Friday, 18 September 2020

Caterers in Dalmatia Announced Big Protest, Closing Their Facilities for an Hour

September 18, 2020 – Caterers in Dalmatia, namely in Split-Dalmatia County, have announced a big protest to warn of the problems they are facing during the pandemic, reports Index.hr. Next Thursday, they will close their catering facilities for an hour.

“In hope of your understanding, we would like to inform you that we will close our catering facilities as a sign of a quiet protest due to the extremely bad economic situation. Therefore, on September 24, 2020, from 11:56 am to 12:56 pm we will be with you, but we won’t be serving you,” reads the announcement.

“Namely, the global coronavirus pandemic has caused a collective global lockdown, which has resulted in the largest recorded decline in economic activities in human history. Croatia, as an integral part of the globe, has not remained immune to this global phenomenon. Economic activity in the Republic of Croatia was lower even than during the Homeland War.

Thanks to the ruling party’s hearing, the immediate collapse of the Croatian economy and the dismissals of almost 700,000 people were prevented. The adopted measures saved numerous workplaces from the beginning of the tourist season, which bought a little time, but there is no real solution,” they write.

 

caterers-in-dalmatia2.jpeg

Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

 

Many on the verge of collapse

The measures have not helped some activities which are now on the verge of collapse.

"Measures to preserve jobs saved our employees from going to the Bureau. However, they did not save businessmen, and among them those who endured the hardest blow of all - occasional passenger transport, event industry, beauty industry, tourist guides, agencies, and caterers.

To maintain the level of catering offer that our guests are used to by coming to us, we have exhausted our resources. The announced favorable loans that the state was supposed to provide to businessmen left unspoken. Access to any credit line is blocked and inevitably leads to the collapse of the sector of which we are factors. We are working today to save income for 60,000 people tomorrow,” they say.

 

Requests published

According to their survey, out of 500 caterers, 60 percent of them said they recorded a drop bigger than 50 percent. As many as 40 of caterers, as they say in a statement, will not survive until the next season.

“As many as 80 percent of employers will be forced to resort to terminating employees' contracts. These figures will certainly not change for the better in the period ahead.

To save jobs, we require:

- suspension of VAT collection until January 3, 2021

- reduction of VAT on food to 10 percent *

- liquidity loans (HAMAG)

- aid through investment loans (HBOR)

* lowering VAT on all food, including coffee, hot drinks, beer, wine, and juices," they write.

 

oQWNh0Ez.jpeg

Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

 

“Aware of the seriousness of the situation that inevitably awaits us, Dalmatian caterers have launched an action “4 to 12”, following colleagues from Istria and Kvarner and their “5 to 12”, with which we symbolically plan to indicate that the last moments for long-term and concrete changes in the economy are expiring.

It is our responsibility to tell the responsible institutions of this country that without their new steps to save the business, no one will be able to save jobs. In doing so, we are not asking for free money, but access to credit lines to preserve liquidity, investments, and permanently real taxes, to consolidate our businesses and keep our most important resource that is – people!

Please understand once again and thank you in advance. If we do not act today, these dear people who serve you risk a better fate in other parts of the world. We don’t want to allow that happen,” they say.

 

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Monday, 14 September 2020

HND Protests Against the Constitutional Court's Decision

ZAGREB, Sept 14, 2020  - HND protests against the Constitutional Court's decision not to allow reporters to attend its session discussing decisions of the national COVID-19 response team.

"The Croatian Journalist Association strongly protests against the Constitutional Court's decision which prevents media from covering its session focusing on the lawfulness of decisions made by the national COVID-19 response team on epidemiological measures during the coronavirus pandemic," the umbrella journalists' association said in a statement.

It noted that the court's decision was contrary to democratic standards, media freedoms, and the right of the public to be informed of all court decisions, notably the latest one.

Earlier in the day, the Constitutional Court decided that its session discussing the legality of measures introduced to fight the coronavirus epidemic would not be attended by media representatives.

Court secretary-general Teodor Antic said that once the court made a decision, it would issue a statement, and once its decision was published and sent to the parties that had put forward the proposal for a public debate, the court president would hold a news conference.

The HND said it did not believe the Constitutional Court's promise that all questions from the press would be answered fully and in a timely manner, noting that preventing reporters from following the court session "leaves one with a strong impression that the Constitutional Court is hiding something from reporters and the public."

"And all of that is happening in an EU country which until recently chaired the EU," the HND said.

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Sunday, 6 September 2020

Milanovic: Protest Is Democracy, Going To Care Homes Is Idiocy

ZAGREB, Sept 6, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic on Saturday commented on a protest in Zagreb against COVID restrictions, saying that protest is a democracy but that the fact that the protesters stood outside nursing homes was idiocy and disastrous.

He was responding to questions from the press on Rab island if the rally in Zagreb was a festival of democracy, as the participants claimed, and if he considered any restrictions contentious.

"From day one we have been saying that the elderly and the sick are the ones we must care for, not teenagers, my generation. To go outside retirement homes and say that corona is a child's play, which I saw they did, is a disaster... If they are protesting against masks, that's okay."

Speaking of restrictions, he said, "One should be more disciplined than usual, that's the only measure."

