Tuesday, 13 July 2021

New Waste Management Legislation Will Make Bills Higher, Says Opposition

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - Some opposition parties claimed on Tuesday that the new waste management law will result in higher bills for citizens and that this will in particular affect lessors and small entrepreneurs.

The entire waste management system is based on waste management centres which are very expensive and that will be evident once citizens receive their new bills, said MP Sanja Udović (SDP).

She claimed that in those areas where these centres have been established, citizens can expect their bills to increase by 100 percent. "We, in Primorje Gorski Kotar County can soon expect the end price to go up, that means the price citizens pay will increase by some 30 to 40 percent," she said.

MP Marin Lerotić (IDS) underscored that the new bill doesn't go in favour of citizens nor lessors or small businesses who have been categorised as non-households and will pay a higher price.

"Shopping centres will pay the same, minimal service, as will shoemakers, or camp sites for up to 10,000 people will pay the same as a family-owned camp site with a capacity of up to 12 people. Hotels with a capacity of 100 rooms will pay the same price as a lessor of a flat," warned Lerotić.

MP Josip Borić (HDZ) explained that the government was providing a framework for prices to be defined by the local government.

"The opportunity exists to reduce the price for those who need to be rewarded. It contains criteria that allow that reduction for enterprises to certain household members, you can make them up yourself and include them in the price list," he said.

Local government officials have to realise that their role in waste management will be more complex, constructive, creative and more responsible, state-secretary in the Economy Ministry, Mile Horvat said.

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

 

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

PM Andrej Plenković: SDP Interpellation Won't Pass, They Must Pretend They Are Doing Something

ZAGREB, 29 June, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday the Social Democratic Party's interpellation on the government's slowness in post-earthquake reconstruction would not pass, adding that in the SDP "they have to pretend they are doing something" after losing in local elections.

Speaking to the press in Petrinja, Plenković said he had not seen the interpellation but that "when someone loses so badly in local elections, when they have a 13% rating, they have to pretend they are doing something." He added that parliament would reject it.

Plenković visited Petrinja to see the demolition of buildings damaged in December's earthquake and meet with the task force dealing with its consequences.

He said that when the reconstruction law was being passed, he said he wished to incorporate in it all constructive ideas and that no prior law included so many proposals from the opposition.

He said interpellations like the SDP's one did not serve to improve something but to show distrust in the government.

In the interpellation filed today, the SDP asks for urgently amending the reconstruction law, including local government in discussions about it, and informing the public more transparently, among other things.

Asked who was responsible for the fact that 150 damaged buildings had been torn down in the Banija region since the December 2020 earthquake and only three in Zagreb since the March 2020 quake, Plenković said the goal in Zagreb had been to first provide institutions that would be in charge of the whole process, then financing, and cooperation between the state, the city and the quake-affected counties around Zagreb.

He said the processing of reconstruction applications in Zagreb was "somewhat slower" than expected but that property-rights relations in the capital were "even more complex" than in Banija. "We tasked (Construction) Minister Horvat with accelerating all processes and I expect all who should help him in that to contribute."

He said Reconstruction Fund head Damir Vanđelić must be propulsive, notably regarding the reconstruction of private houses and buildings.

Citizens should be responsible and contribute by getting vaccinated

Asked if Croatia would have to resort to COVID-19 vaccination incentives, like some countries that have announced financial rewards, Plenković asked whether that meant "bribing people to be vaccinated?"

"What will we give to the 44% who have been vaccinated? If we give HRK 100 to someone who hasn't been vaccinated but is waiting and calculating, what about the million and a half who have been vaccinated? Give them money retroactively?"

Plenković said people were "fully informed" about all key matters and that every citizen had the responsibility to contribute to society by getting vaccinated.

Recalling the number of COVID deaths, he said everything should be done to motivate people to be vaccinated, adding that Croatia had 670,000 doses available.

If they were administered, he said, "we would practically solve all problems" and stop the virus from spreading. He said it was a matter of common sense and that, perhaps, young people should be motivated to attend concerts and big events with COVID certificates.

Asked what message inconsistencies in enforcing COVID restrictions sent to those undecided on vaccination, Plenković said that "everyone who is responsible will contribute, who isn't, won't."

He said Croatia had been applying mild restrictions out of respect for its citizens, considering them smart and responsible. He said the Croatian mentality would not accept tough restrictions. "We didn't decide in vain that we would not be a country with a curfew. That wouldn't have been well-accepted and I think we did the right thing."

