Disagreements in Ruling Coalition about Pension System Referendum?

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 16, 2019 – Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Thursday that there were no disagreements between the ruling coalition parties HDZ and HNS over a referendum against the pension reform, while Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said that the present pension system was untenable.

“I wouldn’t say so. We’ve had such discussions before and eventually everyone raised their hand in favour. We’ll talk about it,” Marić told reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting when asked to comment on reported disagreements between the HDZ and the HNS over the pension system and unions’ referendum initiative.

Asked if the government should prevent a referendum on returning the statutory retirement age from 67 to 65 by amending the Pension Insurance Act, Marić said that they would talk about it. “The pension system is not just a matter of a one or three-year budget, it is a system and should be looked at over 20, 30 or 50 years,” the finance minister said.

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said that the present pension system was untenable, noting that privileged pensions should be awarded only in exceptional cases.

Asked if she thought that the present law should be changed to prevent the referendum, Divjak said that the existing mechanisms should be used and dialogue should be pursued to save the 50 million kuna (6.75 million euro) that would be spent on the referendum and see if the system could be improved. “I think that this option should definitely be supported,” she added.

Asked if more than 600,000 signatures gathered for the referendum was a clear message to the government, Divjak said that it was a message both to this and to previous governments. “Either it was not made clear what problems could arise with the existing pensioner-employee ratio or the government’s solutions are unacceptable to the majority,” she said.

“The solution adopted by parliament was good, but is it the only possible one? Citizens have signalled with their signatures that a different solution should be sought,” Divjak said.

More news about the pension system referendum can be found in the Politics section.


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