika-Senj County require careful reconstruction, so in terms of the Municipality of Karlobag, when it comes to infrastructure - yes, the construction and the rehabilitation of ports, waterfronts and beaches are necessary. Following the position of Croatia being a country rich in tourist offers, customs and tradition, the existing infrastructure must be renovated and as such, so will the necessary sites you mentioned. Nowadays, it's impossible to develop tourism without basic communal infrastructure, without a water supply, so I'm glad that we recently finally got issued a location permit for the construction of the water supply for settlements south of Karlobag that will be built all the way to Starigrad.''

What do you expect from the construction of infrastructure projects in the Lika area (Plitvice Lakes, Gospic, Korenica, Perusic)?

''They're certainly strategic projects in terms of strengthening Lika-Senj County in the economic, demographic and every other sense. The recognisability of this county must become visible in the economic sense, and in entrepreneurship, the potential development of the little man, God-given tourism opportunities and all the natural and other resources we've inherited. The Lika-Senj brand should become recognisable for its quality and durability.''

Do you have any comment on the HES Kosinj and HPP Senj 2 projects?

''It's a strategic project, the implementation of which will contribute to the betterment of the entire region. The value of the investment of the entire upgrade is estimated at 3.45 billion kuna. In the circumstances of the current rise in energy and electricity prices on European and global markets and the European Union's decision to reduce dependence on gas imports from Russia, the decision to build new hydropower plants in the Senj Hydropower System - HES Kosinj and HPP Senj 2 - is becoming increasingly important.

The first and most important benefit for the local population is the prevention of floods in Kosinj. The HES Kosinj project will also enable the increase of agricultural and livestock production and the development of tourist and sport-recreational activities. As part of the project, the communal infrastructure in the wider area of ​​the project will be significantly improved. Several new roads with a total length of 17 kilometres are under construction, and a new water supply, electricity distribution and telecommunications infrastructure is being dealt with along most of the routes of these roads.

In the area of ​​the Municipality of Perusic, the electricity distribution network with a number of new substations and lines is being further reconstructed and upgraded with the aim of strengthening the overall network and increasing the level of security of the electricity supply to the local population. The investment value of the aforementioned projects, together with the residential building in Perusic, is around 150 million kuna. This is the amount that HEP will directly invest in improving the living conditions of the local population even before the start of production. In addition, when HES Kosinj starts production, the local self-government units will increase their permanent income from HEP in the name of compensation for the use of the space where the electricity generation facilities were built.

On top of all of that, HEP is financing a new cadastral survey conducted by the State Geodetic Administration in the wider Kosinj area, which will enable owners to clear up their long-standing unsettled ownership situations, which usually requires a lot of time and significant financial resources.''


For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Several Cities and Counties Get New Heads After Predecessors' Long Terms

ZAGREB, 4 June 2021 - Following Croatia's local election runoffs on 30 May, several long-standing county prefects and mayors were unseated while some decided not to rerun, and on Friday transfers of powers were held in those units of local government and some other cities and county seats.

Apart from the focus on the change of power in Zagreb, where the new mayor Tomislav Tomašević of the Green-Left bloc took over office from the acting mayor Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, who temporarily stepped into office after the death of Mayor Milan Bandić on 28 February, the transfer of powers in Pula, Osijek, Sibenik-Knin and Varaždin counties also grabbed media attention.


In the biggest Istrian city of Pula, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) lost the mayoral elections for the first time. The former mayor, IDS leader Boris Miletić, decided not to rerun for this position after his 15-year-long mayorship. However, he vied in the race for County Prefect which he won by a slim margin.

The IDS mayoral candidate was defeated by Filip Zoričić, an independent candidate, who took over the post on Friday morning. Concerning the city council, the IDS was a relative winner, with 32% of the vote, and Zoričić's slate won 16.87%, and was followed by the We Can slate (16.84%) and the Social Democratic Party (15%). Currently Zoričić and the two latter groups are conducting negotiations on the future majority in the city's legislature. The deadline for the founding session of the Pula city council is 19 June.


The new mayor of Čakovec, Ljerka Cividini, took over the powers from the SDP mayor Stjepan Kovač, who was at the helm of the city since 2013. Cividini said today that concrete projects would be on the agenda after the new authorities got full insight into the finances of this biggest city in Međimurje County, which re-elected Matija Posavec as its county prefect.

Cividini, supported by Posavec's slate, as well as by several parties including the HNS, Democrats, HSLS and HDSS, said today that as far as the future majority in the 19-seat city council was concerned, the topic was being negotiated by her slate, that won 8 seats, with the Fokus party, that had three seats.

Varaždin County

The change of powers in the office of the Varaždin Prefect was highlighted by media as a development that could impact the relations in the ruling majority in the national parliament. Former county prefect Radimir Čačić of the Reformists party, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, was unseated by Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) official Anđelko Stričak.

Upon the transfer of powers, Stričak today announced negotiations on forming the majority in the county assembly in which the HDZ will have the largest number of seats, and is followed by the Reformists.

Šibenik-Knin County

The new prefect in Šibenik-Knin County, Marko Jelić, who was the mayor of Knin in the previous term, stepped into office at today's formal ceremony. Jelić, who ran as an independent candidate, unseated the former county prefect, Goran Pauk of the HDZ, who had run the county for 15 years.

However, the county assembly will have the largest number of HDZ councillors, as this party won 35% of the vote, the independent list of Stipe Petrina followed with 16.6% of the vote, and Jelić's slate was third with 15.6%.

Lika-Senj County

The transfer of powers was also held in Gospić, with Ernest Petry of the HDZ party succeeding Darko Milinović, who founded a new regional party after his conflict with the HDZ leadership a few years ago.

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