A Croatian weekly, Nacional, has published an article claiming that a state-owned apartment currently being occupied by the Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, was put on the reconstruction fast-track following the March 2020 earthquake that rocked the capital.
Media are reporting that the 96-square-meter state-owned apartment in downtown Zagreb, which is being used by the head of the Prime Minister's Office Zvonimir Frka-Petešić, was reconstructed in record time following the first earthquake to hit Zagreb in March of 2020. This has caused some backlash as citizens affected by the earthquake are still awaiting the reconstruction of their homes. Here's what Frka-Petešić had to say about the media claims: "I am a tenant, I am not the owner of the apartment. I was not involved in the reconstruction of the building or any of its apartments. Had the State Assets Company not involved itself in the reconstruction, they would have de facto slowed the entire reconstruction of that building, in which all of the owners had agreed to make a quick start to avoid possible higher prices in the future."
"There was no express reconstruction. One month after the earthquake all of the owners made a decision, which required the approval of the State Assets Company. We gave our approval, and at no point was there any priority given here, regardless of who, Mr. Frka-Petešić or someone else, was in those apartments," added Construction, Spatial Planning and State Property Minister Darko Horvat.
Arsen Bauk of the opposition SDP however, says this sends a bad message to citizens: "The state has once again shown that when a quote-unquote important person is in question then it is prepared to circumvent all administrative barriers, the very same it will not circumvent for everyday citizens. And that is a bad message to send to those citizens in Banovina or in Zagreb that are still awaiting accommodations."
Asked to comment on the issue, MOST MP Nino Raspudić took a somewhat philosophical view: "The older I get it is becoming clearer to me that all of the wisdom and knowledge a person needs have been collected in national proverbs and sayings, which capture the distilled experience of many generations that came before us. So, I will respond with an old Croatian proverb: The first thing that God created was his own beard."
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