While on Summer Vacation, MPs Spend 10 Million Kunas

Total Croatia News

Although they are on a two-month summer break, MPs are spending taxpayers’ money like they are hard at work.

With thousands of tourists arriving in and leaving Croatia, motorways and border crossings are jammed with cars and buses. While that is a problem for ordinary mortals, Croatia’s members of Parliament do not have such worries, since they are still just halfway through their two-month summer vacation, which will last until the middle of September. Although they are not working, they are spending taxpayers money without pause, reports RTL on August 21, 2017.

According to data available to RTL, the net cost of MP’s summer vacation is roughly five million kunas, while the gross amount could reach up to 10 million.

Although there is no accurate data about wages of this convocation of the Parliament, the average salary is about 15,000 kunas, and this is of course paid during the summer vacation as well, for all 151 MPs. That will cost taxpayers about 4.5 million kunas. They also receive a special bonus, regardless of the fact that they are not coming to the Parliament building.

So, for the summer vacation, which is officially called Parliament’s summer break, they will get about five million kunas from the budget, which is a significantly higher gross amount. There is no need to describe what citizens who pay for it all from their wages and pensions think about it.

Still, there is an occasional session of a parliamentary committee taking place every few weeks. For example, just last Friday some MPs were invited to return briefly to Parliament, but the attendance was not impressive. More precisely, it was incredibly small. The committees did not even have a quorum, although they did debate the issues on the agenda.

At a joint session of the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Economy, out of a total of 26 members, just six members appeared. Although it was the 35th day of their summer vacation, just one MP from the parliamentary majority came to the session. The opposition was better represented, although it also missed a few members. And those MPs which did come for the two-hour session, for which they will additionally receive travel expenses, mostly behaved as if they had undertaken some kind of heroic endeavour.

“I could have also stayed today at Novi Vinodolski on the coast and not come here. It is Friday, and I will die today on the road because I will have to drive seven hours to get back to Novi Vinodolski, which is usually just an hour and a half drive, since it is Friday and the roads will be packed with tourists. The rest of MPs seem to be on vacation. I hope that the media will not say that we are all sluggards and that we did not want to interrupt our vacation since not everybody is like that. There are six colleagues here who have come to the session,” said Saša Đujić (SDP).

The Parliament will remain more or less empty until mid-September – for a total of 65 days. Until then, decorative work is being undertaken in the Parliament building, including in corridors and part of the parliamentary offices, which will cost additional 900,000 kunas.

Translated from RTL.


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