Bandić Survives – Zagreb City Assembly Adopts 2017 Budget

Total Croatia News

Although two weeks ago it did not support the first budget draft, HDZ has changed its mind and decided to support Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić.

On Tuesday, the Zagreb City Assembly adopted the 7.5 billion kuna city budget for 2017. Of 51 assembly members, 29 voted in favour and 22 voted against, with no abstentions. The budget received the support of assembly members from Bandić Milan 365 party, smaller parties which support him and HDZ, while members from SDP, HNS, HSLS and independent members Sandra Švaljek and Vladimir Ferdelji voted against the proposal, reports Jutarnji List on December 20, 2016.

However, another important decision has been delayed. Chairpersons of local neighbourhood councils still do not know whether their posts will be turned into professional positions with a monthly salary of 12,400 kuna. Bandić’s assembly members withdrew their proposal to amend the monthly fees for chairpersons and members of 17 local neighbourhood councils. They explained that the proposal was withdrawn because it was not ready for adoption. However, it is indicative that the proposal was withdrawn after media reports appeared that the Administration Ministry stated that chairpersons cannot be employed by the city administration.

With regards to the city budget, this morning HDZ confirmed that it would vote for the budget after all, since Mayor Bandić decided to adopt their amendments, which allegedly turned the budget from “mayor’s personal budget into the citizens’ budget”. At issue were two amendments worth 200 million kuna. “One amendment in the amount of 70 million kuna pertains to the local self-government authorities, while the other in the amount of 132 million is for the construction of major facilities in the city. We wanted to implement all those proposals which Bandić has promised over the years, but has never implemented them”, said Andrija Mikulić, President of the City Assembly and president of HDZ’s Zagreb city branch.

SDP said that HDZ’s reaction was expected. “Bandić and HDZ have been in a coalition for a year. HDZ always threatens they will not support the budget just so they would be in a better position for negotiations. Unfortunately, the price of the deal will be paid by the citizens”, said Davor Bernardić, SDP president and member of the Zagreb City Assembly.

HDZ threatened two weeks ago that it would not support the city budget, which would mean that Bandić would be dismissed from his post and be substituted by a government appointed commissioner, who would be acting mayor until regular local elections which will be held in May. However, after consultations with the HDZ leadership and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, local HDZ’s branch in Zagreb changed its position and decided to support the budget and in that way enable Bandić to remain in his post until the elections.


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