3 to 12 Protest: Dubrovnik Caterers to Close for One Hour on Wednesday

Daniela Rogulj

September 29, 2020 – The countdown continues: On Wednesday, September 30, Dubrovnik caterers will close for 60 minutes as part of the “3 to 12” action, but they will also invite locals for free coffee the following day.

HRTurizam reports that fllowing the actions “5 to 12” organized by the Caterers Association of Kvarner and Istria, and “4 to 12” organized by the Caterers Association of Split and colleagues from all over Dalmatia, the Dubrovnik Caterers Association, together with caterers from the area, joins the action “3 to 12”.

“Numerous companies such as travel agencies, events agencies, shipping companies, laundries, traders, small renters, and, of course, our fellow caterers, without serious proactive measures will not wait until the beginning of next season,” point out the Dubrovnik Caterers Association. The Government has really helped their employees to preserve jobs, but now employers also need help to keep those jobs safe until next season.

“If there is no us, there will be no jobs. We do not ask the Government to give us money or give us anything to the detriment of other taxpayers. We just want to be taken for less in the name of taxes in the coming years and to be provided with credit lines that we would of course return through business in the coming, hopefully better years. The widely announced credit lines through Hamag Bicra and HBOR have remained empty letters on paper, and commercial banks do not approve loans to vulnerable companies and crafts in their arrangements,” point out the Dubrovnik Caterers Association.

Because of all this, the Dubrovnik Caterers Association, together with colleagues from the surrounding area, decided on the action “3 to 12” and on Wednesday, September 30, from 11.57 to 12.57 to suspend serving their guests in order to draw attention to the seriousness of the situation.

“For the first time, we have decided to activate, unite and ask the Government for concrete measures to save the economy of our city and the whole of Croatia,” they emphasize.

The measures required by caterers are:

1. Suspension of VAT collection until March 1, 2021

2. Permanent reduced rate of 10% on all food according to the Croatian Tourism Development Strategy from 2013 (according to the law on food – food, coffee, beer, juices, water and wine)

3. Access to liquidity lines (HAMAG)

4. Access to investment credit lines (HBOR)

5. State guarantees for loans with commercial banks, following the example of other European countries

A survey based on almost 500 caterers from all over Croatia found that almost 60% of caterers recorded a decline in business of more than 50%, and almost 40% face the fact that they will not survive until next season in these conditions. On the other hand, as many as 80% of employers will be forced to resort to terminating contracts with employees.

As a continuation of the action, on the following day, October 1, or World Coffee Day, the locals participating in the action will serve coffee to their guests for free in the same time period, from 11.57 to 12.57.

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