Monday, 23 November 2020

Left-Wing Parties File Criminal Report Against Mayor Bandic for Sljeme Cable Car

ZAGREB, November 23, 2020 - The We Can! and Zagreb is Ours! political platforms on Monday filed a criminal report against Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic for abuse of office and power and for illegal favouritism related to the construction of the Sljeme cable car.

"According to the conspirator who sent a video to all media outlets with clear evidence, DORH (Office of the Chief State Prosecutor) and the USKOK anti-corruption office should already act ex officio. However, I am filing a criminal report against Bandic for abuse of office and power, graft and conspiracy to commit crimes" Councillor and MP Tomislav Tomasevic said.

That is not only Bandic's but also Andrej Plenkovic's cable car

He filed a criminal complaint also so that institutions would report to him on what they had done, he added.

"For this 13 unlucky years, the City of Zagreb has been waiting for the repair of the old Sljeme cable car or for a new one. The HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) even set the construction of a new cable car as a condition for forming a coalition with Milan Bandic. So this most expensive cable car in Europe is also HDZ's cable car, not only Bandic's, but also Andrej Plenkovic's cable car," he said.

Coordinator for cable car construction from Bandic's party

In addition to that, in 2016 Bandic appointed Vladimir Gruborovic, a member of the the Main Committee of Bandic's party, as the coordinator of the team for the construction of the cable car, which includes representatives of the City Administration and all city companies.

That is more than enough evidence, Tomasevic said.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

We Can! Says Government Not Adequately Prepared For School Year

ZAGREB, Aug 20, 2020 - Members of parliament from the We Can! the political platform said on Thursday that they were appalled that there was still no protocol or scenario for the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year, noting that the government was as prepared as the worst pupil before an exam.

"We are appalled, alarmed and frustrated because what is happening now is something that we have been warning about and saying that it should not happen when it comes to the start of the school year," Tomislav Tomasevic, head of the We Can! the political platform told a press conference in front of Government House.

We do not have an A scenario, in case the epidemic calms down, for a normal beginning of the school year, or a B scenario, if the epidemic gets worse, but the pupils still have classes in school, or a C scenario, if the option is distance learning, he said.

He said that because concessions had been made to night clubs, the tourist postseason and the beginning of classes were jeopardised, so criticism of the national COVID-19 response team was justified.

The We Can! the political platform supports the opening of schools, but they said that educational facilities would not have enough time to prepare classes, and uncertainty and concern ran high among pupils, parents, and teachers.

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Thursday, 13 August 2020

We Can! Calls for Central Institution to Lead Zagreb Post-Quake Reconstruction

ZAGREB, Aug 13, 2020 - The We Can! the political platform said on Thursday that they would request that the law on Zagreb area post-quake reconstruction should provide for the establishment of a single, central institution to lead the reconstruction process, instead of six currently envisaged, so as not to diffuse responsibility.

MP and head of the We Can! platform Tomislav Tomasevic told a press conference in front of the government's building that members of the platform had been to Dubrovnik last week to see how that city had been and still was being reconstructed.

The conversations held in Dubrovnik made them realise that it would be best to have one central institution in charge of Zagreb's post-quake reconstruction, he said.

"... in our opinion, that should be an institute for the reconstruction of Zagreb and the surrounding area. Otherwise, the responsibility is diffused so everyone is responsible and in the end no one is actually responsible for the reconstruction," Tomasevic said.

He reiterated that the bill that had passed the first reading envisaged six institutions that would deal with the reconstruction. According to him, a central institution should be jointly established by the state, the city and other counties, and all state and local institutions should send their best people to it.

Tomasevic thinks that the law on the reconstruction was "more or less" going in the right direction, but he underscored that the first reading had shown that there were many things to be improved, especially concerning social criteria, liens and the unclear status of people who had been paying for earthquake insurance.

He said that the platform had sent a written request to Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic that the holidays should end on August 19 so that work on the second reading of the bill on Zagreb's post-quake reconstruction could start, but the parliament will start work after the summer recess on September 2.

Since they believe three weeks are enough to prepare the final bill, they call on the government to forward the final bill to the parliament for its second reading, at its first physical session.

"That way, we would have enough time to study the final bill, discuss it with professional associations, prepare amendments to improve it and have a quality law as soon as possible," Tomasevic said.

The We Can! political platform expects that the status of people accommodated in a Zagreb student dorm will also be finally resolved, as well as that of people whose homes were marked with a yellow label and who are not entitled to subsidised rent.

MP Sandra Bencic (We Can) announced that they would request that the reconstruction institute should become the central institution to coordinate the entire process and that it should consist of members of different professions, as well as that it should be appointed by the parliament, not the government.

They will request that reconstruction-related measures be adopted by that institute instead of the government and that it propose the budget.

