Monday, 10 October 2022

Upcoming Split Technology Park Just One Part of Large Project

October the 10th, 2022 - The up and coming Split Technology Park is just one part of a massive project in Croatia's second largest city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the construction of the central building of the Split Technology Park (Split-Dracevac) will cost almost 165 million kuna, of which around 105 million kuna will be co-financed by grants from the European Development Fund within the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme 2014-2020.

Split Mayor Ivica Puljak explained the sequence of project's implementation, saying that the central building of the Split Technology Park is the first part of the project, followed by an even more ambitious second part, which will be realised in cooperation with private partners.

The Director of the Directorate for Regional Development in the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union (EU) Funds, Ivan Bota, pointed out that the central building of the Split Technology Park is a very good example of integrated investment, and it is the largest single project implemented by the City of Split in this financial perspective.

The net area which spans a massive ​​17.5 thousand square metres will accommodate 5.9 thousand square metres of office space, 460 square metres of co-working space, 697 square metres of incubation offices and 858 square metres of conference space in total. The work on the construction site in Dracevic is being carried out by the company Strabag, which has carried out multiple similar projects in Croatia and beyond.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 11 July 2022

Ivica Puljak Re-Elected Split Mayor

ZAGREB, 11 July 2022 - The Centar party's candidate Ivica Puljak on Sunday scored a landslide victory in the Split mayoral runoff, winning 27,496 votes, while his opponent Zoran Đogaš, nominated by the HDZ and the HSS, won 13,243, according to the State Electoral Commission.

Puljak and his deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić will run the city until the next regular local election in spring 2025.

The government called a snap election in Split after Puljak, Ivošević, and Kuzmanić resigned on 8 April, having lost their partners' support in the City Council.

The turnout in the runoff was 28.36%.

In his first address after the victory, Puljak said the people of Split had sent a clear message that his team's advocacy of order and public interest was right, and that the city would be run differently than in the past 30 years.

Citizens have decided that Split should be a city without privileged ones, with public tenders and not clientelism, he added.

Puljak said he would begin talks with the Social Democratic Party and Bridge on Monday already on forming a majority in the City Council. The only thing Centar wants from the cooperation is that there is no dividing of the loot, he added.

Puljak said his communication with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to date had been professional and that he hoped it would stay so.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Ivica Puljak: Split Will be Among Best Places in Croatia for Education

May the 15th, 2022 - Split politician Ivica Puljak has claimed that the City of Split will become one of the best places in all of Croatia when it comes to education.

As Morski writes, presenting his programme in the City of Split, Croatia's second largest city, Centre's mayoral candidate Ivica Puljak announced the construction of apartments, kindergartens and schools, and said that if making a return to the helm of Split's city administration, they'd continue where they left off.

According to Ivica Puljak, they wanted to share the programme with the people at a public presentation at the place where they celebrated their victory last time, something he hopes to repeat. He was accompanied by other Centre political candidates (who would be deputy mayors), Bojan Ivosevic and Antonio Kuzmanic.

They plan to build POS apartments in Koresnica, complete Znjan beach by the summer of 2024, and build the Dracevac Technology Park. They have already thought up a project to build four kindergartens, so two should be completed by the beginning of the next school year, and two by the end of the term so that all children can have a place in kindergarten.

''Split will be one of the best places in Croatia in terms of education standards,'' claimed a confident Ivica Puljak. They also plan to build five new halls so that all primary schools in Split have their own, as well as two new schools, in Kili and Sirobuja, N1 reports. There are also the priority streets of Lovrinacka, Vukovarska, Put Mostina, Put Kamena, Bracka ulica and Mandjerova in their sights, as well as the desire to solve the problem of parking through urban mobility and building more garages.

Ivica Puljak said that they also have a new waste management system to boast of, so that Split would be able to separate 50 percent of waste in three years and become an "example city" to others across Croatia and indeed further afield.

In addition to the original waste separation system, they have developed a new urban policy and will draft a new GUP by the year 2026, and conduct a tender for city projects. According to that, he added, Stari Hajduk Square would become a memorial-cultural-sports centre with underground garages as well.

When asked how to get money for the planned projects has been secured and set aside, Ivica Puljak answered that the money will be generated from the city budget, while the City of Split will still have to borrow for some of these important projects.

