Reconstruction of Zagreb - well-prepared law, secured intervention funds and international financial assistance

Photo /Vijesti/2020/05 svibanj/18 svibnja/HN20200518577784.JPG

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday the highest bodies of his HDZ party and the parliamentary majority had confirmed the joint position to dissolve parliament, adding that during their term they had done as much as they could and that now they wanted to win citizens's confidence again.

Speaking to the press after a session of the HDZ's parliamentary group, he said all the points of their 2016 platform had been achieved.

"We did our maximum. At the very end of our term, the coronavirus pandemic struck. It gave the Croatian public an opportunity to see comparatively how we, as a government and as a state, acted and coped in this crisis."

He said the government had been successful in its public health and economic efforts. "Single digit numbers of new infections tell us that we have stopped the epidemic in Croatia, preventing and minimising it. That's an enormous achievement."

The prime minister said Croatia had retained the investment rating thanks to quality public finance management. "This government had three budget surpluses in a row."

"Previous governments' guarantees for shipyards were paid, Petrokemija today functions on market principles, we ensured that Borovo in Vukovar, and here I'm sending a message to the mayor of Vukovar, works solely thanks to the state and government's efforts. And in such circumstances, after the corona crisis, we want a new vote of confidence, we want to come before Croatian voters as a party and show our achievements, people and platform."

He said the challenges for the state in the autumn would be bigger and that they wanted, based on the new vote of confidence in the election, to consolidate political stability and a new parliamentary majority.

The prime minister said they had drawn up a bill on the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb which was now in public consultation.  "We'll make the time for the consultation and then, when the law is adopted, work in line with it."

He said the government had prepared an application to the European Solidarity Fund for co-financing the reconstruction and that they were talking with the World Bank about a €120 million loan for the reconstruction of hospitals and a €50 million loan for the reconstruction of schools damaged in the March quake.

Plenkovic commented on a protest outside parliament by Zagreb's opposition because it is dissolving without adopting the Zagreb reconstruction law.

"What you are listening to today is political activism, which is absolutely allowed in a democratic society. The HDZ has paid HRK 1.1 million for the City of Zagreb, members of the government gave up their March salaries for the City of Zagreb. That's more than 10% of all donations for the city's reconstruction. That's credibility and giving citizens a hand out of solidarity. Much more than performances, politicising and activism."

Commenting on new borrowing by the Zagreb Holding utility conglomerate, Plenkovic said the government "will see to helping" the city maintain its financial operations.

Asked if a public consultation on the Zagreb reconstruction bill made sense in light of the upcoming parliamentary election, he said that it did because the fact that parliament would not sit did not mean that the government could not put proposals to public consultation.

He also said that he had no problem in his communication with Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava and that he had no information that he would leave the HDZ.

Text: Hina