Sunday, 30 May 2021

Zagreb Local Elections 2021 Analysis: No "Ideological Referendums", Strictly Freedom And Solutions Wanted

May 30, 2021 - Following the turbulent public debate of the Zagreb mayor candidates that ended with Tomislav Tomašević winning the capital of Croatia, TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac brings you the Zagreb Local Elections 2021 Analysis, concluding that Zagreb is a city open for all ideologies but in constant search of quality solutions.

It's official – Tomislav Tomašević (seen on the lead image) is the new mayor of Zagreb, the 54th in a row when you look through Zagreb's history.  

As a brand new chapter in Zagreb's local politics is turned, many are still uncertain about whether the former mayor Milan Bandić would lose or win another mandate if he hadn't suddenly and prematurely passed away earlier this year. Still, as Jelena Pavičić Vukićević, Bandić's successor joined the mayoral race and came in third place (despite being perceived as the keeper of Bandić's tradition), we could argue that is the indication that Bandić being suspected of corruption (and taken to court on several occasions) could've been the political end for him, had he lived to see the fight. But, of course, given Bandić's strong personality, that indication needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as many believe that not only would Bandić get to the second round of elections - but he'd even win them.

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Former Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić, screenshot / Al Jazeera Balkans

A quick recap

In the first round, Tomislav Tomašević from the green-left platform We Can! (Mozemo!) earned a stunning 45,15 percent (147,631) votes. Not only was that twice as more than Škoro and Pavičić Vukičević combined, as N1 reported, but it was also more than with what Milan Bandić won in the second round of local elections back in 2017.

The mayoral race in Zagreb was highlighted with the question of who will succeed Milan Bandić and who will properly address all the debts and unfairly earned employment in the city administration as well as the overpricing of numerous city projects (such as the many fountains and the plagued Sljeme cable car). Additionally, there were the issues of the handling the mess of the Jakuševec junkyard, as well as handling the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb's very heart. The only thing the majority of the candidates agreed to be good were the city's social policies, but they can still be improved.

However, as TCN previously reported, before even officially entering the second round, Miroslav Škoro turned the elections from practical questions of handling corruption to the age old and frankly boring ideological battle, accusing Tomašević and the We Can! (Mozemo!) platform of wanting to revive Yugoslavia.

''That's the extreme left, and it will be stopped in the second round, so help me God“, said Škoro on the night of the first election results.

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Miroslav Škoro, screenshot / Domovinski Pokret

This sort of rhetoric took everyone by surprise. Dražen Lalić, a sociologist and a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Zagreb, commented for RTL that Škoro himself is a radical candidate and that We Can! (Mozemo!) are neither extreme nor are they the radical left.

''Regardless of Škoro having a doctorate in economis, he's illiterate in the political sense; he doesn't know even the most basic terms. Extreme means outside of the system and not going to the elections. Radical actors are inside the system, and I think Škoro is radical. On the other hand, Tomašević and We Can! (Mozemo!) are very moderate in their attitudes; they're young people. There were no incidents and they are were moderate,'' said Lalić for RTL. He added that Škoro is probably aware that he had absolutely chance of winning but was still trying to reach the far-right electoral body.

24sata columnist Tomislav Klauški wrote about how Škoro's war with the perceived ''extreme left'' is quite literally the only thing in his entire programme. He concluded that such a move isn't going to work for Zagreb, which has never voted for far right options, and he also reminded that former mayor Milan Bandić, despite his many flaws, also came from the social-democratic political option.

''His filthy campaign from the first round, where his agency spread lies that Škare Ožbolt works ''for the Serbs'', where his news sites spread stories that Filipović's father is Serbian, and warned that Tomašević is a concealed right-winger, Škoro is now going further with that into the second wrong. As if Zagreb doesn't have enough problems to talk about,'' wrote Klauški on Monday after the first round.   

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Dražen Lalić, screenshot / N1

Škoro then continued to push the narrative of these elections, declaring them an ideological referendum among right-wing and conservative circles. Škoro also accused We Can! (Mozemo!) of being foreign mercenaries working for famous philanthropist George Soros or wanting to revitalise Yugoslavia, and Škoro's associate Zlatko Hasanbegović stepped out into the Croatian public space calling the party a lesbian syndicate - weird indeed. Additionally, Nikola Grmoja (Most) stated for N1 that Mozemo are iPhone Soroshians, and accusations accompanied by rather odd name-calling saw a random generator on the internet designed to mock these terms by random options. Meanwhile, Tomašević continued his campaign by talking about solutions to the problems Zagreb is currently facing but occasionally making remarks on the accusations by his opponents and sometimes even throwing some accusations in Škoro's direction in return.

