Unions banded together under the "67 is too long" initiative to force a referendum on returning the retirement age back to 65 from 67.
The president of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia and one of the organizers of the "67 is too long" initiative, Krešimir Sever, announced today that unions will submit to the Croatian Parliament the signatures they gathered in their petition drive to force a referendum against government pension system reforms on Thursday.
The initiative's organizing committee and heads of trade union associations will meet with Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Wednesday to present him with the more than 700,000 signatures collected during the petition drive.
Sever told reporters today that unions expect Parliament to request that all of the signatures be verified, adding that they have no concerns about the verification process, noting that they have already eliminated any questionable signatures.
Unions say they will not enter into any kind of negotiations with government or the parliamentary majority regarding the retirement age issue, but will instead insist on the holding of the referendum. Sever added that given that they have almost double the legally required minimum to force a referendum, both government and unions have no choice but to respect the will of the citizens.
Regarding earlier announcements from members of the parliamentary majority, that the referendum question could be forwarded to the Constitutional Court to have its constitutionality established, Sever said that given the public's expectations it would be wiser to simply call a referendum, but added that if this course of action is taken, he expects the court to make the right decision.