Retirees Protest Against Small Pensions

Total Croatia News

Pensioners say they are impoverished.

Pensioners in six Croatian towns held a protest on Tuesday under the slogan “Stop poverty and humiliation in old age”, organised by the Croatian Pensioners’ Union (SUH), urging the government to promptly take measures to stop the further accelerated impoverishment of retirees, reports N1 on October 10, 2017.

The protests have drawn a reaction from the responsible minister. “The total pensions in Croatia amount to between 38 and 39 billion kunas per year. The union’s demand for a 19 percent increase for all those who have retired since 1999 would cost tens of billions of kunas – and this is not realistic at the moment,” said Labor and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić. He pointed out that the government this year raised pensions by 2.75 percent, which is the highest increase in the last ten years. He called on the Pensioner’s Union and everyone else to come to the Ministry and re-launch the talks.

The main protest was held at noon at Ban Josip Jelačić square in Zagreb. In addition to the capital, the protests were simultaneously held in Pula, Split, Osijek and Slavonski Brod, while later this afternoon another rally will be organised in Zadar.

The Croatian Pensioners’ Union is seeking an increase of 19 percent of pensions for all pensioners who retired after 19 January 1999, a change to the family pensions model, the introduction of a minimum pension which would amount to at least 50 percent of the gross minimum wage, the introduction of the state pension for senior citizens without their personal pensions, a new pension harmonization model, and the abolition of the law introducing the property tax.

The Union also wants for the state health insurance fund to be returned to the state budget and for the government to guarantee that the supplementary health insurance will not get any expensive. It also demands the reform of the second pension pillar from an obligatory into an optional part of the pension system.

“After two years of intense fighting to stop poverty, retirees do not have time to wait any longer. People who have built this country, and many of whom were involved in its defence, are now poor and humiliated, marginalised and treated as a burden by the political elites. They have borne the burden of war and recession on their backs, and now they do not have the right to dialogue,” said the union in its call for the protest.

“While four responsible ministers have come and gone in the last two years, pensioners and the elderly still live in misery and growing poverty. It is time to say enough and fight for a dignified life,” they added.

Translated from N1.


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