67% : 33% K.O.

This focus on actual problems Zagreb is facing and the refusal to dwell into ideological issues, along with the experience of activism for Zagreb's interests, proved to be the winning formula for Tomašević, beating Škoro with amazing 199,630 votes compared to Škoro's 106.300 votes. Not only did Tomašević beat Škoro by far, he also earned more than former mayor Milan Bandić did, and nobody has had more votes in Zagreb's mayoral elections to date. 

Škoro lost his own so-called ideological referendum, but let's imagine for a moment that he actually won. Whether Škoro (or some other analysts who believed these elections would finally prove how Zagreb looks at things with an ideological eye) likes it or not, this "referendum" neither proves that Zagreb has turned to some radical left nor does it prove the opposite. First of all, only 45.7% of people voted on the second round of these elections. That's not even half of the total number of citizens that have the right to vote in Zagreb. Secondly, the culture and overall vibe of Zagreb truly tells us that Zagreb is diverse and very much open for everybody.

Zagreb - The pioneer liberal city for every idea

One thing we can say for certain about Zagreb's philosophy, if you will, is that Zagreb is proud to be a pioneer of development and a role model for the rest of the country. To illustrate that, Zagreb was proud that they'd be the first to use telecom lines, and by the time the rest of Croatia got telephones, Zagreb already had mobile phones. Being the capital city of Croatia, and the biggest city in the country, a centre of politics, education, science, culture, and more, Zagreb attracts people from all over the country and abroad, having bloomed into a multi-cultural city whose people have various ideologies and convictions.

When you look at ideological conflict in Croatia, which sadly doesn't seem to be anywhere near its end, it is often perceived that if you're a Croatian nationalist and conservative in Istria, you'll feel quite lonely indeed. On the other hand, left leaning progressives and liberals living in Dalmatia or Slavonia, areas that are known to be quite conservative, can't wait for a chance to leave those areas.

That being said, apologetics of all ideologies head to Zagreb, and Zagreb is a place where looking straightly from an ideological view, everyone is equally happy and miserable at the same time, but overall they're in a better position than in the rest of Croatia is. Before the pandemic, you had a regular event called ''Coffee with non-believers'' hosted by various venues such as Spunk bar or No Sikiriki. The event allowed for all atheists, agnostics, or even religious people unhappy with the breach of secularity by the Catholic Church in Croatia – to find those who think like they do, meet in person, talk, and have a good time.

On the other hand, in the Veliki Tolk pub in Opatovina, you have ''Right-wingers in the Pub'' which provides the same comfort and good times for the conservative-oriented people.

Regardless of what kind of genre of music you listen to, what movies you want to see, what kind of clubs you want to go to, mainstream pop, alternative rock, electronics, jazz... Zagreb's public sphere offers something for everyone.

Zagreb does have hospitals whose doctors refuse to perform abortions, but if there is any place a woman can have her reproductive rights respected in Croatia, then that place is Zagreb. Despite several violent homophobic incidents, the relaxing atmosphere of the LGBTQ Pride picnic on Ribnjak Park, and the support coming for the parade from the windows of Zagreb's buildings show that Zagreb is a safe place, and you won't feel alone because of your sexual preferences.

How these ideologies co-exist in being equally happy and miserable at the same time was perfectly demonstrated over the last two weeks. LGBTQ flags put out for the International Day Against Transphobia were torn down by vandals on the Victims of Fascism Square. A few days later, a pro-life initiative, Hod za Život“ (Walk for life) flags displayed on Ban Jelačić Square, were also quite quickly torn down. And the culmination of that event was seen on Saturday when the pro-life Walk For Life march was met with counter-protesters from Crveni Otpor (Red Resistance), which is pro-choice. So, as we can see, these ideologies create conflict at times, but more often, it's a peaceful co-existence. Equally miserable and happy at the same time, and still in a better position than the rest of the country.

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Pro-life march in Zagreb © Hod za život - Zagreb

 

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Pro-choice protesters waiting for pro-life march in Zagreb © Faktiv

Zagreb is liberal in its nature, courtesy of the growth and development it has seen, and even in the event that a conservative or even a radical conservative ever took the mayoral position, Zagreb wouldn't lose what it is in its soul.

