Saturday, 22 January 2022

Rijeka Mayor Says Welcomes Any Move Leading to Decentralising Governance

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - The mayor of Rijeka, Social Democrat Marko Filipović, said on Saturday he welcomed any move towards decentralising governance but that he could not comment in greater detail on a proposal by Split Mayor Ivica Puljak for Split, Rijeka and Osijek to be given powers that the capital of Zagreb has.

Asked by Hina if he had discussed the topic with Puljak, Filipović said that he had not and therefore could not comment on it in greater detail but that he definitely welcomed any move leading to the critically necessary decentralisation.

The Rijeka mayor said that any decentralisation of powers had to be accompanied by financial decentralisation to facilitate the exercise of those powers.

Split Mayor Ivica Puljak (Centre party) announced on Friday that the city administration would ask the national parliament to pass a law to enable that city, as well as Rijeka and Osijek, to govern their entire territory.

He explained that that way, those three cities and possibly other cities "would be able to...  make order in their territory wherever they wanted, avoiding red tape at the higher levels of government."

Puljak said he had discussed the matter with PM Andrej Plenković during his recent visit to Split, which was their first official meeting after the May 2021 local election, when Puljak was elected mayor.

Puljak said Split-Dalmatia County head Blaženko Boban (HDZ), who also attended the meeting, did not agree with his initiative.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

The Count of Signatures to Revoke the Istanbul Convention was Public and Transparent

ZAGREB, Sept 10, 2020 - Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica said on Thursday that the count of signatures to revoke the Istanbul Convention was public and transparent and that the procedure had been over.

Recalling that representatives of the Administration Ministry, Interior Affairs Ministry, Agency for the Protection of Personal Data, and the Apis IT company participated in the signature count, Malenica denied any doubts expressed by the civil initiative "The Truth about the Istanbul Convention," regarding the signature count for a referendum on revoking the Istanbul convention.

"The report is public and transparent and representatives of those referendum initiatives were invited for a follow-up check of invalid signatures," Malenica told reporters when asked by reporters about a demand by the initiative for the signatures to be recounted.

He said that the signature counting procedure was conducted transparently and that a conclusion has been adopted in that regard. "Hence that procedure is considered to be finished," he said.

Apart from the referendum initiative groups' activists, also opposition politician Miroslav Skoro on Thursday demanded the recounting of the signatures which had been collected in a bid to call the referendum against the Istanbul Convention.

Skoro accused the authorities of deviations and political maneuvers in that process.

Minister and county prefects to discuss decentralization next week

Asked whether a recent statement by President Zoran Milanovic that abolishing counties would not bring anything good and whether that was actually conducive to the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) policy, Malenica said this certainly supported HDZ's policy in empowering counties. "Counties that have a certain tradition are in this government's interest," said Malenica.

He announced a meeting with all county heads next week in Gospic to talk about active recovery plans, regional development, and the further process of decentralization.

Malenica did not wish to comment on whether the government was considering allowing homosexual couples to adopt children now that they have been approved as foster carers. "I would not like to comment on that for the time being," he said.

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