Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Zagreb Mayor Says Legislative Framework for Reconstruction Inadequate

ZAGREB, 31 Aug, 2021 - Commenting on the situation with post-earthquake reconstruction, Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević repeated on Tuesday that the current law on post-earthquake reconstruction was inadequate and he welcomed plans to amend it.

Tomašević said that it was up to the government to submit a new bill to the parliament and that his We Can! party would try to help shape it through its deputies in the national parliament.

The mayor warned that property-rights relations, properties that had not been legalised and discrepancies between data in land books and those in cadastral maps constituted a major problem.

He said that he would support proposals that the state fully finance the reconstruction process in order to help expedite procedures related to property-rights relations, noting that those relations would not be as important without the co-financing model, and one could embark on "block by block" reconstruction.

Tomašević said that a call for applications for the lease of city-owned flats to citizens whose properties were damaged in the March 2020 earthquake and who were accommodated in a hostel and in housing containers would be published very soon.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Tomislav Tomasevic Seeking Millions in Damages from Bandic's Affairs

August the 31st, 2021 - The new Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic and his city administration is seeking millions in damages from the late Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic's many alleged affairs and scandals.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Tomislav Tomasevic and his government are looking for the money extracted during the time of former mayor Milan Bandic in alleged scandals, most of which are well known to the public, reports Jutarnji list.

The closest associates of the late Mayor Milan Bandic in Zagreb's city administration, as well as the owners of companies that benefited from doing ''illegal business'' with the City of Zagreb are being watched very closely by the new Zagreb government led by Tomislav Tomasevic, who is asking for a return of a little more than 227 million kuna in what he claims is looted money.

The office of Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic confirmed to Jutarnji list that the new city administration, on behalf of the City of Zagreb, has submitted property claims in all proceedings in which, according to USKOK (Croatian State Prosecutor's Office for the Suppression of Organised Crime and Corruption) indictments, the capital city was financially damaged.

When submitting the request for the return of the money, Tomasevic's administration allegedly adhered to those USKOK indictments that the court has confirmed so far, this incluces the owners of companies that benefited from said illegal activities, as well as some court experts and lawyers who participated in the conclusion of those criminal cases.

"It's our responsibility to ask for the stolen city money to be given back to the city treasury because it's the money of our citizens,'' the Zagreb mayor's office confirmed.

Although all the indictments on which the current city government bases its property and legal claims were confirmed during Bandic's lifetime, the former city administration failed to submit any requests for the return of the apparently stolen money.

Namely, it was difficult and rather illogical to expect that Milan Bandic himself and his closest associates from Zagreb's city administration would file any demands for the return of the stolen money against themselves.

Many of these people are still employees of the city administration, although they are no longer in the positions they held back during the controversial Bandic's time.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević Presents Three New Zagreb Holding Management Board Members

ZAGREB, 24 Aug, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević on Tuesday presented three new members of the Zagreb Holding multi-utility conglomerate's management board, saying they have ten years of experience in managing positions in Croatian and foreign companies and will take office in September.

"After receiving 73 applications, we shortlisted and interviewed 15 candidates. We chose those three and they will take office in September," Tomašević told the press.

The three new members are Ivan Novaković, Boris Sesar and Matija Subašić Maras.

In June, Nikola Vuković was appointed Zagreb Holding Management Board chair and Ante Samodol a member. The latest additions complete the appointment of the Zagreb Holding Management Board.

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Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević Says Bulky Waste Being Removed From Zagreb Streets as of Today

ZAGREB, 17 Aug, 2021 - Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said on Tuesday the Zagreb Holding multi-utility conglomerate's Waste Management branch was removing bulky waste from city streets as of today and that Holding signed a contract for the temporary storage of that waste in the eastern suburb of Sesvetski Kraljevac.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Tomašević said bulky waste would be stored there for the next 75 days which, he added, should be enough time to first lease and then buy a shredder and meet the other technical requirements so that in future Waste Management ("Čistoća" in Croatian) would recover bulky waste instead of private companies.

Asked if he could vouch that bulky waste removal would no longer be suspended, the mayor said he hoped this was the last time it happened.

Tomašević said a complaint was lodged yesterday against a new public procurement procedure for bio-waste disposal and that "it's definitely slowing down the process."

He said five offers had been made for the purchase of two shredders, while the procedure for leasing them, estimated at HRK 200,000, is still under way.

Tomašević declined to comment on an ironic statement issued last week by the private C.I.O.S. Group, specialised in waste management, after he announced the cancellation of a tender for the removal of bulky waste in Zagreb after two valid bids had been submitted, one by Reoma Group and the other by the Ce-Za-r company, a member from the C.I.O.S. group.

