The Istria County Assembly held a special session in Pazin on Friday to mark Istria County Day, observed in memory of the historic decision of 1943 to join Istria with the parent country Croatia.
Assembly chair Valter Drandic said those days were crucial for Croatia's modern history, describing antifascism as "a beacon and lasting civilisational commitment of Istria residents."
President Zoran Milanovic, who attended the session, said that so far Istria had dealt with the fight against the coronavirus epidemic very successfully and reasonably, setting a good example to other counties.
Croatia to get back to 2019 level in two years' time
Milanovic noted that Croatia would start recovering from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic but would need at least two years to get back to the level of 2019.
He said that economic decline in Q2 had been significant, around 15%, and that the decline in Q3 would also be considerable but that Croatians would simply have to accept it.
Speaking of the importance of the decisions of 77 years ago on the unification of Istria and Croatia, Milanovic said they were "a cry conveying the wishes and expectations of generations of Istria people."
"We very often ignore the fact that tens of thousands of Italians lived here in Istria and they did not see those changes as something good for them and left the country. Those facts should be repeated because they are true, they are consequences of a bloody and difficult war in which victories were won under the red star which today rightfully causes many dilemmas," said Milanovic.
Minister: Big investments for Istria's greater economic development
An envoy of the prime minister, Transport, Sea and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic spoke about several major investments in Istria that will contribute to the county's further development.
In that context, he cited the European Commission's having approved amendment of the concession agreement with the Bina Istra company to include work on the construction of a second tube of the Ucka tunnel.
"The purpose of the many investments is to raise the level of economic activity in Istria as well as improve transport connectivity between Istria and the rest of the country," he said.
Acting county head Fabrizio Radin presented a letter of commendation to the county COVID-19 response team, pointing out that its work showed how "a decentralised country should function, delegating duties to lower levels of government."
Before the county assembly session, wreaths were laid at the central monument in the Park of the People's Uprising in Pazin.