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

Monday, 21 June 2021

SDP, SABA Welcome PM's Decision To Attend Antifascist Struggle Day Commemoration

June 21st, 2021 - The deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, and the head of the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists (SABA), Franjo Habulin, have welcomed Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's decision to attend the commemoration of Antifascist Struggle Day on Tuesday.

"I haven't seen him there for the past six or seven years. We'll see whether there will be a specific discourse of the ruling party concerning the legacy of antifascism in Croatia, which we must foster because it was because of the antifascist movement that Croatia ended up on the right side after the Second World War," Hajdaš Dončić told reporters after an SDP delegation laid wreaths at the Tomb of National Heroes in Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery on Monday.

He said he hoped that this would also lead to a better attitude towards history and the monuments commemorating the antifascist struggle during the Second World War, many of which have been devastated. "Some people here find it hard to accept that Croatia won in the Second World War," Hajdaš Dončić said.

Asked what prompted the prime minister's decision, Hajdaš Dončić said he did not know. "We'll see tomorrow. If he continues that, I welcome and commend his move," he said.

President Zoran Milanović will also attend the commemoration of Antifascist Struggle Day in Brezovica Forest, outside Sisak, on Tuesday.

Commenting on the prime minister's decision, SABA president Franjo Habulin recalled last year's adoption of the new law on national holidays and memorial days, which says that events marking national holidays are organized by the Government,  Parliament, and the President of the Republic.

"Given that the government organizes the Antifascist Struggle Day ceremony, I think the prime minister felt the need to be there," Habulin said, noting that the ceremony would mark the 80th anniversary of the formation of the first Partisan detachment, the first armed unit formed at the beginning of the Second World War in the territory of Croatia and the former Yugoslavia.

He said that over the last 30 years, many problems had accumulated regarding the attitude towards antifascism, Croatia's antifascist history, and monuments commemorating antifascist fighters.

"Prime Minister Plenković obviously thinks that certain processes should be stopped and that problems that have accumulated in the last 30 years should be addressed. I think his attendance in Brezovica is a step in that direction," Habulin said.

Delegations of the Government, Parliament, and the City of Zagreb also laid wreaths in Mirogoj Cemetery on the occasion of Antifascist Struggle Day, which is observed on 22 June.

For more, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Možemo!, SDP Sign Agreement For Zagreb City Assembly

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević and Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Peđa Grbin said on Wednesday that Tomašević's Možemo! platform and the SDP had signed a coalition agreement for the City Assembly and that its chair would be from the SDP.

The agreement contains 28 programme goals, including social and housing policies, environmental protection, waste management, water supply and drainage, and sustainable transport. culture, education,

Speaking to the press, Tomašević highlighted stepping the post-earthquake reconstruction of public and private buildings, reducing the number of city offices, a more transparent budget, and digitalising the city's administration and companies.

He said the majority in the City Assembly would have 28 deputies, that Možemo! and its partners would chair 14 of the 18 committees, and that Možemo! and the SDP had agreed to annually evaluate the realisation of the programme goals.

Tomašević said the Možemo! and SDP programmes were highly compatible and that he expected good cooperation as Zagreb needed a stable majority given all the challenges, adding that the City Assembly would be inaugurated tomorrow.

Grbin: The agreement is a pledge for the future

Grbin said the SDP Presidency's candidate for the assembly chairman was Joško Klisović, who had been the party's mayoral candidate.

He said that Zagreb's many problems had to be dealt with right away, adding that they could not be solved if the mayor's proposals did not have firm support in the City Assembly.

Grbin said the recent talks between the SDP and Možemo! had been "unbelievably constructive" and that their programmes were "very complementary and that's why we found a common ground on what our priorities will be."

As for goals of special importance to the SDP, he mentioned the introduction of a city treasury and an Internet platform to enable anyone noticing corruption in the work of the City Assembly to report it.

Grbin said today's agreement was a pledge for the functioning of Zagreb that would ensure the city's transformation as the SDP and Možemo! had announced during their mayoral election campaigns.

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

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

SDP Adopts Draft Programme For Cooperation With Možemo! in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021- The presidency of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has adopted a draft programme for cooperation with the green-left platform Možemo! and their partners in Zagreb, which will ensure their majority in the new City Assembly following recent local elections, the SDP announced on Monday evening.

