ZAGREB, June 12, 2018 – Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy Minister Nada Murganić said on Monday that the population policy measures that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović presented earlier in the day were in line with the government’s programme and that the government Council for Demographic Revival would examine the measures. “We carefully watched the president’s presentation… We will examine the material when we receive it at the Council for Demographic Revival,” Murganić said.
She claimed that the government was persistently working on achieving its objectives: economic growth, greater employment, better jobs and demographic revival.
Asked to comment on the president’s statement that she had not managed to obtain a consensus with three governments regarding this issue and why the government is avoiding to sit down with the president to discuss it, Murganić said: “I don’t see that we are avoiding it. We are working in line with the government’s programme.” We will analyse the measures and together we will make decisions that will go toward improving living conditions for our citizens, she added.
The chairman of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) parliamentary group Milorad Batinić said that the president’s population measures were a “nice wish list but that she did not provide any time-frame or financial framework.”
“The president’s demographic measures are partially a nice and positive wish list, however we have to be aware that money doesn’t grow on trees. There is no time frame or a financial framework,” Batinić said.
He said that HNS knows that every measure requires a synergy of expertise and policies and political responsibilities.
Among opposition leaders, Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Davor Bernardić said that the only true demographic measure was a well paid job. “The only true demographic measure is a well paid job, everything else is selling snake oil. Our objective is to stop emigration and that is why the SDP is the only party that has proposed a plan for young people and to stop emigration,” Bernardić said in an interview with the national radio broadcaster, Hrvatski Radio, commenting on the demographic measures President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović presented earlier in the day.
A year ago, the SDP proposed free text books, kindergarten, higher child allowances, co-financing rentals for young families and relieving employers of contributions for employing people under the age of 35, Bernardić said and added that he was sorry that the government didn’t adopt them.
Commenting on frequent public disagreements between the president and government, Bernardić said that this was an agreed dispute in an effort to better position the president for the next presidential election.