Those who vote in Zagreb proved that ideological disputes are irrelevant, as long as freedom is respected by the candidate, and as long as you are not a radical and have a good solution for the city's problems, you're more than welcome to try and be a mayor.

Democracy is yet to be understood

That being said, there are some issues these elections highlighted for the political culture of Zagreb. First, Zagreb citizens that don't vote need to understand that voting is very important as our democratic right to have our say in what we want in Zagreb (as in the entire country). The freedom and all of the perks of living in Zagreb that citizens enjoy or don't enjoy are the direct results of politics, and any improvements or downfall in the city will come from politics. Having your say in these dynamic events is something that shouldn't be missed.

Democracy isn't a once-every-four-year event but a continuous practice of civic participation to make sure that promises before the election don't end up forgotten after the celebration.

Tomašević has said that "Zagreb is ours" (as is the name of one of the political parties in the Mozemo! platform), and so it's important for him to be open for the city's citizens, but also for citizens to be open to communicate with the local authorities to make a better community.    

Learn more about Zagreb on our TC page.

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

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Green-Left Mayoral Candidate Says He Doesn't Have Police Protection

ZAGREB, 27 May 2021 - The candidate of the Green-Left coalition for the new mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević, said on Thursday that he had neither asked for the police protection nor did he have it.

Tomašević insists that the campaign in the run-up to the second round of the mayoral election in which he will face off Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro is marked by hate and incendiary speech and fake news as never before.

Addressing the press in Zagreb today, Tomašević said that he had come to the venue of this news conference by tram and on foot just as he had done yesterday.

"I do not have the police protection, I have not requested it. Yesterday, you saw the stepped-up police presence as part of their regular activities at some of our gatherings," Tomašević said after on Wednesday police officers were spotted standing near the venue of Tomašević's news conference, which prompted media outlets and some politicians to speculate that Tomašević was given the police protection.

In response to reporters' questions on Wednesday, if he had been given police protection, Tomašević told reporters to ask police about that because security assessment was not what he and his colleagues did.

Concerning this topic, President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday afternoon that he would bet that Zagreb mayoral candidate Tomašević had been receiving threats given his opponent Miroslav Škoro's incendiary campaign.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said the left parties in Zagreb kept quiet about the attacks on him and his HDZ party yet were now appalled by mayoral candidate Škoro's attacks. "Now you hear the aggrieved crying of all the people who otherwise keep quiet, and that's the phenomenon of the Zagreb election. You have the left which is now crying, yet is otherwise silent."

However, Tomašević said today that "nobody from the left is crying now".

"I do not have the police protection, I and my assistant have come together. There is no police here," Tomašević said adding that he feels safe and that he has not received any serious threat to date.

He reiterated that it was up to the police to assess security threats concerning the public gatherings of his political party and their sympathizers.

He said that when it came to fake news  "there is a direct connection between" his opponent Miroslav Škoro and the funding of the fake news publication on social networks.

Tomašević said that he would consider taking possible legal action after the completion of the mayoral runoff.

 "We are now focused on the second round of the elections," he added.

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

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Tomislav Tomašević: War Veterans Programmes Won't be Halted, City Offices to be Merged

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - Zagreb mayoral candidate Tomislav Tomašević said on Wednesday it was not true that city programmes for war veterans would be halted once his We Can! party came to power but that rather city offices would be merged to improve coordination of city programmes.

"As regards accusations that programmes intended for war veterans would stop if we come to power, I can say that that is not true. I have said on more than one occasion that we will merge offices, I was not speaking about the cancellation of programmes, because I do not know of any other capital city in the world that has 27 departments," Tomašević told a news conference.

On being given police protection

Asked by reporters if he had been given police protection, Tomašević told reporters to ask police about that because security assessment was not what he and his colleagues did.

"We have been in touch with police regarding security risks. But the police are the ones to make decisions on the matter, and I cannot speak on their bahalf about that," Tomašević said.

Asked about the Otvoreno political programme on Croatian Television of Tuesday, in which he faced off against his rival in the 30 May runoff for Zagreb mayor, Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement, and if he would sue him for false claims, Tomašević said that he was focused on his campaign now.

"That did not happen only yesterday. We are talking about an unbelievable misrepresentation of facts, someone is accusing you of covert campaign financing while at the same time they report zero donations," said Tomašević.

