“It is a duty for the city to help in the process but we must also say that our patience, as well as the patience of Zagreb residents, is wearing thin. Let them say what else we can do to help, and we will help,” Tomašević said at a regular press conference.
On the second anniversary of the 22 March 2020 earthquake in Zagreb, with no private buildings or houses having been reconstructed, the mayor said that he was “extremely unhappy”.
He recalled that the city had set aside HRK 160 million for reconstruction this year.
That is a 20% share with which, under the law, the city is obliged to co-finance the reconstruction of private houses and residential buildings, and the money has still not been touched because the city is waiting for the completion of processes of which the state is in charge, Tomašević said.
Asked where the problem was and who was responsible for the reconstruction of private buildings not having started yet, the mayor said that under the law, it was clear that the reconstruction of private buildings was in the remit of the state – the construction ministry and the reconstruction fund.
In a message to the state authorities, Tomašević said that if the legislative framework was still not good, it should be changed again.
“If the law is not good, change it again. If the reconstruction programme is not good, let it be changed,” he said.
If the problem in the reconstruction process is the lack of construction companies, one should publish international tenders, he said.
Asked if there was a forecast as to how many private houses and buildings in Zagreb should be reconstructed by the end of the year, the mayor said that the HRK 160 million contribution from the city had been agreed with the Construction Ministry.
“We set aside the 160 million… because we expected that it was our contribution to some HRK 800 million for the reconstruction of private buildings, which should have been launched and the funds spent by the end of the year,” he said.
The city has already invested HRK 250 million into the reconstruction of public buildings, and that money will be reimbursed from the EU Solidarity Fund. Temporary accommodation has been secured for people who after the earthquake were accommodated in housing containers and the Arena Hostel, and the city has reassigned its employees to the ministry and the fund to help step up the procedures, Tomašević said, citing what the city has done so far to facilitate the reconstruction process.
He added that the city had also allocated HRK 41.8 million in aid for citizens whose properties were damaged in the earthquake.