news 08 Jan 13

Croatian President Slams Ex-Generals' Double Pensions

Croatia's leader called for change after revelations that at least seven former generals are receiving military pensions from both Croatia and Bosnia.

Boris Pavelic

The daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija revealed on Monday that at least seven former Croatian generals are receiving pensions from Zagreb and Sarajevo because of their roles in both the Croatian army and the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, the Bosnian Croat force that fought during the 1992-95 war.

The Croatian President, Ivo Josipovic, described the double payments as "unjust" and said he wanted the situation to change because "everybody, including generals, should receive only one pension".

Among those getting the enhanced payouts is Ljubo Cesic Rojs, an ex-HVO general who was also an assistant to the Croatian defence minister, and who, according to the Croatian daily, receives a pension of around 1,000 euro from Croatia plus another 1,000 a month from Bosnia.

The average pension in Croatia is around 300 euro a month, the state pensions fund says, and half that amount in Bosnia, according to media reports.

Around 17,000 former HVO servicemen currently receive military pensions from Croatia, the newspaper's report said, although it remains unclear how many of these are simultaneously receiving Bosnian military pensions.

Croatia's war veterans ministry said it did not know exactly how many ex-servicemen are getting double pensions but was determined to clear the matter up in cooperation with its Bosnian counterpart.

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