Addressing the press after the SDP Presidency meeting, Glasovac said that the draft 28-point programme was adopted unanimously and that several other details needed to be agreed before Wednesday, when the programme is expected to be signed.

She said that the cooperation programme included points on a transparent budget, civic education in schools, care for pre-school children, and certain infrastructure projects. 

Glasovac confirmed that the draft also dealt with the division of roles in the City Assembly, but would not say whether Joško Klisović, the SDP's mayoral candidate, would serve as deputy chairman of the Assembly. 

Možemo! said that it would discuss the draft on Tuesday.

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

Monday, 14 June 2021

SDP Asks Authorities To End Ban On Gay Men Donating Blood

June 14th, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Monday called to end ban on gay men donating blood and enabling all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, to donate blood, warning that only gay men were not allowed to donate blood in Croatia.

In a statement issued on World Blood Donor Day, the SDP points to current restrictions for blood donation, which, it says, were introduced in the 1980s due to the outbreak of the HIV epidemic and under which only gay men are not allowed to donate blood.

Citing current regulations on technical requirements for blood and blood products, the party says that blood cannot be donated by "persons whose sexual behavior puts them at a high risk of contracting infectious diseases that can be transmitted by blood" and that information on the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine website says that "men who have had sex with other men" must not donate blood.

The party recalls that the Court of the EU in Strasbourg in 2015 made a ruling. It said that if criteria for blood donation were based on a person's sexual orientation, they constituted stigmatization and discrimination.

"Croatia has one of the most restrictive laws in that regard and is in a group of countries that also includes China, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Turkey," the party says.

It notes that the country has been experiencing a shortage of blood and blood products, causing delays of more complicated operations. Considering the significantly changed situation today and numerous obligatory safeguards in blood transfusion, the reasons for maintaining such drastic restrictions no longer exist.

The Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine tests every blood donation for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and HIV, the party recalls.

The safety of donated blood is also ensured by a temporary ban on blood donation for persons who in the previous three months were at risk of getting infected through sexual contact or blood, which, the party says, does not depend on one's sexual orientation.

"This brings up the question of why gay men are obliged to state their sexual preferences to medical staff and why they are permanently forbidden to donate blood solely on the grounds of sexual orientation," says the SDP.

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

Sunday, 13 June 2021

SDP Main Committee Dissolves Party Branches in Zagreb and Slavonski Brod

ZAGREB, 13 June, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party (SDP) Main Committee on Saturday confirmed the SDP Presidency decision to dissolve the party branches in Zagreb and Slavonski Brod as well as the SDP Međimurje County branch, with party leader Peđa Grbin saying the SDP had to change first if it wanted to change Croatia.

The SDP branches were dissolved due to poor results in the recent local elections and worsened intra-party relations.

"I want the SDP to be a party that will dedicate itself to changing Croatia for the better," said Grbin.

"If we want to change Croatia, and we do; and if we want to change Zagreb, and we do - then we have to change first," he stressed.

He noted that the party had to start talking about issues that were important to voters - from precarious work and Sunday work to different types of relations in society - if it wanted to win voters' trust.

Grbin said that so far the SDP had been preoccupied with itself.

The dissolution of the Zagreb party branch was supported by 57 members of the Main Committee, 21 were against and one abstained while the dissolution of the Slavonski Brod SDP branch was supported by 61 members while 18 voted against.

The dissolution of the Međimurje County SDP branch was supported by 62 members of the Main Committee, 19 voted against and two abstained.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

SDP Leader Peđa Grbin: Majority in Zagreb City Assembly to be Formed, Zagreb Branch Dissolved

ZAGREB, 9 June, 2021 - SDP leader Peđa Grbin said on Wednesday that the majority in the Zagreb City Assembly would definitely be formed while the SDP branch in Zagreb would be dissolved to prevent the SDP from turning into "an employment office". 

Addressing a news conference on decisions adopted at a session of the party leadership on Tuesday, Grbin said that the session focused on two topics - dissolution of the party's Zagreb branch and the course of negotiations on the formation of the majority in the Zagreb City Assembly.

"I can say with certainty that on 17 June, when the Zagreb City Assembly is to be inaugurated, the majority will be formed. The SDP considers it an obligation towards the residents of Zagreb because we know that after years of poor governance, Zagreb deserves better," he said.

He noted that talks with the winner of the local election in Zagreb, the We Can! platform, including on the post of Zagreb City Assembly president, were under way.

As for the functioning of party branches, Grbin said that the most important decision made by the party leadership yesterday was the one on the dissolution of the Zagreb branch.

