PM Defends His Government’s Proposal to Partly Ban Sunday work

Total Croatia News

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Marin Tironi
Marin Tironi

Earlier in the day, Milanović told the press that Plenković’s speech on the ban was insincere and a gimmick ahead of the 16 May local elections.

“I did not see what he said. I presume he is still on the campaign trail trying to keep the remaining SDP pockets in the counties, municipalities, and towns alive because what he is doing is a local campaign by the President of the Republic, a former leader of the SDP (Social Democratic Party), which has never been seen before. But I guess this is a new outlook on democracy along the lines of all those salvos of insults directed at other political actors, such as the HRT (public broadcaster), your journalist colleagues in Split,” Plenković told the Croatia media in the Portuguese city of Porto where he was attending the EU Social Summit.

“That’s outrageous! I expected that the HRT and its reporters, who are otherwise quick in contacting the European Federation of Journalists, would promptly respond and seek protection as they have in the past, that they would condemn that act. Such political barbarism and rudeness towards the media is unprecedented, it is a new dimension, and we should talk about it,” he added.

Milanović commented on the statement made by Plenković in Porto on Friday that a ban on Sunday work would be good for “balance between work and family life.”

“(Milanović) obviously did not follow last year’s election campaign for the Croatian Parliament because that was one of the key messages from our election manifesto. Over the previous months, we have been working thoroughly on the proposal to amend the Commerce Act, conducting consultations and surveys. A majority of Croatian citizens are in favor of banning Sunday work. Since Croatia is a tourist country, businesses would be allowed to work on 16 Sundays a year, whereby all the needs of the tourist season would be met,” the prime minister said.

“At the same time, shopping centers would be allowed to work on holidays, and balance would be achieved between work activities and family life. It is a well-balanced and appropriate proposal that will be put to public consultation and come before Parliament, and it is in no way connected with this election campaign. After all, proposals like this are not adopted by local councils or elected leaders but by the Croatian Parliament,” Plenković concluded. 

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