Neighbours in harmony
This is true, but it also gets mentioned in connection with our Italian neighbour Gorica with which it actually forms one city split in half between two countries. They are connected with a new square located on the border. In addition, a lot of people do not know that Charles X, the last of the French kings, is buried in a Franciscan monastery in Kostanjevica. Your city looks appealing to new investors even at the first sight. What is your attitude towards foreign investments and how are they reflected in the environment? I would like to stress that our city is inclined to foreign investors, right now we are discussing building a new entertainment complex in Gorisko and we are talking to Harrah's Entertainment. We are flexible and are trying to adapt ourselves to the needs of the market. In the end everyone is satisfied - our citizens as well as our Italian neighbours who like to emphasize lately how many things can be realised on our side of the border. What kind of influence does gambling have on the development of the city? It represents one of the most important economic roles in the area. Many families are financially dependent on HIT d.d. It is all very well-connected with tourists, especially Italians, who come to visit our casinos daily. The HIT company sponsors many of our projects. They want to be socially active. Moreover, it is the real tourist foundation of the whole area. How about negative sides of gambling? We are aware of the negative impacts, but they are far from what the media is sometimes trying to convince the public. I cannot talk about the rise in criminal activities, but I am sure we should be more concerned with families on night shifts, some gambling addictions and problems with young people thinking casinos offer jobs where you can earn a great deal of money in a short period of time. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of the city being located on the border? We are in the constant contact with the culture and the economy of our neighbours, there are daily migrations which form a heterogenous information space and enrich our experience. There are also more opportunities to cooperate with Italy on numerous projects, since we are in good relations with them. Disadvantages are mostly individual cultural differences of an everyday life. What is the relationship with the ¯old® Gorica like? It is excellent. We both try to be open to cooperation and try to work out our problems together. I am proud to say we have managed to successfully reach important goals in some shared projects. Is the area of the ¯open border® with Italy merely symbolic, or in other words - what did the joining of Slovenia in EU bring to the two cities? It is symbolic because Slovenians will have to wait for 2007 before the borders are truly open. We never really had high expectations about the border, but we have already started working together and we will continue doing so. How is the building of the historical park on Sabotin advancing? How was the decision handled by the locals? There are no comments regarding this issue from local people, everything is going according to plan. We can be sure to live and see a park which will tell an original story about a peaceful coexistence between two neighbours.