ZAGREB, May 3, 2020 – The opposition parties in the Zagreb City Assembly said on Saturday that Assembly Chairman Drago Prgomet had called a virtual meeting to protect Mayor Milan Bandić from the opposition’s questions about the March 22 earthquake and repairing of the damage.
“Chairman of the Assembly Drago Prgomet has called a virtual, online meeting under very strange circumstances. At a time when the restrictions are being eased, when Masses can be held and believers have to be two metres apart from each other, … we are absolutely certain that a normal, physical meeting of the City Assembly should be held,” the leader of the Civil and Liberal Alliance (GLAS), Anka Mrak Taritaš, told reporters.
Mrak Taritaš said that GLAS, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Pensioners’ Party (HSU), the left bloc and independent members of the Assembly were against the decision to convene an online meeting because they would not be able to ask questions and get the answers to key issues. She added that Prgomet and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) did not want the public to know what the mayor should have done, but failed to do in dealing with the consequences of the earthquake.
Mrak Taritaš said that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the HDZ were also responsible. “The central government should have taken charge of the reconstruction of Zagreb, but they are pretending that the earthquake didn’t happen,” she said.
The SDP member of the City Assembly, Zvane Brumnić, drew attention to higher rates charged by the Cistoca municipal sanitation company and the Gradska Groblja company in charge of municipal cemeteries. “These are the questions the mayor and Prgomet don’t want to answer,” he said.
The opposition members of the Assembly said they would boycott the online meeting.
Asked to comment on the opposition’s demand for a physical meeting of the City Assembly, Mayor Bandić said that a decision on this lay with the City Assembly. “I don’t decide that. But let them change this decision if they can and find a bigger venue,” he said.
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