ZAGREB, August 15, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday said that his cabinet would convene in the town of Hvar on 26 October and that the meeting would focus on measures aimed at improving the quality of life on Croatian islands. “We want to mark 150 years of the organised tourist service on Hvar and in late October, Croatian Tourism Days will take place on Hvar, too,” Plenković said adding that the cabinet meeting on that southern Adriatic island would also be dedicated to the tourist trade and development of Croatian islands.
He recalled that this July the government had drawn up a bill on islands. “After more than 20 years, we are proposing a comprehensive legislative solution that must upgrade the quality of the life of residents on islands and improve transport connectivity, local economy and services,” the prime minister said.
He mentioned that in 2017, investments into the Croatian islands reached 1.7 billion kuna. The public sector invested a total of 3.27 billion kuna in Croatia’s islands in 2014 and 2015, and half of the populated islands have seen a rise in their population, however, only two islands – Vir and Čiovo – have registered a positive birth rate, according to an analysis made last year by the government on the effects produced by the implementation of the Islands Law in 2014 and 2015.
Croatia has 78 islands, 524 islets and 642 reefs in its part of the Adriatic sea.
Of those islands, 50 are permanently or occasionally inhabited, and the state subsidies were spent on the transport to and from 44 inhabited islands.
According to a 2011 census, 132,756 residents lived on those islands and on the peninsula of Pelješac.
There are the four islands connected by bridges to the mainland – Krk, Pag, Vir and Ciovo – and their population increased by 10.3% from the previous census in 2001 to 42,245 inhabitants in 2011. All other islands had 82,710 inhabitants on the aggregate, down 2.1% compared to 2001.
Some municipalities and towns on the islands saw a rise in their population in the period from 2011 to 2014, for instance, the municipality of Šolta on the island with the same name saw an increase from 1,770 to 1,990, and Pašman on the island of Pašman saw a rise from 2,131 to 2,275.