President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Thursday visited the islands of Molat and Ist off the coast of Zadar, saying that the state had to restore life on islands and expressing her belief that the new government and the prime minister would be sensitive with regard to problems of island communities.
"Molat and Ist are islands with schools in which there are no children, the last baptism and wedding ceremonies in the local churches were performed some 20 years ago. We have to restore life on Croatian islands," she said, adding that this should be done by improving traffic connections and making them cheaper, improving the island water supply infrastructure and investing in development, education, technology, science and innovation.
"If these islands had broadband Internet, young people could return here, they could live here and work somewhere else. I believe that the new government and the prime minister will be sensitive with regard to these problems," she told reporters.
Grabar-Kitarovic also met with representatives of local authorities and they said that the development of small islands also required reversing negative demographic trends.
Asked what the state planned to do regarding military facilities on islands that were not being used, she said that it was one of the biggest problems in terms of investments and that the State Property Management Office (DUUDI) was responsible for it.
"I believe that the new DUUDI head Tomislav Boban will pay due attention to that. I have talked to PM (Tihomir) Oreskovic, who is also aware of that problem," she said.