Thursday, 5 May 2022

MP Katarina Peovic Says Minimum Croatian Wage Should be 10,000 Kuna

May the 5th, 2022 - MP Katarina Peovic believes that in order to comfortable cover all costs of living, from rent to loan repayments to food, utility bills and everything else that might come up from month to month, the minimum Croatian wage should be 10,000 kuna per month.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Workers' Front MP Katarina Peovic was a guest in the Newsroom on N1 television recently, where she commented on the changes made to the Labour Law.

"It started all being talked about because at the beginning of the pandemic, the Government wanted to suspend a good part of the Labour Law. Various unions from across Europe reacted to that, so Plenkovic instead decided to do it step by step and Minister Aladrovic was given the task of coming up with a new Labour Law which would include suspensions under the justification of regulating work from home,'' said MP Katarina Peovic, adding:

"This has been being done in secret and in non-transparent conditions for a year and a half now. What comes out of it isn't good - to have more flexibility in terms of working hours, the workplace, but to the detriment of the employees themselves. It's criminal that we received the draft law without the Government ever having made it public. I'll state without hesitation what we've seen. If an employee is unable to meet something introduced in the draft (such as having to deal with unpredictable working hours), then they will be allowed to switch to part-time work, especially if they're in a situation like needing to care for a child, an elderly person or someone who isn't well,'' Peovic said.

"We suggest shortening the working week down from 40 to 35 working hours"

Asked what the most important emphases we can take from this are, and what the changes that will bring better conditions for workers about are, MP Katarina Peovic said: "First, the most important thing is to arrange the institute of temporary work. We were the first in all of Europe in terms of having rather precarious and non-standard employment contracts, now we're in second place. This is a plague in this country, about 21% of people are working on fixed-term contracts. We've proposed that the three-year limit be reduced to one year. Secondly, we propose shortening the working week from 40 down to 35 working hours. Croats work more than the European average, around 10 hours more than the Dutch do per week.

"The definition of a basic salary is important. Workers working for minimum wage work overtime and even on Sundays in order to reach the minimum wage, which is completely unacceptable," she added.

"Our average salary is at the level of the Slovenian minimum"

She pointed out that she often agrees with the ruling party when it comes to detecting the problem, but not when it comes to proposing a proper and working solution: "If there is one topic that should connect the left-leaning parties, then it's the topic of work. We've been following Croatia's race to the absolute bottom for decades. We have over 800,000 able-bodied people who are unemployed. We're a country that has no solution for almost a million able-bodied people. Such a country cannot prosper. We cannot reduce ourselves to tourism alone. Our average salary is at the Slovenian minimum level, and our cost of living is no higher than that of Slovenia.''

MP Katarina Peovic also revealed what the Croatian minimum wage according to the research should be:

"The new union conducted an in-depth research and stated that the minimum wage that could cover all living expenses should be over 10 thousand kuna."

For more, make sure to check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

MPs Talk Former Minister Horvat's Arrest

ZAGREB, 23 Feb 2022 - Some opposition MPs on Wednesday commented on the arrest of former minister Darko Horvat on suspicion of abuse of office, and the case of allocating incentives in a non-transparent fashion.

Katarina Peović of the Workers' Front said the ruling HDZ party "is the third natural disaster, after the pandemic and the earthquakes," that had hit Croatia.

She said that in 2018, when Horvat served as economy minister, he was texting with his aide on the allocation of incentives to small businesses in a non-transparent fashion, while the Uljanik shipyard was in agony.

"The only thing Uljanik needed to maintain production and keep jobs was a HRK 150,000 state guarantee, but there was neither the need nor the will for that, while money was being given to small businesses without criteria", Peović said, adding that the collapse of Uljanik, Brodotrogir and Orljava is much more dangerous than what Horvat is being accused of.

"Taking the state attorney general to task is the twilight of every reasonable democracy and law-based state, that's a violation of constitutional principles," Željko Sačić of the Sovereignists said about the prime minister's statements on Saturday following Horvat's arrest.

He called on state attorneys to do their job to the maximum. "You are the only possibility we have of saving Croatia", he added.

State Attorney General "Zlata Hrvoj Šipek has sent the prime minister the clear message that his ministers are corrupt, that they are stealing from the state budget," said Milan Vrkljan of For a Just Croatia, criticising the prime minister for calling out Hrvoj Šipek for the timing of Horvat's arrest and for demanding stronger evidence.

"The State Attorney's Office has knocked on Horvat's door, two other ministers are being mentioned, and what they all have in common is that they are not competent and the procedure of their selection is unclear", Vrljkan said, especially criticising Labour Minister Josip Aladrović.

"He's a lazybones doing his job by belittling, without social intelligence," he said, calling on the prime minister to remove such ministers.

Speaker Gordan Jandroković said it was unfair to talk about someone who could not defend himself.

