Wednesday, 16 February 2022

SDP MPs Grbin and Bauk Champions in Using Parliamentary Perks, Jutarnji List Daily Reports

ZAGREB, 16 Feb 2022 - Social Democratic Party MPs Arsen Bauk and Peđa Grbin have mastered the art of utilising all perks available for legislators, Wednesday's edition of the Jutarnji List daily reported in an article.

Although both MPs have lived in Zagreb for more than 10 years, including have their families living with them, partners that are employed in Zagreb and children born in Zagreb, neither of them has changed their residency. Bauk is still registered on Brač Island, while Grbin in the City of Pula.

The Sabor is paying their rent in Zagreb and both of them are paid tens of thousands of kuna for travel expenses to and from Brač and Pula. Until a month ago, Grbin was even paid a "living away from home allowance" (LAFHA), which he has now renounced so he can enrol his child in a kindergarten in Zagreb.

In the fifteen years that Bauk has been a member of parliament and office-holder, he has managed to deposit about HRK 5.5 million kuna in his bank account and about 40% of his income or HRK 627,000 (€82,919) is deposited in savings. His savings amount to just a little more than the budget paid to cover Bauk's rental costs.

Despite the fact that his wife is a Zagreb local and his child was born in Zagreb about two years ago, Bauk claims that he is living at the government's expense in Zagreb only temporarily.

Bauk admits that he does not receive LAFHA in the amount of 1,000 per month. telling the daily that it would be 'stupid' to receive that perk as he did not live separately from his partner.

However, Bauk doesn't consider it to be stupid that his party leader, Grbin, is in a similar situation and has lived in Zagreb for years and yet taxpayers are not only paying for his rent in Zagreb, but also for each time he travels to his hometown to Pula.

Explaining his entitlement to LAFHA, Grbin said that the parliament decided that that allowance is paid to MPs who do not live in Zagreb, but come from other cities and it is an allowance paid to MPs because of a requirement to live away from their usual place of residence to do their job.

He admitted however that in order to "enrol our child in kindergarten, I have requested the Sabor to cease paying me that allowance and as of 1 January, I am no longer receiving it," said Grbin.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Bridge and Social Democrats Criticise Gov't for Poor Handling of Galloping Inflation

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - The Bridge and Social Democrats groups in the Croatian Parliament on Friday used the discussion on the new law on consumer protection to criticize the government for its poor handling of "galloping inflation."

"Everyone is protecting their citizens except the Croatian government, which says it might do something (about the inflation)," Social Democrat Davor Bernardić said, calling on MPs to support their proposal to freeze the prices of staples.

"In the last 10 months, every other food product has gone up in price. Prices of some products have increased by 150 percent, and the price of toilet paper has gone up by as much as 50 percent," he added.

Bridge's Nikola Grmoja wondered if the government was thinking of protecting consumers from its unreasonable decisions, such as a freeze on fuel prices. He instead called for the abolition of excise taxes on fuel, because otherwise "the cost will again be borne by consumers."

Lawmakers from the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said the new law on consumer protection was a "serious step forward." They welcomed the fact that the dual quality of goods, namely the marketing in Croatia of goods purporting to be of the same quality as those placed on the market in other EU member states even though they differ in composition and quality, would be treated as an unfair trading practice.

Barbara Antolić from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) welcomed the new law but noted that it lacked qualified people to monitor its implementation because inspectors were not trained well enough for online sales.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Viktor Gotovac Elected New Leader of SDP’s Zagreb Branch

ZAGREB, 4 Dec, 2021 - Viktor Gotovac was elected leader of the Zagreb branch of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Saturday after winning 696 votes in the second round of the internal party election on Saturday, while his rival Matej Mišić received 325 votes.

Of the 1,700 members of the party's Zagreb branch entitled to vote, 1,031 cast their ballot.

Speaking after the announcement of the election results, Gotovac thanked everyone for taking part in the election process and "showing that the SDP is important to them because they want it to be better, have new people and work honestly."

He called on SDP members, sympathisers and voters, as well as other people, to stand by them and help them become better. He said that the SDP should fight for social and existential values, municipal issues, as well as for ideas and ideology.

"We have to fight to get back Marshal Tito Square, to ensure that Aleksandra Zec gets a street or square in Zagreb. We have to fight to take power and nothing will stop us. The SDP is going forward," Gotovac said.

Aleksandra Zec was a 12-year-old girl executed together with her parents, Marija and Mihajlo, by Croatian police reservists under Tomislav Merčep in Zagreb in December 1991 during the war. The Zec family were ethnic Serbs.

Mišić congratulated Gotovac on being elected, saying that as of today the SDP continued working together.

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Sunday, 28 November 2021

First Round of Elections in SDP Completed, Zagreb Branch To Hold Another Round

ZAGREB, 28 Nov, 2021 - The first round of intraparty elections in the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) was held on Saturday, and the leader of the SDP Zagreb branch will be known next Saturday, with the two main contenders being Viktor Gotovac and Matej Mišić.

SDP members on Saturday elected presidents, vice presidents and members of party presidencies at the municipal and county levels.

The second round of intraparty elections for the Zagreb SDP branch will be held next Saturday, when SDP members will choose between Gotovac and Mišić.

Gotovac, a labour law professor at the Zagreb Law School, won 524 votes and Mišić 261.

In the first round of party elections the leaders of SDP town branches were elected, with Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović having been elected the new president of the SDP branch in Rijeka, while the SDP branch in Osijek elected Milan Blagojević its leader and the branch in Split Damir Barbir.

Ostojić, Hajdaš Dončić re-elected leaders of SDP county branches

In the first round of party elections, Ranko Ostojić was re-elected leader of the SDP branch in Split-Dalmatia County while Siniša Hajdaš Dončić was re-elected president of the SDP branch in Krapina-Zagorje County.

Also re-elected to their posts were Mihael Zmajlović as head of the SDP branch in Zagreb County, Barbara Antolić Vupora as head of the party branch in Varaždin County, Umag Mayor Vili Bassanese as head of the Istria County SDP banch, Mitar Obradović as head of the SDP branch in Požega-Slavonia County and Kristina Ikić Baniček as head of the SDP branch in Sisak-Moslavina County.

The newly elected heads of SDP branches in other counties are Ivica Lukanović in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Jure Zubčić in Zadar County, Ploče Mayor Mišo Krstičević in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Krešimir Čulinović in Lika-Senj County, Mario Vučinić in Brod-Posavina County, Sanja Bježančević in Osijek-Baranja County, Goran Heffer in Vukovar-Srijem County, Tomislav Golubić in Koprivnica-Križevci County and Dalibor Domitrović in Karlovac County.

SDP members will choose between Karlo Klarin and Ivan Rajić for head of the SDP branch in Šibenik-Knin County in the second round next Saturday.

Elections for the SDP branch in Međimurje County were postponed due to a repeat of local elections in that county on 28 November, as were intraparty elections in Bjelovar-Bilogora County.

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