Monday, 10 January 2022

Plenković: Construction of Access Road to Kozjak Tunnel to Start Soon

ZAGREB, 10 Jan 2022 - During his visit to Split on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that construction would soon begin of the access road to the €133 million Kozjak tunnel and that project should relieve traffic jams at the entrance to this biggest Croatian Adriatic city.

"We spoke about the Vučevica-Kozjak-Kaštela project which is important for the construction of a tunnel valued at HRK 1 billion  (€133 million), and soon construction works will begin for the road from Vučevica," the premier said after meeting with Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban.

According to Plenković, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković and the Hrvatske Ceste (HC) road management company's director, Josip Škorić, met with Boban today to discuss the road infrastructure projects and access routes to Split aimed at lessening traffic jams during the tourist season.

Plenković added that other infrastructure projects in the county were also discussed, including a bypass road around Omiš, an overpass at Širine in Solin, and the Mravinci-Stobreč road.

PM said that investments in Adriatic ports had also been discussed, referring to them as the renaissance of the Croatian coast with investments that had not occurred in that county for decades.

"The development of traffic and port infrastructure is boosting the economy and tourism," he said.

Plenković expects efforts to be made in Split-Dalmatia County "to step up the rate of immunization and adherence to epidemiological measures in an effort to put the spread of COVID under control in this fifth wave of the pandemic."

"We have also mulled over preparations for the following tourism season," he said.

Plenković recalled that during the COVID pandemic the government had so far set aside HRK 1.5 billion (€200 million) and saved 75,000 jobs in the county, with aid for 15,000 enterprises.

"The government's policy obviously contributed to last year's tourism season and GDP growth which will certainly be in the double-digits this year," he said.

He added that the government had concluded agreements for more than HRK 7 billion from European funds for projects in Split-Dalmatia County.

Prefect Boban underscored that preparations for large infrastructure projects in the county have been completed and in particular, he referred to a new road from Solin to Omiš which is one of the most congested thoroughfares in Croatia during the tourist season.

Split Mayor and Plenković discuss projects worth €400 million

PM Plenković also held talks with the mayor of Split, Ivica Puljak, on infrastructure projects, worth three billion kuna, such as the reconstruction of the Poljud stadium, and reconstruction and construction of road infrastructure. 

Puljak said that he had requested that the second biggest city in Croatia should be awarded the equal status which the capital city of Zagreb has. This will be beneficial for better management of the city, Puljak told the press.

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Sunday, 31 October 2021

Mayor Says PM Blocking Split’s Development, Ministry Refutes It

ZAGREB, 31 Oct, 2021 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Sunday to "stop blocking the development" of Split, while the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure dismissed such a claim and reminded him of the projects that have been launched.

Speaking of the granting of a concession for the city's Žnjan beach, Puljak told N1 television that Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković had said on a number of occasions that, as far as the ministry was concerned, everything was ready and that it was forwarded to Plenković to put it on the government's agenda.

"I invite Prime Minister Plenković... to finally decide who will get the concession so that the project can really be realised. I hope the concession will go to the Žnjan d.o.o. company, which is a city company, and that we will start realising that project," Puljak said, adding that the realisation was almost six months late.

"I think Plenković should stop blocking the development of the City of Split and that he should move away from cheap politics. He should realise that they lost this election, he should get over it in a way and he really must not hold this city back any longer. I think the problem now is him," Puljak said, referring to Plenković's HDZ party and local elections this past May.

The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said Puljak's claims that Plenković was blocking Split's development by allegedly procrastinating with a decision on the Žnjan concession were "entirely unfounded and incorrect."

The granting of said concession passed regular government procedure and the opinions of the relevant state bodies are now being collected so that a decision on who will get the concession can be made, the ministry said.

It added that the Plenković cabinet was doing everything for Split to develop as much as possible, and mentioned the transport projects that have been launched as well as a HRK 42.6 million reconstruction project in the city port.

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Saturday, 10 April 2021

SDP Candidate For Mayor of Split Says Ustaša Salute Should Be Outlawed

April 10, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party's (SDP) candidate for Mayor of Split, Ante Franić, said on Saturday that "For the Homeland Ready," the salute used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime that ruled Croatia during the Second World War, should be outlawed.

"I wish to make it clear that the Ustasha salute 'For the Homeland Ready' should be banned," Franić said in a statement, adding that it should be banned in all contexts, including where attempts are made to legalize it "under the guise of safeguarding the values of the Homeland War."

"We need a clear, legal ban," he stressed.

Franić said that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led government, depending on the need to flirt with the far-right, often shifted the responsibility onto the police and the State Attorney's Office rather than outlaw the use of the Ustasha salute and insignia.

