Former President Mesić Visits Petrinja

By 16 January 2021
Former President Mesić Visits Petrinja
Copyright Marc Rowlands

ZAGREB, 16 January, 2021 - Former Croatian president Stjepan Mesić visited Petrinja, the city demolished in a 29 December earthquake, together with Croatian businessman Stjepan Kolenac, who brought a relief shipment from Vienna, both calling for all Croatian friends to join in helping the affected area.

Mayor Darinko Dumbović expressed gratitude for the relief and said the disastrous earthquake that struck Petrinja and Sisak-Moslavina County, following the suffering in the 1991-95 Homeland War and the loss of over 20,000 jobs, touched everyone who came to help.

Every person in the affected area seeks that their needs are met, Dumbović said, adding that the city and the county should be reconstructed through swift procedures, by relying on the EU.

Local people and entrepreneurs should be exempt from many taxes so that they have certain advantages to stay in the area, he said.

Dumbović said the city council would most probably adopt a decision under which people would not pay the water bill and local rates "for at least five, six months." The HRK 35 million Petrinja received from the government should be reallocated so that people have free water and no rates, he added.

"The city is destroyed, not one institution is working, we are starting from zero. First we must tear down, then build, but with reinforced concrete," the mayor said.

Mesić said Petrinja was a city with a history and meaning, and that it should not be reconstructed in a disorganised fashion, but restored to its original look with new materials and safely so that citizens could come back.

Kolenas called on all Croatian citizens living abroad to help Petrinja if they could.