- Published: 31.01.2024.
PM on amendments to Penal Code: This is not result of anyone's pressure
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said today that the changes in the Penal Code related to an article on leaking information from investigations are not the result of anyone's political pressure. He described the changes as the government's need to remove wrong and malicious interpretations and the thesis that this article restricts the rights of the public."This is not a result of anyone's political pressure, nor the media, nor the opposition, nor some international stakeholders, but the need of the government to remove erroneous and malicious interpretations and theses that this article restricts the right of the public to be informed about matters of public interest" , Plenković said at a government session.
He stressed that the amendments are the result of listening to experts, but also to political assessments of what they consider to be useful and good.
PM pointed out that it excludes any influence on journalists. The aim of this article, he says, is to protect the presumption of innocence, the privacy of the participants in criminal proceedings and the progress of the proceedings.
Plenković emphasised that this article prescribes what is the standard in democratic states, "where the rights of the defendant and other participants in the proceedings, including victims, are more important than sensationalism, profit and one's political ambitions."
He said that the purpose of these changes was not to restrict the right to information on matters of public interest, therefore, in addition to the amendments to the Penal Code, through amendments to the Act on the State Attorney's Office (DORH), the provisions on communication by DORH in matters of public interest will be elaborated in more detail in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Europe.
He rejected the comments and criticisms of some media opposing this article, stating that it is not a limitation but rather a harmonisation of the legal practice and European standards.
Draft decree on pay coefficients in public and state services
He also referred to a draft decree on pay coefficients in public and state services, reiterating that the government's policy is to increase wages, the basic desire is to reduce inequality, and the purpose of the decree is to help those whose wages are currently lower.
Salaries, he says, will be raised by an average of 35%, and this is an "unprecedented increase" in the public and civil service.
For those with secondary vocational education 54% is the average, for those with a post-secondary degree 43%, and for those with university education 24%. The number of defined jobs goes from a total of 1,575 to 862.