Thursday, 28 April 2022

Parliamentary Committees Support Piletić As New Labour Minister

ZAGREB, 28 April 2022 - Three parliamentary committees on Thursday supported by majority vote Marin Piletić as the new minister of labour, pension system, family and social policy.

At a joint session of the family, youth and sport committee, the labour, pension system and social partnership committee, and the health and social welfare committee, Piletić said the priorities included the government's strategic plan goals, 100,000 new jobs by 2024, a 70% employment rate, unemployment below 5% and youth unemployment below 10%.

The goals include an average net salary of HRK 7,600, a minimum wage of HRK 4,250, 10% higher pensions, increasing the minimum guaranteed allowance to HRK 1,500 as well as accommodation capacity for older people.

"There is enough time until the end of the term to achieve that," he said.

Presenting Piletić to the committees at the start of the session, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković dismissed claims that many people refused the position of minister. "If you find someone I asked to be in Marin's place before I asked him, I'll resign at once."

The committees' opposition members asked Piletić about solving problems in social welfare, providing for older people, pension funds, fostering, and pension indexation.

"It would be totally irresponsible to promise higher pensions as of Monday or by the end of the year," he told Sabina Glasovac of the Social Democratic Party about indexing pensions with real price rises, adding that it is necessary to discuss the possibilities with the minister of finance.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

20 Contracts Worth €6m Awarded for Education of Preschool Staff

ZAGREB, 3 Feb 2022 - Twenty contracts on the education of 368 various professionals in preschool education were awarded on Thursday by Labour Minister Josip Aladrović and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs.

The project, worth 45 million kuna (€6 million), is funded from the European Union's funds and is aimed at the education of various professionals in the educational system, who will care for 1,537 children.

Minister Aladrović said that this was only a fragment of all investments in the educational system.

He added that the project also connected three priorities of the EU Social Fund. For instance, it will produce a positive impact on employment, then it will enable women to get jobs and also enable children of preschool age in educational programmes.

Minister Fuchs said that the target is to have at least 90% of all preschool children in the whole of Croatia included in preschool educational programmes by 2026.

Fuchs said that approximately 40 municipalities were still without kindergartens, and investments worth 1.6 billion kuna (€213 million) would change the situation for the better.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Aladrović: There Is No Rational Reason to Reject Testing

ZAGREB, 15 Nov 2021 - Minister of Labour and Pension System Josip Aladrović on Monday said that there is no rational reason to reject being tested for coronavirus, underscoring that employers would decide on the fate of those who refused to be tested.

"We can try and have understanding, for a certain period of time, for people who do not wish to get vaccinated. However, there is no rational reason to reject testing and I think that we all need to show responsibility here," Aladrović told reporters.

Speaking ahead of the introduction of COVID certificates in all state and public service facilities on Tuesday, Aladrović underscored that the healthcare and welfare sectors, where COVID certificates were introduced in October, had demonstrated a high level of responsibility, adding that he did not believe other systems could encounter any major problems for introducing the certificates either.

Asked what will happen to employees who refuse to be tested, Aladrović underscored that their employers would be the ones to decide.

"The related lay-offs so far have been at the level of statistical errors. I expect a vast majority of employees will be responsible, however, employers will be the ones to decide in cases of non-compliance," he said and added that this was in line with the law.

Commenting on ongoing protests against COVID certificates, he said that they were exclusively politically motivated. "It is really difficult to find any rational reason for the protests," the minister said, adding that he expected them to wane at one point.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Aladrovic: Closing Shopping Malls Not an Option

ZAGREB, Dec 7, 2020 - Labour  Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Monday that closing shopping malls was not an option at the moment.

"At the moment, closing shopping malls is certainly not an option and I personally believe that it will not be an option. We can consider some possible additional anti-epidemic requirements for shopping malls in order to reduce the potential spread of the epidemic but closing shopping malls as such is not on the cards at the moment," Aladrovic said responding to reporters ahead of a government meeting when asked if there were any projections of the burden to the budget, if, for example, malls were closed.

With regard to estimated consumption, Aladrovic said that in the first few days of December consumption was almost identical to last year's. We do not expect any significant deviation in that most important segment in this pre-Christmas and Christmas period, he said.

The head of the national coronavirus response team, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, said on Monday that new rules for retail shops were expected in the coming days.

He said that talks were under way with retailers on imposing additional restrictions on the number of customers allowed in a shop at any given time. He added that he did not expect this number to be limited to one person per 10 square metres.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Aladrovic: European Funds to be Used to Finance Jobkeeping Measures

ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 - Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic said on Thursday that the plan is for jobkeeping measures, which will continue for the next four months, to be primarily financed from European funds.

"About HRK 800 million is foreseen for the measures we adopted today for the next four months without shortening the working week. Our forecast indicates that that is about HRK 200 million a month, which is enough for 60 to 70,000 workers. We will see what the future will bring in the next four months. The main source of financing will primarily be European funds," Aladrovic said after a cabinet meeting while responding to questions from the press after Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that support to the economy amid the coronavirus crisis would continue including jobkeeping measures and ensuring liquidity and Covid loans.

Aladrovic said that advance payments would be made from the state budget, adding that funds agreed over the past month at the EU level were available and that a portion of the €10 billion can be used at the moment to finance this.

"We actually plan to cover the cost of financing the measures for the next four months entirely from European funds," said Aladrovic.

He noted that the measures can be financed from current liquid funds but that it is important to know the source of funding. "The source of funding is vital and not current liquidity. At the moment, current liquidity is not in question as far as the budget is concerned but the matter at hand is the source itself. It is important that the source of funding is not tied to our internal capacities in the budget but that we transfer as much as possible to EU funds, which naturally is direct support to our economy," he explained.


Coric: Measures to date have certainly brought results

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric believes that the jobkeeping measures implemented over the past few months have definitely produced results.

He said that currently there are about 150,000 people unemployed in Croatia. Despite the fact that the majority of European and global economies recorded a fall in activities and were hit by a huge increase in unemployment, that did not occur in Croatia.

"We believe that this successful measure needs to continue. The fact that we have planned for it to continue until December, that is over the next four months, is aimed at anchoring the expectations of businesses and the real sector and that is precisely the direction we want to go in," said Coric.

He added that several portfolios would for that entire time monitor the effects of these measures on the economy and in that way take possible decisions if needed for additional measures to support the economy.

Coric underscored that in addition to the jobkeeping measures, credit lines would continually be available to settle liquidity, primarily through the SMEs agency Hamag-Bicro and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR).

For that reason more than HRK 1 billion has been allocated to Hamag-Bicro to continue providing loans to the business sector, recalled Coric.

Asked whether in addition to writing off wage contributions, taxes too could be written off, which was one of the measures that had been in force, Coric said that that measure had been planned to apply for several months prior to the summer. Such a decision has not been made for the time being and if and when that will be, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric will inform the public.

Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that she was exceptionally pleased that the measure would ensure the survival of the tourism sector until the end of the year and that further plans could be made, with everything that awaits us with the new Multiannual Financial  Framework, which is extremely important for the tourism portfolio.


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