FEBRUARY 3 2012 21:13h
When we start to count the budget money which has, by various basics of privileges, ‘’flew on’’ the account of the new minister of administration Arsen Bauk during his 4 years long parliamentary mandate, he managed to save up almost a million HRK with this money. It makes a regular little Croat to squeeze his teeth not to swear out loud. The regular man cannot save money since his account is always in red, but who cares, since he isn’t a MP. But many people must have said something out loud and without a control when they have read that the minister, along with a paycheck of almost 18 000 HRK, has an apartment ensured by the state, paid operating expenses, paid travel costs and when the minister was a MP he had received even 42 835 HRK of atonements for separated living. Since his parents live in Pucisce on the island of Brac, where he was born, a cynical mind of that regular little Croat correctly concluded that he pays taxes even for a time this MP got separated from his mother breasts. And that’s how the SDP member Bauk became bugaboo in this country robbed under a HDZ’s authority.
But this story is not entirely about Bauk. This story is also about Frano, Bozidar, Tomislav, Damir, Ingrid, Ana, Zeljka, Nevenka, Ruza.... About every person who arrives to the parliamentary sessions from other parts of Croatia. Every mentioned and unmentioned person was or became on this December’s election - Arsen Bauk. Every one of them get additional material benefits along with parliamentary wage, which make their hard and rough life in high politics (which they spent separated from their families) more durable. The only thing is that those married ones got separated from their marriage partners and children, unlike Bauk who, as it seems so, got separated from his mum and dad. The separation from their families has been paid to every single one of them, no matter if some of them actually spend more time in Zagreb than at the place of their real residence. As a matter of fact I guess that even this very Bauk didn’t spent more time with his mum and dad in Pucisce during the Parliament sessions than he spent with his wife who lives in Zagreb?
However, that isn’t a mistake, everything is according to law. But this doesn’t mean it stinks less. Not on a thievery, since none of the parliamentary members, even Bauk, didn’t steal a dime when receiving atonements that were guaranteed to them by law. But it stinks on complete lack of feelings for social context in which people elected those politicians so they could represent them. The problem isn’t the people, but the system of material rights which in some wealthier country wouldn’t be so eye-catching, but in Croatia, with its army of unemployed people and pensioners who dig garbage cans and dread from a future announcements of the minister of environment and nature protection about abolishing 0.5 HRK fee on plastic and glass bottles and tin cans, as this fees are like rubbing salt in an open wound.
The minister Bauk says that generous and various atonements which MPs receive are not benefits and that the only thing that could be named as a benefit is a parliamentary pension which was abolished. From his angle of view, the situation seems that way. However, does it seem like it from a perspective of some old man who collects wasted cans of bear in order to buy some chicken leftovers for Sunday’s lunch or pay an electricity bill? The minister is smart enough to know the answer for that question.
Yes, the parliamentary pensions were a huge benefit and it is a good thing they are abolished. However, this abolishment isn’t the only thing that is supposed to be done. The state officials are supposed to experience the reality frames which come out of economic strength of Croatian society, since the reality is that the state budget stands as a milking cow which gives milk until its udder doesn’t start to pour blood instead of milk. And if the society is weak, those things cannot be so ignorant in the consciousness, as the people turn out from a MP to a bloodsucker. The abolishment of privileged pensions is a political plus of a new Government, but it is interesting how every person in the Parliament kept quiet when don Ivan Grubisic proposed that the MP’s salary should have been reduced on two average Croatian paychecks due to a hard economic shape of the state. They must have been thinking ‘’Yeah right!’’ while they were pretending they didn’t hear don Grubisic’s words. They are not ‘’stupido’’. They can give up privileged pensions, but cutting off salaries would take away 1000 euro per month and reduce a base for a future pension - it would be too much of a victim in fight for righteousness!
Arsen Bauk is also interesting at this very moment because the story about his thrift confirms a legend about ‘’thrifty’’ people from Brac who were, let’s say, feeding a crocodile during history so they turned it into a lizard. But the story about Bauk, his savings and paid separation from his parents is a multifaceted story. As much it speaks about the man that much it tells a story about the Croatian politics. That story answers a question why Croatian politics are desirable and at the same time the most hated profession. It is desirable since in politics you can gain the highest personal profit. Who wouldn’t want the job where you can sit, talk, travel and earn 18 000 HRK plus many other atonements? It is also hated for the same reason. Who wants to pay 18 000 HRK plus many other atonements to someone who only sits, talks and travels? Sit, talk and travel, separate from your parents if you want but, man, do it on your own!