Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatian Parliament (Sabor): About 75 kg of Food thrown Out in Croatia Annually Per Head

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - About 75 kilograms of food is thrown out each year in Croatia per head, lawmakers underlined on Thursday during a debate on an agriculture bill which among other things regulates the prevention of waste food.

"Food waste has reached a value of 20% of the total amount of food produced in Europe and on the global level losses amount to one-third of all the food produced, while in Croatia we throw out 75 kilograms of food each year per head," said MP Marijana Petir of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) caucus.

The agriculture bill, she said, would be the basis for documents that will regulate more clearly activities regarding food donations and preventing food waste, but also a system of quality food production.

The EU foresees reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 and we too have to achieve that aim, Petir underscored. "Any reduction of throwing out food means less pressure on farmland and reduced consumption of water, pesticides, and fertiliser."

MP Marija Selak Raspudić (Bridge) said that a quality system of food donations is important given the increasing poverty, but added that the bill does not provide a clear plan and that the most important thing would be to establish a food bank.

Anka Mrak Taritaš (GLAS) too underlined the need for a food bank so that surplus food can be distributed at the national level.

State Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry Tugomir Majdak said that the amount of donated food in 2019 had increased by 30% compared to 2018 and amounted to 1.5 million tonnes.

With regard to reducing food waste, Majdak explained that a guide has been prepared for food donations, a feasibility study for a food bank has been prepared, and tax reliefs on food donations have been defined.

The amendments to the law will align it with EU regulations regarding the prevention of food waste.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

MP Tomislav Tomašević: "Bandić Not Mayor Any More, But His Network Remains"

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Tomislav Tomašević, the Green-Left Bloc's candidate for Mayor of Zagreb, said on Thursday he was prepared to deal with the legacy and network of the late mayor Milan Bandić, following comments that Bandić's death has shaken his position as an election favourite.

"Bandić is not the mayor any more, but his network, his legacy and problems are still present. We have been preparing for long to deal with these problems. We have entered politics not to be against, but in favour, to deal with the problems and raise the standards of living in Zagreb. Also, we want to change Zagreb in order to change Croatia," Tomašević said.

The present management model in Zagreb did not emerge with Bandić nor will it end with him. It will end only if true change occurs, and we are the sole guarantor of that, he added.

"The coalition between the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and Bandić has been stable for five years. Who ran Zagreb before Bandić? The HDZ. Who rules Croatia on the basis of clientelism and corruption? The HDZ. If we look at all the local 'sheriffs' in Croatia, the model of local 'sheriffs' must be dismantled. The best place to show this is the City of Zagreb, because it is a symbol," Tomašević said.

He said he did not think he was politically incorrect because he had not attended Bandić's funeral and signed the book of condolence in City Hall. He said he had extended his condolences to the family, cancelled all his campaign activities and refrained from making public statements until today.

Tomašević said that he and his associates had been working on the election programme for Zagreb for months. He said he believed that it would be the most comprehensive of all programmes in the forthcoming election, due in May, and that he would present it to the public soon.

Debt to be stabilised by public procurement monitoring

Tomašević said that the city's budget deficit had officially reached HRK 1.3 billion (€173.3m), but noted they had not yet received the report on budget execution for last year, which was very difficult because of the earthquake, the coronavirus pandemic and the socio-economic crisis.

One of the main ways to stabilise and reduce the debt is to reorganise and monitor public procurement, he said. "My message to the private sector is that there will be a level playing field for all, no more favourites," Tomašević said, expressing confidence that in this way the city would cut expenses by HRK 600 million (€80m) annually.

He announced a review of all detrimental contracts with private companies, and said he expected all heads of city departments and all management boards of city companies to offer their resignations, after which public calls for those positions would be issued.

Monday, 14 December 2020

MPs: Completion of Corridor Vc Motorway Important for East Croatia

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 - Members of parliament on Monday backed a loan for the completion of the motorway to the border with Hungary within the pan-European Corridor Vc, stressing that this is an important project for the development of eastern Croatia.

The parliament is expected to ratify the state guarantee agreement between Croatia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for financing a portion of the project for the completion of the said motorway.

That is a priority project important for the development and progress of Slavonia and Baranja, and it is also important for the port of Ploce which will become an EU port of entry, HDZ MPs Branko Bacic and Ivan Radic said during the discussion.

SDP MP Domagoj Hajdukovic agreed with them, underscoring that the port of Ploce would gain in importance and be connected with Budapest and the rest of Europe.

The €55 million loan will be used to complete the construction of a 17.5-km-long section between Halasica Bridge and Beli Manastir and a 5-km-long stretch between Beli Manastir and the Hungarian border.

The loan agreement is repayable over 15 years, including a 3-year grace period, at a variable interest rate of six-month Euribor plus a spread of 1%.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Three Croatian MPs Stripped of Immunity from Criminal Prosecution

ZAGREB, September 18, 2020 - The Croatian parliament on Friday lifted the immunity of three MPs to face corruption charges.

It was an unprecedented decision in parliament's recent history because never before had three lawmakers been stripped of immunity from criminal prosecution in a single day.

The MPs in question are Drazen Barisic (HDZ), the mayor of Velika Gorica, Darko Puljasic (HDZ), the mayor of Pozega, and Vinko Grgic (SDP), the mayor of Nova Gradiska.

The decision was carried by 121 votes in favour and one abstention in the case of Barisic and by 123 votes in favour and two abstentions in the cases of Puljasic and Grgic.

Barisic and Grgic are suspected in a corruption case involving the state-run JANAF oil pipeline operator and the Elektrocentar Petek company from Ivanic Grad. A total of 13 persons are suspected of financial wrongdoing in this case.

Barisic is suspected of influence peddling and misuse of position and authority, while Grgic is suspected of bribe taking.

Puljasic is connected with another case - the extension of a primary school in Pozega. It has been found that the city administration received funding for this project from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds although no work was done. It is suspected that this was done on the basis of an agreement that was falsified by Puljasic.

On Thursday, Barisic suspended his term in parliament and was replaced by Mato Cicak, the mayor of Rugvica. Cicak was sworn in on Friday.

 

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