Sunday, 9 January 2022

Weather Lore in Croatia: Lokve Folk Calendar Predicts the Weather in 2022

January 9th, 2022 - How did people go about predicting the weather back in the day, before the invention of measuring instruments? Looking into a traditional method preserved in Lokve, a town in Gorski kotar where folk meteorologists predict the weather for the year ahead based on a short period in December

We’re a bit spoiled these days with detailed weather forecasts awaiting only a few clicks away. Have you ever wondered how people used to go about this before weather apps and modern meteorology? With no measuring instruments yet invented, they had only their environment and the skies above to rely on, giving way to a diverse body of weather folklore.

There are many folk sayings and customs related to weather in Croatia - too many for a single post. This time, we’ll focus on an old tradition that’s been passed down for generations among the people of Lokve, a town in the Gorski kotar region.

Called ‘brojanica’ in Croatian, the traditional method allows for predicting what the weather will be like in the entire year based on a short period in December - a fine example of weather lore preserved to this day.

Local folk meteorologists in Lokve carefully track weather conditions and changes during the 12 days between the holiday of St Lucia (December 13th) and Christmas Eve (24th). Each of those days is associated with one of 12 months in a year; the weather conditions recorded on a given day are taken as a forecast for the whole related month, with some adjustments to fit the different seasons. E.g. if it’s cold and sunny on St Lucia, it’s expected that the whole month of January will be cold and sunny as well.

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Lake Lokve / velfran

Novi list reported that the diligent folk meteorologists in Lokve kept a close eye on the weather this past December as well, resulting in publication of the 2022 Lokve calendar with the forecast for the entire year.

What awaits us in 2022? The calendar designer Nikola Pleše says we don’t have to worry about extreme weather this year.

‘Tracking of the weather conditions between St Lucia and Christmas Eve has shown that those 12 days didn’t bring any extremes, so based on our tradition and folk wisdom, we don’t expect anything too dramatic in regards to weather conditions this year’, he said.

The forecast for January has already proven to be true. ‘In the first week of the new year, St Lucia will unfurl a tall, grey fog over Lokve and only show us sunlight and moonlight in traces. From the 20th of the month, days will be clearer and calm, but colder’, says the calendar. And even though this refers to Lokve in particular, the nearby Kvarner bay has also been completely enveloped in thick fog for the first week of 2022.

In the poetic forecast for the month of February, it’s said that ‘the skies will hide behind a tall, thick fog, in which not even little birds will dare to make a peep. From February 15th onwards, the sun will rip the fog apart…’.

Not much for the people of Gorski kotar to look forward to in March either: ‘Days will remain drooly, full of fog, adorned by a rare snowflake or glistening frost’, up to March 20th when the northern winds are expected to sweep the fog away.

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Come April, the weather will finally start looking up, and in May, ‘days will be bright and warm, making people, birds and plants more cheerful.’ This trend will keep up in June, as the month is to be ‘sunny and dry, already in full bloom by Midsummer’s day (Ivanje), and more humid and hot towards St Peter’s Day (Petrovo).’

A lot of wonderful summer weather in July and August as well, leading to a bountiful harvest in September. ‘It will be a sunny, clear month, smelling of the abundance of everything we’ll have planted in Lokve soil this spring’, says the forecast.

And that’s about it when it comes to nice weather in Lokve this year. The last three months of 2022 will supposedly be quite damp, same as in the beginning of the year. A lot of fog, frost, and cold wind are expected in autumn, but it won’t be too cold until late December when the southern jugo wind will be replaced by the dry bura wind that will have the temperature drop sub zero and usher in the winter season.

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The weather forecast for this year’s weather calendar was created by Mirjana Pleše and her daughter Ivana, Andreja Marković, Tanjica Šafar, Marijana Rakas and Eleonora Grgurić, with Nikola Pleše behind the calendar’s graphic design.

Beyond the folk traditions, Lokve is a fantastic destination for a day trip that will delight any fans of outdoor activities. The town is home to the cave Lokvarka, the deepest cave in Croatia open to the public. Not a fan of subterranean strolls? Head to the nearby Lake Lokve (Croatian: Lokvarsko jezero) for a scenic walk or a bike ride with a view. Make sure to contact the local tourist board beforehand, though - the (artificial) lake will be drained for a period of time in 2022 for regular maintenance, so you might as well know what kind of view to expect during your visit!