He noted that they now have a more realistic programme than they did before because they have experience in Banovina, and said that they want to continue where they left off "with more enthusiasm, desire, hope and greater support from residents."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Split Mayor and His Deputies Resign

ZAGREB, 8 April (2022) - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak and his deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić formally tendered their resignations on Friday, thus leaving their offices.

Puljak, Ivošević and Kuzmanić resigned after local prosecutorial authorities indicted Ivošević for threatening an editor at the Split-based Slobodna Dalmacija daily, Nikolina Lulić.

Puljak had come under harsh criticism from other politicians and media for not distancing himself from Ivošević even after he was indicted.

Instead, he took many by surprise by opting to stand by his first deputy and go with him and his second deputy, Antonio Kuzmanić, to a snap election.

"To live for Split and not off Split is our motto and I hope we will not encounter political obstructions after citizens give us their votes again," Puljak told reporters after he and his deputies tendered their resignations.

The mayor had earlier announced that Kuzmanić would continue running the city until the early election, but the Justice and Public Administration Ministry said that it would appoint a commissioner to run the city, meaning that Kuzmanić would not be able to stay in office.

Puljak has now decided to put an end to a possible legal tangle with Kuzmanić resigning together with him and Ivošević.

"With Mr Kuzmanić resigning we have shown that we are putting the city's interests first, we are not interested in legal manoeuvering," Puljak said.

 For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Split Mayor: City Council to Sit Next Week; Kuzmanić, Centre Deputies to Resign

ZAGREB, 6 April 2022 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak said that leaders of the party groups in the Split City Council decided at their meeting on Wednesday to hold a session of the City Council next week at which the councillors of his Centre party would tender their irrevocable resignations, adding that he expected the same from the HDZ councillors.

"At that session of the City Council a decision will be made to hold district elections and the proposal is that they be held on 26 June. We will propose that on the same day early elections be held for the mayor and for the City Council," Puljak told reporters.

He noted that today's meeting was not attended by the councillors from the HDZ and the HGS party of Željko Kerum, both in the opposition in the Split City Council.

Puljak said that after next week's City Council session, the councillors from his Centre party would tender their irrevocable resignations and he called on the nine HDZ councillors to resign simultaneously with the Centre deputies. That way 16 councillors would resign, which is the majority of the 31 city councillors necessary to dissolve the City Council, Puljak said.

Second deputy mayor to resign together with HDZ councillors 

Puljak repeated that he and his first deputy Bojan Ivošević would resign by the end of this week to clear the way for mayoral elections.

"My (second) deputy Kuzmanić will prepare his resignation and hand it in together with the resignations of the HDZ councillors," Puljak said, adding that Kuzmanić would do so because the Centre party did not trust the HDZ.

"The HDZ has cheated us and the residents of Split, and not only them but all Croatians, a number of times. Our offer is for deputy mayor Kuzmanić to resign together with the HDZ councillors," Puljak said, noting that that would pave the way to elections for the City Council.

Asked earlier in the day about the political situation in Split and Puljak's allegations that he was interfering in the election process, PM and HDZ party leader Andrej Plenković said that he did not know "what Puljak is hallucinating about."

"I am aware that Andrej Plenković and the government will do everything to take Split again and that in that process they will not hesitate to violate the law, which is what they announced yesterday with the opinion of the Justice and Public Administration Ministry on the government commissioner for Split, contrary to legal experts' view. We are not afraid of Plenković's and the government's interference," Puljak said.

He called the HDZ councillors in Split cowards who were trying to avoid the dissolution of the City Council for fear of voters.

Puljak also said that Plenković and the government would stall for as long as possible and try to prevent early elections in Split being held on the same day as district elections and move them to the summer.

The entire country is looking at Split and the fight against the HDZ, the clientelism, the crime and the corruption, Puljak said, adding that in parliamentary elections in two years' time that fight will spread to the entire country because "citizens are fed up with what the HDZ has been doing."

Asked if he had any political ambitions at the national level, Puljak said that Split was his sole ambition.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Official Says HDZ Councillors to Resign if Other Deputy Split Mayor Resigns as Well

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Vice Mihanović, leader of the HDZ party in Split, said on Thursday his party's nine deputies in the Split City Council would resign if Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić, who Mayor Ivica Puljak, confirming his own resignation earlier in the day, said would run the city as commissioner until a snap election, did so.

"The condition for HDZ councillors to resign is for the other deputy mayor, Antonio Kuzmanić, to resign as well," Mihanović, whose party is in the opposition in the Split City Council, told Hina.

