The mayors of Budapest, Innsbruck and Grenoble have sent video messages of support to Tomislav Tomasevic, the green-left coalition's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, his We Can! political group said on Wednesday in a press release carried by state agency Hina.
Mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karacsony, said in his message that Zagreb and Budapest are “not only geographically close, but also friendly cities with many links,” adding that “it is important for the progressive green agenda to strengthen its position in the region and to act together to achieve a viable, democratic future.”
Karacsony said that the policies Tomasevic advocates, such as green public transport and recycling, “are the key issues on which he is working as mayor too,” and called on the people of Zagreb to vote for Tomasevic
Mayor of Innsbruck, Georg Willi, said that “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 Tomasevic’s leadership as mayor,” Willi added.
“I am looking forward to cooperating with Tomasevic in the network of ecological cities flourishing across Europe, from Innsbruck and Amsterdam to Bonn and Hannover, as well as many cities in France,” Mayor of Grenoble, Éric Piolle, said.
Piolle said Tomasevic has been fighting for the environment for years, working on transparent policies and including citizens in shaping their city.
“By electing Tomasevic 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 reportedly said in his video message.
Croatia will hold local elections on May 16. Latest polls show that Tomasevic is in the lead by a considerable margin to become the next mayor of Zagreb, in front of candidates nominated by the country’s two major parties, the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democrats (SDP).
His political group, called Mozemo! (“We Can!”) came to national attention in the July 2020 snap election in which they ran together with several other small parties and the far-left Radnicka Fronta (“Workers’ Front”), winning seven seats in the nation’s 151-seat Parliament.
Educated at the universities of Zagreb and Cambridge, the 39-year-old Tomasevic previously worked at the Institute for Political Ecology, a local think-tank which is part of the Green European Foundation and closely connected to the European Green Party.