 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Opatija Celebrates Advent Again This Year With a Fully Decorated City

November 16, 2021 - Many cities on the Croatian coast seek to position themselves as attractive winter destinations, and the jewel of Kvarner Bay is not far behind, as Opatija celebrates Advent again this year with hundreds of thousands of special decorations in every corner of the city.

Winter will once again dress Opatija in lavish Advent attire, reports Turističke Priče. The most romantic and solemn part of the year is the best opportunity to get to know this famous European destination in a unique atmosphere. It is a time when holiday magic is felt in every corner of the city and makes every experience unforgettable.

Opatija celebrates Advent with hundreds of thousands of lamps and decorations, turning it into a winter fairy tale, which is why the staff of the landscaped city toured the world last year. In addition to the virtual walk, which aroused great interest last year, this year's Advent will offer a real touch with the city and the opportunity to enjoy a rich gastronomic and entertainment offer.

From November 26 to January 9, the Christmas atmosphere will expand to already known locations such as the Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion and Sv. Jakov, then, Angiolina Park, the Summer Stage and the city gloom (market), but also some new spaces - along the promenades in the area from the Savoy Hotel to Villa Madonna, on the terraces of the Continental, Milenij and Imperial hotels, in the Strauss cafe, all with a special offer food and drink.

''Opatija celebrates Advent by constantly raising the bar of quality and we always make new efforts to not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our guests. After our Advent fairytale shone like never before last year and conquered the whole world with its staff, we want to further enhance this holiday atmosphere and lavish landscaping of the city this winter in order to provide everyone with unforgettable memories. We are glad that the Most Beautiful Advent by the Sea, as one of the largest winter events in Croatia, has reunited many tourist entities in our city, which will be presented with a special arrangement and special program'', said the director of the Opatija Tourist Board Suzi Petričić.

An additional atmosphere during a walk through the city will be provided by the traditionally decorated shop windows along the main road as well as the smells of hot chocolate and various desserts from the famous Opatija cafes and pastry shops. This year, as in the past six years, the Tourist Board of the City of Opatija will award cash prizes to the most beautifully decorated shop windows, inviting business owners to get involved in arranging their shop windows and be part of the Advent atmosphere in the city.

To learn more about one of Kvarner's most impressive jewels, be sure to read our complete Total Croatia guide, Opatija in a page. Now in your language!

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

Monday, 25 October 2021

Dog Friendly Destination: "Paws in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" Published

October 25, 2021 - To promote Primorje-Gorski Kotar County as a dog friendly destination, a guide called "Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" has been published with tips for dog owners, recommendations for trips and walks, and detailed information on accommodations and beaches that allow dogs.

In the new project of the Coordination Working Group for the Protection of Animals of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, abbreviated KRAS, this Guide for dog owners " Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" was published for the local population and guests, reports HrTurizam.

The new pet friendly guide is intended for dog owners and offers useful tips and ideas, such as recommendations for trips or walks with a dog, with information on accommodation that accepts pets and beach locations for dogs in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County or Kvarner. The guide also contains many other useful details related to dog behavior, regulations for entering Croatia, dog health, and more, thus promoting the region as a dog friendly destination.

As we know, the Tourist Board of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County holds the quality label "Kvarner Family", a family accommodation branding system, from which other sub-brands such as ''Pet Friendly'' designate service providers that specialize in household pets and their owners.

These are, first of all, accommodation of "Kvarner Family" quality with an additional "Pet Friendly" offer, also restaurants with "Kvarner Gourmet" and "Kvarner Food" quality with a special place on the terrace for your four-legged friend, beaches where swimming for dogs is allowed, dog waiting shops, veterinary clinics, dog hotels, dog grooming salons, pet shops, and all other services that your pet may need during their vacation in Kvarner. 