The mayor annulled the tender which had been advertised by the previous city administration.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević Announces New Model For Appointment of School Boards

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević announced on Tuesday that next Monday, applications would be invited for the appointment of members of school boards, with around 400 members to be selected, plus 200 who are representatives of local government units. 

Speaking at a news conference, Tomašević said that under the new model, of the three school board members who are appointed as representatives of schools' founder, namely the City of Zagreb, one would be chosen from among representatives of local government bodies and two would be selected in an open competition.

Around 400 school board members will be selected in an open competition, around 200 will be nominated by heads of city district councils.

The boards of primary and secondary schools whose founders are local government units each have seven members, of whom three have so far been appointed exclusively by a decision by the mayor.

The Večernji List daily recently reported that the appointment of some of the school board members in an open competition would be introduced by Zagreb and Split, whose mayors, Tomašević and Ivica Puljak respectively, have said the new model is aimed at depoliticising educational institutions.

Tomašević today also noted that fees for members of school boards as well as for members of the management boards of city-owned kindergartens and cultural institutions would be cut. 

Amendment of criteria on lease of city premises

Speaking of waste management in Zagreb, Tomašević said at today's news conference that the situation in Zagreb was critical regarding the disposal of bio-waste and bulky waste.

A new public procurement procedure has been launched for the disposal of bio-waste while the public procurement procedure for the disposal of bulky waste is under way, he said.

The mayor of Zagreb also announced changes to criteria for the lease of city-owned premises, noting that by raising prices of lease, which are currently very low, the city's revenue could be increased.

"I do not see any logic in leasing commercial businesses that earn millions in revenue spaces of several hundred square metres at a price of several thousand kuna," he said.

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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević: 11 of 27 Department Heads no Longer in Their Positions

ZAGREB, 27 July, 2021 - Eleven of 27 heads of city departments in Zagreb are no longer in their positions and acting heads will be appointed in their stead from among administration staff, Mayor Tomislav Tomašević announced on Tuesday, saying that this transition will last until the reorganisation of the city administration. 

"It was important to us that some of them no longer hold those positions and that they do not have the authority to sign (contracts)," Tomašević told a press conference while speaking about moves by the new city administration in the last two months.

The mayor said that some of the department heads were leaving while the majority had been reassigned to other jobs. Noting that the transition period would be temporary, he said that a call for new department heads would be issued as part of the reorganisation of the city administration, which takes effect on 31 October, and there would be a revision of job classification for each department. 

Speaking of the pace of post-earthquake reconstruction, Tomašević said that no one could be satisfied with it and that no progress would be possible without a systematic solution at state level.

"We can say what we have done each week for the last two months to speed up the reconstruction process. Since the City of Zagreb is not fully responsible for reconstruction, good cooperation (with the central government) is imperative," he stressed, adding that this would most likely require amending the Reconstruction Act.

Tomašević said that calls for one-off grants to non-governmental organisations would be suspended as of 31 July as part of budget cuts.

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

First Working Session of Zagreb City Assembly Begins

ZAGREB, 15 July (Hina) - The first working session of the Zagreb City Assembly began on Thursday, and councilors will discuss thirty items on the agenda, including the proposal by Mayor Tomislav Tomašević to reorganize the City Administration and reduce the number of city offices from 27 to 16.

The club of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS) disagrees with the proposal to reorganize the City Administration and has put forward as many as 13 amendments as it wants to keep the existing city offices, namely the Office for EU Programmes and Projects, the City Office for Health and the City Office for War Veterans.

One of the more important items on the agenda is the proposed conclusion that the City of Zagreb take out a short-term loan of HRK 400 million for a period of a year. Tomašević proposed that Zagreb borrow money due to the tight cash flow situation which has been caused by a difference in the dynamics of fund inflow and the maturity of liabilities.

At the session, the HDZ and HSLS club in the assembly also intends to task Tomašević with appointing members of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board of the Zagreb Holding multi-utility conglomerate within 30 days in accordance with the legal procedure, which means that councilors have to approve the appointment.

Another important item on the proposed agenda is the report on the Children's Hospital Srebrnjak.

City Assembly Chairman Joško Klisović said at the beginning of the session that 41 of 47 councilors were present.

For more on Croatian politics, both local and national, make sure to bookmark our dedicated politics section and stay in the loop.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic: We've Returned Expensive Cars

July the 15th, 2021 - The recently elected Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic has stated that all of the expensive cars, including Audis, Mecerdes-Benz and BMWs have all been returned, and switched for Meganes, Octavias and Corsas.

Milan Bandic's premature death a few months ago left a window of opportunity for change open in the Croatian capital, and it seems that change truly is finally happening.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic recently held a press conference in the lobby of the Zagreb City Administration, where he spoke about the first month of his term, the financial picture of a post-Bandic Zagreb and more of his plans for the capital.

