Croatia launches collection of signatures for Wage Union

On Friday, Croatia started collecting the statements of support for reducing the wage gap within the EU. The campaign launch was announced by Frano Čirko, the Croatian member of the committee for the European Citizens’ Initiative in his Zagreb press conference. The meeting was also addressed by Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi, the representative of the Citizens’ Committee for a Wage Union.

Organized by GO! - the Generation of Renewal, Jobbik’s Croatian partner, the press conference triggered an unexpectedly intensive interest from the Croatian media. Talking to the journalists of leading Croatian papers, Frano Čirko, the leader of the party formed last February by young intellectuals said that even though the rights of immigrants and other groups preferred by certain liberal politicians were very much part of the EU’s political discourse, the improvement of the living conditions for Central European people were hardly mentioned at all.

Photo: Balázs Béli,

Recalling EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger’s words that EU funds allocated to Central Europe eventually enrich the western big business companies, Mr Čirko suggested that the current cohesion policy could not be maintained and that the region’s countries must join their forces to fight for the living standards their citizens deserved.

As the representative of the Citizens’ Committee for the wage union, Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi attended the event as well. Informing the Croatian media about the recent breakthrough in Poland, where Tesco workers and several trade unions signed for  the wage union project, Mr Gyöngyösi emphasized how important trade unions and NGOs were in helping the initiative to succeed. The MP stated that fair wages were guaranteed by major international treaties, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. He added that the issue of living standards must not be the battleground for ideological conflicts so the representatives of the project expected all citizens to support the idea.

Photo: Balázs Béli,

Croatia is gravely affected by the emigration driven by the low wages, too. The country’s less developed Eastern regions become emptier day by day; the populations of certain cities have nearly been halved since Croatia’s EU accession. The situation is especially grim in such areas as Southern Baranja and Eastern Slavonia, both of which have Hungarian communities, too. To help Croatian citizens get more information on the Wage Union initiative, GO! will conduct a road trip involving major Croatian cities. 

In response to our question on his party’s future and opportunities, Mr Čirko said his organization laid great emphasis on patriotic and conservative values but they wanted to reach out to all citizens who wish to deal with real problems affecting the nation, instead of focusing on the injuries suffered in the 20th century. In Mr Čirko’s view, such real problems include the brain drain and the existing wage inequalities as well as the challenges posed by the digital era, all of which Croatia must meet adequately. It is the interest of all Croatian people, he concluded.


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