He noted that the internet was full of paid advertisements with false information on the We Can! platform and his family.

He added that Željka Markić of the In the Name of the Family civil society group yesterday made one more slanderous claim against him, saying that he had a gross salary of HRK 25,000 in a nongovernmental organisation.

"She should say which NGO she was referring to and when it happened," he said, noting that an unprecedented hate-mongering campaign was under way on the political scene in Croatia.

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

Monday, 24 May 2021

HRK742K So Far Spent on Tomašević's Campaign, Nearly 251K Collected in Donations

May 24, 2021 - The Mi Možemo and Zagreb je Naš political groups supporting the mayoral candidate have spent 741 598 kunas on Tomašević's campaign of this candidate for the new Zagreb mayor. In contrast, they have collected 250,668 kunas in donations, according to the data they provided last Friday.

On 21 May, the We Can party and its coalition partners submitted an updated financial report on the campaign's funding in the run-up to the Zagreb mayor's elections.

The report shows that they have received donations from 631 individuals and legal entities.

The average amount of a donation is thus HRK 397.25.

This Green-Left coalition shows that the funding for the campaign mainly relied on smaller individual donations provided by residents, which they interpret as a sign of broad support of the local population.

They also thanked all who raised funds for this campaign.

(€1 = HRK 7.503288)

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

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 17-23, 2021

May 23, 2021 - TCN's highlights of the week. A look at the events in Croatia from May 17 through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

From Local elections to released details of the Euro 2020 championship strategy to the release of Zoran Mamić. Add Besana company attempting to boost its position in Croatia, and you have a truly exciting week. Here are the highlights.

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 screenshot / Jutarnji list

Highlights of the Week: Zagreb mayor candidates Tomašević and Škoro had a debate ahead of the second round of elections

Jutarnji List invited on Friday mayoral candidates Miroslav Škoro (Homeland Movement), and Tomislav Tomašević of the green-left party We Can! to debate ahead of new elections.

In the first round of the elections, We Can! earned 147.631 votes (45.15%), while Homeland Movement had 39.789 votes (12.16%). Before officially entering the second round, Škoro declared Tomašević and We Can! party extreme left and pushed the narrative of elections as an ideological referendum among right-wing and conservative circles. Škoro also accused We Can! of being foreign mercenaries working for a philanthropist George Soros or wanting to revitalize Yugoslavia and Škoro's associate Zlatko Hasanbegović earlier in the week called We Can! a lesbian syndicate. Additionally, Nikola Grmoja (Most Party) stated for N1 that We Can! are Soroshians and accusations of their weird name-calling saw a random generator on the internet designed to mock these terms by random options of name-calling. Meanwhile, Tomašević continued the campaign talking about solutions to the problems Zagreb is currently facing but occasionally makes remark accusations while keeping it clean. The debate on Jutarnji List saw similar rhetoric from both candidates in their public performances, and overall, at least for the people of Zagreb, May 30 can't come soon enough.Hrvatski_nogometni_savez.jpg

screenshot / Hrvatski nogometni savez

Highlights of the Week: Zlatko Dalić announces preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia player list

Coach Zlatko Dalic has announced the preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia player list on Monday. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea) are some of the names that made it on the list.

The Croatia national team has entered the last month of preparations for the European Championship, which opens on June 13 at Wembley against England at 3 pm.

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screenshot / RTL

Highlights of the Week: Zoran Mamić released from custody

Former Dinamo football coach Zoran Mamić will remain free while in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, he will have to report to the police once a week, and his personal documents have been temporarily confiscated, the court in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided on Wednesday.

Zoran Mamić was arrested early Wednesday morning by officers from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) based on an arrest warrant issued against him in Croatia.

After that, Mamić was handed over to the court in Sarajevo. Judge Branko Perić determined his status, including his citizenship of BiH. The judge ruled that Mamić would remain free with precautionary measures and was ordered to give in his personal identification documents.

The court did not discuss the matter of Mamić's extradition, considering that Croatia has not sent a formal request yet.

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screenshot / Radio Labin

Highlights of the Week: Former football player Vedran Ćorluka new Croatian assistant coach

The new Croatia national team assistant coach Vedran Ćorluka was officially presented by coach Zlatko Dalić at a press conference in Zagreb ahead of EURO 2020.

Although there was a lot of speculation, Croatian football player Vedran Ćorluka officially announced the end of his playing career and was confirmed as the new Croatia assistant coach on Monday.