Irena Peršić Živadinov, director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, commented on the tourist context of the guide, pointing out the greatest demand for content and locations where guests can stay with their pets. "At the European level, there is a noticeable increase in guests who come on holiday with pets. Problems and lack of information are not uncommon. For this reason, we have launched "Kvarner Pet Friendly", a label and brochure with locations where pets are welcome. This is a very nice addition which aims to make it easier for guests, but also to further promote Primorje-Gorski Kotar County", added Perišić Živadinov.

The guide brings together everything that tourists who travel with their pets need to know when they come to Kvarner, a dog friendly destination, and is available in a digital edition in Croatian and English. Download the guide attached.

Download the "Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" guide in English HERE.

If you want to learn more about pets in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide. Now in your language!

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

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Halubaj Bell Tower House Begins Construction in Viškovo

October 12, 2021 - The project that seeks to revitalize and boost social, economic, and tourist development not only in the Municipality of Viškovo but throughout the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county, began with the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House.

In the Municipality of Viškovo, the first phase of the project, which will give new impetus to the social, tourist, and economic development of Viškovo, but also of the entire Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, began with the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House, reports HrTurizam.

The house of the Halubaj bell ringer will have multiple purposes: an exhibition/presentation part with a permanent exhibition of the ethnographic collection of bell ringers, educational workshops, a program of entertainment and experiences, a souvenir shop, and a catering space. The realization of this project will enable tourists to participate in various activities and events related to the customs of bell ringers throughout the year.

Halubaj bell ringers are the guardians of the tradition, customs, and identity of Halubje and the Kastav region, and the "Annual carnival procession of bell ringers from the Kastav region" is a unique cultural asset that in 2009 UNESCO included in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. Two years earlier, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia declared the Halubaj bell ringers an intangible cultural asset.

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Photo: Goran Kovacic/PIXSELL

“The house will be a place where we will proudly present the customs of our bell ringers. It will be the seat of the bell ringers from where we will motivate the new generations to make their first bell ringing steps. Thank you to all the bell ringers and their families who have kept these customs alive for centuries", said Damir Host, President of the Halubaj Bell Ringers Association.

The special feature of the House of Halubaj Bell Ringer is manifested in a unique occasion in which not only the tradition of the Bell Ringer but also four intangible cultural heritage recognized on a world level will be presented in one place.

Namely, the Municipality of Viškovo is an area where four goods inscribed by UNESCO in the intangible cultural heritage of mankind are paired in a special way: Annual carnival procession of bell ringers from the Kastav region, its coast, islands, and part of the hinterland.

The construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House is part of the integrated project "Connect with Heritage" in which cities and municipalities, which make up the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka, through the ITU mechanism (Integrated Territorial Investments) are awarded 36.3 million kuna of EU grants. For the construction of the House of Halubaj Bell Ringer, from the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka, Viškovo was allocated slightly less than eight million kuna, while the total value of the project is almost 37 million kuna.

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

Monday, 30 August 2021

Irresistible Gorski Kotar: Tourist Board Presents Largest Virtual Walk in Croatia

August 30, 2021 - You can now explore the irresistible Gorski Kotar landscapes with the largest virtual walk in Croatia!

The Gorski Kotar Tourist Board has created the largest virtual walk in Croatia - 360° Gorski Kotar / Spring-Summer, reports HRTurizam

Thus, you can be virtually acquainted with a total of 168 panoramas in Gorski Kotar, 28 from the air and 140 from the ground. Panoramas by Rajko Mrvoš from ZooM video & photography are divided into: Gorski Kotar from the air, NP Risnjak, Brod Moravice, Čabar, Delnice, Fužine, Lokve, Mrkopalj, Ravna Gora and Vrbovsko.

Virtually explore Gorski Kotar HERE

According to data from eVisitor, Gorski Kotar realized 94.67% of tourist overnight stays and 95% of arrivals from the record 2019 by August 15.

In the first half of August this year, there were 10% more overnight stays compared to 2019. The greatest interest was expressed in accommodation in higher categories, and accommodation in households has 28% more overnight stays than in 2019.

“We are counting more than 30% of overnight stays of our domestic guests this year compared to 2019, and the number of reservations for the winter period is noticeable, especially private accommodation of a higher category. In addition, accommodation is already being reserved for the New Year and school holidays," said Petar Hrg, the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board director. 

