Milanovic: If reconstruction continues at current pace ‘we will lose Petrinja’

NEWS 30.08.2021 14:22
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Source: Davor Puklavec/PIXSELL

President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday that the post-earthquake reconstruction process was too slow, warning that if it continued at the current pace, Croatia would lose Petrinja.

“Nothing is happening, unfortunately the process is too slow and if it continues at the current pace, we will lose Petrinja,” Milanovic said in reference to the town in Sisak-Moslavina County, hit hardest by the 29 December 2020 earthquake.

Asked about the pace of reconstruction, he said: “It is never easy and cannot be easy due to property-rights relations, but if you want something, you remove some barriers, possibly making some minor mistake or damage in the process that you later rectify.”

“Croatia today would not have highways that were built, designed and financed in two years if we had dealt with every single private property separately, it would have taken us 300 years had we done so,” he added.

He added that Petrinja and Glina, another town that suffered extensive damage in the earthquake, should not be “a tall order” and that adopting a new reconstruction law should be easy.

One or several key persons should be entrusted with the reconstruction process and be given financial powers, Milanovic said, drawing a parallel with the process of reconstruction following the 2014 floods in the area of Gunja, which he said had been rebuilt in a few months and was of a similar size as Glina.

“As regards the region of Banija, some things require prompt solutions, there is no need for legal nitpicking over very single piece of property… one should take excavators and make order in Petrinja, there will be people who will file lawsuits but that will be dealt with in the process, otherwise we will lose the city,” said Milanovic.

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