Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Malenica: New Law Will Introduce Equal Pay for Equal Work

ZAGREB, 7 June 2022 - Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica said on Tuesday that he empathized with judicial staff who protested across Croatia over low salaries and announced the adoption of a new law to introduce an equal pay for equal work model.

"I am aware that some of the staff have low salaries and I can understand their dissatisfaction. However, this issue must be addressed comprehensively through the new law on wages. That law is part of the activities we are implementing through the National Recovery and Resilience Program (NPOO). We have about HRK 51 million under the NPOO to improve the system," Malenica said.

He added that the ministry was currently analyzing the existing indexation system and that the new law would resolve the wage issue completely in line with the "equal work, equal pay" model.

Malenica also said that the deadline for the adoption of the new law was 30 June 2023 and that the ministry considered the unions as its partners.

Underscoring that the government had restored social dialogue, he recalled that the base pay for civil servants had been increased and that after the last increase in May, it amounted to HRK 6,286.

Other benefits were also increased, such as Christmas bonuses, holiday pay, and regular health check-ups. In addition, tax reforms have been implemented that have increased incomes for the lowest-income earners, Malenica said.

Judicial staff, mostly civil servants and clerks who are dissatisfied with their status and entitlements, protested on Tuesday outside court buildings and state attorney's offices across Croatia. 

The protest was organised by the union of state and local government employees, which pointed to the extremely difficult financial situation of employees in the judiciary and the fact that one-third of them were left out of a 9% salary increase in 2019.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Lawyer: Tuđman Would Certainly Pardon Perković and Mustač

ZAGREB, 19 April 2022 - Lawyer Anto Nobilo formally asked the Ministry of Justice and Administration on Tuesday to pardon Yugoslav-era intelligence officials Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in the murder of a political emigrant in Germany 39 years ago.

"I do not know what President Zoran Milanović will decide, but I do know that Franjo Tuđman, if he were still alive, would pardon them both and (the late defence minister) Gojko Šušak would be the first on the list of generals to sign it," Nobilo told the press.

Perković and Mustač's legal representative said he no longer had an active role in this case and that they would have to wait for a decision on a possible pardon. He said he expected the decision to be made within a reasonable period of time, "a week or two."

Nobilo said he was aware of Milanović's statement that generally he would not sign a pardon, adding that there was a possibility of an exception.

The lawyer said this case was an exception because Perković and Mustač had found themselves caught between "non-harmonised German and Croatian judicial systems."

He said they would have been sentenced to 15 years in prison had they been tried in Croatia. "When an injustice is done in legitimate proceedings, there is the institute of pardon to ensure justice in exceptional cases."

A letter of support for a pardon has been signed by retired Croatian Army generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Čermak, Ljubo Ćesić Rojs, Pavao Miljavac, Davor Domazet Lošo and Marinko Krešić, Krešić has later withdrawn his signature, as did General Krešimir Ćosić before him.

Media say that the retired generals believe Perković and Mustač deserve a pardon on account of their contribution to the defence of Croatia during the 1991-1995 Homeland War.

President Milanović's Office said they had received the request for a pardon this morning and that the President would speak to the generals, but there would be no special meeting on this matter.

Perković and Mustač were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Munich court in August 2016 for aiding and abetting in the murder of Croatian political emigrant Stjepan Đureković in Wolfratshausen, outside Munich, on 28 July 1983.

At the time relevant to the indictment, Mustač was the political chief of the State Security Service in Zagreb, while Perković headed a department dealing with political emigrants. In the spring of 1982, Mustač ordered Perković to prepare the murder of Đureković in Germany.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Campaigners Have to Collect 368,867 Signatures for Euro Referendum Petition

ZAGREB, 24 Oct, 2021 - The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration sated on Sunday that the campaigners who are against Croatia's plan to switch to the euro have to collect at least 368,867 valid signatures for their petition for the referendum initiative "Let's Preserve the Kuna".

One of the conditions for calling a referendum is that at least 10% of eligible voters sign the referendum petition, and on 24 October, the ministry established that there were 3,688,671 eligible voters in the country's electoral rolls, which means that the 10% quota is 368,867.

The organising committee for the referendum initiative on the preservation of the kuna as the sole legal tender has already announced the start of its campaign to collect signatures for the referendum petition. 

Currently, the euro (€) is the official currency of 19 out of 27 EU member countries which together constitute the Eurozone, officially called the euro area.

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