Last week, the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board stated on Index.hr that certain accommodation facilities of higher categories, especially holiday homes, are booked for 150 to 240 days a year.

"Gorski Kotar is the green lungs of Croatia, and we are strategically focused on preserving our natural values, which we defined in the Master Plan for Tourism Development. We want to enrich the experience of our visitors throughout the year by planning investments in tourist facilities. This will be reflected in the demographic picture and the turn towards tourism as one of the stronger levers of development in this area," they said. 

Gorski Kotar's local self-government units want to enrich the sports-recreational and winter tourist offer with already prepared projects.

The Gorski Kotar Tourist Board president and mayor of Fužine, David Bregovac, said that more and more guests want to spend their summer vacation in mountainous areas and that Gorski Kotar has an advantage - the proximity to the sea.

"Our goal is to use the potential of the year-round destination, and I hope that the County and the state will join us with significant investments," said Bregovac, adding that Gorski Kotar is a safe region in which the epidemiological situation is systematically monitored.

They also stated that the average rating of Gorski Kotar accommodation capacities on Booking.com is 9.3 out of 10, on Google 4.7 out of 5, on TripAdvisor 4.6 out of 5, and Airbnb 4.9 out of 5. At the same time, about twenty Gorski Kotar restaurants are rated on Google with 4.4 and TripAdvisor with 4.

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

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Gorski Kotar's Eco-system, Tourism Suffer Due to Climate Change

ZAGREB, 20 June, 2021 - Climate change has left a huge mark on the forests of the Gorski Kotar mountain region in central Croatia, causing its tourism value to drop, experts say.

Over the past decade, ice, wind and the bark beetle have destroyed large parts of Gorski Kotar, whose economy, including tourism, is based on natural resources.

Dragan Turk, a manager at Risnjak National Park, says that due to natural disasters the national park will lose its value as a protected area. "If climate change is too fast, it will take more than 100 years for forests to regenerate."

Last week, an international team of experts presented the findings of a study on the effects of climate change in Gorski Kotar, warning that it could affect local tourism.

The study was conducted by the Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business in cooperation with Leeds Beckett University and Bocconi University in Milan. The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service cooperated on the project.

In four years, ice, wind and the bark beetle have destroyed more than a million square metres of wood, which has greatly affected the eco-system, experts says.

Beekeeper Damir Zanoškar says the various corridors resulting from deforestation are probably the cause of the increasingly strong winds registered in recent years.

He says the Hrvatske Šume national forest management company should ask itself what the current model forest management is leading to. "Thousands and thousands of logs are being driven somewhere far."

Beekeepers have joined forces and launched a fir-planting drive because fir is well-adapted to Gorski Kotar and is very useful to bees. Zanoškar says big fir-planting campaigns could give Gorski Kotar its former aspect back in 20-30 years.

"Time is running out," he warns. "We need forests and we must take immediate action."

Experts say that although extreme weather occurred in the past as well, today it causes bigger problems and is not related to only one season. That's why climate projections should be taken into account when planning new projects and infrastructure, they add.

Climate change could affect the tourism industry, notably in southern Europe, experts say.

Warmer and drier summers can result in bigger droughts, wildfires and negative changes in plants and animals, which would make summer vacations in Mediterranean countries uncomfortable. At the same time, northern countries with more moderate summers could see a rise in tourist turnover, experts say.

If it adapts, tourism can expect positive results, otherwise the negative effects are inevitable, they add.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 31 May 2021

New Ogulin Glamping Resort By the Lake!

May 31st, 2021 - The new Ogulin glamping resort is the latest attraction with its unique ‘A-Frame cottages’ by the lake. 

Jutarnji reports, there are 20 glamping houses with saunas, swimming pools, jacuzzis, and pitches for private tents, and the emphasis is on the sensory park, which aims to arouse the senses.

Glamping is, by the simplest definition, a mixture of glamor and camping. It is, in fact, the fusion of these two concepts, which transform camping into premium luxury accommodation in nature, and in our areas, it is nothing new. The future Ogulin glamping resort will definitely raise the offer, quality, and glamorous camping experience in Croatia.

