Plenkovic in Dubrovnik: ”We have to introduce more foreign workers” Frankovic: ”Croatia Airlines treats Dubrovnik locals as second class citizens”

Lauren Simmonds

Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic is in Dubrovnik for the 12th Dubrovnik Forum, at which he spoke earlier today.

As DuList reported on the 1st of July, 2017, Prime Minister Andrej Penkovic has stated that the decision to accept foreign workers must be revised due to the shortage of labour in certain professions, and newly elected Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic complained that Croatia Airlines treats Dubrovnik locals as second-rate citizens.

Plenkovic met in Dubrovnik with Mayor Mato Frankovic and Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavic today, and at both meetings, issues with Dubrovnik’s connectivity (or lack of, to be more precise) were discussed, with Frankovic stating what the vast majority of Dubrovnik residents think – that Croatia Airlines makes it far too difficult for Dubrovnik based people to get anywhere.

”The Government of the Republic of Croatia has a special affinity for this county (Dubrovnik-Neretva) due to its poorer traffic connections. For years, the need to build Peljesac Bridge has been clearly articulated. We have come to the stage that the funds [for the construction of the bridge] have been approved and that the project will be realised. Concerning Dubrovnik, we understand the problems that come with a large number of tourists coming from cruise ships, which should be [limited to] numbers that the city can absorb. A city that has UNESCO status requires a more streamlined flow of guests” stated Plenkovic.

Responding to a journalist’s inquiry of how the government would address the problem of labour shortages, Plenkovic said this was a problem shared by the whole Croatian coast, and it exists in other sectors such as construction, as well.

”This year we have increased the quota for the import of foreign workers in certain professions, but we obviously have to redefine that decision. I expect a better flow thanks to the free movement of workers within the European Union” said Plenkovic in response to the inquiry.

“We have problems with airlines, the fact is, is that citizens of Dubrovnik are second-rate citizens in the eyes of Croatia Airlines. I let the Prime Minister know and asked him for an intervention to change it in the future. We also talked about the Cruise Terminal and it is clear that the City should be an active participant in any future planning of the project” Frankovic said.

Frankovic also spoke at yesterday’s session of the City Council on how the air service for Dubrovnik is completely unfavourable to the inhabitants of southern Croatia, but also how Croatia Airlines increased the price when the City of Dubrovnik introduced a subsidy for flights to Zagreb, all of which are enormous and long-standing problems in the Pearl of the Adriatic, and which will hopefully be solved under Frankovic, who is otherwise proving to be very popular.


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