Monday, 17 May 2021

Miroslav Škoro: We Have Achieved Our Goals, We'll Stop The Left

17 May 2021 - The Homeland Movement's candidate for Zagreb mayor, Miroslav Škoro, said on Sunday night, the party had achieved its goals and that they would stop and unmask the green-left coalition trying to conquer Zagreb, calling it extremely leftist.

That is not the future of our country, of Zagreb and our children, said Škoro, who will be in the mayoral runoff with Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can! platform, who has won 45% of the vote in Sunday's elections.

Škoro said he was confident that he would show in the runoff that there was enough sense and intelligence "so that we can unmask in a well-argued debate what is called the green-left coalition."

"That's neither green nor only left-wing. That's first and foremost and above all extremely left-wing, and it will be stopped in the runoff."

Škoro said that despite the big job ahead, he was sure that with faith in God and His help, Zagreb would have a new mayor in two weeks who was not from any green or left coalition but a person who would continue the city's tradition and all that contemporary democracy was in the current world.

He said that in just one year of its existence, the Homeland Movement had achieved enormous results, leaving behind the two major parties, the HDZ and the SDP, in many municipalities and cities, including in Zagreb.

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Miroslav Škoro Vows to Close Down Jakuševec Landfill if Elected Mayor

ZAGREB, 8 April, 2021 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro said on Thursday that if elected Mayor of Zagreb, he would deal with the problem of the city's Jakuševec landfill and close it down.

"We should do all we can to ensure that the residents in this part of Zagreb no longer have to live near a landfill with an unpleasant smell in the air," Škoro said in Jakuševec.

He said that about 110,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste is disposed of in Jakuševec annually, including 60,000 tonnes of household waste that produces an unpleasant smell in the air. "There is no need for that," he added.

Škoro said that Zagreb had such potential for compost production that it could earn HRK 35 million from it annually. He also warned that Zagreb spent HRK 25 million on disposal of plastic waste, while with proper management it could earn HRK 100 million from it.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Škoro: Zagreb Has Lost Its Way in Poor Management Over Last 20 Years

ZAGREB, 28 March 2021 - The Homeland Movement candidate for Mayor of Zagreb, Miroslav Škoro, said that he is ready to take charge of the city's complex management because he has managerial experience, adding that Zagreb has lost its way in poor management over the last 20 years.

Presenting the main points of his election platform, Škoro said that it is opposed to the management style of the late mayor Milan Bandić and that he is offering change.

He said that before announcing his candidacy, the Homeland Movement had talked with other potential candidates, adding that they might have supported the ruling Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) Damir Vanđelić had he been nominated and allowed to present his program.

"I am offering the citizens of Zagreb my knowledge and experience in public affairs and business. In this campaign, each of us candidates must prove their competencies. My professional career is easily verifiable and includes managerial experience and the creation of added value. I am a trained civil engineer, but I also hold a Ph.D. in economics and management," Škoro said.

He said that Croatia's demographic, economic, financial, and educational indicators and the public healthcare system's state were disastrous. "If the citizens give their confidence to the HDZ or the SDP (Social Democratic Party) and their satellites, they will only help the unstoppable decline to ruin. On the other hand, for change to occur, there are two options: the leftist, activist narrative propagated by people without work experience, and the entrepreneurial narrative of the center-right Homeland Movement, which is based on experience, competence, prudence, respect for the tradition and legacy of our nation."

"We cannot build our future on activism. Also, none of us is a superman, and that is exactly how the candidate of the We Can! platform is being portrayed. Figuratively speaking, if a tree needs to be cut down, we will cut it down and plant dozens more wherever possible. At the same time, activists will tie themselves to that tree because they don't see beyond that and cannot offer other solutions. I don't want to belittle anyone, but there is a huge difference between us in how we see the management model and the city administration's role. I am confident that the citizens will be able to see this distinction in the election," he added.

Asked about his election platform, Škoro said that he would present it this week. The program addresses finance, economy, entrepreneurship, utility infrastructure, traffic, education, healthcare, pensioners, young people, demography, waste management, and post-earthquake reconstruction.

"First, we will have to conduct due diligence of the city's finances. We think that the city's properties should be used more efficiently, rather than being sold at any cost, and businesses' incentives should be higher. Also, there is no reason for local tax in Zagreb to be the highest in the country, and it can be reduced over a period of time by several percentage points from the present 18%," he said.

Speaking of the city's budget deficit, Škoro said that "a budget surplus of at least HRK 800-900 million" could be achieved over a period of four years. 

