A Plea for Peace on Hvar's Islets

Published in Highlights
There has been an uneasy, sometimes hostile relationship between Hvar Town's party organizers and other tourist organizations in the town and on the outlying Pakleni islands.
Peaceful moonlight over Hvar Cathedral Peaceful moonlight over Hvar Cathedral Photo Vivian Grisogono
There are perfectly adequate laws regulating public order, which should be sufficient to allow partying to coexist with family tourism, but there is a problem with enforcement. When Hvar mayor Rino Budrović took up his post in 2013, he promised to ensure that the laws would be obeyed. Katija Zaninović Dawnay's party, 'Lista za ponos mista' had unexpected success in the 2013 local elections, with the resolve to curb all-night noise and drunken disorder as a main subject in their agenda. Members of the party were prime movers in organizing a petition in August 2011, delivered to then-Mayor Pjerino Bebić with an impressive 550 signatures attached. Their Council members have achieved much in their short time in office, but the party dilemma remains unresolved.

Now a new petition has been launched, this time emanating from concerned residents, hospitality providers and guests on Hvar's Pakleni Islands. Dated July 6th 2014, it has been delivered to Mayor Rino Budrović, backed by another impressive list of signatures.

The petition reads as follows:

"Hvar Town Mayor

Mr. RINO BUDROVIĆ

Copy to:

Marko Jeličić, President of The City Council

Members of the Hvar Town City Council

Public Institute for the Management of Protected Natural Values – territory of Split-Dalmatia County

Director : Mr. Ivan Gabelica 

Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Croatia

Cabinet of the Minister
Mr. Ivan Glušac, Cabinet secretary

Adriatic Croatia International Club – ACI Marina, Opatija - Mrs. Doris Peručić, Deputy Chairman of the Board

Mr. Čikeš, Sanitary Inspectorate, Hvar Town

___________________________________________________________________________

Subject :

PETITION Letter – Group of residents and guests of St. Clement island, Palmižana

Noise and disrespect of public safety rules on Palmižana

Palmižana, 06.07.2014

Dear Sirs,

We are seeking help and protection from Town of Hvar because the situation on the island of St. Clement, Hvar archipelago, district Palmižana – Vinogradišće is completely out of control.

The whole situation escalated with the frequent presence of «Yacht Week» boats and similar uncontrolled organizations in ACI marina Palmižana whose young, mostly intoxicated guests produce unprecedented disorder and therefore threaten smooth tourist activities on Palmižana, well known for decades to be nature and environmentaly friendly. Palmižana name is widely known in the world to give peace and quiet to the guests.

After all, it has been recognized outside of Croatian borders, and numerous international media reported about our quiet and preserved tourist oasis.

According to the Law for Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia, our islands are a protected natural heritage in the category of significant landscapesi.e., protected landscapewhich is managed by the county public institutions for management of protected natural areas. The State Parliament has declared it back in year 1972.

As it is stated in that regulation – it is not permitted to perform activities and actions that violate the features for which it was declared as protected. Thereforewe call for urgent action to protect what is legally defined as protected.

We have already witnessed last year – as soon as first boats of “Yacht Week” appear or similar uncontrolled events happen in ACI Marina Palmižana – peace and quiet on the island disappears. The first signs of devastation of the island happened last year, when too large number of young and wild people spread out over the entire island in an already intoxicated statewalking around the island with bottles of alcohol which often break and with lighted cigarettes in hand which brings a tremendous risk of fire.

We, residents of the island, clean the mess and garbage. The crowd movement from the marina to the Vinogradišće bay takes away the peace and order from private residents on Palmižana, from guests of restaurants in Vinogradišće bayas well as from guests of worldwide known Meneghello hotel (who duly pay the tourist tax to the town of Hvar), and all of us must suffer from the loud music and whole night noise in this oasis.

Meneghello family has created from rubble and stone on the island, during past two centuries, with hard work and great love, one of Europe’s most exotic landscapes, lavish arboretum. The family has been building a reputation of island St. Clement Palmižana for over a hundred years as one of the Europe's most exotic landscapes, magnificent arboretumThe family has been building for more than one hundred years a reputation of St. Clement Palmizana as one of the largest and most beautiful Croatianworld-known brand of cultural tourism.

Palmižana (St. Clement) has been appointed in the "The Times" and "The Guardian" magazines this year, as well as the in year 2008., the most beautiful island in the Adriatic, with the attributes of an oasis of peace, beauty, art, nature and the sea. Even the Tourist Board of Hvar sends journalists from around the world to witness and write about it.

Guests are attracted by recommendation of the serious world of media, however they come and find "Sodom and Gomorrah". Neighbor restaurants share our fate and opinionwhat brought our heads together in this joint interventionThe reputation of our island is seriously undermined, our longtime guests now complain about the noise and leave.

Following information from www.theyachtweek.com/croatia/, "Yacht Weekwill go on during whole summer on Palmižanaevery week from June 7 until August 30; the cruises are divided in two groups, the first group Monday-Wednesday, the other Wednesday-Friday, which means that their presence on the island will be five days a weekAfter the experience of last weekwe are terribly concerned about what will happen during the summerbecause the mess was worse than last yearPalmižana bay is advertised as "Natural bay" on their internet site, and invites the guests to book a fantastic journey with partying all day and night.

Families who own private housesas well as restaurant owners of Palmižana suffer from noise dailyfamilies with children who came to the beach to enjoy the sun and the sea are forced to leave the beach because of the vulgar and indecent behavior of these young people who are making a mess all over the islandThis unbridled youth crowd passes along the paths of the island and over private property yards and gardens of Palmižana taking away the peace and integrity of Palmižana residents.

We consider it unacceptable that marina has increased the arrangement with "Yacht Weekfor this summer, disrespecting the landscape around the marina and our tourist orientation that we have been building for yearsBy this arrogantunilateral actall of us residents and guests were put in a very unfavorable situationThis type of tourism is harmful and unsustainable in the long run and we will feel its consequences for years to come if the trend continues. Local inhabitants and guests feel abused by wild visitors whose only goal is to get drunk with no security guardspolice or communal monitors aroundWe consider it to be a stepmother relationship towards one of the nicest and most profiled tourist island on the Adriatic coast.

Our short-term requirements are as follows:


1. We request to introduce the presence of communal policeman on the island.

2. We request that the ban of the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public areasas well as the provision of the public peace and order, which expressly prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated people, is monitored in the surrounding, not only in town of Hvar. 

3. We request that all guests be warned that they cannot walk freely over private property and harass residents and guests in their homes.

4. We request that warnings and fines are issued against smoking in nature and leaving cigarettes remains behind.

5. We request that guests be warned of the danger of fire.

Our long term requirements are as follows:

We request the termination of the contract with “Yacht Week” and similar arrangements on the island of St. Clement, district Palmižana - Vinogradišće.

We appeal to the town of Hvar and City Council members, elected by us as well, to intervene since we are a part of the municipality of the City of Hvar.

Residents of the island and guests sign together this petition and demand action. If no action is taken within 10 days we will seek lawyer’s advice for further action regarding protection of our substantive rights and compensation." 

Let's hope their efforts are rewarded with a return to peace and calm at the times when these should prevail. There is no doubt that solutions are available, if all involved cooperate in finding and implementing them.

© Vivian Grisogono 2014

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