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Marin Gregorović: I will insist on the preservation of our unique landscape

Marin Gregorović: I will insist on the preservation of our unique landscape

An interview with the Mayor of Cres

Last year, Marin Gregorović was elected Mayor of the Croatian City and island, Cres. Prior to this, he was the municipality’s deputy mayor as well as the president of the Management Board of the Cres County Port Authority.

Now, he has spoken to TheMayor.EU to share his vision for the future of the island.

Mr Mayor, how would you describe the City of Cres?

The City of Cres is so much more than the city. Cres is also the largest Croatian island! I emphasise this very often because I strongly believe this fact plays the most important part in defining our identity.

Cres is also very diverse in every sense of that word – from wonderful wooded Tramuntana in its North to mild Mediterranean climate in its South; from urban and unique Beli, over the fascinating Lubenice fort city, to small, picturesque fishing places of Valun and Martinsica. Impressive authentic flora and fauna biodiversity mix with Cres' urban centre, which is often said to stand as small Venice in its urban-architectural sense.

Cres is a community of fewer than 3,000 people that live in the most pleasant environment with the greatest potential and precious natural resources of all Croatian islands. 

As a newly elected mayor, what changes are you planning on making?

From all that I said before, I believe that you can get a sense of what my vision is.

I will insist on the preservation of our unique landscape and commit myself to provide the highest possible standards for our island’s residents, availability of public services and openness of all institutions to the public, as well as to our guests because tourism is one of the most important branches across the Croatian coast and on our island. 

Expanding on the previous question, how will your administration differ from previous ones?

Even though the City of Cres ensures very high standards when we are talking about funding in civil, educational, and cultural sectors, there is a need for additional improvement and creating the best possible living conditions that we can. 

As islanders, we are aware of our relative territorial isolation, but that does not mean that we do not deserve accessible services, at least nearly as much as citizens who live on the mainland. By that, I am firstly referring to the health services that are essential for everyone’s safe and dignified life, especially in this day and age. 

A lot of our challenges do not depend on the City itself because of our territorial division and administrative powers but it is a mayor’s job to fight with valid arguments and facts to improve certain services.

One of the examples for that would be our success to bring service of Court days back to our island after more than 10 years of citizens having to travel off our island to other nearest administrative centres. 

How do you plan on accelerating the post-COVID recovery of local businesses?

COVID-19 definitely had a strong impact on our economy overall, and by that, of course, on the service sectors, such as tourism. However, our proximity to emitting markets, good stage of communal infrastructure, and our citizens' mentality, in general, gave us minor consequences and stronger recovery.

Last year's tourist season’s results show that there still are guests that value our particular features, and it is our task to steer the focus to our authentic local products alongside our traditionally solid service to make the most of the situation we are all living in.  

Are there any upcoming projects you would like to share?

There isn’t almost any sector in which we are not planning at least one project, but we are limited with sources of financing, given that we, as most towns now, rely upon European funding.

Nevertheless, we are working on project documentation and getting ready for the next programming period — we are planning a new fire station, arranging our beaches, working on the project of the panoramic road to Valun, Susajda culture centre, etc. 

It is important to highlight that we are, beginning from 2022, starting to work on the new urban plan for Cres town, as well as the renewal of our land registry to put all ownership relations in order. Also, let's not forget our plan to achieve complete openness of our public finances to raise the level of transparency to our public as high as we can.

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