ZAGREB, June 20, 2020 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) and RESTART coalition leader Davor Bernardic spoke at an election rally in Split on Saturday, noting that the coastal city was unsafe to live in many regards.
That, he said, refers primarily to violence, lack of jobs, as well as the fate of people who had lived or were living off tourism.
He noted that Croatia as a whole was an unsafe country, with many pensioners having low pensions.
“Many people in Croatia lack safety because they are losing their jobs due to the government’s belated decisions… permanent seasonal workers lack safety as well and the unemployed will not have any chance to find work this year.”
Also unsafe are members of ethnic, religious and sexual minorities because they are exposed to growing violence, intolerance and hate, he said.
He also noted that 150,000 young people had emigrated from the country due to lack of prospects and that there was also a lack of legal security.
Bernardic said one of his coalition’s main goals was the reform of the judiciary to make Croatia a safe country for all its citizens as well as for entrepreneurs.
He said that if it came to power, the RESTART coalition would abolish investment taxes as well as income tax on wages that amount to less than HRK 5,000.
The SDP leader also announced a 10% VAT rate in tourism and catering as well as the adoption of measures to retain jobs, including shorter working hours.
He announced the abolishment of the lump sum tax for small renters and pledged a further reduction of the tax burden on the tourism sector.
Asked how election rallies would look like considering a recent increase in the number of new coronavirus cases, Bernardic said that they had warned about potential risks but that “the government and (PM) Plenkovic made the decision, so responsibility rests with them.”
The SDP believes that Croatia has to prepare much better for a second wave of COVID-19.
Commenting on a campaign during which many women have posted their photos on social networks showing them with their middle finger held up at Miroslav Skoro’s statements about abortion and rape, Bernardic said that his coalition’s view was that women should have the right to choose.
“Such statements push us back to the 19th century and it is good that we have ratified the Istanbul Convention and I believe Skoro and Bridge will support its implementation in the next parliament,” said Bernardic.
He said that the RESTART coalition was willing to form a coalition with anyone who passes the election threshold and shares the worldview of RESTART member-parties.