"Prime Minister Plenković, there is no acceptable context for the Ustasha salute. I fully support President Milanović, who leaves venues where this salute is used," Franić said.

Franić stated a press conference, scheduled for today near the monument to the 9th HOS (Croatian Defence Force) Brigade, was canceled for security reasons because it was to be held on 10 April, the day of the proclamation of the Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1941. 

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Saturday, 6 February 2021

Tommy Owner Tomislav Mamic Enters Race for New Split Mayor

February the 6th, 2021 - Tomislav Mamic, otherwise the owner of Tommy, one of the largest employers in all of Dalmatia, has entered the race to become the next mayor of Split.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Tomislav Mamic could well become the next mayor of Croatia's second largest city. His company, Tommy, is by far the largest employer in Dalmatia, and this information was confirmed to Slobodna Dalmacija first hand.

Does this mean that the strongest Dalmatian entrepreneur is swiching the life of business for a life of politics? Many will surely be asking that question. Tomislav Mamic himself categorically rejected this at the beginning and especially emphasised: "I'm not a politician, nor do I want to be involved in politics."

Then, what is this move Tomislav Mamic is making really all about?

''It's about the fact that many of my fellow citizens and acquaintances have been persuading me for some time now to become more actively involved in the campaign for the election of mayors and future members of the City Council because they believe they can make a step forward and bring positive changes. I thought about that for a long time and finally decided to activate myself and try to do something in that sense,'' said the future independent candidate.

''There's an idea to form an independent list on which the most prominent citizens of the City of Split from all spheres of social life would appear. We should just get together, I don't have ready-made names. This isn't about entering the political struggle and trying to come to power at any cost, but about the intention of the citizens to get their representatives who enjoy their deep trust and support into power,'' he explained, adding that he personally doesn' want ''any power or influence, especially not for personal benefit''.

Tomislav Mamic is otherwise a man who employs almost 5,000 people with more than three billion kuna in annual income, with constant profit growth. He entered that ''world'' owing to a combination of life circumstances, back in 1992 he started the now very well known "Tommy". In 2000, he bought ''Kike'' stores from his brother and incorporated them into his large chain, which is now positioned among the top 10 Croatian companies.

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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Split Mayor Says that he won't Run for another Term for Health Reasons

ZAGREB, Nov 4, 2020 - Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara, 53, said on Wednesday that he would not stand for another term as mayor in local elections next May, citing his health reasons.

"After medical examinations conducted last week and after talks with my family and consultations with my doctors, I have decided to be fully committed to the struggle for my health and to spend more time with my family," Krstulovic Opara told Hina.

He said he would continue performing his duties as a parliamentary deputy for the benefit of Split.

In late January 2018, Krstulovic Opara was diagnosed with melanoma.

Krstulovic Opara is a member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Opara Decides to Regulate the Drinking of Beverages in Public Areas

November 01, 2020 -  At the very end of his term, Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara, just like his predecessor Ivo Baldasar, has decided to regulate the drinking of beverages in public areas.

A little more than a month and a half ago, this issue was raised at the City Council, and in the meantime, Krstulovic Opara appointed a Commission to draft a Decision banning alcohol consumption in public areas in Split with the task of drafting, more precisely, preparing a draft ban document, which will go to public consultation 30 days before the city hall.

Goran Dlaka, head of the Police Department, Leona Grgic, senior advisor for business management and control of city companies, and Jurica Salinovic, recently appointed chief municipal warden, were elected to the task.

The main problem is to determine whether the ban will refer to all public places or only to some. I think that the direction will go in the way of allowing it Matejuska, ballots, and banning it in front of shops, in close proximity to schools, kindergartens ... they told us from Banovina.

Baldasar's proposal, which didn't reach the councilors three years ago, was a ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas, for which a fine of 500 and 250 kuna, respectively, would be imposed.

As we find out, this draft will also serve as a guide.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Plenkovic Says Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara Enjoys His Support

ZAGREB, Sept 15, 2020  - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara enjoys his support when asked if Krstulovic Opara would run in the next local election, set for May 2021.

Plenkovic made the statement for the press after meeting with Krstulovic Opara and Split County head Blazenko Boban, also a member of the HDZ party.

HDZ has a lot of candidates for local election

Asked who could be the HDZ's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, Plenkovic said that "the HDZ has a lot of candidates."

"We will have good candidates, there is enough time left for that. The HDZ has a lot of candidates," Plenkovic said, denying speculation by some media outlets that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric was a likely candidate for the post of Zagreb Mayor.