"Over a period of four years, the City of Zagreb can close down the Jakuševec landfill. Instead of paying HRK 25 million for plastic waste disposal, it can earn HRK 100 million from managing such waste. Zagreb has a problem with transport infrastructure because a railway line cuts it east-west. The railway should be either elevated or lowered and become the backbone of the city's transport system. The City of Zagreb has lost its way in poor management over the last 20 years. It must be put back on the right track. We will do that and will rebuild it together," Škoro said.

Asked why he had pledged kindergartens free of charge given that the average monthly salary in Zagreb is the highest in the country, Škoro said: "Because the city can afford free kindergartens for children and free public transport for pensioners. That is our money. This is not just a promise. I will deliver on it. In the budget for a city the size of Zagreb, several dozen million kunas means nothing. The City of Zagreb must remain socially sensitive. We must raise the level of social sensitivity because this money belongs to the citizens."

An election victory in Zagreb requires between 150,000 and 170,000 votes. Asked if he counted on the support of the 90,000 voters who had backed him in the presidential election and how he was going to attract the remaining voters, Škoro said: "We are running in this election as a team who will be able to take charge of the complex functioning of a complex city which is neglected and burdened with countless problems. This team comprises professional and competent people who will be a guarantee of that."

Škoro said that he would use the time leading up to the election, scheduled for 16 May, to visit every neighborhood in the city and present his platform. 

"Indeed, I won over 90,000 votes in Zagreb in the presidential election, and that is my asset which the citizens recognize, despite those who want to label me as an election loser. To start from nowhere, alone against all, and achieve such a result is a major feat. I have already mentioned the 16 seats in the national parliament that we won in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic and lockdown. The Homeland Movement could have participated in government had we agreed to obey unquestioningly and consented to shameless political trade-offs. We want reforms and changes, and that is not possible with the prime minister and his coalition government who put the interests of the Brussels administration before the interests of their own country and people," Škoro said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Škoro: Zagreb Is Not Only City Centre But Also Its Environs

ZAGREB, 22 March, 2021 - The Homeland Movement candidate for Zagreb mayor, Miroslav Škoro, warned on Monday about the slow process of post-earthquake reconstruction in Zagreb one year since the city and its environs were struck by a 5.5 magnitude quake, noting that Zagreb was not only about the city centre.

"Zagreb is not just the city centre, it is also its environs, where the epicentre of the quake was. Zagreb is also Čučerje, Markuševec and Podsljeme," Škoro told reporters on the first anniversary of the earthquake while touring the neighbourhood of Čučerje.

He recalled that the Construction Ministry had issued "130 decisions of some sort", the Fund for the Reconstruction of Zagreb and Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb counties was established, and around €26 billion was reserved for reconstruction.

"Everything was done the wrong way. If 130 decisions on reconstruction are issued a year, and around 30,000 buildings were damaged, including more than 2,500 which are unfit to live in, at that pace we would need around 300 years for all people to get the necessary decisions on reconstruction," he warned.

He added that three laws hampered the process of reconstruction - the law on mandatory reserves for building maintenance, the law on reconstruction and the law regulating the status of protected lessees.

Škoro said that for decades there had been no investments in buildings, one of the reasons being that there are around 2,000 protected tenants who pay rent in the amount of HRK 2.5 per square metre, while the state pays HRK 70 for citizens who live in substitute flats after the earthquake in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and Zagreb.

 "That must end because the Reconstruction Act says that the property owner must participate in reconstruction. If someone cannot get hold of their property taken during the Communist rule, and if rent for such property is paid in the amount of HRK 2.5 per square metre, why should the owner be interested in participating in reconstruction," he said.

"There is a danger that the owners of flats occupied by protected lessees file lawsuits at European courts, which have already ruled that they should be given back their property. We have again postponed that and the state will have to pay," he said.

The law on mandatory reserves for building maintenance should be amended to give companies that manage those funds more powers, and the law on protected lessees should be changed to give those tenants substitute accommodation and enable actual owners to participate in the reconstruction of their property, he said.

To read more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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. 

Friday, 5 March 2021

Škoro Confirms His Plan to Run For Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The opposition Homeland Movement party on Friday confirmed that its leader Miroslav Škoro would be running for the post of Zagreb Mayor in local elections set for May this year.

Škoro won 465,704 votes in the 2019 presidential election and under his leadership the Homeland Movement won 16 seats in the 2020 parliamentary election, the party recalled.

Škoro will present his candidacy for Zagreb Mayor on Saturday, 6 March.


