Monday, 26 April 2021

New Marina To Be Built in Sucuraj on Hvar, Worth Half a Billion Kuna

April 26, 2021 - Former Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Ludovik Cernak seeks concession to build a marina with 250 berths in Sucuraj on Hvar, a project worth half a billion kuna. 

A few years ago, there were open protests in Sucuraj on Hvar and the very thought that a large marina would be built in their town, primarily due to fears for the fate of a nearby beach, now the news that the Ministry of the Sea has announced its intention to grant a concession has been accepted. The construction of the nautical facility includes a planned 250 berths.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, the tender documentation stipulates that the state grants the selected partner the right to manage the maritime domain for 30 years. It is a little more than 100 thousand square meters of sea and land space, and the value of the concession for the entire duration is estimated at almost half a billion kuna.

The potential investors will have to submit their bids by June 18 to the Zagreb headquarters of the relevant administration.

"With the realization of this project, which we have been working on for several years, a marina will be built in Sucuraj, which will be among the 20 leaders in our part of the Adriatic in terms of size. To get to this stage, we had to make an urban development plan, enroll in the "maritime domain," and obtain all necessary certificates from the relevant ministries. Still, we are not sorry because the nautical tourism port will bring us progress and revive the eastern part of the island as a whole," says Ivan Slavić, chief of Sućuraj municipality.

However, this is a repeated tender for the same future marina, originally announced in 2018, because the Government then awarded the concession to the Czech company "MFA Invest" from Brno. Still, the procedure was subsequently annulled as a foreign potential investor did not provide a bank guarantee of one percent of the total project value.

Now, a new procedure is starting at the initiative of Czech and Slovak investors, namely the mentioned company and the company "Marina Sucuraj," which was founded last year by the real estate "Sitno Holding Real Estate" from Bratislava, owned by entrepreneur Ludovit Cernak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy in two mandate during the 1990s; and the former president of the right-wing Slovak People's Party, whose member and later president of that state is Ivan Gašparovič. 17 years ago, he became the owner of the football club "Slovan" from the Slovak metropolis, which was then in a deep financial and results in crisis, and after "recovering" under the leadership of members of the Cernak family, five years later he was sold to entrepreneur Ivan Krotnik.

A potential foreign investor on the Croatian islands is currently much better known for last year's purchase of 77,000 square meters of municipal land near Lukoran in Ugljan for just under 20 million kunas. Although the deal did not go without "tails" and calling out local oppositionists for (too) cheap sale of public plots, a representative of Cernak's company, after signing a contract with the Municipality of Preko, announced that in four years, it would build a settlement with 220 villas, two moorings with 150 berths and a hotel with 500 beds, with a total value of as much as 150 million euros.

As for the project in Sucuraj, if, in the end, the mentioned investors get a concession, the initial amount of the permanent part of the fee will be two kunas per square meter of occupied maritime property. However, the amount of the permanent part of the concession fee after the tenth year of operation will increase every five years by 50 lipa per square meter of occupied space at sea and on land, and the minimum variable part of the fee will be two percent of the revenue generated in the area entrusted with the management. 

"I believe that these are serious investors and that they have long ago made all the necessary calculations related to the job they are entering, and as far as the benefits for our municipality are concerned, we expect new employment in the first place. The marina will employ 12 to 15 full-time employees and a dozen more seasonal workers. Still, we are certainly counting on the accompanying facilities and activities that will be necessary during the operation of the marina", said Chief Slavić.

However, Sućurani expects a longer tourist season to realize the new content because they already have a lot of ships sailing through the Hvar and Neretva canals. When they have an attractive port on their sea route, the number of boaters will surely grow.

The first onshore gas station will be built in that part of the island, and a private initiative will be strengthened in the surrounding bays so that tourists can enjoy the beauties of the unique landscape and good gastronomic offer of their hosts and spend evenings and nights in a safe harbor—the easternmost town of Hvar.

To find out more about Hvar, click HERE

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Sucuraj Mayor Removes Director Position: Tourist Board Reform IS Possible

April 29, 2020 - Is reform of Croatia's bloated and inefficient bureaucracy possible? Why those interested in tourist board reform should be taking some lessons from Ivan Slavic, Mayor of Sucuraj on the island of Hvar. 

