Ministry's "Green Light" for Zagreb's City Plan Outrages Opposition, NGOs

By 21 November 2019

ZAGREB, November 21, 2019 - Opposition councillors in the City Assembly and NGOs condemned on Thursday the Construction Ministry's decision to okay the changes of Zagreb's city plan (GUP), accusing "the Croatian People's Party (HNS) ministry" of violating the law.

The Opposition also accuses the ministry of being included in "a shameful deal" between Mayor Milan Bandić and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

"This is a shameless state," said the leader of the "Zagreb Is Ours" left bloc in the assembly, Tomislav Tomašević, commenting on the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning decision on the proposed amendments to the GUP.

"Minister Predrag Štromar has played a 'double pass' with Milan Bandić regarding the GUP and has made fools of citizens. Last Friday, Štromar pompously refused to allow the changes to the GUP and said that adjusting the amendments to the ministry's demands could take years yet four days later, he approved those changes," Tomašević said.

The chairwoman of the GLAS and Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) group, Anka Mrak-Taritaš claimed that this was a "coalition of political bartering," involving the HDZ and Bandić with his "cronies" and HNS, and the ministry's approval was the result.

However, Mrak-Taritaš underscored, the problem of citizens and experts still existed, who considered that the new GUP was not developmental for Zagreb but "wishes and greetings by certain people close to Mayor Bandić."

The chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) branch in the city, Gordan Maras said that the scenario of the deal between HDZ, Bandić and HNS was obvious and that the opposition would do all what it could for the amendments to the city plan not to be adopted in the Assembly.

Councillor Matej Mišić (SDP) announced a referendum regarding the contentious amendments to the GUP which paved the way for the development project dubbed Zagreb Manhattan to be built.

The Green Action, Right to the City and Association of Siget Residents said that based on the Physical Planning Law the entire process of adopting Zagreb's GUP should be abandoned.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.