New mayor of Zagreb: City finances ‘not good,’ however ‘there are solutions’

NEWS 04.06.2021 13:15
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Source: Foto: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL

Addressing the press after the ceremony of the transfer of powers in Zagreb's city administration on Friday morning, the new mayor, Tomislav Tomasevic, said that "the state of affairs in the city's finances is not good," and added that "there are solutions, which would be discussed in greater detail," state agency Hina reported.

Tomasevic, who was presented with two-thousand-odd-page reports on the 2020 budget execution and preliminary figures on this year’s budget by the former acting mayor Jelena Pavicic-Vukicevic, said that the overall financial picture was “not good.”

Tomasevic, however, stopped short of giving more information about the debt of the City of Zagreb, explaining that “it would not provide a comprehensive picture.” He admitted that the managing the finances would be one of the biggest challenges of the new authorities, however, he also said that they were optimistic as they could “find solutions to that situation.”

The City of Zagreb is widely thought to be in a financially poor state, although no local media seems to have succeeded in getting any exact figures or details about the city’s finances, including the state agency Hina.

Tomasevic, who was accompanied by the new deputy mayors, Danijela Dolenec and Luka Korleat, during the ceremony of the transfer of powers, described their meeting with Pavicic-Vukicevic and her associates as “open and constructive.” The new city assembly would hold its first meeting on June 17.

Tomaševic, a former activist, led his green-left bloc to win 40 percent of the vote and will hold 23 seats in the 47-seat city assembly, or just one seat short of absolute majority.

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union  (HDZ) won 11.3 percent of the vote in the May 16 local elections, and will get six seats. Three more parties won five seats each – the right-wing Homeland Movement (DP) led by signer-turned-politician Miroslav Skoro, the populist Labour and Solidarity Party formerly led by the late mayor Milan Bandic, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Tomasevic today confirmed that his bloc was negotiating with SDP on what he described as “cooperation through programs” as well as on “political posts in the city assembly.”

“When we reach agreement, we will present it to the public,” he said, without specifying when that might be.

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