"I did not plan it, but the moment has come," said Ćorluka at the press conference at which coach Zlatko Dalić presented the list of players for the upcoming European Championship.

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Pixabay

Highlights of the Week: Italian company Besana strengthening position in Croatia

The Italian company Besana, which is otherwise one of the strongest European companies in the production and processing of nuts and dried fruit, is working to further strengthen its position here in Croatia.

As TCN reported on Monday, the Italian company Besana currently has 50 subcontractors located in Croatia, from whom it buys about 100 tonnes of hazelnuts per year. But, much more can be expected if their plans go well.

To learn more about Croatia, have a look at our newly launched TC website.

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

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

70 Cities Elect Mayors in 1st Round of Elections

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - During the local elections held throughout Croatia on 16 May, a total of 70 cities managed to elect their heads in the first round of voting, while others will have mayoral runoffs on 30 May.

Of those 70 mayors, who clinched the victory in the first round of voting when they gained the support of more than 50% of the voters who turned out for the elections, 36 winners are from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), or six fewer than in 2017, whereas 13 Social Democratic Party (SDP) mayoral candidates gained outright victory, or one more than in the first round of the local elections in 2017.

Seven female mayors winners in first round

Of those 70 mayors elected in the first round of the elections, seven are women.

According to the report provided by the gradonačelnik.hr portal, there is a rising trend in the election of mayoral candidates who are not members of political parties and who are introduced as independent candidates. Ten independent mayors were elected on Sunday.

Donja Stubica mayor reelected with support of more than 83% of voters

Of the winners with an outright victory on 16 May, the most successful mayor who managed to gain the largest support was independent Nikola Gospočić, who was reelected for another term in Donja Stubica with 83.01% of the voters who went to the polls voting for him. In the previous term, he was a member of the SDP party and left it before these elections.

Another independent mayor, Dinko Burić, won 82.15% of the support for his new mayoral term in the eastern city of Belišće.

In terms of the percentage of support, Darijo Vasilić of the regional PGS party ranks third, winning 80.26% of votes for another mayoral term in the City of Krk.

Of the regional parties, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) remains the strongest. In the first round of the voting, five IDS candidates were elected mayors.

Four biggest cities to have mayoral runoffs

Zagreb

Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can!, New Left, ORAH and For the City coalition took the lead in the mayoral race for Zagreb on Sunday, winning 45% of votes, and will face-off with Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement party (12%) in the second round of the elections.

Split

In the biggest Croatian Adriatic city, Ivica Puljak (Centre) and Vice Mihanović (HDZ) will face off in the 30 May runoff. Puljak won 26.82% and Mihanović 23.23%.

Rijeka

In the northern coastal city of Rijeka, the current deputy mayor Marko Filipović (SDP, HSU, IDS, HSS) won 30.25% of votes, followed by independent Davor Štimac (16.10%).

Osijek

In the eastern city of Osijek, Ivan Radić (HDZ) won nearly 39% of votes, ahead of independent Berislav Mlinarević, backed by the Homeland Movement and Bridge (about 20%), and they will vie in the second round of the elections on 30 May.

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

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Austrian MEP Backs Tomislav Tomašević, Says Green Policies Are Neither Left Nor Right

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - Thomas Waitz, a European Green Party co-chair, has said in an interview for Hina that green policies are neither left nor right but rather focused on dealing with the consequences of the human beings' actions on the climate and environment.

Waitz, an Austrian member of the European Parliament, visited Croatia in early May at the invitation of the leader of the Croatian OraH party, Zorislav Antun Petrović, to support the Green-Left Coalition's candidates in the campaign in the run-up to the local elections which Croatia held on 16 May.

On Monday, this Austrian MEP congratulated Tomislav Tomašević of the Green-Left coalition for a convincing victory in the local polls in the City of Zagreb. Tomašević  mustered 45% of the vote in the first round of the elections for the mayor of the Croatian capital city and will face off Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement (12% of the vote) in the runoff set for 30 May. The coalition led by Tomašević won the elections for the city assembly and was short of one seat for an absolute majority.

On Monday, Waitz tweeted: "Congratulations to the Green-Left coalition for their great result in the local elections in Zagreb yesterday."

"The Green-Left coalition won 23/47 seats in the City Assembly! Zagreb deserves a citizen-led & democratic movement to lead the recovery efforts," the Austrian politician added.

