President Criticises Government over Demographic Policies Again

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ZAGREB, May 29, 2018 – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said in Rome on Tuesday that the government had undertaken only partial demographic measures and that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković hadn’t yet responded to her invitation to hold a joint cabinet meeting on that issue. “I haven’t received a response. We spoke generally about it and agreed that we would continue talking and I am expecting his response,” the president told reporters.

On Monday, Grabar-Kitarović sent a written recommendation to the prime minister for a special cabinet meeting to be convened sometime in June on the subject of demographic policy and problems of citizens with blocked bank accounts as well as her proposals regarding the two issues.

She added that her recommendation for the joint meeting wasn’t a criticism of the government’s work. “Absolutely not. Demography isn’t a problem that has emerged overnight. It has continued for decades but became acute in the early 1990s when we recorded a fall in natural population growth and now emigration waves that are not waning. This is an urgent matter we all have to agree on, the government and the opposition,” Grabar-Kitarović said after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

“It is my intention, regardless of whether the government meeting is held or not, to present measures that I have prepared together with my advisers,” Grabar-Kitarović said and added that she hoped all relevant stakeholders in society and politics would discuss them. “We need a strategy and not partial measures. Unfortunately, we have only seen partial measures from this government, too… We can’t just talk about child allowances and kindergartens, the issue is much more complex than that,” she underscored.

She didn’t wish to comment on media speculation that the prime minister will refuse a joint meeting.


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