Unions Protest Against Increase in Retirement Age

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 26, 2018 – The NHS union federation on Wednesday staged a protest rally in St. Mark’s Square between Government and Parliament Houses to warn of the unacceptable extension of working life to 67 and additional penalties being imposed for early retirement.

The gathering dubbed “Working oneself into the ground won’t reform the pension system or Croatia in 2030: young people will go abroad while the rest will work themselves into the ground” warned that the announced changes to the pension system, which sees workers and pensioners as an expense that should be cut, won’t just be to the detriment of workers but society overall, NHS leader Krešimir Sever said.

He underscored that the government will oblige itself to those amendments in the National Reform Programme which should be adopted at its session on Thursday and delivered to the European Commission by the end of April and that clearly indicates which direction that is all going in.

Extending working life according to recommendations by the World Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund aren’t applicable in Croatian conditions yet our government has obliged itself without consulting citizens even though this concerns them, he added.

The unionist cited the example of ambulance workers who were once eligible for accelerated pension funding which has been abolished. He recalled that this all started in the Milanović SDP-led government, carried on by Orešković’s government and now Plenković is continuing with it.

Sever insists that working until the age of 67 is unsustainable in Croatia considering that average life-expectancy of Croatian citizens is shorter than in the EU.

Young people have realised that they don’t see that they have a future in Croatia and are emigrating which is the consequence of poor policies by the incumbent and former governments and that problem won’t be solved with an imported labour force, he claimed.

The union demands increased wages and that employers who pressure workers into early retirement should be penalised.


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