Association of Croatian Trade Unions, matica hrvatskih sindikata.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

The Association of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (SSSH) and Independent Croatian Unions (NHS) on Thursday objected to announced reforms to the pension and health systems, stating that they would fight against the measures that the government has announced in a letter to the European Union.

The union federations consider it to be unacceptable and unnecessary to shorten the period of adjusting the age of men and women being eligible for an old-age pension, to increase the age of eligibility for an old-age pension from 65 to 67 and for an early retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

"In the conditions in society which will not change for many years yet, shortening the transition period (difference between men and women) is absolutely unacceptable particularly since the situation and role of women in Croatian society is well known. It is a fact that in Croatia life expectancy is lower than in the European Union (EU) and that the youth unemployment rate is twice the EU average. The end result of these measures will mean 'straight from work to the cemetery' and young people will not be able to find work because their grandparents will still be in these jobs," the unions said in a press release.

They consider reforms to the health system to be unacceptable too, because in the situation of poverty that exists in Croatia society and price rise in participation in health insurance or supplementary health insurance is an unbearable burden for most citizens.

When it comes to welfare benefits and the introduction of an assets and/or income census, the unions said that they cannot support this without any insight because there is still so much that is unclear in all this.

The unions warn that it is clear the Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has already obliged himself to some restrictive measures in his letter to the EU even before launching talks with social partners.

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