Unemployed Croatian Brothers Seek to Sell Adriatic Island
Stipe Marusic, a 40-year-old unemployed Croatian sailor, and his two brothers are selling an Adriatic island for over USD 1 M.
Marusic told journalists that the three were sorry to sell the island, which their grandfather and great-grandfather had bought piece by piece over years, but they had no other choice as the companies they used to work for had gone bankrupt, leaving them on the dole.
The island of Srednja Kluda, located in the Trogir archipelago north of Split and spanning 2.4 hectares, now has a price tag of nearly USD 1.5 M, according to Croatian news portal dalje.com.
According to Marusic, "There is interest, we have one serious buyer, but the bureaucracy is slowing us down,".
Croatia, which left Socialist Yugoslavia 15 years ago, after waging a 4-year war of independence, opened its real estate market to foreigners in 2005.
However, the government moved to outlaw construction works on small uninhabited islands in an alleged bid to preserve them for agriculture and tourism.
The ban discouraged investors from the the 1,200 or so islands scattered across the eastern Adriatic.
Apart from introducing the ban on new building on the islands, the government also requested owners to offer the land to the government first.
The Croatian Cabinet is hardly likely to be able to afford such a purchase at the moment, but the clearing of the pre-emptive rights takes about six months.
There are no indications that the government, which will face general elections in December, will drop the construction ban.
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