Cafe Politics: Where Do Prime Ministers Sit When They Come to Jelsa?

Total Croatia News

Opcina Jelsa

I love it when the big politicians from Zagreb come to Jelsa, as one sees many of the locals in a completely different light, and you get to see who are the big political players in town, all dressed up for the arrival of the Zagreb bigwigs. 

For a small town, Jelsa has had a lot of high-profile political visits in recent years. The current mayor’s strong relationship with former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic ensured an annual visit from the PM each August, as well as a (literally) flying visit with the seaplane to open the new section of road above Jelsa


Despite being recently called Tito’s lovechild for some reason, I have no politics and had absolutely no interest in Croatian politics until Total Croatia News started, and interest became necessary. PM Zoki always used to sit at Cafe Tarantela for his chats with the great and the good, and someone told me that the square in Jelsa is divded politically, with the Croatian-owned cafes on the left as you come down from the church HDZ and those on the right, inlcluding Milanovic favourite Tarantela, are SDP. True or not, I have no idea, as The Office is owned and run by a Macedonian Albanian couple, and my contact with local politics was very limited. 

New Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is from HDZ and also has family from Svirce, and it was announced yesterday that he would be taking part in the Za Krizen procession in Svirce, as well as popping into Jelsa for a coffee and a chat at 2000.


It wasn’t hard to see where the PM was going to be sitting… WIth the square full, there was only one table unoccupied and reserved – at Cafe Fontana next to The Office and on the left side as you come out of the church. 


2000 came, as did 2015 and then 2030. No Prime Minister, and lots of disappointed cafe goers turned away from the table, until finally at 2040, PM Plenkovic arrived… and went inside before reemerging, sitting at the table with his entourage for a full six minutes before heading off to Svirce. 


So perhaps it is true that left of the church is politically right, and right of the church is politically left. Except… 

Before assuming his PM duties, young Plenkovic was prone to enjoy his Jelsa coffee on the right, in the territory of the left, as this archive photo with The Professor (courtesy of Vivian Grisogono) shows. 




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