"Ten Islands Could Fix Their Problems if the Government Didn't Decide to Get New Cellphones"
Residents of Žirje island voiced their concern regarding the unreliable ferry transport
In 2017, the ferry service from Šibenik to Žirje and Kaprije islands was cancelled as much as forty times, reports Morski.hr on January 4, 2018.
Since the residents heavily depend on the ferry line that connects the islands of Žirje, Kaprije, Obonjan and Zlarin with the city of Šibenik, the service can very well be dubbed a lifeline – one that currently operates once a day, departing from Žirje at 17:45. Zlarin has it somewhat better, with four lines departing for Šibenik at 5:15, 7:10, 12:45 and 18:40 on weekdays.
The island population has thus decided to react, but so far, their voice has not been heard.
Žirje, a small island that is part of Šibenik archipelago, had a population of 400 in the 70s. Nowadays, the island has less than 100 inhabitants, and the ongoing problem with transport to the mainland might soon drive away those who have so far been willing to stay.
The residents have had enough, so they founded the Council for Island Revitalisation which has sparked interest from multiple public figures who originate from Žirje, such as the famous pianist Maksim Mrvica or the former basketball player Željko Jerkov.
According to the residents, the only high-speed craft they dispose of has spent more time getting repaired than at sea, failing to operate six times in the last ten days alone.
The population calls for construction of a new dock in Koromašnja port, which is seen as a possible solution that would fix all their problems. However, it calls for substantial funds – 6 million kuna.
A certain resident of Žirje island who was prevented from travelling to the mainland to collect his pension due to a cancelled ferry line, stated the sum would actually be easy to procure – if there wasn’t for one small caveat. “There would be enough money for Žirje, Kaprije, and around ten more similar docks if the government didn’t decide to buy new cellphones instead”, said the unnamed resident. Fair enough – let’s hope for some initiative from the authorities in near future!