Saturday, 6 March 2021

Mayoral Candidate Miroslav Škoro Promises Free Zagreb Kindergartens, Closure of Jakuševac Landfill

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - The Homeland Movement (DP) leader, Miroslav Škoro, on Saturday presented his agenda as a mayoral candidate in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb, and on that occasion he said if elected, he would provide free-of-charge services in the city's kindergartens as of this autumn.

"I assure you that the Jakuševac landfill will be closed and that waste management will be improved," Škoro said in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square.

He also promised the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital and of a national stadium which could maybe named after the late footballer Zlatko Cici Kranjčar.

One of Škoro's promises is the reduction of the city surcharge by three percentage points.

"One epoch is over and it is high time we introduced a new model of managing Zagreb in accordance with the needs of its residents and the 21st century," said Škoro, who confirmed speculations that he would run for the Zagreb mayor a few days after the funeral of the mayor Milan Bandić.

Škoro also expressed his readiness to make a coalition with everybody provided that there is no trade-off or blackmailing. 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Miroslav Škoro To Run For Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - Leader of the Homeland Movement and Deputy Parliament Speaker Miroslav Škoro will run for mayor of Zagreb in the coming local election, sources from that party unofficially confirmed for Hina on Wednesday evening.

More information will be known in a few days time and Škoro will not be making any statements to the media today.

Ove the past few days Škoro has made vague statements about his candidacy. On Saturday he said that everyone in the Homeland Movement is in the game when it comes to running for Zagreb mayor, including himself.

"Each member of the Homeland Movement has to be prepared to be in the game and that's the principle we function by," Škoro said then.

Attending late Mayor Milan Bandić's funeral today, Škoro said that the candidate from his party would be announced in a few days' time.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Homeland Movement: Government Living in a Parallel World

ZAGREB, 18 January, 2021 - The chairman of the parliamentary group of the opposition Homeland Movement party, Stephen Nikola Bartulica, said on Monday that the government was living in a parallel world, the government's earthquake response was late and coronavirus vaccination was going too slow.

"The public administration, headed by the government, is living in a parallel world, as shown by the response to the earthquake in Petrinja and Sisak. Everyone could see that citizens privately organised themselves faster and better than many of the state services," Bartulica told a press conference in the parliament building.

"The services were late and the entire response by the government was lame, while reproaching volunteers was insane," he added.

Substantiating his claim that the government was detached from reality, he cited the case of Zagreb where owners of properties damaged in the 22 March 2020 earthquake were required to submit over 90 documents. 

Bartulica went on to say that vaccination against coronavirus was going too slow and that MPs should not be given a priority during the vaccination process.

"We do not think that the MPs are a vulnerable group compared, for example, to health workers," he said, adding that the Homeland Movement lawmakers would not undergo vaccination today.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Opposition Agrees with President's Criticism of COVID-19 Response Team

ZAGREB, July 27, 2020 - Homeland Movement MP Milan Vrkljan said on Monday the current COVID-19 response team should be dissolved.

"We agree with the president of the republic that it's a para-body, a body outside the constitution and the law and that it was established in the interest of a very small, narrow group of people covered by party affiliation," he told press.

As for the establishment of a new team, Vrkljan said the parliamentary health committee should discuss the issue and propose to the government how a new team should be established.

He said the team should be relieved of any politics as soon as possible and be left up to experts, and that everyone in Croatia who could and should say something should be involved in its work. "That's definitely not just doctors who are members of the HDZ."

Grmoja: Parliament should examine COVID-19 response team's activity

MP Nikola Grmoja of the Bridge party said parliament should "definitely" examine the activity of the team which had lost all credibility.

He said the case of HSLS MP Dario Hrebak showed that "if you are close enough to those in power, you don't have to self-isolate if you are needed for the parliamentary majority."

Grmoja said the team was compromised by the fact that its key members were candidates in the recent parliamentary election, and that Bridge agreed with President Zoran Milanovic's assessment of the team.

"Bridge was the first not to give the team those powers," he said, adding that the current team might be dissolved.

"It's possible, but that would require the goodwill and the political will of the prime minister to include in the team's work people who will be proposed by all parliamentary parties," Grmoja said.

He added, however, that those in power would refuse "because the team was their key lever in the election campaign and the election victory and they will keep it that way, but they will also bear the consequences."

President Zoran Milanovic said on Sunday that the national COVID-19 response team was not legally established and that it needed authority for the decisions it was making, and that parliament should play a key part in that.

"I warned the prime minister that people will sue the state because the decisions aren't legally founded. That team is a para-body. The Constitutional Court will have to decide on that."

Monday, 27 July 2020

Homeland Movement Requests Report on Money Spent on Srb Commemoration

ZAGREB, July 27, 2020 - The Homeland Movement parliamentary group asked from the government on Monday a detailed report on the HRK 100,000 from the state budget spent on the commemoration in Srb which it claims celebrates "the genocidal slaughter of Croats in Boricevac and neighbouring villages."

