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Croatians protest over government plan to raise retirement age

Baku, October 22, AZERTAC

Several thousand people protested in Croatia’s capital on Saturday over government plans to raise the retirement age to 67 and cut pensions for those who retire early, according to Reuters.

This week the government asked parliament to pass legislation lifting the retirement age of 65 from 2033 onwards, defending the reform as a step in efforts to make the pension system sustainable.

The bill also includes a proposal to cut the pensions of people who stop working before reaching retirement age by about four percent per year.

Workers representing metal industry employees, nurses and other professions took turns to address the rally, saying they cannot work until the age of 67.

Trade union leaders say the new law would particularly hurt older employees, who are often under pressure to retire earlier for health reasons or because the employers want to get rid of older staff. They have also pointed out that Croatians have a shorter life expectancy than people in many other European Union countries.

For a referendum to take place, supporters of the ballot must collect the signatures of 10 percent of the electorate, equivalent to roughly 375,000 people.

Economic analysts and researchers say Croatia cannot make its pension system sustainable in the long term without increasing the retirement age.

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