Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić (Photo: HRT) Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić (Photo: HRT)

Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić told citizens this morning that it is their own fault because they converted basements into apartments.

The statement provoked Tomislav Tomašević from the Left Block, who said that the Zagreb system of drainage does not function well. "That is a classic Bandić maneuver to transfer responsibility to citizens," concluded Tomašević.

In defence Bandić said that he did not attack citizens but rather just told the truth.

“I said one sentence that is true, that due to a lack of living space, people have converted their basements, storage spaces and garages into housing units and those buildings and those spaces, in the face of heavy precipitation, suffered damages,” said the Zagreb Mayor.

Nevertheless Bandič said the city will assist citizens.

“The other sentence I said was that in a week we will register exactly which buildings are in question, how many of them there are, and that we will assist those citizens. We will come out with that information in a week, regardless of whether or not citizens insured them, or if they converted something into a housing unit that shouldn't have been, we will help people,” said Bandić.

Just like in the case of the earthquake, assistance could be gained through the European Solidarity Fund, said Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds, Nataša Tramišak.

“The extent of damages needs to be determined, we need to apply within the fund on time and withdraw money. In the example of Croatia we see that the Fund for Solidarity is in fact one of the important instruments of the European Union,” said Tramišak.

Source: HRT