Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Ex-Petrinja Mayor Suspected of Favouring His Son's Companies

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - The former mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, is suspected of giving favourable treatment to companies connected with his son while he was mayor, his lawyer Dražen Ivanić confirmed to Hina on Tuesday.

USKOK anti-corruption investigators began searches of the houses, business premises and cars of Darinko and Darko Dumbović on Tuesday morning. They will be interviewed in Zagreb, and if USKOK requests custody for the suspects, that will be decided by a Zagreb County Court investigating judge.

The lawyer said Darinko Dumbović is suspected of helping his son win several business contracts from the Petrinja town administration. 

According to unofficial sources, among the companies that were given preferential treatment is Titan Commerce, established in April 2015, two years after Dumbović became mayor. Media have said that the company's revenue has increased by millions from year to year.

Dumbović served as mayor until June last year.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Petrinja Container Business Centre Breathes Life into Post-Quake Town

September 30, 2021 -The New Life Centre is a Petrinja container business centre offering locals the chance to go back to their businesses as the town still awaits the completion of its post-earthquake reconstruction.

The container settlements of Petrinja, the aftermath of the December 29 earthquake, are certainly not a cheery place to live as the locals await the reconstruction of their Central Croatian town to be completed.

The reconstruction process isn't over just yet, but the spark of hope for a new, better life after a tough year can be seen with the opening of the New Life Centre.

''The New Life Centre is a cluster of new, painted containers that have been stacked for months in Petrinja's neighbourhood of Sajmište,'' as described by Miroslav Šantek, the author for the local website PS-Portal. The first traders, workers, and craftsmen have already settled in, happy for a taste of near normality.

PS-Portal states that this idea was suggested by the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (Udruga Glas Poduzetnika) to the then-mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbovic.

''The idea was accepted, and then work on the infrastructure began. But, in typical Croatian fashion, there are always setbacks. The obvious lack of money slowed down the progress. Then came new town administration and new mayor Magdalena Komes who cooperated with the Croatian Government and got 30 million kuna to continue the construction of the centre,'' explained PS-Portal.

The deadlines, however, have been breached and it is uncertain when the Petrinja container business centre will actually be finished.

Nonetheless, business owners who could no longer wait for the complete conclusion of construction set up their businesses and started to work as the state aid dried out, and they wanted to go back to making a living for their families.

As PS-Portal continues, yesterday's opening morning was cold, but there was joy on that small square of container settlements. Citizens of Petrinja can now enjoy the offer of a big international cosmetic chain, but also smaller shops, a pizzeria, and grill diners run by local entrepreneurs.

Despite the lack of a grand opening due to ongoing construction works, Mayor Komes still visited and talked to entrepreneurs who started their businesses. She explained that the increase of construction material and the lack of construction workers are the reason for delays in the Petrinja container business centre's completion.

''Numerous Petrinja-based entrepreneurs lost their space to work after the earthquake. They worked in containers or in the few rental spaces one could find in the almost destroyed town. This modular centre is designed as a space for everyone who has lost theirs,'' writes Glas Istre.

The December earthquake in Petrinja, as well as the March earthquake in Zagreb, caused lots of problems for the residents of these areas. As TCN previously wrote, after a whole year of slow reconstruction progress, Croatian PM Andrej Plenković promised to speed up the reconstruction processes in September. Back in July, several education institutions got financial support for reconstruction, while museums, such as the School Museum in Zagreb, still awaits help.

The dreadful experience of the earthquake in Sisak, Zagreb, and Petrinja also woke up Croatian artists, such as Miroslav Arbutina Arba. You can see his photos of the Sisak earthquake in the Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum exhibition until October 10.

Not too far from Petrinja is Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, and you can learn more about it in our TC guide

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

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Petrinja Mayor Says Opposition's Move Shameful

ZAGREB, 30 January, 2021 - Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović has said that the Opposition's quorum-breaking on Friday, which resulted in the parliament not adopting the amended law on post-earthquake reconstruction, is "the biggest disgrace ever", noting that earthquake victims want solutions and not divisions.

"This is the biggest disgrace, a disgrace for the Opposition, the We Can!, the SDP and others, it's a disaster, what kind of message is that to people in Banovina," Dumbović said on Saturday while touring locations in Petrinja where work was being launched to demolish buildings damaged beyond repair in a 6.2 earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County on 29 December.

He called on the Opposition to set this right and "vote in unanimously, as soon as tomorrow, the post-earthquake reconstruction law."

"Are they aware of what people think of them, I have been listening to what people on the ground say, they should come here and apologise, we do not need divisions, there must be no blackmail, people are seeking solutions here," Dumbović said.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Petrinja Mayor Satisfied With Legislative Solutions for Post-Quake Reconstruction

ZAGREB, 15 January, 2021 - Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović said on Friday that he was satisfied with the proposed legislative regulations for the reconstruction of damaged houses in the quake-hit areas of Sisak-Moslavina County, which will entirely be financed from the state budget.

Asked by reporters if he was satisfied with the legislative regulation on reconstruction, Dumbović said that any law that will be quickly implemented was good.

He elaborated that he was satisfied that the 60:20:20 formula for financing the post-quake reconstruction, which will be applied in Zagreb, had been amended for the quake-affected areas  in Sisak and Karlovac Counties so the rebuilding of the damaged houses in that region should be entirely covered from the state budget.

On Thursday, the government sent to the parliament draft amendments to the law on the post-quake reconstruction of the City of Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb Counties to include the regulation of the reconstruction of Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac Counties, hit by the 29 December 6.2 magnitude quake.

The state will provide full funding for the reconstruction of the property in which the owner lives in these two counties (Sisak and Karlovac) since they are underdeveloped, according to the explanation provided by Construction Minister Darko Horvat on Thursday.

The law on Zagreb's post-earthquake reconstruction envisages that 60% of the reconstruction cost will be financed by the government, 20% by the local authorities and 20% by property owners.

During his visit to Petrinja, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević today underscored the importance of good cooperation with local government without which results would be absent.

"NGOs are an added value and we have to act together as a team. Any donation helps the people and we have to be grateful for them. It is important that everyone is in warmth and that they have a hot meal," said Milošević.

A delegation of the Serb National Council (SNV) visited Gornja Bačuga where it donated five stoves to vulnerable families and presented a donation from the Red Cross consisting of 500 pairs of rubber boots, adding that another 1,000 pairs are expected to arrive soon.