CroatianLand for lease ONLY
The International Club of Croatian Immigrants, Returnees and Investors held its first general meeting on 23-24 May 2002. Among the recommendations and requests submitted to the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Croatia was a plea to halt the sale of, and rescind agreements that inlcude the sale or gifting of large tracts of land as part of development projects. As part of this request it is envisaged that development projects be restructured such that Croatia's national interests and wealth are protected.
Item 5 of the Diaspora's List of Recommendations reads:
5. That land on the coastline and other areas for project development not be sold but leased to the owners of the projects.
Without regard to the Diaspora's warning and pleas City Mayors together with the elected district party's concurrence have gifted thousands of square meters of land along the coast to project owners without compensation giving them freehold title to large tracts of valuable land. The most extreme example is in Istra where the City Mayor of Porec, Mr Pino Maras, in a secret legal agreement between the cities of Porec, Rivijera and Agrolagune, gifted a few thousand square meters of extremely valuable land along the coastline within the limits of the city of Porec, and other project developments of considerable value. Unfortunately the ability to take advantage of loopholes in the law and current laws which gives them the right to effect these agreements directly affects the Croatian people. The Croatian Diaspora urgently requests:
1. That the Government, Parliament and Ministry of Law of the Republic of Croatia urgently move to rescind the sale of, gifting of, and similar transactions that have effectively transferred ownership of Croatian national wealth into the hands of project development owners.
2. That laws are quickly passed along the lines recommended by the Diaspora to halt the freehold sale, gift or surrender of land as part of development projects with the recommendation that the land in these deals are structured along leasehold terms thereby protecting Croatia's national wealth.
It is important to remember that the land that is part of a development project is worth a lot more than the development project itself. In Porec, the land along the coast, even a kilometer from the coast, sells for $100 to $150 Euros per square meter. The thousands of square meters of enormously valuable land that individuals in government have gifted to project development owners, often worth two or three times the value of the development or project, is in and of itself a criminal act against Croatia's youth and future generations. The land for a large development project should never be sold freehold, instead it should be leased or rented, thus preserving the national wealth that was created by Croatians for future generations and should be preserved as Croatian national wealth in perpetuity.
We seek that the Croatian Government urgenly move to protect Croatian national interests. We appeal to the media and other communication mediums to unite, to raise their collective voices against those who govern and rule in the name of the people but who act against the interests of those same people. Impertinent individuals who do not protect Croatian national interests have to be stopped. One cannot allow them to gift, sell off and commit national wealth that was not authorised by the people. Misappropriating land crosses every measure of rationality. We must say 'Enough' to this behavior. A worthwhile comment made by a gentleman from America comes to mind. 'A million three hundred work in Croatia. If all of them stayed at home and were paid to do nothing, with good leadership the wealth that Croatia has could provide everyone with a 50% better standard of living.' So he asked 'What are you in Croatia doing to yourself and your people?' The selloff and gifting of Croatia's national wealth must be stopped if we want to preserve the sovreignity of the Croatian nation and its national identity.
We pray that the Diaspora's voice is heard and taken into account and that efforts are made to save what we can save.
Porec, 4 November 2002
Niko Soljak, Prof. Ing.