Asked what he would tell people who claimed that coronavirus did not exist, Milanovic said ironically that they were "very fine people."

Asked what would happen if the virus entered kindergartens and schools, he said children and youth were the least at risk. "It's time they finally go to school because this has been going on too long."

Milanovic and Slovenian President Borut Pahor were on Rab for the 77th commemoration of the liberation of inmates from the Kampor fascist concentration camp.

"The banality of evil," he said of the WWII camp. "This wasn't a typical extermination camp. This was a camp where you bring Slovenians and Croats because they crossed you for some reason, not just because they are Slovenians and Croats, and leave them to die in a year, you don't feed them. That's the banality of evil. Somebody watched that, those guards, for a year."

Asked if he and Pahor discussed bilateral topics, Milanovic said, "We talk all the time... about the situation in the region, everything that goes on around us. About the right-wing in Europe. I don't mean traditional Christian values but... I don't like the words 'anti-European policy' because that means nothing, but there is a number of leaders and politicians in Europe who see the enemy in everything."

Asked if he and Pahor talked about the reopening of borders given that Slovenia put Croatia on the red list of COVID countries, Milanovic said there was a reason why Slovenia did that.

"The number of daily cases of infections increased because almost a million foreigners arrived in Croatia in July and August so that we could make money. That's not surprising. That's the price we consciously paid both as a state and as a society, and we should finally accept that... Let's not be surprised that almost a million foreigners passed through Croatia, leaving their money here, socializing, forming crowds, and that some got infected. But that's the price of the risk we were all willing to take. Slovenia's reaction was expected, that will change."

Asked if he would ask Pahor that Slovenia apply the regional COVID model towards Croatia, like Germany, Milanovic said, "He doesn't decide on that, just as I don't in Croatia."

He said they often spoke on the phone. "The topics are political, concerning the region, the Balkans, the eastern Balkans."

Asked if he heard the appeals from the ruling HDZ, the minister of defense, the parliament speaker, and the prime minister that he should be more rational with military resources, Milanovic said he did not. "Since I'm the commander in chief, I'll decide what's more rational, if they really said that. We are being very rational."

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Brodotrogir Workers Protest Over Unpaid Wages

ZAGREB, September 4, 2020 - About 20 workers of B.T.HULL, which operates as part of the Brodotrogir group, demonstrated outside the shipyard in Trogir on Friday, demanding their wages, after which management offered that they work for Brodotrogir Cruise.

Workers told reporters they wanted to work and that if there was no work, for the shipyard to file for bankruptcy so that they would get severance packages.

After meeting with workers' representatives, Brodotrogir director Mateo Tramontana said workers did not receive the past two monthly wages, and that today they would receive compensation from the agency for the protection of workers' receivables for June and next week for July.

He said 54 workers were asked to come to work for Brodotrogir Cruise given that B.T.HULL had no work.

Unionist Sinisa Kosic said B.T.HULL workers did not have a collective agreement, that their wages were significantly slashed so they would have smaller claims in case of bankruptcy.

He said the Metalworkers Union asked that workers, about 80, receive a minimum pay of HRK 3,250 from the agency for the protection of workers' receivables and that the first amount would be paid today.

 

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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Group of Faculty of Humanities Employees and Students Hold Protest Walk

ZAGREB, July 14, 2020 - A group of employees and students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb on Tuesday marched from the faculty to Government House and handed in their petition against the Zagreb University Rector's recent decision to suspend the faculty's dean Vesna Vlahovic-Stetic.

Professor Neven Jovanovic, for whose appointment as dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences the University Senate withheld consent in April, said that they wanted to hand in the petition, which is supported by 8,000 signatures, to the government and that they demand the resignation of Rector Damir Boras, accusing him of taking the university in the wrong direction.

Jovanovic said that only the government and the prime minister could stop the attempts to stifle democracy in the university.

One of the participants in the protest walk was Tomislav Tomasevic of the We Can political platform who said that he supported the protesting students and professors. Tomasevic accused Boras of abusing the autonomy of the university since he became rector.

Protesters carried banners with messages: "No Pasaran!", or "The Faculty is Ours!" and messages promoting left-libertarianism.

Last week, Rector Boras suspended Vlahovic-Stetic and that decision caused strong reactions. Boras's decision ensued after a final ruling by the Zagreb County Court of June 26 which found Vlahovic-Stetic guilty of harassing Vice-Rector Ante Covic, thus harming the dignity of employees in the sphere of communication, social relations and quality of their professional status.

The court ruled that Professor Covic was subjected to harassment by Vlahovic-Stetic from the start of her term in office as dean in November 2017 to 15 November 2018, when his employment contract expired. Boras said in his decision that Vlahovic-Stetic had also caused financial harm to the Faculty because it now has to pay its former employee HRK 25,000 (€3,300) in damages plus HRK 11,250 (€1,500) in litigation costs.

Commenting on the case, Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak said in a Facebook post that academic cliques were destroying the system of science and education and that "the Covic-Boras axis is causing huge damage to the system" as well as that "the University must do better."

This past Thursday, students, and professors at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences staged a protest outside the faculty building against the rector's decision.

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