Sunday, 3 May 2020

Opposition Parties Call for Physical Meeting of Zagreb City Assembly

ZAGREB, May 3, 2020 - The opposition parties in the Zagreb City Assembly said on Saturday that Assembly Chairman Drago Prgomet had called a virtual meeting to protect Mayor Milan Bandić from the opposition's questions about the March 22 earthquake and repairing of the damage.

"Chairman of the Assembly Drago Prgomet has called a virtual, online meeting under very strange circumstances. At a time when the restrictions are being eased, when Masses can be held and believers have to be two metres apart from each other, ... we are absolutely certain that a normal, physical meeting of the City Assembly should be held," the leader of the Civil and Liberal Alliance (GLAS), Anka Mrak Taritaš, told reporters.

Mrak Taritaš said that GLAS, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Pensioners' Party (HSU), the left bloc and independent members of the Assembly were against the decision to convene an online meeting because they would not be able to ask questions and get the answers to key issues. She added that Prgomet and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) did not want the public to know what the mayor should have done, but failed to do in dealing with the consequences of the earthquake.

Mrak Taritaš said that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the HDZ were also responsible. "The central government should have taken charge of the reconstruction of Zagreb, but they are pretending that the earthquake didn't happen," she said.

The SDP member of the City Assembly, Zvane Brumnić, drew attention to higher rates charged by the Cistoca municipal sanitation company and the Gradska Groblja company in charge of municipal cemeteries. "These are the questions the mayor and Prgomet don't want to answer," he said.

The opposition members of the Assembly said they would boycott the online meeting.

Asked to comment on the opposition's demand for a physical meeting of the City Assembly, Mayor Bandić said that a decision on this lay with the City Assembly. "I don't decide that. But let them change this decision if they can and find a bigger venue," he said.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Dario Jurican's New 'Let's Steal' Series Now with English Subtitles: 1. Bundekfest

 April 22, 2020 - Former Croatian presidential candidate and acclaimed documentary maker Dario Jurican is back! Bundekfest, Part 1 of his new series 'Let's Steal' is now available with English subtitles thanks to a TCN collaboration.

He ran a brilliant campaign to become the President of Croatia, even changing his name to that of the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic, in the process. Running on a platform of 'Corruption for All', Dario Jurican lit up the campaign, as well as highlighting the realities of how modern Croatia is run. 

And now he is back with a new series called Let's Steal, as previously reported on TCN:

Jurican has released the first episode of his new series ‘Idemo Krast’ or ‘Let’s Steal’ in English, which looks into USKOK's indictments against Milan Bandic and his men. The episodes in Jurican's new series will be released every two weeks.

The first episode focuses on the organization of Bundekfest. Part of the material will be an integral part of the feature film "Kumek", which Jurican has been working on for more than three years. The episodes are short, the first lasting just over seven minutes. 

“In these difficult times, one must prepare for those happy times to come - the blessed times of theft and corruption! Every two weeks, I will present educational films to the people with instructions on how to steal,” Jurican published.

"The first episode of IDEMO KRAST! is called #Bundekfest and thematizes Uskok's indictment into Bundekfest 2014 and Advent 2013. The series aims to further educate the corrupt little man on how to steal! I dedicate the first episode to the Europa Cinema in Zagreb, which was closed without a real plan by Milan Bandic, the biggest pest in the city of Zagreb, with partners who support him - HDZ and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic,” wrote Jurican.
And now with English subtitles, as the Gazda YouTube channel explained this morning: 

This is the first episode of the mini-series LET'S STEAL! and shows how the business really works in Croatia and that is the reason why is Croatia, with all its potential, relativity poor country. Zagreb's Mayor Milan Bandić is a partner of Prime Minister Plenković.

Today, April 23. is the 66. birthday of the director Michael Moore ;) He would be very pleased to know how our Zagreb "managers" are skilled and that is why I adapted and translated the first episode of Let's steal! and made it available on this YouTube channel. The new episode is coming soon ;)

Supported by:

Dario Juričan, Mayor of the Universe

® © Dario Juričan p.s. Support our work with a donation:


IBAN: HR9823600001102458120 or PAYPAL -


For the latest news on the crazy world of Dario Jurican, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Monday, 20 April 2020

New Balcony Demonstration Against Zagreb Mayor Called for April 24

ZAGREB, April 20, 2020 - The initiative Zagreb Is Calling You and the NGOs Green Action and the Right to the City are organising a new, third, balcony protest against the Zagreb mayor to take place on Friday, April 24 under the slogan "Bandić, give the money back".