Confirming his own resignation, as well as the resignation of his first deputy Bojan Ivošević earlier on Thursday, Mayor Puljak said his second deputy Kuzmanić would act as the commissioner for the city until the early elections.

Mihanović does not agree with this and believes Puljak wants to continue running the city through his deputy after resigning and that owing to Kuzmanić, he "will finance his campaign with public money."

He now insists that joint elections for the City Council and for the mayor, which is what Puljak advocates, are possible only if Puljak's entire team resigns.

Commenting on the situation on Wednesday, when it was announced that the mayor and his first deputy would step down, Mihanović said the announced resignations and new elections were the only solution.

"If Puljak and Ivošević resign, then the nine HDZ councillors in the City Council will also resign and contribute to its dissolution as the new elections for the City Council and for the mayor are the only solution for Split," Mihanović said on Wednesday.

Mayor: Kuzmanić to be in charge of technical tasks, won't participate in campaign

Mayor Puljak and his first deputy Bojan Ivošević confirmed on Thursday they were stepping down and intended to run in a snap election.

This happened after the parties in the City Council supporting Puljak earlier this week suspended their cooperation with him, insisting that Ivošević be removed from office after an indictment against him was issued for threatening a reporter of the Split-based regional Slobodna Dalmacija daily.

Refusing to replace his deputy, Puljak on Thursday said they would both resign and go to a snap election.

Puljak said his deputy did not threaten the reporter's life, as confirmed by the reporter herself, that his communication was indeed inappropriate and inadequate but that one did not go to jail for that.

The Split mayor said Ivošević was not a burden on the city government but rather carried and dealt with the burden of the chaos left behind by the former city administrations.

Puljak called on all local political stakeholders to help dissolve the City Council as soon as possible so that new elections could be held, recalling that they had already shown that they wanted it to be dissolved.

"We will propose holding a session of the City Council as early as next week at which a decision would be made on holding district elections by the end of June, and then the government has enough time to make a decision on holding all elections in Split - for the City Council, the mayor and for districts, at once, to minimise the cost," Puljak said.

He stressed that he, Ivošević and his second deputy Antonio Kuzmanić, to act as commissioner for the city until the elections, would run in the elections as a team.

Puljak dismissed objections that he could use Kuzmanić to continue implementing his policy, noting that Kuzmanić would mostly be in charge of the most necessary technical tasks and would not participate in the election campaign.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Mayor And Deputy Mayor Of Split Resign

ZAGREB, 31 March 2022 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak and his first deputy Bojan Ivošević on Thursday confirmed they were stepping down, adding that they intended to run in a snap election.

"This is not an extorted resignation. It is virtually impossible to remove a mayor. I could have remained mayor until the end of the year, the budget would not be adopted and there would be an election for the City Council, which is something we seem to be accustomed to in Croatian politics," Puljak told an extraordinary press conference, confirming his resignation and a fresh election.

"I am not that type of person or politician. I do not want to stoop to that sort of politics," he said and added that he wanted to give Split citizens an opportunity to choose the sort of government they wanted.

"I am not afraid of my citizens. I do not want to be mayor without the support of the citizens. I am certain that we have that support now and will have it in the future," said Puljak.

Referring to Ivošević, who has been indicted for threatening a reporter from the Slobodna Dalmacija daily, Puljak said his deputy did not steal anything nor lied or hit anyone.

"For difficult decisions and in difficult times like this, I always go back to the question of what is true and what isn't. Is it true that the deputy mayor threatened a reporter's life? No, that is not true. The truth is that his communication was inappropriate and inadequate, that is the truth. We have never justified inappropriate communication nor will we. One does not go to jail for things like that," said Puljak.

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Bridge Terminates Cooperation With Split Mayor, Demands Fresh Election

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - The three members of the Bridge party in the Split City Council have terminated their cooperation with Mayor Ivica Puljak over his failure to resolve the case of his deputy, Bojan Ivošević, and Bridge's local branch has called for a fresh election.

Ivošević has been indicted for threatening an editor of the Slobodna Dalmacija daily.

"Mayor Puljak's actions have presented us with a fait accompli, irreparably compromising our cooperation with him and the executive authority. That's why we are compelled to terminate our cooperation," Bridge Councillor Josip Markotić told a press conference in Split.

Markotić said the only way out of the present situation was a fresh election, and not just for the City Council but also for Mayor. "We insist on this election," he stressed, adding that the election could be held together with local elections in the city scheduled for June.

