Social Democratic Party president Pedja Grbin said on Tuesday he gave the prime minister, the government, and the construction minister "a thumbs-down" regarding post-earthquake reconstruction "because what they have done... indicates that the state is not functioning."
On a visit to Sisak, Grbin thanked all citizens, associations, companies and local government units for the solidarity and help to citizens who lost their homes in last year’s earthquakes, but said that was not enough.
He said the reconstruction must be organised, systematic and followed by the government and the bodies in charge such as the Reconstruction Fund, the Construction Ministry, and the State Housing and Reconstruction Office, “which are doing nothing.”
Grbin said it was “shameful” to brag, one year after the earthquake in the Banija region, “about the reconstruction of 1,000 or 100 buildings, from which only the chimneys have been removed actually.”
He appealed to the state “to finally start doing its job”, saying the “biggest tragedy” was that those responsible were incapable of adequately utilising the available European funds.
Sisak mayor Kristina Ikic-Banicek said not one house in her city that was unsafe for use since the December 2020 earthquake had been reconstructed. She added that more than 900 structures in the city were unsafe for use, “but only 38 conclusions on reconstruction have been adopted and not one reconstruction has started.”
The government has not even demolished the buildings the city designated for demolition in February, she said, adding that the city has given citizens HRK 26 million to reconstruct their homes.
Grbin was accompanied by MEP Predrag Matic, who said reconstruction would take decades. “The money for the reconstruction of Banija has been secured, but it seems the HDZ-led government is hesitant about how to utilise it given that spending will be supervised by Brussels, not by them.”
GLAS says PM, construction minister to blame for lack of reconstruction
Also today, the GLAS opposition party said reconstruction after last year’s earthquakes in Zagreb (March 2020) and Banija was non-existent, blaming Construction Minister Darko Horvat and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
GLAS said Horvat was doing nothing but looking for who to blame for his and Plenkovic’s incompetence.
The party said the reconstruction of private properties in Zagreb had not begun and that the people of Banija would spend another year in container homes.
As for the reconstruction of public buildings, the party said it was certain that the government would not manage to spend the €687 million ensured from the EU Solidarity Fund in time.