Why Bakačeva Street Looks More Like Nero's Burning of Rome than the Eiffel Tower

By , 07 Jan 2017, 11:07 AM Politics

Share this:

"A skiing spectacle like the world hasn't seen" is how Mayor Bandić announced another in a line of bizarre marks of his rule over Zagreb. After claiming Zagreb needs another 40 fountains, we figured that's as bad as it can get. Now we see it isn't. Bakačeva street became a ski slope. Arrogance once again so we are left wondering what's next, how much will it cost, giving back nothing. How did the idea of branding Zagreb as a skiing destination come about? With all due respect and admiration for the Kostelić family, it is hard to fathom hosting a race of the World Ski Cup to a city that has 3 kilometres of ski slopes on a hill without a cable car. Where are we on the world ski map compared to Austria, where each village has more cable cars than all of Croatia? Does it make sense to harness each year the manpower and mechanization, pay large sums as awards to winners, and what remains when the spot lights are turned off?

Today everyone speaks of how many countries followed the spectacle from the centre of Zagreb, giving Zagreb promotion worth nearly four million euro. Although it all sounds lovely, scratching under the surface reveals a lot more. It is quite simple to ascertain how much a minute of promotion on the BBC is worth, but it is quite impossible to ascertain how much a ski spectacle in the centre of Zagreb costs, the birthday celebration of the World Ski Cup at the expense of Croatian citizens, without the support of the International Skiing Federation. Only Zagreb can do this, meaning Mayor Bandić, who doesn't ask the price for a chance to promote himself.

Let's go back to branding and how a destination is branded. A brand cannot be created by presenting it somewhere once, be it CNN, BBC or anywhere else. Destination adverts, to be perceived and engaged, need to be repeated hundreds of times. If we want to brand Zagreb as a skiing destination and a place for ski lovers, which is of course pointless, we should primarily secure adequate skiing infrastructure, followed by investing large sums into advertising to be able to compete with popular skiing destinations.

To anyone serious it is clear Zagreb is not and cannot be a skiing destination. Hence the avalanche of photo montages on the next unbelievable spectacle the Mayor will create next. Promoting Zagreb as something it is not and cannot be, spending huge money on projects and manifestations which cannot be resold is quite insane, but not surprising. As the Mayor, as was evident many times, does not care for the city's benefit as long as his ego is satisfied. Unfortunately.

Examples of what can be done - and how - to promote a destination and make money are plenty. The filming of the Game of Thrones series brought Dubrovnik the status of a movie destination and directly influenced an increase in the number of guests, those who target destinations where this mega popular show was filmed. In the same way Koreans rush to Croatia due to a popular reality show and documentary series filmed in Croatia with Korean actors. As we are experiencing a rise in tourists due to the series, Mayor Bandić probably thought the same would happen after skiing in the centre of Zagreb. He aims especially for ski lovers who will now, instead of Schladming or Kitzbühel, choose Zagreb with 168 metres of slope in the centre and 3.000 metres of slopes on Sljeme.

Unfortunately, all of the above only confirms Zagreb is still the victim of a policy of arrogant money spending without a plan or calculation. Without vision or strategy. So the covering of Bakačeva street with snow seems more like Nero's burning of Rome.

Politics of arrogance and autocracy without precedent.

For the original and more from Ankica Mamić, click here.

Photo of the day

Croatia Traffic Info

  • Due to strong wind passenger traffic is allowed only: -on the A1 motorway between Sveti Rok and Posedarje junctions (detour: DC50/DC27 state roads through Gračac and Obrovac), -on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Kikovica and Delnice (detour: DC3 state road), -on the DC8 Adriatic road from Karlobag to Sveta Marija Magdalena, -on the DC54 Maslenica-Zaton Obrovački state road, -on the DC27 Gračac-Zaton Obrovački state road. On the part of the DC8 Adriatic road Senj-Karlobag there is a traffic ban on: doubledeckers, trailers and motorcycles, from Bakar to Senj on the DC8 and on the A7 motorway between Draga and Šmrika junctions on delivery vans and freight vehicles with covered cargo area too. Due to fog visibility is reduced in the central and eastern parts of Croatia as well as in Gorski kotar mountain area - on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Bosiljevo and Ravna Gora junctions. It is occasionally snowing in the area of Zagreb. The roads are wet and very slippery because of low temperatures, especially bridges and viaducts. Rock and land sliding is possible on the DC8 Adriatic road and on the DC1 state road. Drivers are invited to keep distance, to adjust the speed to road conditions and not to start the journey without the winter equipment. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. Until 28 January 8am-3pm traffic is occasionally suspended on the DC8 Adriatic road at Rokića part in Šibenik, detour: Vidici junction-Dumbočica tunnel-Dubrava-Meterize junction. Due to winter driving conditions there is a traffic ban on freight vehicles with trailers and all other vehicles have to use the winter equipment on the following roads of Lika mountain area:-DC42 at Poljanak and on the section Josipdol-Saborsko, -DC218 Užljebić border crossing-Donji Lapac-Dobroselo-Mazin-Bruvno, -ŽC5169 Bjelopolje-Donji Lapac, ŽC5199 Šušanj-Štirovača, ŽC59125 Perušić-Čanak, -regional and local roads in Lika/Senj county, regional and local roads in the area of Perušić and Sveti Rok. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing till 15 March, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC34 Valpovo-Josipovac state road; -on the DC64 state road on the section Kršan-Vozilići, detour: Kršan-Nedešćina-Štrmac; -on the DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko state road; -on the DC228 Jurovski Brod-Ozalj-Karlovac state road at Ozalj; -on the DC303 Brajkovići-Kanfanar junction state road till 2 February. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC303 Rovinjsko Selo-Brajkovići-Kurili state road. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
    Read more
  • In the outbound freight traffic there are delays at Pasjak and Bajakovo (the queue is 1 km long). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
    Read more
  • Lopar-Valbiska ferry does not operate. All other ferries operate regularly.
    Read more

mod send your news

Photo galleries and videos