Arsen Bauk of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) told reporters in the parliament building that the government “has obviously sorted its priorities to ensure the best possible election result” for the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
“We support a COVID supplement for pensioners, even before elections. I think the Croatian democracy is mature enough and that this will not result in voters voting en masse for the HDZ,” Bauk said.
Homeland Movement MP Stjepo Bartulica said that Prime Minister Plenković often expressed his disdain for populists. “I see a great dose of populism in the timing of this measure,” he said.
“We are all equal in Croatia, but obviously some groups are more equal than others, especially with elections coming up. In principle, I am not against helping the pensioners, but the way in which the government runs its policies actually increases cynicism in Croatia,” Bartulica said.
Bridge’s Božo Petrov noted that the government had promised several years ago that the living standards and monthly incomes of pensioners would rise considerably, suggesting that the measures proposed by the government should remain permanent.
Bojan Glavašević of the Green-Left Bloc said that “the pensioners and young people, as vulnerable groups, need systematic rather occasional assistance.”
Unlike the opposition, the HDZ’s Ivan Ćelić disagreed that this was an attempt at vote buying for local elections. “Let me remind you that a month before elections the (SDP) government of Zoran Milanović gave away electricity vouchers of HRK 200, which can be seen in the same way as the COVID supplement,” he said.
(€1 = HRK 7.5)
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