ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 – Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic said on Thursday that the plan is for jobkeeping measures, which will continue for the next four months, to be primarily financed from European funds.
“About HRK 800 million is foreseen for the measures we adopted today for the next four months without shortening the working week. Our forecast indicates that that is about HRK 200 million a month, which is enough for 60 to 70,000 workers. We will see what the future will bring in the next four months. The main source of financing will primarily be European funds,” Aladrovic said after a cabinet meeting while responding to questions from the press after Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that support to the economy amid the coronavirus crisis would continue including jobkeeping measures and ensuring liquidity and Covid loans.
Aladrovic said that advance payments would be made from the state budget, adding that funds agreed over the past month at the EU level were available and that a portion of the €10 billion can be used at the moment to finance this.
“We actually plan to cover the cost of financing the measures for the next four months entirely from European funds,” said Aladrovic.
He noted that the measures can be financed from current liquid funds but that it is important to know the source of funding. “The source of funding is vital and not current liquidity. At the moment, current liquidity is not in question as far as the budget is concerned but the matter at hand is the source itself. It is important that the source of funding is not tied to our internal capacities in the budget but that we transfer as much as possible to EU funds, which naturally is direct support to our economy,” he explained.
Coric: Measures to date have certainly brought results
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric believes that the jobkeeping measures implemented over the past few months have definitely produced results.
He said that currently there are about 150,000 people unemployed in Croatia. Despite the fact that the majority of European and global economies recorded a fall in activities and were hit by a huge increase in unemployment, that did not occur in Croatia.
“We believe that this successful measure needs to continue. The fact that we have planned for it to continue until December, that is over the next four months, is aimed at anchoring the expectations of businesses and the real sector and that is precisely the direction we want to go in,” said Coric.
He added that several portfolios would for that entire time monitor the effects of these measures on the economy and in that way take possible decisions if needed for additional measures to support the economy.
Coric underscored that in addition to the jobkeeping measures, credit lines would continually be available to settle liquidity, primarily through the SMEs agency Hamag-Bicro and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR).
For that reason more than HRK 1 billion has been allocated to Hamag-Bicro to continue providing loans to the business sector, recalled Coric.
Asked whether in addition to writing off wage contributions, taxes too could be written off, which was one of the measures that had been in force, Coric said that that measure had been planned to apply for several months prior to the summer. Such a decision has not been made for the time being and if and when that will be, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric will inform the public.
Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that she was exceptionally pleased that the measure would ensure the survival of the tourism sector until the end of the year and that further plans could be made, with everything that awaits us with the new Multiannual Financial Framework, which is extremely important for the tourism portfolio.