Zagreb – April 14, 2020 – Data on the use of economic measures, as well as detailed expenditures of state and local governments, must be published publicly, says Glas Poduzetnika.
Today’s speech by the Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament has reopened the question of the lack of knowledge of the vital topic. Our responsibility as an association of entrepreneurs is to clarify the main parameters, that way avoiding putting into question one quality measure because of the possible cases of its abuse by individual entrepreneurs. Its primary goal is only one – to maintain job posts and to keep economic activity at the currently highest possible level, and for all of us to, as quickly and simply as possible, return to “normal” life, once the days of coronavirus pandemic are at least partially behind us.
In particular, it should be reiterated that the minimum wage financing measure adopted by the Government, including 3,250 kunas of support net per employee in the first package, and 4,000 kunas net per employee in April’s package, is an action with which the state does not help individual entrepreneurs, but provides conditions for the stay of employees in the private sector on their job positions. At the same time, the entrepreneurs are obliged to keep employees in work relations for the next six months, and, consequently, the retention of all other obligations once the conditions improve.
All this is a much more favorable and cost-effective solution, comparing the situation with the one where, due to the current reduction in economic activity, many employees would be forced to go to the employment service, which would finally cost the state a lot more.
We in the GLAS PODUZETNIKA Association consider that the Croatia Government’s economic measures are the measures for the maintenance of job posts and that the list of companies using these measures should be completely transparent and under supervision of relevant institutions. We also believe that any misuse of these measures by any party or unintended expenditure of funds should be promptly and effectively sanctioned. If anyone, including the Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament, knows about the abuse of this measure in the personal interests of the entrepreneur, and it is clear that only employees have the right to use the measure, we invite them to make such conclusions publicly available. That would be done to protect the entire sector of micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs who are fighting to save jobs and business activity today, with the long-term idea of a better future for all of us.
We also advocate for a fully transparent society. The annual reports of all entrepreneurs are publicly available and have been available for many years through several financial services. From our side, we expect maximal transparency of all budgets and expenditures of local governments (some of them have already implemented this). The same goes for state institutions and all other associations, chambers, trade unions, and other organizations that now do not have to publish their financial reports publicly.
The GLAS PODUZETNIKA Initiative started as a citizens’ self-organized group, most of which are small entrepreneurs, after the announcement of the first set of Government’s measures, which the organizers deemed insufficient. The Initiative assembled more than 100,000 entrepreneurs, small business owners, self-employed, and the employees in the private sector in less than 15 days, drawing the media spotlight with its uncompromising requests and appearances.
Considering this, GLAS PODUZETNIKA positioned itself as a relevant factor in public discussions aimed to determine Croatia’s new economic direction. Its position was also confirmed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, having included some of the Initiative’s suggestions in the second set of economic measures, thus confirming Initiative’s undeniable influence. At the request of the Initiative’s members, the GLAS PODUZETNIKA Association was created and received more than 4,000 applications for membership within a few days of its founding.