HDZ and MOST Clash Over Waste Management Plan

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HDZ does not support a proposal by MOST’s Environmental Protection Minister.

HDZ and MOST again clashed on Thursday over the new Waste Management Plan that has been proposed by MOST’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Nature Slaven Dobrović. Although the Waste Management Plan was supported at internal interdepartmental meetings, it will not be discussed at today’s session of the government since HDZ has decided to withhold its support, report Večernji List and Index.hr on August 19, 2016.

MOST’s proposal was reportedly blocked by HDZ’s Transport Minister Oleg Butković.

“I am not surprised by the decision of HDZ not to support the Waste Management Plan given that they have so far invested a lot of effort to block it. We have prepared a good plan that has received positive evaluation from ministries and there is no reason for the plan not to be adopted. This is purely a political decision and the desire to stop the reform of the system of waste management. We have promised changes and reforms, we have prepared them, but they have been stopped by parties who want to continue with the current policies. Adoption of the plan is in the interest of citizens because it allows economically and environmentally sustainable waste management. We have to adopt the plan in order to suspend proceedings against us launched by the European Commission because the previous government did not adopt it in time – by the end of 2014. If the plan is not adopted by the end of this year, we will not be able to use some of the EU funds for the waste management sector. These are the main reasons why the caretaker government should adopt the plan because it is in the interest of all citizens”, said Minister Dobrović.

Advocates of sustainable waste management policies are concerned with the news that the agenda of the today’s session of the government does not contain the adoption of the waste management plan. Activist Vjeran Piršić said that the model proposed by Minister Dobrović was a realistic and successful model, similar to the one adopted on the island of Krk 11 years ago. “It is a shame that the government is not able to do what we did on Krk in 2005”, said Piršić.

Prominent environmentalist Stanko Uršić said that he believed that the policies of waste management proposed by Minister Dobrović were basically correct and should be adopted.

On the other hand, former Minister of Environmental Protection and Nature Mirela Holy said that the plan had good intentions, but it was not enforceable. “Even if the government were to adopt it, the opponents could go to the Constitutional Court because legal procedures have not been followed”, said Holy. She added that the document was not actually a plan, “because it does not provide for specific measures and projects, and does not honour the hierarchy of waste management in accordance with the EU Waste Framework Directive”.

Member of Parliament Josip Katalinić (MOST) said that it was very worrying that the plan would not be adopted, because it was an issue of national interest. “HDZ, which is clearly dominated by private interests, just like in the INA case, is ready to endanger national interests. They have activated all lobby groups to destroy the plan. They are supported by the so-called association HUGO, which brings together people who earn enormous amounts of money from various studies about these pointless waste management centres, and they are just protecting their business interests”, he said.

He also commented on a statement made by HDZ president Andrej Plenković that Croatia was not under the threat of penalties, that the plan could not be supported because it did not go through proper procedure, and that it needs more work. “It is not true that there is no danger. If Croatia does not adopt the waste management plan now, the question is whether there will be enough time, because the European Commission has to verify it by the end of the year”, concluded Katalinić.

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