Croatia’s trade unions want referendum on pension reform

Trade unions in Croatia are urging the government to hold a referendum on planned pension reforms, which would increase the retirement age from 65 to 67. The new law will also include a 3.6 per cent pension reduction for every year of early retirement and the trade union campaign has called for this to be reduced to 2.4 per cent.

“There must be a referendum because the will of the citizens must be respected,” said the leader of the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia, Mladen Novosel.

Early in May, trade unions collected more than 600,000 signatures to force a nationwide referendum, but parliament has so far dragged its feet over sending the request for a referendum to the country’s Constitutional Court for assessment.

“MPs entered the Croatian parliament with the will of the citizens, and if they do not want to respect it, it is our duty to invite citizens to the streets to say what they think of such a government and parliament,” Mr Novosel continued.