German President Visits Split, Shows Interest in Creative Industries and Meets Homeless

Daniela Rogulj

Split mayor Andro Krstulović Opara shared his impressions after meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, reports,  Dalmatinski Portal on March 22, 2019. 

“In the first part of the meeting, we spoke about the politics and the position of Split, as well as Split’s policy concerning our neighbor Bosnia and Herzegovina, about Split’s future, the obligations of Croatia and the EU so that it becomes a truly equal member,” said the mayor.

The mayor claimed that Steinmeier was especially interested in the transformation of Split and the city’s efforts in developing the creative industry and the Technology Park, as well as the social aspects. 

“I’m glad they accepted our proposal and truly visited our exceptional example of social sensitivity in which we include not only homeless people but also those who need to be helped. They exceptional people in MoSt showed that,” said Krstulović Opara.

MoSt chairwoman Đordana Barbarić spoke with the  Steinmeier about working with homeless people and young people with behavioral problems.

“These topics are very close to him, he posed very specific questions to us, and we could see that he knows everything very well. He spoke with four homeless people, with volunteers and colleagues from the association. We presented our 20 years of work. He couldn’t believe that not a day goes by that no one calls and asks what we need, that people cook for the homeless people, and that young people volunteer in the association,” Barbarić said.

In the second part of the meeting, the mayor said they visited the city and cultural values.

“What a city is, is a lively place that has the specialties that make it well-known,” the mayor concluded, revealing that the president and his wife said they could hardly wait to visit Split unofficially.

To recall, the German president chose Split on his two-day visit to Croatia. The day began with breakfast at the Park Hotel with mayor Andro Krstulović Opara and Split-Dalmatia County prefect Blaženko Boban. The president then met with the MoSt Association for the homeless. 

After his visit to MoSt, the president visited the Split Synagogue which is over 500 years old. There, he spoke with Ana Leibl and members of the Jewish community. The president met the culture of Split in the Meštrović Gallery, after which he met with members of the Island Movement before heading back to Germany. 

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