Plenkovic also commented on the Constitutional Court's decision of Monday that laws on the powers of the national COVID-19 response team, passed by the parliament, were in line with the Constitution and that most of the team's decisions were lawful.

Constitutional Court's support very good in terms of legal security

"The COVID response team and the government yesterday received support from the Constitutional Court which either dismissed (complaints) or declared that practically all of the team's decisions were constitutional and in line with relevant laws. I believe this is very good in terms of legal security and the fact that our actions were based on Article 16 of the Constitution and we made decisions in the context of a declared epidemic, to protect citizens' health," he said.

If the fight against COVID-19 in the spring had not been successful, we would not have achieved 50% of the results of last year's tourist season, which was the best ever, he stressed.

Commenting on the HDZ's pre-election promise about a Sunday trading ban, and the fact that the Constitutional Court ruled that the COVID-19 response team's decision to ban Sunday trading was not in line with the Constitution, Plenkovic recalled that some surveys showed that as many as 80% of Croatians were in favor of a Sunday trading ban.

Gov't to put forward balanced law on non-working Sunday

"We believe it would be good and in the interest of the family and a healthy balance between work, rest, and spending time with one's dearest ones. During this term the government will put forward a bill that will seek a balance between a non-working Sunday and a certain number of working Sundays," he said.

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Thursday, 20 August 2020

Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara: We Need to Stop Greedy Caterers!

August 20, 2020 - The Split Mayor, Andro Krstulovic Opara, said that the recently increased number of newly infected in Split-Dalmatia County was "a consequence of a larger number of tourists and a larger number of young people enjoying nightlife." He sharply called out the irresponsible caterers.

T.portal reports that Krstulovic said that the city's Civil Protection Headquarters reacted as soon as they noticed the sudden growth of the newly infected, convening an emergency meeting on Monday, N1 reports.

"These are not worrying numbers, but we had to intervene," said the mayor, noting that the meeting was attended by the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Teaching Institute for Public Health, Zeljka Karin, and the president of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) for Split, Jozo Tomas.

The meeting was convened, the mayor explained, "to harmonize the work with the work of the inspection services to prevent those little anomalies and those rare greedy recidivists." The term “greedy recidivists” referred to the group of caterers who did not implement epidemiological measures.

Krstulovic Opara believes that the number of infected will "drop soon".

The N1 reporter was interested in whether the reaction came late, because, for example, out of Wednesday's 66 new cases in the county, as many as 18 are from Imotski, which seems to be a possible focus, as he stated.

"Time will tell if the reaction is timely," the mayor replied, adding:

"We're at 70 percent overnight stays compared to last year. The economy has finally started... It would be dreadful to jeopardize results like this now because of a few."

He believes that the national headquarters made the right decisions and quality instructions in a timely manner, but that, apart from the irresponsible caterers, the problem is overburdening inspectors. On limiting the work of bars, cafes and catering clubs, the Split Mayor said:

"If they (the caterers) would stick to the measures, as far as we are concerned, they could work all night. It can already be seen that there is a smaller number of those who violate the measures."

Opara concluded by saying in the autumn, he "would not say that it will be difficult, but that it would be demanding."

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Saturday, 11 July 2020

Split Mayor Attacked

July 11, 2020 — Split’s Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara was attacked last night.

Split Mayor Andro Krstulović Opar,53, was attacked Friday night at 8 p.m. by two young men who first insulted him and then hit him. The mayor reportedly did not seek medical help.

Authorities arrested a man and launched a criminal investigation into the incident, which took place on Solurat Street, the Split-Dalmatia Police Department reported.

Opara announced on his Facebook profile that there is no reason for concern and that if it was someone other than him, probably this incident would not be worth mentioning.

“Good people, thank you for caring,” he wrote. “ I'm fine and nothing terrible has happened. If anyone else had been in my place this wouldn't have been any news. It's not worth mentioning.”

At the same time, politicians from across the political spectrum in the city of Split condemned the incident, from the Social Democrats to the Smart party.

The Split SDP also spoke out against the attack on Opar.

"We unreservedly and strongly condemn the attack on the mayor of our city, Andro Krstulović Opar,” said Goran Kotur, president of the SDP in Split. “We believe that the agenda of the Split City Council session should include a discussion on the report of the Split-Dalmatia Police Administration on the security situation in the city of Split. At a thematic session on the security situation in Split, the council decided that this topic would be on the agenda in the second quarter of each year.”

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Split Mayor Evaluates Work So Far, Future Plans, and Žnjan Project

The mayor of Split comments on his work thus far, his plans for the future and the highly anticipated Žnjan project.