Migrants to Move to New Accommodation Centre in Zagreb?

Total Croatia News

Their future neighbours are not too happy.

Although state institutions have not yet confirmed that they indeed plan to move migrants and refugees from the Porin accommodation centre to the current Arena Hostel, the speculation has caused panic among the inhabitants of Remetinec, Lanište and the surrounding neighbourhoods in Zagreb, reports Večernji List on November 21, 2017.

The hostel in question is located at 28 Remetinečki Gaj, at the border with Lanište. It was built in 1987 as a dormitory for workers who took part in the construction of nearby facilities for the Universiade which was held in Zagreb that year. After the sports event was over, the Remetinec Hotel was opened there. Over the years, it has changed its name several times, and is now called the Arena hostel, after the new sports arena and shopping centre in the vicinity. It is managed by Zagreb Holding and has a total of 261 beds in 117 single, double and triple rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

An overnight stay which includes breakfast costs between 140 to 190 kunas per person, which is the reason why it is popular among foreigners, but also among Croats who work in the nearby shopping centre.

“The neighbourhood is quite expensive, and there are too many people, so it is difficult to find an apartment. That is why many employees of the Arena Centre live in the hostel. There came here from Slavonia, Lika and Gorski Kotar, but there are also people from other parts of Zagreb. Young people do not have many options today,” says pensioner Goran Ilić, who himself helped his cousin from Orahovica find accommodation there when he moved to Zagreb.

The monthly rent for a single room is 1,200 kunas and even less if you are ready to share the room with roommates. According to tenants, the conditions are quite good since the rooms have been renovated several times in the last ten years. It is definitely much nicer than the Porin Hotel in the Dugave neighbourhood where migrants and refugees currently live. For some time, it has been known that the Ministry of the Interior is looking for a replacement facility that would function as a shelter for asylum seekers since Porin will undergo renovation in spring.

“Conditions in Porin are getting worse, and one part of the building no longer even has electricity. The tenants have heard they will be moved, but they do not know where. Still, they like the idea of moving to Remetinec,” says Asja Korbar from the Are You Syrious NGO which works with migrants and publicly supports the resettlement. However, her organisation has recently been attacked. Somebody broke windows on their van parked in front of the office in Središće.

“So far, we have not had any problems, so one possible reason is that, after the protest of people in Remetinec, the tensions have increased,” they say.

The locals have already launched a petition against the arrival of asylum seekers, and their arguments are fear, unpreparedness and overcrowding in the area. “There are already too many people here. There is not enough room in school and kindergarten. It would be better for them to be moved where it is not so crowded,” says Anamarija Perović.

Head of the Novi Zagreb-Zapad Local Council Jadranko Baturić tried to calm the tensions. “There are protests about a decision which has not yet been made. I do not know where the information came from, but it is not correct. The police would have to know about it, and nothing was reported to them,” says Baturić, admitting that he could not guarantee that the decision would not eventually be made because it is not within his authority.

Translated from Večernji List.


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