The parliamentary Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System unanimously decided on Tuesday to ask the government to crosscheck the signatures collected for a referendum against the leasing of motorways to monetise their debt, and the decision is expected to be confirmed by parliament.
A civil group called "We won't give our motorways" collected 530,853 signatures for the referendum and handed them over to Parliament Speaker Josip Leko ten days ago.
External committee member Dragan Zelic said motorways were "a national resource and we object that we haven't seen a study which would cover several options. Perhaps monetisation is the best option, but we don't know because we haven't seen a study."
He also objected to the fact that there was no broad public discussion which might have precluded the need for a referendum.
Union leader Mijat Stanic, who attended the session but could not speak because he is not on the committee, told reporters afterwards he had expected the committee to propose that parliament put a stay on all proceedings relating to motorway concessions until after the referendum.
He reiterated that the referendum should be held on the same date as an upcoming presidential election, scheduled for December 28. He said the civil group would ask the Constitutional Court to stay all proceedings relating to motorway concessions, maybe as early as Tuesday.