Croatia observes day of national mourning

ZAGREB, Croatia

A day of national mourning in memory of the victims of Friday’s train accident near the town of Split is being observed Monday (July 27th). The derailment killed six people and injured at least 50. All sport and cultural events scheduled for Monday are cancelled. The trade union representing Croatian train drivers called on Sunday for the resignation of the state-run railway company director, Zoran Popovac, saying he is trying to influence the internal investigation into the accident.

Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko says police are trying to determine if a fire-prevention chemical substance sprayed on the tracks could have caused the derailment. Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development Minister Bozidar Kalmeta has offered to resign over the accident but Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has not accepted the resignation.

In other news, the Croatian Pensioners’ Party (HSU) decided on Friday to withdraw its support for the cabinet over the introduction of a tax on the entire amount of pensions and other revenues higher than 400 euros a month. The HSU had wanted the tax to apply only to proceeds above that amount. The party wants Finance Minister Ivan Suker sacked, claiming he failed to provide accurate information on the state of public finances. The HSU has just one seat in parliament, so leaving the coalition will not destabilise the government.

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