As previously announced, several ambassadors to our country and the High Representative have sent a letter requesting, among other things, changes to the disputed street names named after people associated with the fascist regime. This letter, but also the real need to change the name of the streets in Mostar, was discussed at yesterday’s session of the City Council of Mostar. The councilors have chosen a commission that should submit proposals for street changes within thirty days.
An idea to change the name of five disputed streets in Mostar is an old story. The names of the streets were changed immediately after the war. Although the former mayor, the deceased Ljubo Beslic, asked the Council to change them on two occasions, the then councilors of the SDA, SDP and the Party for BiH were against it. Yesterday, a commission has been re-formed to work on the changes. Council President Salem Maric said:
“I hope that the Commission, together with the councilors, will find proposals for changing the name of the street to everyone’s satisfaction and that we will adopt it at the next session.”
After the debate, Mayor Mario Kordic appealed to reason because, it seems, he says, the election campaign is starting. He explained that the changes in the name of streets have been talked about in recent months and that the goal is to reach a good solution. He also reminded of the European Resolution on the condemnation of totalitarian systems. Mario Kordic:
“We will have a lot of work to do on these topics in Mostar, but this act shows that we have the will and desire to resolve some things from the past for the benefit of the future and that we will open some other controversial topics.”
Namely, the opposition SDP demanded that an item be added to the agenda to change the names of the disputed street names, and they immediately proposed new ones. This was rejected, with some councilors saying their proposal was political. SDP councilor Arman Zalihic said putting their item on the street change agenda would mean that the HDZ truly wants it. He reiterated that the SDP Caucus is aware of the need to make comprehensive solutions and change the names of a number of streets.
Our Party councilor Irma Baralija reacted by saying that it was devastating that the discussion came after the letter from the ambassador and that they supported the work of the Commission. But, she believes that there should be councilors from all caucuses because everyone will be able to make proposals to change the name of the street.
The City Council also received information about the work on the monument to the civilian victims of the Mostar war, and one of the bitter topics was the budget rebalance.