Mayor Ivan Slavic wanted to cut costs and bureaucratic overhead within his tiny Municipality of Sucuraj, on the island of Hvar. His gaze gravitated towards the Tourist Board, a bloated body with limited resources and built-in expenses, as well as a mandatory 16-person assembly. 
“There’s no reason the assembly should be the same size for every municipality across the country,” he said in a telephone interview with TCN. “It’s absurd.”
He reached out to the tourism ministry seeking a fix, but “they tossed us aside,” Slavic said. 
Then the mayor perverted Croatia’s arcane bureaucratic rules to his favour.
He canned the existing Tourist Board Director, freed up salary expenses then redirected the cash towards projects and upkeep. Being the mayor also makes him president of the Sucuraj Tourist Board (at no extra cost), giving him de facto control of the body while the director position remains vacant. There’s no timeline for filling the job, and so the search for a new director can last until the conditions for a new one are right.
My colleague Joe Orovic reached out to Slavic to explain what he did in detail.

We heard that Sućuraj no longer has a Tourist Board director. That from June 1 to Sept. 1 there will be an information desk. Is that correct?

As of September 2019, the Sucuraj Tourism Board has no director. As the Municipal Mayor, I am also the President of the Sucuraj Tourism Board. I will perform all necessary activities related to the normal operation of the Tourist Board, as well as the administrative and financial affairs of the board.
As for the information desk, in accordance with the Tourism Board Statute and the Staff Regulations, we have a designated administrator that we planned to hire from April 1 to Nov. 11. But due to the situation with COVID-19, we have given up and are waiting for the further developments of the situation, because if there is no tourism, no sojourn tax will be charged and therefore no we won’t have any income, so we must not incur costs. 
Otherwise, the Sucuraj Municipality is small, with only 2 employees where everyone does everything and by minimizing costs this way we have the best results. Also, by switching to the e-Visitor system, where renters enter information independently, the need for a year-round office is questionable, just for someone to have a salary in a small Tourism Board doing a job that amounts to two hours of administrative work per month, all while there are insufficient funds for any major project which needs to be done and monitored.

What was the basis for the decision? Can you explain what happened?

Considering the financial situation of Sucuraj Tourist Board, which operates in the area of ​​Sucuraj Municipality, where the limited income is mainly related to private accommodation and we have an active car camp, we cannot make more than 185.000,00 kn due to the payment of the sojourn tax, which is the only income of the Tourist Board. 
It ultimately means that during the year built-in expenses — the director's salary — eats up most of the Tourism Board's revenue, so there is no funding for further investment. The director has to work seasonally in the summer so that the Office and info desks work 14 hours. Therefore, most of the proceeds go to salaries and there’s only enough left over for five to six smaller events, where the Tourist Board co-finances the events of the Associations in the Sucuraj Municipality.

Was this decision easy to implement from a bureaucratic perspective? What was the procedure?

From a bureaucratic perspective, it was not easy to implement because the limiting factor is the Law on Tourist Boards and the promotion of Croatian Tourism where everything is bureaucratically unworkable. It rigidly defines all the parameters that the Tourism Board must adhere to, from the number of members of the assembly to the number of council members, which for small boards are a limiting factor. 
It is better to have fewer people in the Assembly and the Council who are operational and willing to "pull" for further tourism development in the municipality, than a large number appointed under the Law. An Assembly member becomes a member via revenues, yet rarely comes to the Assembly meetings. So due to lack of quorum we had to postpone meetings.
The provision of Article 22, paragraph 3 of the Law on Tourist Boards stipulates that the Tourist Board is represented by the President of the Tourist Board until the election of the Director, so that we are practically in the legal process of selecting a new director until further notice. 
Of course, when tourism traffic increases and when the planned tourist zones are created, we will have a director who will then have the resources for further investments, promotion and the like. As a legal representative, I will have the powers of the president to employ seasonal workers at the info desks.

How easily can this be repeated in other municipalities that have only seasonal tourism, from a legal perspective?

From a legal perspective, we need to change the entire Law on Tourist Boards and move towards associations, which we initiated already. We have partnered with other Boards on the island of Hvar regarding the promotion of tourism and have a signed Cooperation Agreement, in which the city of Hvar with the most material and human resources is the holder, and is an engine for the further development of tourism on the island of Hvar. 
Finally, with the agreement of all the Municipalities and Tourist Boards, we began to work on the development of tourism throughout the island. From a legal perspective, the law should allow for greater flexibility in the election and number of members of the Assembly and the Council. For example, you have a quality person who is not the first on the list of committee with the right to nominate a member, and you cannot legally appoint this person to the Council or the Assembly. The rules are restrictive, and a person comes into the positions only if everyone in front of him or her gives up.

