Parliament Adopts the 2016 Budget

Total Croatia News

Just 81 days into the new year, Croatia gets the 2016 budget.

On Monday, Croatian Parliament approved the 2016 budget proposal, with 80 votes “in favour” and 51 votes “against”, reports on March 21, 2016.

During the day, Parliament voted on 94 amendments which were submitted by individual members of Parliament and parliamentary groups. The government and the parliamentary majority accepted an amendment proposed by three HDZ’s MPs representing Croats living abroad to increase budgetary support for return of people to Bosnia and Herzegovina by four million kuna. The amendment was proposed by Božo Ljubić, Ivan Šuker and Željko Glasnović.

Parliament rejected amendments proposed by SDSS and HNS which sought to increase money for reconstruction and housing, with an explanation given by Minister of Regional Development Tomislav Tolušić who said that the capacities of the Office for Reconstruction were not sufficient to absorb the additional funds.

The government partly accepted an amendment proposed by MOST parliamentary group to reduce the funds for the Office of Former President Stjepan Mesić. The Office of the Former President will be deprived of 500,000 kuna, with the money redirected to civilian victims of the war.

The Bandić Milan 365 parliamentary group withdrew its amendment to increase the amount appropriated for war veterans by 55 million kuna. Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that not a single right of Croatian veterans would come into question.

Speaker of Parliament Željko Reiner supported an amendment proposed by Nenad Stazić (SDP) who wanted to take away a million kuna from the Office of the President, although Stazić himself voted against the amendment calling it “stupid and silly”. The reason why Stazić offered it in the first place was the fact that Reiner himself offered a similar amendment last year when he was in opposition and Ivo Josipović (SDP) was President. “This is not my amendment. I have copied if from last year, when the Speaker proposed it”, said Stazić. He announced that the SDP parliamentary group would vote against the proposed amendment, but added that he expected Reiner and HDZ to support it, just like they did last year. However, except Reiner, other MPs rejected the amendment.

At the same time, Stazić commented on the MOST’s amendment to reduce funding to the Office of the Former President. He asked whether they would propose the same thing if Franjo Tuđman was still alive. “You would be lower than the grass, quieter than water”, said Stazić.

As previously announced, the government partially accepted an amendment by HSLS and MOST to reduce funding for political parties in favour of the Croatian Science Foundation. The government reduced the funds for political parties by 7.8 million kuna, and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić announced the upcoming changes to the Law on Financing of Political Activities and Election Campaigns.


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