An MP’s question to the government reveals true expenses.
Responding to a question sent by Member of Parliament and president of the liberal GLAS party Anka Mrak Taritaš, the Government announced that, in just the last three years, 366.16 million kuna was paid from the state budget for the work of religious primary and secondary schools and religious institutions, colleges and faculties, reports tportal.hr on March 9, 2018.
“How much public funds have been spent in the past three years to print textbooks for the purposes of teaching catechism in schools and other educational institutions, and how much for public and private religious primary and secondary schools, and for the operation of public and private religious institutions, colleges and faculties,” asked Anka Mrak Taritaš.
“In the state budget of the Republic of Croatia, at the allocation for the Ministry of Science and Education, funds are provided for salaries and compensations for employees of 29 schools whose founders are religious communities, of which 11 are primary schools and 18 are secondary schools. In 2015, a total of 62,577,069 kuna was paid for this purpose. In 2016, 68,420,248 kuna was paid for this purpose. In 2017, 75,012,925 kuna was paid for this purpose,” the government wrote in its reply.
As far as co-financing of religious textbooks is concerned, the GLAS president received the following answer from the government: “In the years 2015 and 2016, there was no co-financing from the budget of textbooks for the purposes of catechism teaching, while in 2017, from the allocation for the Ministry of Science and Education, funds for co-financing of textbooks for Orthodox religion pupils studying in Serbian language and with Cyrillic script were paid in the amount of 560,000 kuna.”
When it comes to state financing of public and private religious institutions, colleges and faculties, the government paid a total of 159.59 million kuna from the state budget over the past three years.
“With funds from allocations ‘Regular activities of the University of Zagreb’,’ Regular activities of the University of Split’ and ‘Regular activities of the University of Osijek’, we finance the salaries of employees together with contributions and the additional benefits of the employees.
Funding from the allocation ‘Program financing of public higher education institutions’ co-finances the costs of student tuition and the material expenses of the Universities of Zagreb, Split and Osijek.
Funding from the allocation ‘Supporting the Study of Protestant Theology’ finances the material expenses of the study. Funding from the allocation ‘Support to the Croatian Catholic University in Zagreb’ finances salaries for employees together with contributions and additional benefits of employees,” according to the government’s answer.
To conclude, it is clear from the government’s statement that, over the past three years, the state budget has paid the total of 366 million kuna for the work of public and private religious primary and secondary schools, as well as for the work of public and private religious institutions, colleges and faculties.
All this is just a small part of the total funds which the government pays every year to officially recognised churches in Croatia, with a vast majority of funds going to the Catholic Church.
Translated from tportal.hr (reported by Marko Špoljar).