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.

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.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Miroslav Škoro: We Have Achieved Our Goals, We'll Stop The Left

17 May 2021 - The Homeland Movement's candidate for Zagreb mayor, Miroslav Škoro, said on Sunday night, the party had achieved its goals and that they would stop and unmask the green-left coalition trying to conquer Zagreb, calling it extremely leftist.

That is not the future of our country, of Zagreb and our children, said Škoro, who will be in the mayoral runoff with Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can! platform, who has won 45% of the vote in Sunday's elections.

Škoro said he was confident that he would show in the runoff that there was enough sense and intelligence "so that we can unmask in a well-argued debate what is called the green-left coalition."

"That's neither green nor only left-wing. That's first and foremost and above all extremely left-wing, and it will be stopped in the runoff."

Škoro said that despite the big job ahead, he was sure that with faith in God and His help, Zagreb would have a new mayor in two weeks who was not from any green or left coalition but a person who would continue the city's tradition and all that contemporary democracy was in the current world.

He said that in just one year of its existence, the Homeland Movement had achieved enormous results, leaving behind the two major parties, the HDZ and the SDP, in many municipalities and cities, including in Zagreb.

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

Saturday, 13 March 2021

GLAS Leader Enters Race for Mayor in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 13 March 2021 - The leader of the Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS) party, Anka Mrak Taritaš, on Saturday announced her intention to run for the mayor of Zagreb.

The slogan of her campaign is "Change I am not Afraid of".

Presenting her programme, Mrak-Taritaš, said that there had been too many flippant projects and "we should seriously get to work."

Mrak-Taritaš said that her party had initially negotiated with the We Can party about a coalition for the Zagreb mayoral race and later with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and admitted that the negotiations with both parties had failed.

The GLAS chief dismissed remarks from the press that her election platform resembled that of the We Can political group. Mrak Taritaš answered that she had had that platform and pursued the same policy four years ago when she was defeated by a small margin by Mayor Milan Bandić, who was re-elected to the post.

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

Monday, 4 January 2021

Index Investigation: Milan Bandic Took HRK 3.35 Million from Schools, Gave to Snow Queen Instead

January 4, 2021 - An Index.hr investigation has revealed that Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic took HRK 3.35 Million from schools and gave it to the Snow Queen skiing competition instead. 

The earthquake in March severely damaged several schools and kindergartens in Zagreb, and the coronavirus pandemic revealed that some schools did not have hot water or soap to wash students' hands and maintain basic hygiene. When distance learning began, we learned that the system did not work and that teachers did not have the equipment to provide quality teaching.

Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic ignored all these problems or even mocked them, saying that students could wash their hands with ashes, just like he did as a child.

Index.hr. has now learned that Bandic took HRK 3.35 million from the Education Office in one of the last decisions in 2020. Namely, on November 30, 2020, Bandic issued a Conclusion on the redistribution of funds planned in the City of Zagreb Budget for 2020 and transferred money from the Education Office to the Sports Office.

"Funds of HRK 3,350,000.00 are transferred from the City Education Office to the City Sports and Youth Office for the activity of a Great Sports Event, to provide the necessary funds for the international sports event, the Snow Queen and the Snow King Ski Cup 2021," reads Bandic's explanation.

In the second part of the explanation, the Snow Queen is praised as a manifestation that contributed to skiing interest. On the other hand, in the Official Gazette, there are only 273 registered skiers in the Zagreb area, who, if they want quality skiing, must train outside Croatia.

"The Snow Queen has become a trademark of the City of Zagreb and the Republic of Croatia, giving the City of Zagreb, at the time of the event, a special charm and atmosphere," reads the explanation at a time when it was already known that the race would be held without spectators and that it would not bring anything to Zagreb except a snow trail surrounded by mud. The Bandic City Administration was also aware of that.

"Due to the possible lack of snow and high temperatures, as well as climate change, it is necessary to continue to improve the snowmaking system and infrastructure to prepare the track in time and to avoid possible race cancellations, which occurred in 2014 and 2016," reads the explanation of the Conclusion, by which the money is taken from schools and given to the ski competition.

