ZAGREB, May 30, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that there would be no joint meeting of his government with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to discuss measures to fight negative demographic trends, which she proposed on Monday. “The president has sent a letter with her proposal but it did not contain any specific measures about which she has spoken publicly on several occasions,” Plenković told reporters after attending a presentation of the campaign “Find a Job in Croatia” in downtown Zagreb.
He recalled that over the past year and a half his government had introduced a number of measures for demographic revitalisation, from an increase in childbirth and parental allowances to tax breaks, expanding the right to child benefit to cover more people, to shift work in kindergartens, loan subsidies for young families and allowances for the third and fourth child.
“Eight or nine measures have already been introduced. The government has the authority to make decisions of this kind and I call once again on the president and all the others who have ideas to present them, we will gladly accept all proposals that are complementary to our measures,” said the prime minister, dismissing the president’s remark that the government’s demographic measures were only partial.
Plenković said that he would talk to the president after she returned from her official visit to Italy.
Asked if the powers of the parliamentary Conflict of Interest Commission should be reduced, Plenković said that a task force was working on a conflict of interest bill and that the proposed changes were yet to be seen.
Commenting on current referendum campaigns, Plenković said that the Referendum Act should be improved because it had shortcomings. “As for specific proposals, we have to see the quality of dialogue between party groups in the parliament. The legal framework and the transparency of financing have to be improved,” said Plenković.
Commenting on speculation about a grand coalition between his HDZ party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Plenković commended the cooperation with his partners in the parliamentary majority, noting that “the majority is functioning very well.”
Commenting on Plenković’s response to her proposal, President Grabar-Kitarović said on her Facebook profile that she regretted his not having accepted her offer of cooperation and failing to recognise how serious the situation was regarding depopulation trends.