JULY 23 2009 12:41h
Unions have said workers will not be the only victims, they are seeking a statement of intention and are threatening with early elections.
ZAGREB, CROATIA – Unions of public services employees did not provide support to the Croatian government which has lead the country into the current crisis, but they did accept a decision on introducing a ‘crisis tax’ of three percent and VAT of 23 percent as being the most rational decision in the current situation, unionist Vilim Ribic said at today’s news conference of the Union of Science and Higher Education, the Union of High School Employees and the Nurses’ Union. Ribic stressed that the government on Monday told the unions that the budgetary deficit of 11 billion kuna has to be resolved by urgently filling a hole of six billion and that the deficit be reduced to a bearable five billion kuna. The proposal the government offered would mean for public and state servants that they would get 16 percent less salaries in 2009, which the unions could not accept.
The unions did not provide support to the government’s policy and if the government does not implement what has been agreed in the past three days, the unions are going to prepare a very hot autumn for it. The unions are asking that the government issues in written form a statement on intentions by which it will commit itself to do what they announced as additional measures with the introduction of the crisis tax and increased VAT.
The government’s statement of intention should include: the introduction of property tax, a three percent increase in profit tax, the introduction of tax on the payment of dividends and capital gain, rescinding non-refundable government subsidies, a decrease of subsidies in agriculture, giving up on the construction of the Peljesac Bridge, decreasing contributions to the Church, reducing contributions for Bosnia-Herzegovina, equalising salaries in state and local administration, decreasing the number of municipalities and towns, implementing reform in state administration and public companies, a list of measures the government has already announced and the deadline by which the situation regarding salaries in state-run companies should be solved, privileged and Homeland War soldiers’ pensions, the list of all saving measures so far in every ministry and combating corruption in state-run companies and public procurement.
- If the government does not issue this statement and if it does not fulfil its promises, the unions will organise protests in the autumn. We will take to the streets with other unions and we will demand early elections – Vilim Ribic threatened Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, letting her know that this is the unions’ last chance offer.