The organisers are calling on citizens to bang their pots in order to show their dissatisfaction with the mayor's "wasteful use of city money on murky and unnecessary, often overpaid projects".

Each day, the chaos surrounding the repair of the damage caused by the earthquake becomes more evident, as well as the fact that these incompetent authorities were not able to systematically take even the most basic steps to repair the damage in a month's time, they said.

All this is happening in a city where the mayor manages about HRK 12 billion (€1.6bn) a year, while parts of the city still lack basic utilities, and many streets are littered with rubbish, the activists said in their call for protest.

The first demonstration against the mayor took place on April 3 and the second on April 17.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Disgruntled Residents Join "Pots and Pans Demonstration" against Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, April 18, 2020 - Following a call made by Zagreb City Assembly opposition councillor, Tomislav Tomašević and a few NGOs, residents in Zagreb's various neighbourhoods took to banging on pots and kitchen utensils from their balconies on Friday to show their dissatisfaction with Mayor Milan Bandić.

Earlier on Friday, Tomašević, who is the whip of the left group in the Zagreb City Assembly, called on residents to join "a cacerolazo " at 7 p.m. Friday and that by making noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils, they could tell Mayor Bandić "enough".

"We can't protest in (Ban Jelačić) square because of the corona measures, but we can make noise on our balconies and windows, regardless of what Bandić and the police think about that 'disturbing of the peace'. Let them fine half the city if they can. Bandić pretends he didn't hear the banging last time, but tonight it will be louder. Let Bandić's people and 'business partners' and HDZ members who may live on your street realise that this way of running Zagreb is through, Tomašević said in a press release before the pots and pans demonstration in the evening.

The call for the protest was made by the NGOs The Right to the City, Green Action and Zagreb Is Calling You. They urge dissatisfied citizens to go to their windows and balconies, just as they did on 3 April when they also banged at their pots and pans and blew whistles in protest at how Bandić was running the city in the present situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic and the March 22 earthquake.

A Green Action activist, Bernard Ivčić, told Hina on Friday evening, that residents once again showed that they were fed up with the way how the city was run.

In his comment to the latest protest, Tomašević told Hina that this evening's pots and pans demonstration was louder than the previous one.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Zagreb City Fund for Disaster Relief Spent on Ceremonies, Says Daily?

ZAGREB, April 11, 2020 - Auditors have found a deficit of close to HRK 630 million in the budget of the city of Zagreb, which is managed by Mayor Milan Bandić and his services, Večernji List daily reports on Saturday, noting that the fund for disaster relief was spent on various ceremonies.

The fund for disaster relief is used for outlays related to removing the consequences of natural disasters, epidemics, environmental accidents or extraordinary events and the city spent it on "activities of various associations, religious communities' capital projects and various commemorative events," the daily says.

This is how HRK 5.1 million of city budget reserves was spent, explains a recently published audit report on the city's financial records.

The State Audit Office has said that the money should not have been used for the purposes for which it was used and called on the city administration to comply with the Budget Act.

This is only a small fragment of irregularities detected in the audit for 2018, the year at the end of which a deficit in the city budget of close to HRK 630 million was found, Vecernji List says.

The State Audit Office also says that the city's debts at the end of 2018 amounted to HRK 1.9 billion.

Auditors consider as contentious the city's public procurement procedures, how money from monument annuity is used, contracts on external services, the lack of funding for business events, the leasing of city-owned property without a tender and many other items, the daily says.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 6 April 2020

He's Back! Dario Jurican aka Milan Bandic New Show: Lets Go Stealing

April 6, 2020 - He was the star of the recent Croatian Presidential campaign, and now erstwhile presidential candidate and Zagreb mayor namesake wannabe Dario Jurican, aka Milan Bandic is back with a new show - and the world is suddenly a better place. 

Even though life is brutal at the moment with my own corona economic realities, coupled with the need to work 15-16 hours a day to mitigate the disaster, I can honestly say that I have never been more challenged or fulfilled professionally. 

Trying to deliver the content so many non-Croatian speakers are looking for at this time of crisis is TCN's priority, and I am so proud of our little team who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the last few weeks. 

Everyone's world has been turned upside down, and I find that it has levelled the playing field in a number of ways. People I would perhaps never associate with are now great online friends. 