How much money will the municipality save this year?

As for the Municipality, it will not save anything, but will better prepare the tourist season. According to the Law, one-third of the Tourist Board’s board revenue goes to the Municipality, which regulates beaches, bicycle paths, communal infrastructure from these funds. Until now, most of the funds were spent on salaries. Since the citizens are engaged in tourism and expect a well-kept place, the municipality will use these funds for beaches, parks, promenades, showers on the beach, buoys, etc. All income on this basis will focus on further tourism development projects.

What impact do you expect this to have on tourism in a normal year?

In a normal year, increased revenues and residual income would mean greater investment in landscaping and additional amenities that tourists recognize. I must also point out that, in all circumstances, Sucuraj's renters are recognized as good hosts and tourists come back and new ones come.
In 2019, Sucuraj had 8,368 tourists, who spend a total of 67,467 nights, almost all of which took place in the summer months, from June 1 to September 1. 
As a long-time follower of Croatian tourism, I would like to congratulate Mayor Slavic on managing to bring some sanity to the insanity of the bloated administration that is the local tourist board structure in this beautiful land. 
With its 8,368 tourists last year, Sucuraj was by no means one of the most visited destinations which had a full-time tourist board director and its own tourist board. But it fared MUCH better than MANY tourist boards throughout the country. A cursory look at the official statistics (full breakdown in English is available here) shows just how pointless some of these local tourist boards are. The only function that many of them serve is to fill a job for a cousin. 
TCN will be making a few phone calls in the coming days to some of these tourist boards to better understand what exactly they do 12 months a year when there are almost no tourists to show for it at the end. Taking a quick look at the official statistics from the link above, for example, the destination of Sveti Ivan Zelena in Zagreb County appears to have its own tourist board and director. Last year, it registered just 784 tourists all year, of which 400 were foreign. Together, they managed 1,502 overnights between them. 
We also reached out to the Ministry of Tourism for their feedback on the Sucuraj situation, and we received this reply from the MINT press office:
According to the Register of Tourist Boards kept by this Ministry, Director Đina Ćurin is registered as the person authorized to represent the Tourist Board of Sucuraj Municipality.
It should also be noted that the Law on Tourist Communities and Promotion of Croatian Tourism (Official Gazette 52/09 and 42/20) stipulates that the director of the tourist board represents the tourist board, organizes and manages the work and business of the board, implements its decisions, and within the limits of the established powers is responsible for the business of the board and the legality of the board's work. He or she is responsible for work to the Tourism Council and the President of the Tourist Board.
It would appear that news of Mayor Slavic's cutbacks has yet to reach Zagreb. 
For the latest news from the island of Hvar, follow the dedicated TCN section.  
Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Sućuraj's Search is Over as Macedonian Doctor Takes Position

As we reported recently, an attractive position being offered for the last six months in Sućuraj on the island of Hvar went unanswered by any Croatian doctor, but while tumbleweed appeared to roll by the ageing job advertisement in Croatian terms, one applicant, the only applicant, did get the job.

As Morski writes on the 23rd of January, 2019, the Sućuraj clinic on the island of Hvar has finally managed to obtain a permanent doctor. The physician from Macedonia had to pass a few exams to make sure her foreign diploma could be recognised in Croatia and started working at clinic in Sućuraj on Monday. Sućuraj's brand new doctor is 36-year-old Divna Vojnovska.

The arrival of a doctor from Macedonia was officially confirmed by Dalmacija Danas after having been informed by the director of the health centre of Split-Dalmatia County, Dragomir Petric.

''I'm surprised by the media hysteria about this case. Recently, doctors are mentioned by the media only in bad cases, and they bypass the good ones among us,'' the director stated.

''It isn't news here that there's now a doctor from Macedonia, but the real news is that it is the first local self-government in our county that has provided all of her conditions, which means an apartment and a 50,000 kuna annual bonus. In my view, it's secondary news that the person who came here isn't from Split but from Macedonia or some other country,'' added Petric.

Dr. Vojnovska: I love Dalmatia!

Dr. Divna Vojnovska revealed that she's not afraid of the winter blues and boredom on the sunniest Croatian island and that she is already very much in love with the sea.

''Yesterday was my first day in Sućuraj. I'm satisfied. The first day there were a few more people, I guess they wanted to meet me. Today there have been less. Otherwise, there are about 400 patients in Sućuraj,'' Dr. Vojnovska said.