Markotić said his party had tried to meet with the mayor to discuss the new situation, but "a meeting never materialised."

The councillors from the Smart for Split and Dalmatia party, the We Can! platform and the Ramljak-Marić Independent List said on Tuesday they were suspending their cooperation with Mayor Puljak over his indecision to resolve the Ivošević case.

Markotić said that Bridge had talked to these councillors and they had agreed on their reactions together, "the only difference being that we insist on a fresh election."

Responding to questions from the press, Markotić said they could restore cooperation with the mayor if Ivošević resigned.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Split City Administration Building to Become Hotel? Mayor Puljak Weighs In

March 19, 2022 - The Split City Administration building has no place in one of the city's most attractive locations. While many Split mayors had the same conclusion, Ivica Puljak assures that he has a plan for change. 

The plan is to convert Banovina, and the city officials will move to a building that has not been built yet, reports RTL.

Banovina could become a hotel in a few years. Serious plans are being made to move the Split City Administration building from the attractive location along the West Coast.

Split Mayor, Ivica Puljak, says:

"The city administration has no place in the attractive location of the West Coast and that is why we have made a plan for the conversion of Banovina. We believe that this location can be used much better for a hotel or other commercial content that will generate funds, and with the money that the City will earn from long-term rent, we will cover the cost of building a new, more favorable building for Split administration.

Detailed plans will be fully completed by the end of the year so that we can start construction next year and move to a new building in two years at the latest.

I call on all state and local institutions to move out of locations that can be much better used for another activity from which revenues can be generated. Banovina would be leased on a long-term basis, and the money would be used to build a new city administration building," Puljak said on his Facebook page.

Dražen Pejković from the City of Split Department of Urbanism said:

"It seems to me that this is the first example in Croatia when, moving from one attractive location to one that is less attractive, and putting this attractive one in a special tourist function, justifies the entire financial construction."

Most citizens have nothing against the plan. The Croatian Fraternal Union Square near the court and the police administration is a location chosen by some citizens, answering the question of where it would suit them to have a new city administration building.

"Well, let's say there is a court that would put all those buildings in one place. When a person needs to go to Banovina, to the court, that would be ideal," replied one Split local. 

This is exactly the location for which the preliminary design will be done, and it is predicted that it would cost around 120 million kuna. Relocating the city administration building was also a wish of Puljak's predecessors. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section 

Saturday, 5 March 2022

A Smarter Future: Mayor Ivica Puljak Discusses Green City Action Plan Split

March 5, 2022 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak attended an online meeting with the developers of the Green City Action Plan Split - European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and local and international consultants involved in drafting the Green City Action Plan Split (GCAP).

On that occasion, he pointed out the advantages of cooperation with the EBRD in developing such and similar "green" projects for the city of Split. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of drafting and implementing the plan in the context of improving the quality of life, environment, and climate change.

The City of Split joined the Green Cities program in October 2020, and the development of the GCAP officially began in April 2021. More than 40 European cities have been supported through the EBRD's Green Cities program since 2016, and a vital part of the program is the development of the Green City Action Plan (GCAP).

GCAP is tailored to the city to improve the quality of the environment and resilience to climate change and the well-being of citizens. GCAP achieves this by identifying, prioritizing, and linking the city’s environmental challenges to sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures. To this end, the development of the GCAP is an inclusive process, while the Technical Expert Group (TEG) is key to its success.

The online discussion also served as an introductory meeting of the Technical Expert Group representatives with the GCAP developers. TEG members are appointed by representatives of various institutions, companies, and associations in the city of Split to give their expert contribution in the fields of environmental protection, urban infrastructure, economy, climate resilience, smart city, and other related industries relevant to the development and drafting a quality document. Through their inputs, members of the Technical Expert Group participate in crucial planning processes, including workshops and focus groups, and setting priorities and strategic objectives.

The GCAP will build on existing city plans and strategies to identify practical measures to improve the city that can be implemented over the next few years. In this context, GCAP will be harmonized with the "Strategy for the Development of the City of Split until 2030". Furthermore, the wide range of GCAP will help the City develop activities that provide multiple benefits in different urban sectors and attract financial investors who invest in green and sustainable investment projects.

GCAP is being developed with the support of donors TaiwanBusiness - EBRD Technical Assistance Fund.

Source: Grad Split

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