''This is the fifteenth press conference we've had in the last 37 days,'' said Tomadevic at the beginning, announcing a weekly press conference in the future, which will be held every Tuesday, reports N1.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic also spoke about the city's official vehicle fleet, saying that they decided on cheaper vehicle variants and have returned the fancy cars previously being driven despite the city's dire financial status.

"We cancelled the tender for official vehicles, the presidents of the city councils used these cars 24 hours a day, I don't know on what basis. We returned all the expensive cars, the BMWs, Mercedes, Audis… We've now got Meganes, Octavias and Corsas,'' said Tomasevic, adding that the three arrested city employees, Barun, Krajina and Sulentic, have also now been officially suspended.

The mayor also noted that the financial picture of the City of Zagreb and of Zagreb Holding is far from good.

"This indebtedness was for liquidity, in the autumn we'll look with the banks for refinancing, which will be a long-term solution with the restructuring of the City and of Holding,'' stated Tomasevic.

For more on Croatian politics, both local and national, make sure to bookmark our dedicated politics section and stay in the loop.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Conflict of Interest Commission Head: We Have to Probe Disputed Donations Yet

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - The Conflict of Interest Commission has yet to examine all the circumstances of the disputed donations concerning the Zagreb Mayor, the commission's head, Nataša Novaković, told the commercial N1 broadcaster on Tuesday.

Two conflict of interest cases were opened against Mayor Tomislav Tomašević after media reports, and it is now up to the commission to explore the circumstances and decide whether or not to launch proceedings against the mayor.

On Monday, the commission opened a case against Tomašević after media outlets revealed that one of the newly appointed members of the Srebrnjak hospital's steering council, Tomislav Lauc, was one of the major contributors to Tomašević's campaign, as he donated 10,000 kuna to Tomašević's camp before the elections.

In mid-June, the commission opened the first case against Tomašević on suspicion that some appointments of officials in the Zagrebački Holding company were against the procedure.

Commenting on the latest case, Novaković said that two contributors of the election campaign were reportedly appointed by the new administration to the said council of the hospital.

"This is what we have to investigate," Novaković said adding that the commission needs to establish whether the donation was connected with the subsequent appointment and business relations.

She also elaborated that membership of the steering council was not interesting only because of the monthly reimbursement of 750 kuna (€100) but also because of possibility of exerting influence as a member of that body.

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

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević Says Owes No One Anything, Has Free Hand

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said on Monday he had not promised  anyone any position in the city nor owned anyone anything, adding that he had a free hand to make decisions he considered to be in the public interest.

"That's how I will act until the end of my term," he said on RTL television.

Tomašević said he was confident the two complaints filed against him with the Conflict of Interest Commission during his first month in office would be dismissed.

Regarding the appointment of Tomislav Lauc to the Srebrnjak Hospital Steering Council, Tomašević said he had been "one of 1,500 contributors" to his campaign and that if the appointment of any of them "to one of the 340 institutions and steering councils in the City of Zagreb is a conflict of interest, then we have a big problem."

He said that if they were experts, the fact that they had been contributors should not disqualify them from being appointed.

Tomašević said the Srebrnjak Hospital Steering Council was not the management, that the hospital director was selected in a public call, and that the director was an employee, whereas the people on the Steering Council were not.

He said the decision on the hospital's new director was up to the Steering Council, not him.

Asked if, after one month in office, he felt that he had taken over the running of the city or was still in "hostile surroundings," Tomašević said a large number of people in the city administration was willing to cooperate and that, "naturally, it will take time to win their trust or not win it."

He reiterated that of the 27 city office heads appointed by his predecessor, ten had resigned and that the offices would be reduced to 16. The heads of the new offices will be selected in public calls, he said.

"We'll appoint the best people. Whether they are members of a party, mine, someone else's or no one's, is unimportant. There will be no faking, they will be real public calls."

Tomašević said the city office for war veterans was not abolished and that it would be part of a new office for protection, health, veterans and persons with disabilities.

He said he was sorry that Damir Vanđelić was resigning as head of the post-earthquake Reconstruction Fund because "we have just established a good dynamic, the (Construction) Ministry, the Fund and the City of Zagreb."

He said a location had been found for construction waste disposal, and reiterated that he hoped "reconstruction will finally begin."

Asked if the city would be able to cover 20% of the reconstruction costs and whether a recently taken HRK 400 million loan would suffice until the end of the year, the mayor said there was no doubt about that and that the loan was "just for liquidity."

He added, however, that "a more serious refinancing of the debt of Zagreb and (utility conglomerate) Holding will ne necessary. We are talking about it with banks and the state."

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