Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic has refused to approve the display of "Walk for Life" banners on the city flagpoles, the city authorities announced on Thursday, ahead of the seventh annual anti-abortion march scheduled to take place in Zagreb on March 14. Pročitaj više
March coordinators condemned Tomasevic’s decision, calling him put for “disrespect of procedures and authority, violation of Zagreb’s democratic standards and discrimination of all those whose stances and activities he disagrees with.”
Answering a query from the Croatian state agency Hina, the city authorities said that the mayor has the “final say on opinions by the city staff regarding projections on the city fountains and display of banners on the city’s flagpoles.”
The authorities added that the mayor decides what events will be held under the city’s auspices and that sponsorship is approved for those events that are in line with the city government’s policies.
“Mayor Tomasevic does not agree with the objectives of ‘Walk for Life’ and cannot sponsor such events, which is something he clearly said during his election campaign,” the city authorities said in the press release.
The march coordinators said that the conservative Vigilare association had received a positive opinion in April from the city office for municipal affairs approving the display of its banners in the Ban Jelacic Square and Republic of Croatia Square in Zagreb and 65 other spots around the city.
In its application for the march, the organisation announced that it would display its banners, after which Tomasevic intervened and “retroactively changed the procedure”, the coordinators said in a press release.