Branko Bačić of the ruling HDZ said Vrkljan should not preach morality given that "the public knows" the epilogue of his trial, evidently referring to a trial in which Vrkljan and a hospital colleague were accused of bribe-taking, but the indictments were dismissed due to the statute of limitations.

Parliament today added eight items to the agenda, including two opposition motions for its dissolution.         

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.                                                     

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Parliamentary Majority Rejects Workers' Front Bill on Digital Services Tax

ZAGREB, 5 May, 2021 - The parliamentary majority on Wednesday rejected a bill by MP Katarina Peović of the Workers' Front party proposing the introduction of a tax on digital services, saying that Croatia advocated a global solution rather than unilateral measures.

"The government has from the start advocated a global solution because it believes that unilateral measures cause distortion in the EU market and disrupt competition, which is why it did not launch an initiative to tax digital services," Finance Ministry State Secretary Zdravko Zrinušić said.

The deadline for an international consensus on the matter was moved because of the coronavirus pandemic to the middle of this year, he said.

"One should propose a balanced and stimulating tax policy rather than a restrictive one that would reduce Croatia's competitiveness," said Darko Klasić of the HSLS/Reformists caucus during a debate on the bill.

The purpose of the bill is not to tax small and development-oriented digital companies, but only technological giants whose revenue, from the global perspective, exceeds HRK 5.6 billion and who have not suffered any damage due to the coronavirus crisis but have seen an increase in revenue, Peović said while presenting the bill.

She said that several EU countries had introduced such a law and that her party was proposing the same for Croatia.

"The basic purpose of the tax would be to ensure additional budget revenue, which would be used to develop telecommunications infrastructure in Croatia, because we know that the internet here is among the slowest in the EU," said Peović.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Peovic Says Walk For Life Against Reproductive Rights, Equality And Solidarity

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - Katarina Peovic, who heads the slate of the political platform We Can! in Constituency No. 8, said in Rijeka on Saturday that the Walk for Life held in that city today was a walk against reproductive rights, women's equality and against solidarity and social justice.

Peovic made the statement at a news conference held before the start of the Walk for Life in Rijeka.

"All walks in Croatia have been cancelled due to the epidemiological situation, yet the Walk for Life is being held in Rijeka. It seems they want to infect Rijeka, but they won't succeed. The red Rijeka has always been a city of solidarity, equality, equity. It has always supported women's rights, accessible and free abortion, equal pay for women and men, higher wages, and policies advocating workers' and women's rights," Peovic said, among other things.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Presidential Candidate Katarina Peović Calls for Termination of Vatican Agreements

ZAGREB, December 18, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the Workers' Front and Socialist Workers' Party, Katarina Peović, on Wednesday called for termination of the Vatican agreements saying that they are in gross violation of Croatia's secularity.

She said that over 1 billion kuna (135 million euro) was allocated from the budget to the Catholic Church annually, while the government was claiming there was no money to increase nurses' wages.

"That amount is much higher than 1 billion kuna because there are also non-transparent allocations by local government. For example, Mayor Milan Bandić has set aside 500,000 kuna (67,500 euro) from the City of Zagreb budget to move a cross a few metres away at the Hipodrom (horse racing venue)," Peović told a press conference outside the Croatian Bishops' Conference building.

Peović said that the Vatican agreements had been signed without public consultation, which is against basic democratic standards. She said that terminating these agreements would not be easy, but that Croatia should start running a sovereign and autonomous policy for the benefit of the state, the national economy and the people.

"The actual amounts being allocated to the Church can only be speculated about because the Church does not submit any financial reports," Peović said.

More news about Katarina Peović can be found in the Politics section.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Presidential Candidate Peović Supported by Slovenian, European Left Parties

ZAGREB, December 17, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the Workers' Front, Katarina Peović, has received support from the Slovenian parliamentary party the Left and a vice-president of the Party of the European Left, Parolo Ferrero, the Workers' Front said on Tuesday.

Deputies of the Slovenian Left, which has nine seats in the national parliament and advocates democratic eco-Socialism, expressed their support via a video in which they stressed that "time has come for a new system in which everyone will profit, not just a chosen few."

"Parolo Ferrero, vice-president of the Party of the European Left, which has 24 member-parties, has also expressed support for the only candidate of the Left in (Croatia's) coming elections," the Workers' Front says in a statement.

In his letter of support, Ferrero expressed confidence that Peović could strengthen the status of all workers in Croatia as well as help build an alternative system that was not based on exploitation and corruption.

The Workers' Front a non-parliamentary party, also says that the support Peović has received is a significant contribution in the strengthening of the Croatian and European anti-capitalist left.

More news about Katarina Peović can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Presidential Candidate Peović Advocates Democratic Socialism Against Free Market

ZAGREB, December 14, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the Workers' Front and the Socialist Workers' Party (SRP), Katarina Peović, said during a walkabout in the northern Adriatic city of Pula on Saturday that the needs of all people could be satisfied only by the 21st century democratic Socialism.

