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Veterans' associations support government measures

ZAGREB, July 20 (Hina) - Representatives of war veterans' associations supported at Monday's meeting with Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor draft measures whereby the government intends to cut veterans' pensions between three and 10 per cent, depending on pension amount.

Kosor said she was satisfied with the meeting at which she received support for the enactment of measures for the next budget revision.

"Croatian veterans and their families have shown self-confidence and determination at this difficult and serious moment for Croatia," she said, adding this was encouraging and that upcoming moves could be made with greater determination.

Veterans' representatives said that, after the situation was explained to them, every veteran must be aware of the need to shoulder part of the burden, and that they believed the government's promises that it would open new fronts in employment and development in Croatia.

"As we did at the start of the Homeland War and the creation of the homeland, we are ready to give up part of our income that could help in the consolidation of the state budget and dragging Croatia out of the crisis," veterans said, stressing they believed in the government and the prime minister and that they were ready to withstand the burden of the recession.

Under the draft measures, veterans' monthly pensions of up to HRK 2,000 would not be cut, those between HRK 2,000 and 2,500 would be cut three per cent, those between HRK 2,500 and 3,000 by four per cent, those between HRK 3,000 and 3,500 by five per cent, those between HRK 3,500 and 4,000 by six per cent, those between HRK 4,000 and 4,500 by seven per cent, those between HRK 4,500 and 5,000 by eight per cent, those between HRK 5,000 and 5,500 by nine and those above HRK 5,000 would be cut by 10 per cent.

Kosor pledged the government would see to the most vulnerable groups, such as children without both parents. She said the government had not calculated how much money would be saved with the draft measures as the talks discussed the principle.

There are 64,494 beneficiaries, plus a little under 7,000 members of Bosnia's Croat Defence Council. The measures would most likely go into force on August 1.