“Zagreb is not just the city centre, it is also its environs, where the epicentre of the quake was. Zagreb is also Čučerje, Markuševec and Podsljeme,” Škoro told reporters on the first anniversary of the earthquake while touring the neighbourhood of Čučerje.
He recalled that the Construction Ministry had issued “130 decisions of some sort”, the Fund for the Reconstruction of Zagreb and Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb counties was established, and around €26 billion was reserved for reconstruction.
“Everything was done the wrong way. If 130 decisions on reconstruction are issued a year, and around 30,000 buildings were damaged, including more than 2,500 which are unfit to live in, at that pace we would need around 300 years for all people to get the necessary decisions on reconstruction,” he warned.
He added that three laws hampered the process of reconstruction – the law on mandatory reserves for building maintenance, the law on reconstruction and the law regulating the status of protected lessees.
Škoro said that for decades there had been no investments in buildings, one of the reasons being that there are around 2,000 protected tenants who pay rent in the amount of HRK 2.5 per square metre, while the state pays HRK 70 for citizens who live in substitute flats after the earthquake in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and Zagreb.
“That must end because the Reconstruction Act says that the property owner must participate in reconstruction. If someone cannot get hold of their property taken during the Communist rule, and if rent for such property is paid in the amount of HRK 2.5 per square metre, why should the owner be interested in participating in reconstruction,” he said.
“There is a danger that the owners of flats occupied by protected lessees file lawsuits at European courts, which have already ruled that they should be given back their property. We have again postponed that and the state will have to pay,” he said.
The law on mandatory reserves for building maintenance should be amended to give companies that manage those funds more powers, and the law on protected lessees should be changed to give those tenants substitute accommodation and enable actual owners to participate in the reconstruction of their property, he said.
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