Signatures for Referendum to Be Submitted to Parliament by End of Month

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 18, 2019 – Unions that organised the “67 is too much” signature collection campaign for a referendum to restore the statutory retirement age from 67 to 65, said on Friday that they planned to submit the signatures to parliament by the end of May and added that they did not agree with a proposal by Deputy Prime Minister Predrag Štromar for conditions for a full pension to be amended without going to a referendum.

Signature lists are still coming from all counties to the initiative’s head office for inspection, and only after that will the number of signatures be made public. The signatures will be submitted to the parliament most likely in the week after May 26, the initiative’s national coordinator, Mirela Bojić, told Hina.

In order for a referendum on pension eligibility to be called, it is necessary to collect at least 373,568 signatures, while unofficial union sources have said that they have counted almost 700,000 signatures.

“The plan is to submit the signatures to parliament in the week after the European election and then parliament will decide on their inspection and on the assessment of the constitutionality of the referendum questions,” Bojić said.

She added that the initiative resolutely rejects Štromar’s proposal that the referendum be abandoned for the sake of saving money and that an agreement be reached with the unions regarding their demands.

“As far as we are concerned, we will not back down. The government had plenty of time. We literally begged for them to sit down at the table so that we don’t have to collect signatures. However, now that we’ve collected this many signatures, we have an enormous responsibility toward citizens and insist that a referendum be held and the will of citizens respected,” said Bojić.

She believes that the referendum questions should pass the test at the Constitutional Court even though “anything is possible in Croatia”.

“With regard to the way we formulated the questions, which constitutional experts from all sides are talking about these days, I am convinced that the Constitutional Court has almost no manoeuvring room, unless that is an opportunistic political decision which, unfortunately we have been accustomed to recently,” she added.

The initiative expects the referendum to be called for early September.

More news about the retirement age referendum can be found in the Politics section.


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