Friday, 5 March 2021

HDZ Mayoral Candidate Says voters Will Recognise His Model of Running Zagreb

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The ruling HDZ party's candidate for Zagreb Mayor, Davor Filipović, said on Thursday he was confident of his victory in the May local election because his model of running the city was based on responsible financial operations, transparent post-earthquake reconstruction and capital projects.

"I enjoy the strong support of the HDZ branch in Zagreb, (HDZ) president (Andrej) Plenković and the entire HDZ," Filipović said after a session of the party branch on Thursday evening.

Plenković, too, attended the session and the subsequent news conference but did not make any statements.

"All of the recent attacks against me are due to my political rivals being very nervous. I am confident that the new model of governance that I will offer, which puts emphasis on responsible financial operations, transparent reconstruction and capital projects, will be recognised by voters and that I will be elected mayor in May," said Filipović, adding that he would present the key elements of his platform in the next few weeks.

He went on to say that all information on how city budget funds are spent would be made available on the city administration's website, that the process of post-earthquake reconstruction would be fully transparent, and that heads of city departments and directors of city-owned companies would have to make their declarations of assets public.

Filipović also said that "all members of the Opposition" would be included in the supervision of public tenders for major projects.

Škoro will go down in history as the bravest Croatian politician

Commenting on reports that Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro would run for Zagreb Mayor, Filipović said that "Škoro will go down in history as the bravest politician in our country."

"After summoning courage for months to announce his candidacy, it was only (on Wednesday), after he saw for himself that the late mayor Milan Bandić was buried, that he did so," said Filipović.

"Škoro is also known for having run stalls at Zagreb Advent, and we all know what one had to do to be allowed to operate stalls at the Christmas market. Having one stall is evidently not enough any more, one needs to run five, six or ten stalls. Zagreb residents know who charged the most expensive parking tickets by a hospital," Filipović said, an allusion to Škoro's having had a stake in a company operating a parking lot by Zagreb's Merkur hospital, which he eventually sold.

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.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Homeland Movement Supports Appeal by Voice of Entrepreneurs

ZAGREB, 9 January, 2021 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro on Saturday supported the Voice of Entrepreneurs association in criticising the extension of coronavirus restrictions which were affecting businesses, notably bars and restaurants.

"We are talking a billion kuna in revenues which could have been generated in the last month alone. Advent is the time when people spend more. It was an irrational decision because people working in this sector are now out in the field cooking and handing out thousands of meals to earthquake victims and they are in direct contact. On the other hand, the government, who imposed these rigorous epidemiological measures on movement, lifted these measures at the time of this disaster," Skoro told the press during a visit to the earthquake-hit Banovina region.

It is normal that bar and restaurant owners are angry over "double standards" used by the government and the national coronavirus response team, he said.

The Voice of Entrepreneurs appealed to the government on Friday to say what businesses could expect after January 8 when the coronavirus restrictions imposed for the Christmas and New Year holidays expired. The restrictions have in the meantime been extended until the end of the month. 

Before his tour of Banovina, Skoro had visited a warehouse in Kutina where Homeland Movement volunteers were distributing parcels with food, clothing and other necessities for earthquake victims. 

He said that the Homeland Movement had distributed about 1,200 tonnes of food and hygiene products. He added that aid was still coming in and that some donors wanted to distribute aid only through the Homeland Movement, citing an aid delivery worth one million euro that recently arrived from Austria.

Skoro also said that his party would support an initiative to set up a commission of inquiry into post-war reconstruction, after it emerged that many of the houses repaired after the 1991-1995 Homeland War had collapsed in the 29 December earthquake that struck the Banovina region. He, however, recalled that previous such commissions had worked along the lines "if you don't want to establish facts, set up a commission."

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Skoro Announces Interpellation Regarding Club in Slovenska Street in Zagreb

ZAGREB, Nov 11, 2020- Leader of the Homeland Movement, Miroslav Skoro, announced on Wednesday in a video message a new interpellation, this time regarding the club in Slovenska Street in Zagreb.

Skoro posted a video message on Facebook since he has been in isolation since the end of October when he said he was positive for coronavirus.

He commented on the parliament's rejection of the Homeland Movement's interpellation on the government's work regarding the Krs-Padjene wind park, saying that the response was silly.

The Homeland Movement leader also announced a new interpellation regarding events that took place in the club in Slovenska Street, owned by former JANAF oil pipeline operator CEO Dragan Kovacevic, who is a suspect in the JANAF case.

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