Recently, we reported on the City of Dubrovnik’s apparent victory in its fight against cash machines in its historic core, but did we speak too soon?
As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 21st of June, 2019, it seems that the Pearl of the Adriatic’s fight against the machines has taken a turn for the worse.
”If anyone tries to remove the cash machines or enter private property without authorisation, Auro Domus will take legal steps to protect its business and the business of its partners, local retailers and tradesmen,” said Loris Dessardo, the owner of the Croatian company Auro Domus, following the announcement by Dubrovnik’s local authorities at the beginning of the week that machines in the historic core of Dubrovnik have to be removed within thirty days.
The conflict between the irritated residents of Dubrovnik and the local government has also got another factor to take into consideration, the Croatian company Auro Domus from Opatija, which has placed more than 400 ATMs throughout the country over the past year, and citizens of certain area’s aren’t remotely happy.
Dubrovnik’s citizens have stood up against the placement of the cash machines, when forty such machines were placed along the old city’s famous Stradun, claiming that they violate the identity and view of the city’s historic core, but the owner of Auro Domus has insisted that this isn’t a valid argument for their removal.
“So, on the one hand, we have measurable benefits for Dubrovnik, its inhabitants and for the economy, and on the other hand, the subjective aesthetic criterion of individuals who don’t like what they look like in the city. And now the City Council try to incorporate this aesthetic criterion into its decision?” Dessardo stated.
Dubrovnik’s mayor, Mato Franković, did just that.
On Tuesday, the City Council of the City of Dubrovnik sent a proposal for amendments to the decree on communal order. According to these changes, the owners of the premises who have agreed to allow the cash machines’ placement there, and for which they receive up to 12,000 kuna in compensation, must obtain the approval of the Ministry of Culture’s conservationd department if they don’t want the ATM to be removed. According to Dessard, this is ”an illegal attempt to interfere with economic activity”.
”The law clearly prescribes the powers of local self-government units. These powers relate to the facades of the buildings, and the ATMs set up by Auro Domus aren’t on the facades, but in the interior of the business premises, and for their installation, no building permits are needed,” emphasised Dessardo, citing several articles of law related to this particular matter.
”The biggest absurdity of the whole story is that the City of Dubrovnik is trying to ban one of the most important tourist activities. The money that tourists withdraw from the cash machines is the money that stays in that local government unit and will be spent in Dubrovnik’s cafes, restaurants, shops,” concluded Dessardo.
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