Saturday, 18 December 2021

Workers’ Front Activists Call for Cancellation of Vatican Agreements

ZAGREB, 18 Dec, 2021 - Activists of the Workers' Front party on Saturday addressed reporters outside the Sisak General Hospital, by a newly installed sculpture representing Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, calling for the termination of agreements between Croatia and the Vatican.

The sculpture, installed outside the entrance to the new hospital block in early December, was a gift to the hospital by the Sisak Diocese.

Workers' Front activist David Bilić said the sculpture "is a tasteless expression of the wealth of the Catholic Church outside an earthquake-damaged hospital that has still not been reconstructed."

"The Workers' Front believes too much money is set aside for the Roman Catholic Church in Croatia, as a result of the Vatican agreements, signed on this day 25 years ago," Bilić said, adding that the party believed the Vatican agreements should be cancelled.

He said that the situation in society had changed due to the economic crisis that was even more felt in the earthquake-struck Sisak-Moslavina County.

The coronavirus pandemic is making the situation worse, not to speak of earthquake damage, while work on removing it is not starting, he said.

"Some will say that the Catholic Church justifies the donations through its charity work," Bilić said, noting that 11% of that money is used for charity work.

"The rest is used for other needs of the Church, which can secure quite a sufficient amount of money for its financing from alms and Vatican sources," Bilić said, with RF activists calling for the reconstruction of the earthquake-hit county to begin as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

MP, Unionist Say Orljava Company Needs Greater Support From Government

ZAGREB, 18 Aug 2021 - The sole MP of the Workers' Front Katarina Peović and leader of the Novi Sindikat trade union, Mario Iveković, warned on Wednesday of the difficult situation at the Orljava textile company, underscoring that the government should give more substantial support to that government-owned factory.

Warning that on 22 July, most of the remaining 172 workers were laid off, Peović told a press conference that in the current situation, the responsibility lay entirely with the government, which is the 100% owner of the Požega-based Orljava textile company.

"It is unacceptable that the government failed to react when workers hadn't received a salary for three months until a protest rally was staged in St Mark's Square on 30 June," she said.

It didn't react, she warned, even when trade unions tried to speed up the resolution of the problem and enter into communication with the government, and now the ruling party seems to be on holiday and is not getting involved in the bankruptcy proceedings initiated to maintain production.

She recalled that both Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Physical Planning and State Assets Minister Darko Horvat had been promising that the bankruptcy proceeding would be initiated primarily to maintain production.

Peović said that the Workers' Front had sent questions to Prime Minister Plenković and Minister Horvat about the situation in the Orljava company but hadn't received answers.

According to her, problems at the Orljava company started when German company Olymp, with which Orljava had had long-standing cooperation, reduced orders and then terminated them.

Also, the Olymp company wanted to know about the government's long-term plans for Orljava but received no answers, she said.

Peović also said that if Orljava's management had not been doing its job, Minister Horvat was directly responsible for that and should have replaced it.

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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.

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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Party: Minister Lying About Severance Packages for Sisak Refinery Workers Being High

ZAGREB, September 20, 2020 - The Workers Front said on Sunday that Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Coric was lying about the severance packages for Sisak Oil Refinery workers being 60% above the average severance package, calling on workers to organise a protest outside government offices in Zagreb.

"The workers have sent us a document which shows the amount of the severance packages offered to workers with the status of Homeland War veterans, while severance packages for workers without that status have long been reduced to a maximum 18 wages," the party said.

Many redundant workers have underage children, some have children who are ill, many of them have taken housing loans, and many have fallen ill while working in the refinery, the party said, adding that there are plans to cut those workers' severance packages by 30% to 60%.

The Sisak Oil Refinery is part of the INA oil company, which is owned jointly by the Croatian state and MOL.

The Croatian government and MOL want to get rid of 250 workers and pay practically nothing so that the company's management could earn from that huge amounts that are treated as a business secret, the party said.

It recalled that nine years ago, redundant workers of INA, which at the time was one of the biggest debtors in the country, had been given higher severance packages than Sisak Oil Refinery workers were expected to get now.

In 2018 INA paid into the state budget HRK 560 million in dividends alone, and in 2019 it paid HRK 279.2 million, the party said, recalling that a war veterans' association planned to hold a meeting and a vote on the issue of severance packages in Sisak on Monday.


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