Tuesday, 5 April 2022

EU Still Without Agreement on Taxation of Multinationals, Croatian FinMin Says

ZAGREB, 5 April 2022 - Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Tuesday that EU member states had again failed to agree on a minimum taxation of multinational companies and that one or more attempts would be necessary to reach an agreement.

He was speaking in Luxembourg, where he attended a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.

Croatia has been very constructive from the start and for a good compromise that would mean faster and more efficient implementation, as recommended by the OECD, Marić said. "We hope that we will reach an agreement in the next meetings."

He said today's debate focused on the situation in Ukraine, the enforcement of the sanctions against Russia and an upcoming debate on potentially new sanctions.

Also discussed were refugees, how to provide for them and make it easier for the countries which are more exposed to their influx.

Marić said Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko addressed the meeting via video, conveying the latest news about the situation in his country

Marić said there were many parallels to Croatia's 1991-95 Homeland War due to the daily human losses, destruction and extensive material damage as well as the stoppage of production and fall of revenues and GDP.

He said the ministers also talked about energy prices and that they were agreed that it is necessary to do everything to reduce the dependence on Russian energy.

The last topic of the meeting was the new financial structure of the EU's key financial institutions, primarily the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Marić said certain steps forward had been made on that front but that it is necessary to work more to affirm those institutions and, more importantly, the EU's role, not just in the EU but globally.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Croatian, Slovenian Unions of Migrant Workers Sign Agreement

ZAGREB, 26 Feb 2022 - Ana Horvat was elected president of the Croatian union of migrant workers in Varaždin on Saturday and the union also signed an agreement with the Slovenian union of migrant workers.

Horvat replaced Franjo Lazar, who tendered an irrevocable resignation, telling the press that one of the reasons was his failure to solve one of the biggest problems of Croatian migrant workers, double taxation.

He said the union sent nine proposals to the Finance Ministry a month ago but "received no reply, yet we proposed how to solve that more easily, less painfully."

Lazar said the union was established to keep young families in Croatia. People will emigrate from border counties, notably in northwestern Croatia, as well as from Istria, if double taxation continues, he added.

He said "every county interprets the double taxation agreement differently."

Asked if the government's incentive of HRK 200,000 could motivate Croatians working abroad to return to Croatia, Lazar said it could not and that in Austria they could make that in net pay in ten months.

The union's new president said Slovenians working abroad had similar problems and that this was why an agreement was signed with their union.

"They have managed to solve parts of that. We are continuing, we are not giving up and are working to achieve the best conditions possible for the people who work abroad," said Horvat.

The Slovenian union was established in 2016, its president Mario Fekonja said, adding that by working together the two unions will be able to show Europe the extent of their problems more easily.

"One of the fundamental postulates of the European Union is the free flow of labour and capital, which the financial administrations of Slovenia and Croatia, with their behaviour, deny us," he said, adding that both "operate illegally and arbitrarily."

Our priority is for all tax offices at national level to act equally and in line with the law, Fekonja said.