“It is good that GDP has grown by 16.1% in the last quarter considering our open tourism strategy but we have also been lucky because Spain has been on lockdown due to the pandemic and Greece due to wildfires,” Troskot said at a news conference.
He noted that experts did not comment on the impact of inflation and price growth on GDP growth.
“If there are no more external shocks like the pandemic and lockdown, we will return to Croatia’s economic reality, namely a 91% share of debt in GDP. That is why we should talk about real structural reforms in the economic sector because during the lockdown, too, the hospital system spent enormous amounts of money despite the fact that hospital care was less available than normally,” he said, calling also for a reform of the judiciary.
Economy based on tourism, instead of on production
Troskot believes that public sector investments are yet another problem and recalls that the government has said that EU funds intended for recovery from the coronavirus crisis will eventually end up with private enterprises.
That money will possibly reach entrepreneurs through public procurement and we know how those allocations are made and that they do not reach entrepreneurs, he said, noting that his party had proposed transferring EU funds directly to entrepreneurs who had 68 prepared projects instead of financing public infrastructure projects that should not be a priority at the moment.
The MP also said that the national economy was not based on production, as evidenced by projects like the Pelješac Bridge, which, he said, was good, however, the EU funds approved for it had ended up in the accounts of Chinese, Greek and Austrian companies working on it.
We have based our economy on tourism instead of on production which creates jobs and which is the best instrument to fight inflation, he said.
“When we look at the whole picture, we get the impression that Croatia is becoming exclusively a tourist destination and is turning into a retirement home for the EU,” he said, noting that 310,000 Croatians, born between 1984 and 1999, had emigrated to Germany.
He warned that in Slovakia wages in the past 15 years had grown by one thousand euros, while in Croatia they had increased by 327 euros, or a mere 20 euros annually.
Referendum on euro introduction
Asked if Bridge would support the campaign of the Croatian Sovereignists calling for a referendum on the introduction of the euro, Troskot said that his party was in favour of introducing the euro, but that Croatia was still not ready for it because it lacked own production and was not ready for the strong competition in the EU.
“Yes to the euro because we assumed that obligation under the Lisbon Treaty, but not for the time being because we are still not ready for it,” he said.
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