''The accommodation is good, I got a big apartment. I haven't met a lot of people yet, but since I signed a contract for one year, which is how long my work permit lasts, I believe that I'll gain friendships on the island. Of course, there's always the possibility of extending my contract. Generally, I'm satisfied with everything offered,'' concluded Sućuraj's new doctor.


Click here for the original article by Dalmacija Danas

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Hvar's Search for Doctor Sees Nobody from Croatia Apply

Croatia's paradoxical society strikes again as a job posting for a doctor on the island of Hvar from a while ago goes unanswered by anyone from Croatia.

Croatia demographic crisis has left and continues to leave its very real and deeply concerning mark on the domestic labour force. Medics are among those heading off abroad in their droves in search of better wages, more job security, and a less politicised society in which to practice their chosen professions. While at the same time, some of the healthcare offered here in Croatia is among the best, with some of the best professionals on standby to do an excellent job.

The old saying about just not being able to get the staff even stretches to the most academic of positions, it seems.

One job posting from the island of Hvar in particular, in search of a doctor, should have turned the heads of many. The offer showed that the position comes with handsome pay, excellent bonuses and an apartment all thrown in, and on the stunning island of Hvar, of all places. It could be a lot worse, right? It appears that not even this much bait is enough to catch most fish, at least not fish from Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of January, 2019, the advertisement for a doctor in Sućuraj on Hvar has been live for around half a year, in which in addition to good wages and a free apartment, a huge bonus of 50,000 kuna per year is offered, as HRT reports.

As yet, not one person from the Republic of Croatia has applied for the position, and the only interested person is a doctor from Macedonia.

The policlinic in Sućuraj on the island of Hvar currently lies empty. There are no patients because there are no doctors, just one nurse. Sadly, this isn't her first time having to work without a doctor in her 37 years of service.

Stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Hvar you're interest in, give Total Hvar a follow.


Monday, 29 October 2018

After Years of Waiting, Sućuraj on Hvar Getting a New Ferry Port

After the recent cabinet meeting in Hvar, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority, Domagoj Maroević, spoke about his enthusiasm for soon to be launched projects, reports Dalmacija Danas on October 29, 2018.

We certainly have a lot of reasons to be pleased after the government met in Hvar. We have received 22 million kuna from European funds for the construction of a new ferry port in Sućuraj on Hvar. This is one of the most important projects because the Drvenik-Sućuraj line is one of the busiest in Split-Dalmatia County and has seen the fastest growth in the number of passengers and vehicles. So far, it is possible to load just 30 vehicles in Sućuraj and the construction of a new port will allow more than 60 vehicles to be loaded onto the ferry, and this will make our lives much easier.

When will the works begin?

We have received the construction permit and we will publish the tender next week. I hope that the works will begin in 2019. They should take about a year and a half, and we hope that the new ferry port will be operational for the 2020 season.

hvar sucuraj 2

Eastern part of Hvar is expected to see major benefits from this in terms of traffic connections with the mainland?

Absolutely. The Sućuraj-Jelsa road, which has already been built in the 14-kilometre Jelsa to Poljica section, is necessary for the entire island and I think that this part of the island will be further developed after the construction of this road. The construction of the port is a prerequisite for the road to see a larger number of vehicles. Last year, more than 450,000 passengers passed through the Sućuraj port. These are large figures and therefore this road is a necessity.

What other investments will Dalmatia see over the next year or two?

We hope that in the next 6 months we will receive financing from EU funds for the construction of a port in Omiš. We already have a construction permit for the project and expect to sign a grant agreement by the end of the year. The investment would reach almost 90 million kuna. Also, project documentation for the construction of a new catamaran port in Stomorska is being prepared. This investment is worth about 15 million kuna. During 2019, we expect to finish the project documentation for the reconstruction and extension of the port in Stari Grad on Hvar, with the investment worth about 75 million kuna. With these two ports, we would solve the current problems for docking on the island of Hvar for the foreseeable future.

If you are interested in more news about Hvar, check out our section devoted to the island.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Yet Another Tunnel in Dalmatia?

We've reported about the meeting of the Government cabinet, which was held in Split a couple of days ago.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Sućuraj Shocked: Cross Painted Red and Defaced with Communist Star

Unknown perpetrators used the cover of night from Monday to Tuesday to deface the stone cross in the center of Sućuraj on Hvar Island, painting its front in red.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Bistro Toni

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