Some Croatian Towns Banning Drying Laundry on Balconies?

Lauren Simmonds

As Portal Oko writes on the 1st of August, 2019, Šolta, Rijeka, Kolan on Pag, Mljet, Kaštela, multiple Croatian cities and municipalities both on the mainland and on the islands, have introduced provisions to ban drying laundry and other clothing outside on balconies, writes

The bans have been introduced in order to properly line up with a communal law which was first introduced last year, and they aren’t just laws ”on paper” and free to be interpreted in any way possible, as many in Croatia are. According to a new communal order published in the Official Gazette of the island of Šolta in July this year, those who fail to comply with this decision could be fined 2,000 kuna.

“It’s prohibited to hang laundry, linen, rugs, clothes and other objects that obstruct the appearance of the building from windows and doors, balconies, fences and other parts of the building facing the public,” reads Article 12 of the Decree on communal order recently published in the Official Gazette of Šolta.

The same provisions have also been enforced by Rijeka, Kaštela, Mljet, and in Kolan on Pag.

A similar provision was issued by the City of Rijeka earlier on, more specifically back in March this year, and the punishment for those who don’t respect is also 2000 kuna. In Kaštela, in June this year, they also decided on the same measure, and the punishment is also 2000 kuna. In Mljet, this decision was taken back in April, and the fine imposed on those who dry their clothes and other items on windows and balconies where the appearance of the building is obstructed also stands at 2000 kuna. The powers that be on Kolan on the popular island of Pag also made a similar decision late last year.

Croatian tourism, which largely rests on the timeless laurels of Mediterranean narrative and tradition, will now remain stuck for an authentic image in certain cities, as one of the more recognisable symbols of the Mediterranean way of life will be made illegal, and citizens who choose to continue to cultivate these old and utterly harmless practices will unfortunately be penalised.

One might ask whether or not the powers that be in Croatia have nothing better to do than issue fines for people who want to dry their laundry using the sun. Are there no more pressing issues in this deeply problematic, messy little country other than what the exterior of a building looks like when you hang last night’s jeans on it? Clearly not.

Osijek, far from the glitz and the glam of the Croatian coast, is one of several continental Croatian cities to have imposed such nit-picky penalties as well.

Article 11 of the new law states that the parts of a building facing areas of public use cannot have laundry (and other objects that impede the exterior of the building) hung or displayed from them. The penalty for committing this truly heinous crime (yes, that’s sarcasm) in Osijek is 200 kuna.

Article 16 is where things get even more ridiculous. The owners or ”users” of gardens are obliged to continuously remove ambrosia and other harmful plants, and the fine for violating this law stands at 5000 kuna.

The keeping of animals is prohibited on the territory of Osijek within the boundaries of construction land, unless specifically permitted. Exceptionally, along with the zoo, animals are allowed to be held in an organised manner in facilities used for health, rehabilitation and entertainment purposes.

Article 42 states that if a public area is occupied, the space left for pedestrian passage must not be less than two metres wide. In any case, it is forbidden (according to Article 44) to occupy a public area without the approval of the appropriate governing body, and the fine for doing so without proper approval is 5000 kuna.

It is forbidden to stick and place posters on trees, on the facades of buildings, on fences, in substations and in places that are not intended for this purpose. The fine for doing so is 2500 kuna. On the other hand, in the land of paradoxes, it is forbidden to destroy neatly placed posters, advertisements and signs.

On a somewhat more sane wavelength, alcohol consumption in public will see you hit with a 200 kuna fine.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all public areas (except in the case of public terraces or during approved, organised public gatherings) and the prescribed fine for drinking in public is 200 kuna.

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