Opposition Against Construction of National Football Stadium in Zagreb

By 22 August 2018

ZAGREB, August 22, 2018 - The Zagreb branch of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday criticised Mayor Milan Bandić's idea to build a national stadium worth 500 million kuna considering that there are much bigger problems that need to be solved at the moment.

"At the moment, SDP's Zagreb Branch is opposed to yet another one of Mayor Milan Bandić's Potemkin villages and that is the construction of a national stadium that would be financed by taxpayers in the amount of 500 million kuna. Now when the mayor supports the government's inactivity in the Uljanik shipyard, a chaotic emergency medical service and the problems we have in Zagreb, when we have a situation when the tax reform is driving people out of Croatia, we consider that announcements like this and irresponsible spending of budget money are not good and we are opposed to that," the leader of SDP's Zagreb Branch, Gordan Maras, said.

" 500 million kuna of taxpayers’ money for a national stadium when last year we had a deficit of 370 million kuna and each year we are taking out loans to cover liquidity... Every now and then the mayor comes up with a new Potemkin village using huge amounts of taxpayers' money for things that currently aren't necessary and haven't received support from citizens or SDP," Maras said.

Commenting on the strike at the Uljanik and 3. Maj shipyards because workers did not receive their wages, Maras said that it was obvious that the government wasn't doing its job and added that it was unbelievable that the economy minister wasn't informed of the situation and that he allowed it to escalate in this way.

Maras believes that the intention is to shut down shipbuilding in Croatia and that it is currying favour with the real-estate business that is interested in that location and that the prime minister with the assistance of the European Commission is wholeheartedly for that.

SDP City Councillor Matej Mišić said that it was devastating that Zagreb ranked 60th when it came to absorbing EU funds. "The fact that Zagreb managed to absorb in 2017 only 11 kuna per capita is just one indicator that the mayor and city administration have no idea of how to rationally dispose of and absorb funds," Mišić claimed.

It is even more tragic that the city administration's office for EU projects with a budget of 10 million kuna managed to only absorb less money than the city budget outlays for that office itself. "There are some town that are absorbing 23 times more money," Mišić said.