The Minister of Construction and Zagreb's HNS head of the video interview for Zagreb's internet newspaper revealed what he thinks about re-launching the procedure for changes and changes of the City of Zagreb's GUP, legalization of illegal construction, projects on Zagreb and Sava and Belgrade on water ambitions to become president of HNS after Vesna Pusic.
Here you can read the shortened authorized version of this interview, and you can see the entire interview in the video clip.
You have become a minister of construction at the time of the biggest crisis in the construction industry. Is there any salvation in the industry in Croatia?
He always has salvation. The construction sector first felt the recession and the first felt and emerging from the recession. The fact is, things have changed considerably. The peak of this industry in Croatia was 2007. and 2008 years. Already from 2008. year lag slowly. The biggest projects until then were the construction of a motorway that is a major state project and the construction of state flats. You know well how apartments and apartment building were dealt with by people who organized themselves to deal with residential construction. You now have highways that are well done, but maintenance costs as much as it costs. We also have a large number of unsold apartments and it is difficult to say how much realistic the number of unsold apartments. Bargain with numbers from 20 thousand to 40 thousand. We had a conversation with the bankers about two years ago and found that there are somewhere in the banks of two thousand unsold apartments that are property legal and land consolidation. The banks were not ready to enter the state with a kind of engagement to give those apartments to rent so we gave up on all of this. However, the shift to the construction sector has. The shifts are evident in the following: There will always be a need for flats and apartments will always be built, but there will be no need for such large flats, but decent flats, safe flats and well-built flats at good locations will always be needed. But the building sector's future is energy efficiency, not just for windows and facades, but for renovation of complete infrastructure. And back to the cities. All cities have expanded and this will need an infra structure and in their spread the cities and skips some parts in the sense of industries that are abandoned. There is great potential.
And does this project fit into Sava?
The Zagreb Project on Savi had one future ahead of the 20 years when he was conceived. He has several components. One of the components of using the Sava River's energy efficiency is the second raising of the environmental protection component of Sava so as not to bring up and down the sewage, as Zagreb would have been left without drinking water supply. Only the third component is releasing the surface for a new development. If this happens, it should not be single-handedly but so-called x use. It should not only have living surfaces, but also public space and business premises.
Can the complete cabinet move there?
The question is reality. When are you in Zgreb you have a lot of buildings that are not being used and which need to be reconstructed and parts of the city that are not used to realistically build new ones? The traffic problem can be solved by underground garages. So, the project that is the old 20 years needs to be revised in terms of needs and a new way of life. We live differently today. We have a problem in Zagreb that the center of Zagreb is leaving and that people should return. When my son passed to the first grade in the center, there were four grades with 27 children, and eight years later when my second son went to the first grade, there were three grades with the 21 child. This is where you can see emigration from the center.
The City Assembly has resumed the procedure for changes and amendments of the GUP of Zagreb and Sesveta. Only HNS MPs were absent?
I know, because we were in the party talking about all this. The City Assembly again made an important decision quite out of date. In these changes, only one thing has been done. No traffic studies. And now that part of the legalization of construction that is on some traffic corridors to me is understandable. People need to meet in the sense of illegal legalization. But when traffic in the city center is settled without a traffic study it is then inexcusable and irresponsible. With easy retirement from traffic studies, we will get traffic solutions ad hoc. I agree with the underground garages in the city center and pull the traffic from the city center but the underlying need to be a serious study. The garage under the high school playground in Klaić was first mentioned in 2003. and a project was made. Today is 2015. years and it was already supposed to be built.
And how is legalization of illegal construction in Zagreb?
Legalization in the city of Zagreb is excellent. Zagreb was doing very well in the beginning. When the mayor saw the state of affairs, and I talked to him in numbers, then he employed a certain number of people and made a special department that was just doing it. We talked to him for two days, and he asked me what I would do and told him to do exactly that: a special department agreed to do just that and set a clear procedure. This is done and it is now an efficient machine. I think that in the city of 70 already thousands of objects in the city have been solved definitively and they will certainly meet the deadline. Only a small part of those problematics who are in the corridors of the road will remain, and who have to wait for changes and changes of the GUP.
At the week-long session of the City Assembly, he did not pass the Mayor's proposal to buy houses on these traffic corridors at market prices?
That was a very unusual decision. But what you need to know: The Court in Strasbourg has ruled that when you go to buy land for road construction that houses homes legally or illegally, you have to redeem them at market prices. They have to buy at market value to sell them otherwise. But there is a problem here. When someone sells a house he says 90 a thousand euros and you are ready to give him only thirty. It has a value of 90 thousand euros but it needs to be determined what the real market value of that home can get at that location. There was controversy over the Mayor's proposal.
You still want to run for the mayor of Zagreb?
Well, the HNS organization in Croatia has started to work much better since they came to my forehead. I can be happy because big shifts have been seen since I came. Not because I was it, but because I came upon some people who were a bit sleepy with my arrival. Now at the top there are at least one 15 of people who are ready to work hard and we are ready to go out on the 2017 elections in Zagreb. and we will have a candidate for the mayor. If that is what I am, the assumption is because I am the president of that organization. But we'll see what's going to happen to you 2017. years.
Previously, there will be parliamentary elections?
Will the HNS stay in the Kukuriku coalition or maybe look for another way as some of the parishioners from your party suggest?
I think this will be the choice between the two extreme halves. It will be a choice between the HDZ and its partners and the SDP with its partners. As we are with the SDP throughout this time, coalition partners, I assume this agreement will be reached and how we will go with them in a slightly expanded coalition with some other partners. But if we do not reach agreement, we will go to somebody else. They are not good or too early. The HDZ has signed its coalition a few years ago, and there are rumors that HSS and HDZ fail to meet for four months. There was rumors in the media that it was about going to the elections, on the one hand, Mrs Pusić, and on the other hand some stayed in the party, but at our Central Committee's meeting, we said that this is not the case. We will be united in the negotiations on the appearances and possible coalitions, and Vesna Pusic remains the party's president until the parliamentary elections. After these elections, we will elect a new party leadership.
Will you also run for HNS president?
I do not think about it for the moment, but I do not rule out anything. You need to see how things will work out. It is good that there are more people who will run and it is good that there are more solutions and suggestions. Ms. Pusic has my absolute full support to make parliamentary elections, and then sit down and see where we are. Healthy and cold heads should then decide what is best for HNS. I always think that maybe it might be some younger man who may be less than us visible on the national scene. But we will know and decide after the parliamentary elections.
And how do you think HNS will have parliamentary deputies after these elections?
We expect to have somewhere 9 to 10 agents. It all depends on how things will be and how much the scene will polarize. We need to know how elections are expected somewhere in February, and all that can happen until then.
This is a shortened version of the interview. What does all the ministers think about the Belgrade-based project that announces the big investments of the sheikh and whether Croatia can go the same way in implementing its Zagreb project on Sava, problems in the city of Zagreb, and HNS relations can be viewed in a video attachment.