As for budget control, Bencic underscored that it was crucial to prevent corruption risks. Therefore, they will request that the law should provide for an independent supervisory body that would release, in real time, data on sources of funds, public procurement, tenders received, the number of tenders, concluded contracts and payments.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Tomasevic Says Didn't Want to Take Part in Something Resembling "Political Trade-off"

ZAGREB, July 14, 2020 - The We Can political platform leader Tomislav Tomasevic said on Tuesday that they had rejected Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's invitation for a party-to-party meeting between the ruling HDZ and opposition parties, as for him all that bore a resemblance to political bartering.

Tomasevic said he could see no reason for "what the premier could say to me only what other colleagues from the Opposition should not hear."

He went on to say that he "cannot understand what he can respond to the premier's ideas about how to solve the social and economic crisis awaiting us that could not be heard by others from the Opposition."

 Tomasevic criticised the premier for being inflexible and insisting only on party-to-party meetings between him and Opposition leaders.

 Tomasevic went on to say that he saw no reason why the entire Opposition should not be present at such talks Plenkovic.

As for the government spokesman's comment that Opposition representatives who turned down the invitation did not realise the gravity of the situation, Tomasevic said that they could see how the situation was serious, however, they do not want to participate in anything resembling an over-the-counter trade-off.

 "I find this to be a bad practice," Tomasevic said.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Peovic Says Walk For Life Against Reproductive Rights, Equality And Solidarity

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - Katarina Peovic, who heads the slate of the political platform We Can! in Constituency No. 8, said in Rijeka on Saturday that the Walk for Life held in that city today was a walk against reproductive rights, women's equality and against solidarity and social justice.

Peovic made the statement at a news conference held before the start of the Walk for Life in Rijeka.

"All walks in Croatia have been cancelled due to the epidemiological situation, yet the Walk for Life is being held in Rijeka. It seems they want to infect Rijeka, but they won't succeed. The red Rijeka has always been a city of solidarity, equality, equity. It has always supported women's rights, accessible and free abortion, equal pay for women and men, higher wages, and policies advocating workers' and women's rights," Peovic said, among other things.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

We Can!: We Come to Change Politics and Society

ZAGREB, June 16, 2020 - The political platform We Can! - Zagreb Is Ours! has published its election platform, saying that it is ambitious and that it will "change our common future".

"We see this moment as a necessary turning point for our society to recover and become more resilient to future challenges that are certain to come. We bring the knowledge and fighting spirit with which We Can! do it. There is no going back to the old ways. The political elites have been trying for years to convince us that Croatia cannot do better. We can!" it said, stressing that Croatia can be transformed into "a just, green, solitary and prosperous society".

The program is based on three main pillars: a green resilient economy and dignified work conditions, social equality, and democratization, and international solidarity, and is the result of a broad participatory consultation process.

We Can! said that its election platform is the plan for the recovery of Croatia from the current crisis and from the HDZ and political elites that have been leading the country since its independence. "We come not just to change politics but to change this society," the group said.

They said that the crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic had laid bare old problems and that society had to change.

"There is no going back to the old ways, but the burden of change must not be placed equally on everyone's shoulders because not all of us are equally responsible, and not all of us equally benefited from the failed Croatian development model," We Can! said.

"We should urgently abandon the harmful development model based on a clientelist and rent economy, erosion of workers' rights, devastation of the industrial base, and extraction of profit from untenable and speculative projects that do not correspond to the needs of the local population and our common long-term interests," they said.

They also said that they do not want the fight against climate change to be delayed under the pretext of the ongoing pandemic or economic recovery, noting that this fight requires international solidarity and commitment to achieving European and global solutions. 

Monday, 11 February 2019

We Can – New Leftist Political Party Founded in Croatia

ZAGREB, February 11, 2019 - A new political party, called We Can, was founded in Zagreb on Sunday, and its founding conference decided that the party would not have a president, but two coordinators. Sandra Benčić and Teodor Celakoski were elected coordinators, and together with five other members they make up the party's governing committee.

Benčić said that after recently launching the political platform of the same name, their goal was to register a political party as an instrument for participating in elections.

The party plans to run in the elections for the European Parliament in May and is open to forming a coalition with similar left-leaning groups who share their values, including social democrats and the non-parliamentary far left, but not with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which they regard as a liberal centrist party.

"We want to talk to those who share our values and who have not politically compromised themselves in the last 30 years," Benčić said.

Tomislav Tomašević, one of the founders of the party and a Zagreb City Councillor, said: "We hope to mobilise new voters who have not voted for any of the existing political groups so far. I think that the European Parliament elections are a good test for new progressive and particularly leftist political parties. This is a good time for us to show up on the political scene and offer voters something new, particularly in a situation where parties like the SDP are going through a crisis and are being abandoned by their voters."

We Can! will advocate higher living standards for all people in Croatia and will fight against inequality. The basic values it will promote are equality of all people, equality before law, greater economic equality, and the struggle against poverty, corruption and clientelism.

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