"During the ongoing election campaign, all the other presidential candidates have given a more or less similar statement that it only takes to stamp out and eradicate corruption and let the free market operate," Peović said, stressing that unlike other candidates, she believed that the free market was a big problem.

The Workers' Front and Peović believe that after 30 years the concept of free market should be re-examined and that solutions should be offered that would improve the status of Croatians as workers and human beings.

"Ask residents of Pula what they think about the free market in the context of developments with the (ailing) Uljanik shipyard," she said.

Commenting on a decision by the High Misdemeanour Court that singer Marko Perković Thompson's salute "For the homeland ready" at the start of his song "Bojna Čavoglave" (The Čavoglave Battalion) does not constitute unlawful conduct, Peović said that the salute, used by the authorities of the World War II Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia, should definitely be outlawed because "it was used for criminal purposes."

"Interpretations that the salute comes from an opera or the like are fabrications. 'For the homeland ready' should be banned very clearly and explicitly," she said.

More news about presidential elections can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Presidential Candidate Peović Says Croatia Needs Radical Change

ZAGREB, November 30, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the Workers' Front party and the Socialist Workers' Party, Katarina Peović, said in Rijeka on Saturday Croatia needed a radical change, that it was going in the wrong direction and that the ongoing teachers' strike confirmed that a majority of people thought so too.

Asked by the press about the strike, Peović said it had shown long ago that it was no longer just about a 6.11% rise of teachers' job complexity index and that this was a rebellion against the incumbent government and the direction the country had been going for the past 30 years.

The most important thing is "that all parents, teachers and all unions and workers in other sectors have united in this protest," she added.

"We have been watching for years the inflammatory policies of this government, which has been dividing workers and turning them against each other. In this strike, for the first time, all workers are on the same side, the parents too are with the teachers, and the teachers are also helping the strike in Đuro Đaković, where workers have not received two wages," Peović said.

"The Uljanik (shipyard) workers, who have lost their jobs, are lending their support too, and we have seen on their example how inflammatory policies affect people and their lives. Now people in Croatia are showing that they've had enough," she added.

More news about presidential elections can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Peović to Advocate Demilitarisation, Exit from NATO

ZAGREB, November 22, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the Workers' Front party and the Socialist Workers' Party (SRP), Katarina Peović, said on Friday that if she won the presidential election, she would be a completely different president than the HDZ's Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and would advocate demilitarisation and Croatia's exit from NATO.

"I will push for radical changes in the interest of the national majority, including protection of available and free health care and education, demilitarisation, a reduction of investments in the military, the withdrawal of Croatian troops from international military missions, and ultimately, Croatia's exit from NATO," Peović said at the launch of a campaign to collect citizens' signatures for her candidacy in downtown Zagreb.

The Workers' Front and the SRP want a better and more just society, which is what a majority of people in Croatia also want, and that means that we need radical changes, protection of education, healthcare, housing and food, she said.

"Privatisation, plunder and ownership transformation have put us in a situation in which we have to defend our basic needs. They cannot be defended within the framework in which we live today. Radical changes are necessary, which is why we have joined in these elections," Peović said, noting that her rivals advocated only cosmetic changes and keeping the country on the current course.

Even though presidential powers mostly concern protocol, Peović said that the conduct of the incumbent president bore witness to the importance of appointing to that position a person who advocates the basic needs of the majority.

Apart from Zagreb, Peović will be collecting citizens' signatures for her candidacy in Split, Pula and Rijeka as well as in Makarska, Varaždin, Samobor and Sisak.

More news about Katarina Peović can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Peović: 21st Century Democratic Socialism Increasingly Popular

ZAGREB, November 16, 2019 - The presidential candidate of the non-parliamentary Workers Front party, Katarina Peović, on Saturday pushed for 21st century democratic socialism which, she said, warned that some tenets of socialism should be taken and that this idea was increasingly popular in the world.

Speaking to reporters in Šibenik, she said this city and the coastal region of Dalmatia had been witness to "deindustrialization and touristification" for 30 years. She said that in socialism Šibenik had a developed industry, people had permanent jobs "and now they are all reduced to tourism."

She said tourism had raised the region and the city but that one should ask what kind of jobs it offered because "salaries are lower, people have uncertain contracts, the jobs are all highly exploitative."

Peović recalled Šibenik's "history of revolution and fighting, and the modernist project that followed, when the country was industrialised in only a couple of decades." She said that "after 30 years of devastation... it's time we asked... why the entire industry has been shut down and in whose interest it is that our people can't be anything else but maids and waiters."

She said that in highly developed European countries tourism accounted for 4-5% of GDP, whereas in Croatia that was 20% and in Šibenik 50%, "which means that a bad tourism season reduces a whole city to poverty."

She said Croatia must protect its economy and industry and "pursue an autonomous policy towards Europe, because of the agreements we have signed with the European Commission and because the free market doesn't allow us on the periphery to develop."

More news about presidential elections can be found in the Politics section.