"At a time when budgetary revenues are low, when big companies relevant for the system are reducing salaries, when people are being sacked, when we don't know where the drop in the standard of living will stop, the Croatian government is financing a gathering which celebrates the genocidal slaughter of Croats in Boricevac and neighbouring villages, with HRK 100,000!" MP Katarina Vidovic Kresto told reporters.

She said it was unacceptable to allow a celebration of the slaughter of one's own people. "That's revolting and schizophrenic," she said, recalling the killing of the Ivezic family, 24 children, women, elderly and others.

She said the government financed the celebration with taxpayers' money and asked for a detailed report from Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Finance Minister Zdravko Maric. "The government is accountable to parliament. We demand a detailed report on the expenses."

The party's whip, Milan Vrkljan, said all of the Boricevac villagers were killed, that the village was burned down and all land records were destroyed.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Homeland Movement Party Chief Nominated for Deputy Parliament Speaker

ZAGREB, July 21, 2020 - Homeland Movement whip Milan Vrkljan said on Tuesday the party would nominate its president Miroslav Skoro as a deputy parliament speaker.

"The Homeland Movement will have... one deputy speaker, two committee chairs, two committee deputy chairs, one parliamentary group chair, and 13 seats on all parliamentary committees from the opposition quota," Vrkljan told the press.

Of the five deputy speakers, it is a usual practice that two come from the ranks of the Opposition.

He said the opposition was extremely fair at Monday's meeting and that they "managed to agree with the SDP, Bridge, the Sovereignists and We Can! simply, easily and with a lot of good intentions."

As for We Can! leader Tomislav Tomasevic's statement that this coalition could abstain from voting for Skoro as one of the deputy parliament speakers, Vrkljan called it "activist habits which some MPs brought from their campaigns."

He said all opposition parliamentary groups agreed yesterday to have joint candidates for deputy speakers, for all groups and committees.

"Based on that, the party which doesn't support a joint proposal will be excluded by all of us from the allotment of seats on parliamentary committees, but I believe they will find the strength in themselves and democratic customs to support anyone legitimately nominated in the Croatian parliament," said Vrkljan.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Skoro: HDZ, SDP Agree About Their Interests

ZAGREB, July 3, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro accused the HDZ and the SDP on Friday of agreeing about their interests, although they were supposed to be political opponents, for example, that it was not necessary to amend the election law or revoke their perks.

Speaking at the final campaign press conference, Skoro said he was not worried about the election results because he believed in a better tomorrow, but that he was worried about a deep rift in Croatian society given that 50% of eligible citizens did not wish to vote.

"We are offering this state the possibility to make a move with good far-reaching consequences. They are offering another move with bad consequences."

Skoro said he feared what would happen after Sunday's election because the epidemiological situation was not good. "The whole world is closing again, only we are opening and exposing ourselves in the interest of one man and two parties, Andrej Plenkovic, in the interest of the HDZ and the SDP."

Plenkovic and Bernardic can't be prime ministers

Asked if he was willing to sit down on Monday and talk about the next government, Skoro said the Homeland Movement was willing to talk with anyone who wished Croatia well. He added, however, that neither HDZ president Plenkovic nor SDP president Davor Bernardic could be a prime minister.

Skoro said he did not think a new election would be called because there were enough smart and wise people who would recognise the need to remove Plenkovic and Bernardic.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Skoro Says In Favour Of Croat Federal Unit In Bosnia And Herzegovina

ZAGREB, June 29, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro has said that he advocates a Croat federal unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina so that Croats in that country could become equal to the other two ethnic groups, and he criticised the attitude of Croatia's governments so far to compatriots in the neighbouring country.

"We are not satisfied with statements about the need for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be an equal and constituent ethnic group, we have been hearing them for years and (ethnic Croats) are neither equal nor constituent. The only true solution that would satisfy those principles is a federal unit for the Croat people within an integral Bosnia and Herzegovina," Skoro said.

He said that that solution would be best for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croats themselves as it would not "push them into the embrace of Milorad Dodik, who is not hiding his separatist ambitions at all."

Skoro welcomed resolutions by the European Parliament supporting the federalisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on which he said Zagreb had not insisted.

Skoro believes that the source of the inequality of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which put an end to the war in the country, which, he said, had stripped local Croats of that constitutional right.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Skoro Distances Himself From Those Who Committed Crimes

ZAGREB, June 28, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro on Sunday strongly distanced himself from "those who committed any criminal offence yet are in politics," saying that if Davorka Smokovic, a candidate on one of their lists, won a seat in parliament, she would cede it to the party.

The media have reported that the Homeland Movement's slate for Constituency No. 8 includes Smokovic, a former Pazin municipal prosecutor who was recently convicted of corruption.

In a press release, Skoro admitted to his part of the blame, saying the Homeland Movement could not control the "deep state" and vet people the usual way.

He said it was necessary to amend the election law because now the Homeland Movement could not legally take Smokovic off the slate.

Earlier today, Smokovic said in a press release that she was pulling out of the campaign. She said she had not received any Supreme Court ruling but that she did not want her "alleged burden" to be transferred onto the Homeland Movement in any way.

Smokovic added that if she won a seat in parliament, she would cede it to the party.