Croatia: Trade Unions have enough support for referendum on retirement age

15 May 2019 05:59


First result of the union campaign “67 is too Much”!

14 May 2019: Croatia's trade unions, including BWI affiliates, have gathered enough signatures to force a referendum aimed at reducing the country's retirement age to 65 from the current 67 years of age.

In December 2018 the Croatian parliament approved the government's proposal to raise the retirement age to 67 and to reduce pensions for people who retire early. Under the new law there should be a 3.6 percent pension reduction for each year of an earlier retirement.

“Like many other European countries Croatia has an ageing population, but life expectancy in Croatia is shorter and many workers cannot work until 67 for health reasons,” said Jasenka Vuksic, president of Construction workers union of Croatia (SGH). She continued, “It is because of this, we demand to reduce the pension age to 65 years and cut pension reduction for earlier retirement to 2.4 percent.”

Trade unions launched the “67 is Too Much” campaign on 27 April with the objective of collecting sufficient number of signatures to call a national referendum on the change in the pension system. The number of signatures needed was at least 10 percent of all the voters or 373,568 people. The Croatian trade unions confirmed today that they had collected more than 600,000 signatures in the two weeks of their campaign, which ended at midnight on 11 May 2019. The Croatian public authorities will now have to verify the figure and if confirmed the parliament will have to call a referendum.

"This is an example of how people in Croatia can raise their voice. In upcoming weeks, we expect anti-referendum propaganda from different sides, but we believe that the strong commitment of Croatian citizens to fight for better future will make a change," concluded Jasenka Vuksic, SGH president.