By the way, the total budget of this year's competition is HRK 21 million, of which at least a third, or seven million kuna, is paid directly by the city from the budget, from taxes and surcharges collected from citizens. The remainder comes from the work of Zagreb Holding employees and the last HRK 3.35 million stolen from children, says Index.

The Zagreb Education Office does not see anything disputable because HRK 3.35 million went to the Snow Queen.

"We emphasize the fact that the redistribution of planned budget funds is common at the end of the calendar or budget year. Because funds for the reconstruction of damaged buildings are provided and paid following the phases of the work performed, the unspent funds were redistributed in the budget of the City of Zagreb for other city offices," said Ivica Lovrić, head of the Education Office, to Index's inquiry.

In the same response, in addition to praising themselves for everything they have done since 2016, it states that the earthquake "damaged 175 educational facilities, of which 162 have already been renovated, and the reconstruction of the remaining 13 is underway. Their restoration will be completed in the next year or two, depending on the type and extent of damage to the individual facility."

Everything is fine, claims Lovrić; you just have to wait a year or two.

To read more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

 

Monday, 14 December 2020

Bridge's Zvonimir Troskot to Run in Zagreb Mayoral Election

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 - MP Zvonimir Troskot of the opposition Bridge party will be the party's candidate for Mayor of Zagreb in local elections in May next year, Bridge announced on its Facebook page on Sunday.

Troskot has been a financial manager and auditor for large foreign companies and has led one of the biggest referendum initiatives in Croatia. He is well respected in his party as a person full of empathy and understanding for others. He has demonstrated remarkable leadership qualities and seeks to restore the citizens' trust in politics and politicians, Bridge said.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Free Parking around Health Institutions Introduced by Zagreb Mayor

ZAGREB, Oct 28, 2020  - Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic has made a decision to introduce free parking around health institutions in the city.

"The coronavirus epidemic has entered a dramatic stage, with the health system being under extreme strain, so with this decision I want to make the situation at least a bit easier for citizens who seek medical assistance," Bandic said in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, calling on other towns to do the same.

The decision will be in force until the epidemiological situation normalizes.

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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Zagreb Mayor Pledges Aid to Residents in Repairing Storm Damage

ZAGREB, July 25, 2020 - Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic has pledged aid to residents in repairing the property damage caused by a severe storm that hit the capital on Friday evening, when nearly 100 litres of rain per square metre fell in 10 hours, leaving many properties flooded. 

"The damage will be compensated for, but what cannot be compensated for is a human life. I regret to say that one young life was lost," Bandic told a press conference on Saturday. He announced that he would visit the family of a 53-year-old voluntary firefighter who died in the line of duty, on Sunday.

The mayor thanked the emergency services for a prompt response. He reassured the residents by saying that the damage would be assessed and that they would be assisted in repairing the damage.

Asked to comment on the fact that he has been the mayor for 20 years and that every time a heavy rain occurs residents see scenes like these, Bandic said that he and his team have done more about the municipal water supply and drainage infrastructure than all the mayors of Zagreb in the last 100 years combined.

Reporters also asked the head of the Department for Emergency Management, Pavle Kalinic, whether the water drainage system could have been damaged by the March 22 earthquake, to which he said that this was yet to be looked into and assessed.

Chief fire officer Javor Lozar said that the city's public fire brigade and about 50 voluntary firefighter associations had carried out over 250 response operations between 9.30 pm on Friday and 11 am on Saturday, involving 180 firefighters. They were engaged in pumping out the water from residential buildings and underground car parks and rescuing people from vehicles and basement flats. Lozar said that there had also been a fire in two flats that were promptly brought under control and no major damage was done.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic Protest 'Enough' Draws 20,000: Stops Traffic

Around 20,000 citizens protested in Trg bana Jelačića against Zagreb Mayor and USKOK indictee Milan Bandić and demanded his permanent removal from politics. The protest was punctuated with crowd chants of “Enough, Milan", "Go, Go" and "Thieves, Thieves".

zagreb_mayor_bandic_protest_03.jpg

Largest Crowd of Three Protests Against Zagreb Mayor

The protest, which was called "Enough", began at 16:00 CET yesterday. According to the organizers' observations; this protest has by far gathered the most residents of all three against the mayor. The third protest, which feature live bands and a stage, was organized by Siget Citizens Association, Green Action and Zagreb Te Zove according to Matej Devčić/Jutarnji List on February 1, 2020.