I am having the most sensational daily exchanges, for example, with the man who is doing more than most to advise our leaders on how to save our species from extinction - eminent Croatian scientist, Igor Rudan. TCN editor Lauren Simmonds is translating much of Igor's work, and I somehow get to be a fly on the wall in their daily chats, and sometimes feel brave enough to make a comment or two. 

I am also in daily contact with legendary documentary maker, Rober Tomic Zuber, whose new R+ video channel is proving to be an absolute hit. I am learning a LOT from the master. 

And so it was perhaps fitting to get a message from Robert this evening that he had a new contributor on his new channel - another hero of mine who has been in touch with me recently. Dario Jurican, aka Milan Bandic, whose brilliant anti-corruption campaign as a Presidential campaign was one of the highlights of 2019. 

And if you expected Dario Jurican to go away quietly... 

From the Rplus website:

Director Dario Jurican on Wednesday, 8th April 2020 will air the first episode of his new series titled “Let’s steal!”.Director Dario Jurican on Wednesday, 8th April 2020 will air the first episode of his new series titled “Let’s steal!”.

“The first episode is called #Bundekfest and thematizes USKOK’s indictment of “acting” on the 2014 Bundekfest and Advent 2013 festivities. The aim of the series is to educate an ordinary man on how to steal!

I dedicate the first episode to the Cinema Europa, which was closed without any real plans by the mayor Milan Bandic, the biggest pest in the city of Zagreb, with partners who support it – HDZ and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

Of course, one should not forget the role of the perpetrator and the political misfit: Davor Bernardic called Badger and Zvana Brumnic called Hero.

8th April was chosen as the premiere date because on that day, Cinema Europa was opened.

Cinema Europa Happy 95th Birthday!

Dario Jurican, Mayor of the Universe”


Monday, 6 April 2020

Zagreb Mayor Does Not Blame Citizens for Earthquake

ZAGREB, April 6, 2020 - Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić said on Monday that he had never accused Zagreb residents of the March 22 earthquake but that citizens, the city and the state were responsible for the damage caused by the quake to their property as they had not invested in it.

Addressing a news conference, Bandić accused reporters of misquoting his statement that "citizens are to blame for the earthquake", saying that nobody was to blame for it but that the failure to invest in one's own property was to blame on both the state and the city as well as its residents.

Responding to a reporter's remark that his previous statement was "a slap in the face for Zagreb residents", Bandić asked the reporter why she was nervous, accusing her of interrupting him and noting that she could not be helped.

Asked why he had decided to hold daily news conferences only two weeks after the earthquake and a month a half since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Bandić said that "things had to be organised."

Bandić said that the city budget would be revised in two weeks' time.

"Today you will have a decision on provisional financing, with priorities. This is not only the city's problem but a national problem. Only together can we cope with it," said the mayor, adding that a law should be passed to regulate the process of reconstruction in Zagreb and that the most severe cases, people who cannot return to their homes, would have priority.

He said that everyone would pay for the reconstruction of their own property - the city for its own, the state for its own and the city and state together for citizens' property that is treated as a priority.

Bandić said that the city would make apartments it owns available to everyone left without a roof over their heads and that in the autumn the construction of 300 flats would begin in the neighbourhood of Podbrežje.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Zagreb Residents Protest Against Mayor from Their Windows

ZAGREB, April 4, 2020 - Residents of Zagreb came to their windows and balconies on Friday evening and banged at their pots and pans and blew whistles in protest at how Mayor Milan Bandić was running the city in the present situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the March 22 earthquake.

The protest was initiated by a civil society group called "Zagreb Is Calling You", who called on residents to come to their windows and balconies at 7pm and express their anger for five minutes at how the mayor was handling the crisis. The group said that the mayor was not up to the task.

"His arrogance and impertinence have reached a culmination. In these difficult times when volunteers, associations and initiatives are working round the clock to help their city, the quasi-mayor is turning his back on them," the protest organisers said.

"We hope that both he and the government hear us because in a time of crisis they can remove the mayor from office. Step down, you're guilty, we've had enough! You're the worst disaster that has ever hit Zagreb," they said.

The initiative was supported by opposition councillors and architects through videos posted on social media.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Digital Zagreb: New E-Services Launched in Croatian Capital City

The dawn of a digital Croatia should undoubtedly include a digital Zagreb, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of February, 2020, presenting the new digital service, Miro Laco, the head of Mayor Milan Bandic's office, emphasised that by digitising the city's business processes, the City of Zagreb is clearly showing its willingness to implement innovative solutions in doing business.

