In a recent petition drive some 600 thousand signatures were gather in support of a referendum that would return the retirement age to 65 from 67.
Deputy Prime Minister and Construction and Spatial Planning Minister Predrag Štromar told reporters today that government's pension reforms will be implemented regardless of a possible referendum on the issue. He emphasized that the citizens who have signed the petition calling for a referendum against some of the reforms need to be heard, but added that dialogue is preferable to wasting budgetary funds on a referendum.
"I don't think there should be a referendum, I think we should sit down and discuss the four issues that prompted the petition drive, that we amend the law and that we save roughly 100 million Kuna and build ten nursery's or 100 subsidized apartments for rent, that we simply skip the referendum," Minister Štromar said.
Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić had this to say about his colleague's comments. "Referendums are a democratic right. I have continually emphasized that government respects the unions and dialogue with them. It is up to them now to submit the signatures they have gathered. The rest of the process is in parliament's hands now."