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H3 Studio d.o.o | H3 Studio d.o.o Facebook

The new glamping resort will be located near Lake Sabljaci, in the settlement of Otok Oštarijski, part of the town of Ogulin. The project is currently under construction. According to the conceptual architectural and urban study prepared by H3 Studio, it includes a land area of ​​45,821 square meters, which is located within ​​catering and tourism. There is a central building with reception, kitchen, restaurant and cafe, terrace, offices, toilets and storage, 20 double and quadruple glamping mobile home, pitches for private tents and numerous public facilities, or sports and recreational areas and playgrounds.

Architect Hrvoje Hanže Hanzlin from H3 Studio explains that in agreement with the investor, the idea of ​​a glamping resort was reached, and the focus is to create an anti-stress program. 

"Given that a forest surrounds the plot, there is a lake, and in the background of the mountains Klek, we did not focus on maximum construction, but we devised a concept that will provide a connection with nature and beautiful views, while high-quality accommodation and content that would provide users with relaxation, peace, and privacy," says Hrvoje Hanže Hanlin and adds that the emphasis is therefore placed on the sensory park, which aims to stimulate the senses, reduce the stress of everyday hectic life and help find balance.

The resort itself is divided into several zones, depending on the configuration of the slope. At the top, there are glamping houses, and at the bottom, there are public facilities. In addition to the sensory park, tennis and mini-golf courts, a children's playground, a dog playground, and a flower garden are planned. The spirit of the climate is also visible in the design of buildings, with the use of local materials, mostly wood.

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H3 Studio d.o.o | H3 Studio d.o.o Facebook

"The shape of the glamping mobile home is a modern interpretation of the archetypal shape of the houses of Gorski Kotar 'A-Frame house'," explains the architect. He adds that such houses were once built with a stone base, but here it is physically dislocated and "pushed" into the terrain on a slope and is used as an auxiliary room equipped with a barbecue and storage. The houses themselves are raised from the ground and placed on wooden poles while in the space between the plateau with a pool or jacuzzi. 

Also, all homes are equipped with saunas. On one side, there is a sail on the front, on the other a glass rock, and thanks to the configuration of the terrain on the slope, all the houses have a view of Lake Sabljaci.

The start of the project has not been defined yet, given that the necessary permits are still pending.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Gorski Kotar Treehouse, A Dream Vacation!

May 13th, 2021 - Located in Tršće, the Gorski Kotar treehouse is a dream vacation. 

As Fashion.hr reports, Croatia is known to have some of the most beautiful and unique accommodations, yet somehow, we still manage to be positively surprised once in a while. A stay in the dreamy treehouse will be a vacation that will be long remembered. 

Over the past few seasons, treehouses have become one of the most sought-after forms of accommodation, which does not surprise me because it is a completely different and special experience. The name of the treehouse is Gorski Lazilocated in Tršće, and it was created with Robinson Crusoe in mind to portray glamping in Croatia. The treehouse can accommodate four people at a time. 

Although it is a holiday where the idea is to distance yourself from the hectic modern world, Gorski Lazi offers an internet connection and all additional accompanying content such as barbecue, audio system, solar heating, etc., you can be sure that nothing will miss. Providing you with a proper glamping experience! The treehouse is very eco-friendly, with a compost toilet, solar electricity, and even a beautiful stream near the cottage to cool your drinks. The treehouse's setup is rather interesting. The kitchen is located in an outdoor area below the treehouse, and the garden is filled with beautiful deck chairs and chairs where you can enjoy an unreal view of untouched nature, a beautiful view of the mountain. 

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The magical location of the Gorski Lazi treehouse cannot directly be reached by car, but there is a designated parking place where you leave your car and all your worries behind. The hosts will transport you to your magical getaway to fully enjoy nature. If you are more of an active person, not to worry, there are various excursions and places to be explored nearby, such as the adrenaline park! The hosts have prepared a tourist map with all the information necessary. 

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

Friday, 5 March 2021

Interest in Houses in Zagreb Down 10%, Says Online Classified Site

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Over the past 12 months interest in buying a house in Zagreb dropped by 10% while at the same time interest in house purchase in Gorski Kotar, Lika and Istria grew significantly, shows an analysis by the Njuškalo online classified site.

