Croatian unions call for referendum on pension reforms

Three leaders of unions in Croatia are calling on the government to give citizens a referendum on planned pension reforms, which they are against.

As reported by Total Croatia News the leaders have said that if a referendum is not given they will ask the public to take to the streets to ensure that the will of 750,000 referendum petition signatories is honoured.

The news site reported that Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia leader, Mladen Novosel, told reporters outside parliament that the petition was submitted more than three months ago. However, apart from the Public Administration Ministry’s confirmation that there was enough signatures collected, there has been no word from the government on the next steps.

Despite this, the unions want parliament to set a date for the referendum by the end of this month. If the referendum question is sent to the Constitutional Court for assessment, there is a 30-day deadline and possibly another 30 days for the Court to reply to parliament, Novosel said, adding that the unions would ask the Court to reply as soon as possible.

Novosel said there would be no more negotiations or agreements on the referendum, adding that the referendum must be held because the will of the people must be honoured.

Independent Trade Unions of Croatia leader Krešimir Sever added that the referendum must be called as soon as possible, telling those in power not to force the unions into political waters as they did not want to engage in politics.

He said those in power had pushed the unions into collecting signatures for the referendum during the European Parliament election campaign.

There is still enough time to call the referendum during October so that the presidential and parliamentary elections can be held in a relaxed manner, Sever said.

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