Milijan Brkić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Dario GRZELJ/ ua

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) deputy leader Milijan Brkic has said that this party offers "concrete solutions" to issues bothering Homeland Defence War veterans and does not change its mind on this population depending on the situation as political rivals do.

"The HDZ has clearly and frequently stated that the Homeland Defence War and war veterans are the pillars of the present-day independent Croatia," Brkic said on Friday after he and a few HDZ officials held talks with representatives of war veterans.

Brkic noted that there were 14 war veterans proposed by their associations on HDZ slates (with a total of 154 candidates) for the forthcoming parliamentary election.

The war veterans' affairs minister in the outgoing government, Tomo Medved of the HDZ, said that the HDZ programme for this population put an emphasis on their health. He noted that statistics show that war veterans' life expectancy was by 20 years shorter than for the average population.

Medved also announced the establishment of a new pension insurance scheme given that the existing model separates the payment of veterans' pensions from the pension fund and creates "legal and social insecurity" for this category of recipients.

He reassured veterans that the future HDZ-led government would take special care of veterans in providing them with housing. According to him, over 13,000 requests to this effect are still being dealt with by his ministry.

"Of 500,000 Croatian war veterans, only 73,000 are beneficiaries of various entitlements and social welfare benefits," Medved said, adding that the HDZ will prepare a series of measures for unemployed war veterans not covered by the welfare allowances. "We will not present it now in greater detail, but we will show it when conditions are created for public consideration," he added.

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