Small Business Owners Demand Urgent Reforms

Total Croatia News

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

ZAGREB, Dec 7, 2020 – The Voice of Entrepreneurs association laid a wreath outside the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development on Monday, calling for “urgent and brave” reforms and the replacement of Minister Tomislav Coric.

Cars and buses briefly blocked the traffic in the street in front of the Ministry as protesters lit lanterns and laid wreaths and flowers at the entrance to “pay their last respects” to small and medium-sized businesses hit by the partial lockdown imposed as part of government efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

They once again appealed to the prime minister to fire “the worst economy minister Croatia has ever had.” They drew attention to the “intolerable absence of concrete aid and compensation” for all businesses experiencing a sharp decline in their activity. 

The association’s head Hrvoje Bujas said that Croatia had lacked key reforms over the last 30 years. “It is high time we organised ourselves to ensure the implementation of key reforms. It is also high time that the reforms become the key topic for every economy minister and for every minister in the Croatian government, including the prime minister,” he said.

Bujas said that Croatian small business owners were leaving the country in search of better business conditions abroad. He stressed the need for a better functioning judiciary, optimisation and digitalisation of public and local government, lowering VAT and scrapping various parafiscal charges.

The association’s executive director Drazen Orescanin said that they had good dialogue with some of the ministries and state institutions, but not with the Economy Ministry. He complained that Minister Coric was not communicating with them at all.

Orescanin said that the present government should represent all people and not just voters of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party. If the party cannot find an appropriate person to serve as Economy Minister, there are many competent experts for this post who are not members of any party, he added.

At the end of the protest, two police officers approached Bujas and Orescanin and took down their details as well as the registration numbers of the vehicles that blocked the entrance to the Ministry building.

“We’ll see what the police will do. We won’t be surprised if we get fined,” Orescanin told Hina, adding that this was not a protest rally but a gathering because protest rallies were not allowed in the present time of the pandemic. He noted that about 20 members of the Voice of Entrepreneurs and partner associations were present, which is in line with the epidemiological measures, while the rest were representatives of the media. They all wore face masks and did not violate any measures, he stressed.


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