He recalled that a few months ago the party leadership decided to dissolve bodies of that party branch, adding that that decision had not proven sufficient to stop some bad processes that had been happening and make sure the branch operated as it should, focusing on citizens' problems.

"... This decision concerns those who have started treating the SDP as an employment service, who want to use it exclusively for their personal benefit," Grbin said, adding that the party's purpose was to work for the wellbeing of citizens and that radical decisions such as the latest one were sometimes necessary.

He said that concrete names would be discussed within the party and at a meeting of its Main Committee on Saturday.

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

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Milanović: Plenković is Promoter of Right to Lie

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Thursday called Prime Minister Andrej Plenković a promoter of the right to lie who had now classified himself "under authentic interpreters of battles from the Homeland War" and declared himself "almost a war commander".

The president wrote this on Facebook, reacting to Plenković's comment on his proposal that the anniversary of the Croatian military and police Operation Storm be commemorated in other cities besides Knin.

Milanović accused Plenković of "denigrating the proposal to commemorate Operation Storm in other cities in which heroic battles were fought in the Homeland War, and not only in Knin, declaring himself - with the words 'many of us look at Knin differently' - almost a war commander," Milanović wrote.

The president added that the initiative to commemorate Operation Storm "also where hundreds of Croatian defenders were killed, near Petrinja and Glina, for instance, was proposed to him by war generals and commanders who fought liberation battles".

Asked by the RTL commercial broadcaster to comment on President Zoran Milanović's proposal to commemorate anniversaries of the Croatian military and police Operation Storm in Knin every five years and to commemorate the anniversary in Glina this year, Plenković said on Wednesday he didn't know about it, but he found "the repeated use of double criteria particularly indicative".

"He constantly talks about Knin as some kind of train station, a barracks. Many of us look at Knin differently, at its role, at Zvonimir's City, at the Knin Fortress, at the symbolism of the flag at the Knin Fortress. Those are different views," Plenković said, referring to the turbulent history of that Dalmatian region.

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

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Opposition: It's Not Good That PM Plenković is Trying to Intimidate Media

ZAGREB, 2 June, 2021 - Recent frequent attacks on media, reporters and political analysts by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković were met on Wednesday with condemnation by opposition MPs, who called on him to accept criticism and on media not to allow to be intimidated.

Social Democrat Arsen Bauk said the prime minister had opted for the "attack is the best form of defence" approach.

"Some defeats at local elections are painful for the HDZ, notably the prime minister, because he chose or imposed some of the candidates. It is not good for the prime minister, who has both objective and real power, to try to square accounts with or intimidate reporters, media and their editors and owners. I hope you will not let yourself be intimidated by him," Bauk told reporters in the parliament.

Judging by their response, I can see that they are not intimidated, he said, adding that he was fascinated by Plenković's claim that rival broadcasters had colluded to devalue the HDZ's candidate for Zagreb mayor.

Stephen Bartulica of the Homeland Movement said that media were possibly responsible for the latest developments because they had been very mild towards Plenković from the start.

"I definitely support media freedoms and it is not unusual that media in Croatia and the rest of the world are leaning to the left, but I think that what is more important here are the so-called independent analysts who often have material interests and certain relations with political camps and NGOs and who act in public as if they were unbiased," said Bartulica.

The sole MP of the Reformists party, Natalija Martinčević, who chairs the parliamentary Media Committee, said that the prime minister was very nervous, which she considers inappropriate.

"Communication with the media must be civilised. We are all expected to behave that way and so is the prime minister. There is no justification for his behaviour," she said.

Most MP Marija Selak Raspudić said that media had been the PM's fetish for a long time.

"Let me remind you of his high school graduation thesis 'Means of Mass Communication' in which, apart from extensively quoting (Yugoslav Communist politician Edvard) Kardelj and Marx, he also says that the Party is the one to control all information in society. He then advocates some democratic trends and says that media should be democratised, but it seems that as an experienced politician he has accepted the principle that the Party should control all information and is surprised when he does not manage to do it," said Selak Raspudić.

HSLS MP Dario Hrebak said that every politician had their own style of communication, noting that the prime minister was evidently irritated by something.

"I, too, am sometimes unhappy with the media but everyone has the right to say what they think, I would not be a liberal if I thought differently," he said, adding that he believed the prime minister would mend his relationship with the media and some reporters.

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

Page 1 of 5

Search