“In the first protest we shouted, ‘step down’, in the second we were jurors and passed down a ruling - you are guilty. We even showed up at the courtroom. But this has all happened with the support of the government. Without Andrej Plenkovic, Bandić would not have been able to do all this,” Gordana Pasanec, president of the Siget Citizens Association, told the gathering.

Bernard Ivčić from Green Action said that citizens came to Zagreb's Trg bana Jelačića to say enough to Bandić's system of clientelism, which is destroying Zagreb.

Mayor’s GUP Plan Benefits Friends: Residents Choking on Trash

“The GUP (General Urban Plan City of Zagreb) is a scandalous document in which Bandić backs Zagreb Manhattan for the benefit of his friends and lets us choke on the trash everywhere. We ask all MPs to oppose this plan,” Ivčić said.

Jelena Miloš from the Zagreb Te Zove said that Zagreb is ashamed of its mayor. Residents take pride in their neighborhoods and are fighting against the criminal GUP plan and waste mismanagement. All of this would not have been possible without the support of the HDZ in the city assembly, she said.

“We are also saying to the HDZ: we will not forget you,” Miloš proclaimed to the crowd.

Marko Košak from Green Action arrived to the stage holding a garbage bag full of trash.

“What I have in my hand is a symbol of Bandić,” said Košak, adding that the mayor is guilty for all the waste problems in Zagreb.

“Remember this date: February 1, 2020; today we are taking down Milan Bandić,” Košak added.

Zagreb Protest Crowd Reached 20,000: Shut Down Tram Service

Police officers wouldn’t provide crowd estimates, but observers claim the crowd, which filled the entire main city square, reached 20,000. There were so many people in Trg bana Jelačića that tram traffic was suspended at one point.

Bandić Dismissed Protesters as Whiners and Actors

Yesterday, Mayor Bandić spoke to reporters about the protest organized against him and suggested that some protesters were "whining, and some were acting."

“It is the democratic right of protesters to protest, and the democratic right of the mayor to work,” said Mayor Bandić, who responded to questions on Cvjetni trg, where P.I.N.K. had organized an event to commemorate World Cancer Day.

Highlights of the Zagreb Protest as It Happened

16:25 - Several thousand people gathered at Trg bana Jelačića to protest Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. Protesters came to the square with banners chanting "Prison", "Bandits and thieves" and "Enough!"

Comedian Marina Orsag, a presenter at the protest, addressed the crowd. "Thank you, everyone, for pointing out that you are not afraid to come out, that we are not little hooves who will not fight Milan Bandić," Orsag said, according to Dnevnik "What happens when you are dissatisfied with an employee? You fire him!"

16:45 - Film director and candidate in the last presidential election Dario Juričan also came to protest Milan Bandić.

The protesters were also addressed by Bernard Ivčić of Green Action. "A little kid would have done more than (Milan) Bandić. Everywhere around Zagreb, there are affairs, all with the support of Andrej Plenkovic and the HDZ, who hold a majority in the assembly.

Orsag asked the assembled people to remove derogatory signs and claimed that the protesters had "stopped traffic".

17:00 - Jelena Miloš from Zagreb Te Zove addressed the protesters. "(Milan) Bandić has to leave because he has been destroying GUPs for the last 20 years," Miloš said, to which protesters responded with "Leave!" "Zagreb is ashamed of its mayor."

"Today we are proud of Savica, who defended their park. Samoborček and Trešnjevka, because they are defending green spaces. Resnik fought against a harmful incinerator. Novi Zagreb too. "We say - 'we won't forget about you,'" Miloš said.