The European Green part also stated that its partners in Croatia were focused on the green post-quake recovery and that they promised to put an end to clientelism and poor management of the city.

Waitz, whose Greens Party is a junior partner in the ruling coalition led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Austria, says in the interview which Hina published on Tuesday that the preservation of the planet could be considered generally a conservative policy as we would like to protect the planet  for the future generations.

EU expects Croatia to invest in rail lines

Commenting on possible demands stemming from the European Green Deal for Croatia, Waitz recalled that the Council of the EU and the European Parliament had reached provisional agreement in April on the climate legislature whereby the EU set an intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. 

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions implies the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels. Therefore Waitz recommends that Croatia should invest more in the rail network.

The European Union expects Croatia to implement such projects. Please invest in rail lines to Ljubljana, Maribor, Graz, Budapest and Belgrade, the Austrian MEP said.

He recalled that the EU policy "From Farm to Fork" envisages the reduction of the use of pesticides by 50% until 2030 and in this context he urged Croatia to  invest in the education and training of young farmers about sustainable farming.

He also commented that the mass tourism could be sustainable and in this context advocated providing  hotels and establishments catering for tourists with locally produced food..

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

Monday, 17 May 2021

Tomislav Tomašević: We'll Win in Two Weeks With Free Hand to Effect Change

17 May 2021 - Zagreb mayoral candidate Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can! and Zagreb Is Ours! the coalition, which has won 45% of the vote in today's local elections, said on Sunday night they would win with a free hand in the runoff so that they could effect changes.

"We'll win in two weeks with heads held high and be able to look everyone in the eye. We'll win in two weeks without having sold our souls and without owing anyone so that we can have a free hand to carry out changes so that this city can be a better place to live for all," he said.

Tomašević said that by giving him the largest support, the people of Zagreb said that Zagreb did not belong to an interest group but to all who live in it. "And that's why Zagreb is ours!"

He said that in Zagreb, the coalition had made one and a half of the two steps necessary to rid the city of the octopus of corruption and that "only half a step more is necessary" to change the model of governance.

He said there was no time to relax and that in the next two weeks of campaigning before the runoff, the coalition would lead a positive campaign and "again give our all."

"We'll continue to lead a positive campaign and focus on the problems of this city and solutions to those problems. We won't resort to dirty tricks like some of our rivals," Tomašević said.

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Budapest, Innsbruck, Grenoble Mayors Support Tomislav Tomašević For Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - The mayors of Budapest, Innsbruck and Grenoble have sent video messages of support to Tomislav Tomašević, the green-left coalition's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, the We Can! political platform said on Wednesday.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony says in his message that Zagreb and Budapest are not only geographically close but also friendly cities with many links, underlining how important it is for the progressive green agenda to strengthen its position in the region and to act together to achieve a viable, democratic future.

Karácsony says the policies Tomašević advocates, such as green public transport and recycling, are the key issues on which he is working as mayor too, and calls on the people of Zagreb to vote for Tomašević

Innsbruck Mayor Georg Willi says the challenge today is to find the right response to climate change and that green changes will primarily occur in European cities. That's why Zagreb needs strong advocates of those changes under Tomašević's leadership as mayor, Willi adds.

Grenoble Mayor Éric Piolle says he is looking forward to cooperating with Tomašević in the network of ecological cities flourishing across Europe, from Innsbruck and Amsterdam to Bonn and Hannover as well as many cities in France.

Piolle says Tomašević has been fighting for the environment for years, working on transparent policies and including citizens in shaping their city.

By electing Tomašević as mayor, Zagreb has a chance to join the increasing number of European cities governed by progressive green-left political forces which are making important steps forward in improving quality of life by taking account of climate change and other challenges of the 21st century, Piolle says in his video message.

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Zagreb Mayoral Candidate Tomašević Presents Candidates for His Deputies

ZAGREB, 12 April, 2021 - Tomislav Tomašević, the candidate for Zagreb Mayor of the We Can/Zagreb is Ours! platforms on Monday presented candidates for his deputies, Danijela Dolenec and Luka Korlaet.

"I truly believe that we will be a great team that will run the city well and improve the quality of life for its residents," Tomašević told a news conference.

Dolenec is a reader at the Zagreb Faculty of Political Science, an award-winning researcher and founder of the We Can! and Zagreb is Ours! platforms, while Korlaet is a senior lecturer at the Zagreb Faculty of Architecture.

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

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