Dubrovnik’s Politicians Agree: Roads Not the Place to Seek Justice

Lauren Simmonds

Frankovic gave a statement earlier today, but what do Dubrovnik’s other prominent public political figures think to the protests against Uber?

Several prominent Dubrovnik politicians presented their opinions on the protests that took place this morning to Dubrovački Dnevnik. Here is what they had to say on the matter.


Marko Potrebica (HDZ):

”I support everything Mayor Mato Frankovic said, because [what we have seen today] is the absolutely unacceptable behaviour of taxi drivers in Dubrovnik. I understand their claim in the struggle for respect for the law, in regards to the unlawful work of Uber, however, one illegal act can not go against another illegal act and cause the paralysis of the City and the hindering of the normal lives of our fellow citizens and tourists. I’m glad they understood their responsibility and ended the protest. Also, I condemn all forms of violence, speaking of an incident which allegedly occurred in Zvekovica, that is absolutely unacceptable and I hope the police will successfully finish up with the case and establish who the perpetrators are. I call upon all taxi drivers that in the future, the fight for the legal work of taxi services in Croatia should be solved legally, and not by going out into the streets and usurping and limiting the freedom of movement of our fellow citizens and tourists.”


Miho Obradovic (HNS):

”I think we can all agree that the reaction of the taxi drivers, regardless of Uber’s situation, is shameful. They have caused irreversible damage to all citizens and visitors alike. We in HNS are for the liberalisation of the market, but with the clear rights and obligations of all participants [kept in mind]. The easiest thing to do is to compare this situation with similar ones. Imagine if hotel owners decided to make such a move because of the way private renters operate? Of course, I have to point out that Croatia is a legal state and that we must let the legal state do its job. None of us should take the law into our own hands. We should do our best job and let the legal state do its part.”


Ivan Jelcic (DDS):

”Uber is unfair competition when it comes to all of the obligations that taxi drivers have, for example, towards the City, but I disagree with this behaviour. I have always advocated for the existence of competition, but also to find a compromise and a solution so that all competitors could participate in the market under the same conditions. Accordingly, I’m thinking of how to find a compromise in this situation, according to which Uber should abide by certain rules and, on the other hand, make it easier for the taxi drivers to do business easier and to equalise the fare. However, due to such moves [as were seen today], taxi drivers are increasingly losing people’s sympathy, if they ever had it at all. This is totally unacceptable behaviour regardless of the reasons. There are ways and there are places where justice can be sought, but the roads are not the place. I totally condemn this morning’s events and I hope it will not be repeated, because it really is a shame.”


Vido Bogdanovic (HSS):

“This was totally expected, and now everyone is acting as if it’s something unusual – and politicians, the airport and the minister, for more than a year, completely tolerated an illegal, competitive economic activity that is contrary to Croatian laws. And the minister, the mayors, and chiefs, and the director of the airport, turn their heads and probably have the Uber app on their phones! In this context, I understand the taxi drivers completely, but on the other hand, I do not approve of the blockage of the roads. There are ways in which to protest that would work in a better manner, rather than with the collateral victims of their present protests.”


Mladen Gojun (SDP):

”I condemn the taxi driver’s protest. As a city, we did everything in our power and cooperated as members of the Commission so that everyone would be happy. Personally, on behalf of SDP, I condemn this morning’s behaviour. It is unacceptable to be going out onto the streets in this manner and attempting to enforce the law at the state level, especially if the submission of the indictment by the competent Ministry against Uber is taken into account, and we’re still waiting for the decision of the competent court. It is sad that in the middle of the tourist season, and during this most important weekend, many tourists didn’t arrive, and our fellow citizens, including pregnant women, are waiting in the traffic to arrive at check-ups! This is inadmissible. The city and the police must react. I am expecting a misdemeanor, and if there are any reasons for it, criminal charges.”


Ljubomir Nikolić (Srdj je Grad/Srdj is the City)

“I’m not in the city right now, so I didn’t see the consequences of the protest directly, but I certainly condemn such an act. There are city and state institutions where these things are to be resolved. At this time of year and in such a manner, to create such a mess is unacceptable. Order and respect of the regulations can be shown by our taxi drivers every day through their behaviour in the city – which is not the case.”


Excerpts taken and translated from Dubrovački Dnevnik


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