17:25 - Marko Košak from Green Action brought a black garbage bag to the stage. “This is a symbol of Mayor Bandić. If Milan Bandić is famous for something, then it is an inability to solve trash problems. We have had enough,'' Košak said.

''Now he wants to increase everyone's bills. It won’t work, Milan!'' said Marko Košak to Bandić, as quoted by Dnevnik.

''Remember this date: February 1, 2020, today we are taking down Milan Bandić here!'' Košak concluded to the wild applause of protesters.

17:50 - Marina Orsag ended the protest with a message for Bandić, "I have one slogan to end with - when we get rid of the scum, we get rid of the garbage," Orsag concluded.

Siget Citizens Association president Gordana Pasanec thanked everyone who came to the protest. "When I see how many there are of you are on stage, it makes me tremble. Thank you for showing up in such large numbers," Pasanec said.

Green Action: GUP Not Taking Public Interests into Account

On Friday, Green Action welcomed the Zagreb Constitutional Court's ruling that it would not increase the cost of transporting waste for Zagreb which was slated for on February 1, but they also had announced that they would not withdraw from the protest.

Green Action president Željka Leljak Gracin said there were many other reasons for today's protest because "Bandić's politics and city management are anything but acceptable." At the protest, she said, "we will once again demonstrate that it is time for Bandić to leave this position."

She also said that changes to the GUP will be decided next week, which she claims are "increasingly detrimental to the city in every case and are in no way taking public interests into account. I believe that residents need to show that this city is not Bandić's, but it is being managed as if it is," she claimed.

zagreb_mayor_bandic_protest_02.jpg

A considerable archive of Total Croatia News articles about Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić can be found here.

Information on Zagreb Organizations Working to Remove Bandic

Follow Zagreb Te Zove here to keep updated on events and protests the Zagreb mayor. Information on Dario Juričan, documentary film maker and performance artist, can be found on his Facebook page and website. Information on Zagreb je NAŠ, a Zagreb-based political party, can be found on Facebook here and on their website.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic Divorced Wife To Acquire Cheap Apartment

Did Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and his wife Vesna go through a marital rough patch 24 years ago? According to court records, the couple filed for divorce in March 1996. Apparently, their short-lived divorce was amicable, because then ex-husband Milan immediately approved his ex-wife’s request to purchase an apartment for a price seven times below its market value!

UPDATE: All about Milan Bandic protest "Enough", which took place Saturday February 1, 2020 here.

Recently Vesna Bandić, wife of the multiple USKOK (Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime) indictee, bought a 68m2 apartment right in the center of Zagreb.

The recently purchased apartment is located on Trg Petra Petretića and was bought from family friends Željko and Dragica Šelendić for 854,000 HRK (114,775 EUR). It is important to emphasize that most of the money, 720,000 HRK (97,304 EUR), was immediately paid in cash. The apartment was purchased for Bandić's daughter Ana Marija, who was then registered as the apartment’s owner a few days before the New Year, according to Index on February 1, 2020.

Dario Juričan also posted the agreement dated April 7, 1997 for the sale of an apartment on Preradovićeva to Bandić's wife, on his Facebook profile. Bandić has claimed that the sale of this apartment was the source of funds for the recent purchase of the much larger more expensive property.

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You can steal my name, but you can't steal my corruption! | Dario Juričan

Dario Juričan Uncovers Vesna Bandic Apartment Purchase Agreement

"FROM DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE TO ŠELA'S APARTMENT IN A FEW COMPLETE STEPS

Milan oh Bandić, you went to court and got divorced from your wife Vesna on March 25, 1996. You only completed this procedure so that your wife Vesna could buy an apartment on Preradovićeva ulica in Zagreb.

Immediately after your divorce was filed, Vesna Bandić submitted a request with the Zagreb Housing Commission for the recognition of right of occupancy for a 38m2 apartment on Preradovićeva 13.