Even though there have been no major changes in asking prices for real estate in Zagreb over the past 12 months, trends related to demand point to changes in customers' interest, which is probably due to a series of earthquakes that hit central Croatia in 2020.

Whereas last year clients increasingly searched for houses in Zagreb, rather than flats, over the past 12 months the interest in buying a house in Zagreb dropped by 10%.

In the entire country the interest in house and flat purchases grew less than one percent on the year but some regions have become much more attractive.

In the central mountainous Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the interest in buying a house rose by 26.75% in the last 12 months, while in Istria it went up by 25%. Ads for properties in Lika-Senj County, too, saw an increase in views of 22.4%.

The average asking price for houses in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County was €1,595 per square metre, in Istria County it was €1,799 and in Lika-Senj County €1,160.

Potential buyers also increasingly searched for houses in Zadar County, as well as in the region of Međimurje, with interest in buying real estate there going up by 11%.

Interest in flats in Zagreb up 5.6%

From February 2020 to February 2021 interest in buying a flat in Zagreb grew by 5.6%, with the average asking price exceeding €2,150 in February 2021.

Among the cities where asking prices have continued growing are Osijek, Zadar and Pula, with Rijeka seeing the highest increase, of 6.4%, for the second consecutive month. Even though Split was previously in this group, it has been stagnating now in terms of the average asking price, Njuškalo says.

Rent in Zagreb down 9%, demand down 6%

Over the past 12 months, the rent on flats in Zagreb dropped by 9% and demand in the first two months of this year dropped 6% compared to the same period of 2020.

The average rent in Zagreb was €539, with most flats for rent having an area of 40-70 square metres, and the only flats to see an increase in the cost of rent on the year were those with an area of 20 square metres. The cost of rent for such flats went up by 3.2% to an average €231 per month.

The cost of rent dropped the most in the downtown area of Zagreb, by 11%, however, the average cost of rent still exceeds €700 a month, the online site says.

Friday, 19 February 2021

HRK 8 Million for Nine Towns and Municipalities in Gorski Kotar

ZAGREB, 19 February, 2021 - Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak on Friday presented representatives of nine municipalities and towns in Gorski Kotar with contracts worth over HRK 8 million, based on which each local unit will receive nearly a million kuna of non-repayable funds.

The cities of Čabar, Delnice and Vrbovsko and the municipalities of Mrkopalj, Fužine, Skrad, Brod Moravice, Ravna Gora and Lokve received funds for projects such as the construction and extension of a kindergarten, a recreation centre, the reconstruction of unclassified roads and public lighting.

Minister Tramišak said that HRK 8 million had been provided from the state budget for projects that ensure better living conditions.

"For the first time this year 30% of the funding from the programme for the sustainable development of mountainous regions is earmarked especially for the Gorski Kotar area," she said, announcing a programme for the development of mountainous regions for this year, which will define new measures and activities for businesspeople and entrepreneurs, that is, for investments in those areas, especially Gorski Kotar.

That will, in addition to the European funding in the new programming period, certainly help the development of the economy, entrepreneurship and thus demographic revitalisation, she said.

"The government has by this year invested over HRK 36 million in Gorski Kotar, and there is a total of HRK 190 million worth of European projects, especially for water infrastructure", Minister Tramišak said.

Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said that the fact that cities and municipalities had submitted their applications indicated that they knew how to prepare and manage projects and that the ministry and the government were willing to continue assisting them.

Answering reporters' questions, he recalled that four years ago assistance had been provided for the maintenance of local roads in Gorski Kotar, that is, for the winter service through the Hrvatske Ceste road company, which was still being done.

"This government has done a lot to financially stabilise all local units," Butković said, noting that it is good that in addition to big, strategic infrastructure projects, there are also smaller projects, important to local units.

"The duty of all of us in the government is to help smaller local units, especially in Gorski Kotar, Lika... Dalmatinska Zagora, Slavonia, particularly quake-hit areas, to realise and finance their projects," Minister Butković said.

(€1 = HRK 7.56)

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