ZAGREB, May 7, 2019 – The Constitutional Court on Tuesday asked the Ministry of Labour and Pension System to explain the financing of an advertising campaign on the comprehensive pension reform, which the unions and opposition claim is directed against the “67 is too much” referendum initiative.
“The Constitutional Court has decided that it will request a detailed report from the Ministry of Labour and Pension System about the spending for the videos, how much in total is foreseen, how much has been spent until now, whether those funds are from the state budget and what their precise purpose is,” President of the Constitutional Court Miroslav Šeparović told Hina.
He added that the explanation was requested “immediately and without delay,” after which the court will decide whether it will take any steps.
“A grave violation of the rules of democratic procedure is required for the Constitutional Court to use its supervisory authority in this pre-referendum phase, a violation which in fact eliminates the possibility for citizens to express themselves at a referendum,” he said.
The Constitutional Court has not been presented for now with the sort of evidence which would require it to react. We will continue to monitor the situation and, after the ministry submits its response, we will decide which steps to take, Šeparović explained.
MP Peđa Grbin of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Friday said that he had written to the Constitutional Court because he believed that the government was using taxpayers’ money to finance a campaign against an ongoing union campaign for a referendum against the statutory retirement age of 67.
Grbin asked that the court use its powers to supervise referendum activities and warn participants in those activities, in this case state institutions, that their conduct is not in line with the constitution and laws.
Grbin claimed that the government was using public money to finance its campaign against the union referendum campaign.
Minister of Labour and Pension System Marko Pavić on Monday said that the campaign on the comprehensive pension reform was not an anti-referendum campaign and reiterated that a referendum is a democratic right, however, the government is obliged to continually inform citizens of the reforms it is implementing.
More news about pension reform can be found in the Politics section.