Vesna Bandić claimed that she had been living in the house since birth, even though she was living with you, only a budding label cutter at the time, in a skyscraper on Bužanova 41.

Just a day after submitting her request, the commission accepted her right of occupancy claim and Vesna bought the apartment for 35,760 HRK (4806 EUR), which was then at least seven times less than the market value.

It took you, Milan, just seven days after your divorce to purchase the apartment in Preradovićeva ulica.

Now Milan, you are spinning a tale that your wife Vesna just bought a 68m2 flat from your friend Šela (Dragica Šelendić) for your daughter, from the proceeds of the sale of that apartment on Preradovićeva.

Thank you for reminding us, label cutter, what a complex operation you were prepared to do for 38m2.

Today, Master of the Fog, thanks to your entrepreneurial spirit, your daughter has an apartment almost double the size…

It paid off, Milan, good job!

Dario Juričan, Mayor of the Universe
/ Thank you Hrvoje Appelt! /

Juričan Poses More Questions For Milan Bandic (There Are So Many)

P.S.

I am particularly pleased, Milan, with your announcement yesterday:

"THERE IS NO DISPUTE REGARDING THE MAYOR'S PROPERTY REPORT!

The Mayor obeyed the law and legal procedures (...)

The Mayor properly made the necessary changes to his property report in a timely manner.”

And where did it all go, Milan, all those luxury watches Zenith, Cartier, Piaget, IWC ...?

Where did the old-timers from Grude (Bandić’s hometown in Bosnia) go?

Who swallowed the three apartments that you had at your disposal and used ...?

How did the 200,000 HRK (26,879 EUR) of cash found in the search of your office and apartment evaporate?

And those fine art paintings you tried to hide with Kikaš, which made you want to go on vacation for a long time because you asked Vida Demarin to make a false statement about those paintings?

Come on, come on, label cutter, send the media the appropriate press releases. Do it properly and in a timely manner, as you always obey the both the law and proper procedure. Please, you can do it," Juričan wrote on Facebook.

Milan and Vesna Bandić’s Fake Divorce

This story first appeared back in 2005.

In 1996, Bandić divorced his wife, Vesna Bandić, after which she, unburdened by his property, very conveniently bought an apartment in Preradovićeva ulica in the center of Zagreb. The law on compensation for property, which was confiscated during the Yugoslav communist rule, provided people with unresolved housing issues the right of purchase. At that time the Bandić’s owned an apartment on Bužanova ulica.

As such a buyout was only possible until March 1997, it is interesting to note that Bandić divorced his wife in March 1996. Then, a week later, his ex-wife submitted a request to buy an 38m2 apartment for 35,760 HRK (4806 EUR) on Preradovićeva ulica.

Until her death in 1992, her grandmother, Anka Kolarić, lived in the apartment. Vesna Bandić said in her request to buy the apartment that she had been registered at that address since 1975 and she had been living in that apartment for seventeen years. Their daughter, Ana Marija, has also been reported as living at that same address since 1983.

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Vesna Bandić Apartment Purchase Agreement | Dario Juričan

Milan Bandić Approved Ex Wife's Zagreb Apartment Purchase

Vesna Bandić was granted the right to buy the apartment just one day after her request was submitted. Despite their divorce, Bandić, as a government official, personally approved the decision on the recognition of the right of occupancy for his ex-wife. The purchase contract shows that the apartment was purchased for 37,760 HRK (4806 EUR), that the amount of the first installment was 3576 HRK (481 EUR), and the rest was to be paid in 240 installments of 148 HRK (20 EUR) per month.

An extensive archive of Total Croatia News articles on the notorious Zagreb Mayor can be found here. An archive of articles on Dario Juričan can be found here. More information on Juričan can be found on his website

Another protest against Mayor Bandić, organized by Zagreb Te Zove, will take place on Trg bana Jelačića today February 1, 2020 at 16:00 CET. More information on the protest can be found on the group's Facebook page

UPDATE: All about Milan Bandic protest "Enough", which took place Saturday February 1, 2020 here.

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