The City of Zagreb has introduced a new digital service called e-Purchase Order, and thus, an increasingly digital Zagreb has fully implemented the digitised process of creating, signing and sending e-purchase orders in simple procurement procedures.

Signing a purchase order electronically and sending it electronically to the successful tenderer simplifies the entire administrative process, increases overall efficiency and reduces the cost and processing time. A total of 6,600 purchase orders were made in 2019. Multiple copies and physical copies were required for each of the 6,600 purchase orders, for which they needed to be delivered to five addresses. But with a more digital Zagreb, that is a thing of the past, and things getting faster, more efficient and cheaper.

The organisational improvement of business operations in the City of Zagreb is based on the management of business processes, initiated, encouraged and supported by the Mayor. Specifically, back in 2012, the Mayor's Office launched several projects to more quickly adapt to new business conditions and to adopt proper European Union administrative standards.

According to Mayor Milan Bandic, numerous online services for Zagreb are already available to both individuals and businesses, such as e-Offices, e-Education, e-Matica, e-Applications for funding programmes and projects of funded associations from the City budget, e-Baby, e-financial business, e-Purchase orders and much more.

A more digital Zagreb shows not only a step in the right direction (and indeed into the 21st century, for which it is more than high time, especially as Croatia holds the rotating EU presidency) but it also highlights its willingness to implement innovative solutions in business. In doing so, Zagreb is sending out the message that its administration is and wants to be an efficient citizen service and a real support to entrepreneurs.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for more.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Bandić’s Urban Development Plan for Zagreb Rejected

ZAGREB, February 11, 2020 - Zagreb City Assembly deputies on Tuesday rejected by a majority vote Mayor Milan Bandić's draft amendments to the city's urban development plan (GUP) after they previously rejected by a majority vote 11 amendments to GUP put forward by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

Of 49 deputies, 18 voted for the amended GUP and 31 voted against.

Deputies previously voted on individual amendments and rejected them all, with 42 votes against and seven in favour.

Bandić's draft amendments to GUP were rejected after deputies from his party first voted against amendments put forward by Bandić's coalition partner, the HDZ, which prompted the HDZ to vote against Bandić's amendments. After this, opposition deputies, who had proposed a referendum on amendments to GUP, withdrew that item from the agenda of the city assembly session.

Zagreb City Assembly Vice President, Rajko Ostojić of the Social Democratic Party said on Tuesday that the Assembly's failure to adopt the General Urban Plan (GUP) could have several effects on the coalition between the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, and one could be a snap parliamentary election.

The SDP official Ostojić said after that that he believed that the failure to adopt the General Urban Plan (GUP) was a victory by residents and experts and not a victory of any particular party or political platform. "We voted for what we were asked to do," said Ostojić, thanking citizens, architects, urban planners and everyone who helped in today's decision being made.

Asked whether the fact that HDZ's councillors did not support the amendments to Zagreb's GUP also meant the beginning of the end of the coalition between Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and HDZ at the national level, Ostojić said that everything was possible.

"We may go to a snap parliamentary election. All options are open. Maybe this is a way to avoid an intra-party election in HDZ. Perhaps the city branch of HDZ refused to obey the party's leader Andrej Plenković," Ostojić said and added that several scenarios could unfold.

The Plenković cabinet started its four-year term in late 2016 and the next parliamentary election is supposed to be held in the autumn.

Left Bloc whip Tomislav Tomašević, underscored that the "game of nerves," was over.

"The opposition was fairly disciplined and each time the count was taken we had a sufficient number to bring down the GUP. There was obviously too much at stake for the HDZ considering the pressure by experts, 20,000 citizens who attended the protest rally and public pressure, and they could not swallow that," said Tomašević.

The Croatian parliament on Tuesday made changes to its weekly agenda to postpone the vote planned for Friday noon. The vote has been postponed for next week.

The Croatian parliament media service said the vote had been postponed because a significant number of members of parliament would be absent on Friday due to official travel.

They pointed out that the changes had been made before the vote on Zagreb's General Urban Plan (GUP) and that it was not connected with the situation in the ruling coalition.

There are ten MPs in the Club of Bandić's Labour and Solidarity Party in the national 151-seat legislature.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Politics section.

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