Croatian Ministers State Coronavirus Consequences Aren’t Catastrophic “Yet”

Lauren Simmonds

Croatian ministers Zdravko Maric, Gari Cappelli, Davor Bozinovic, Darko Horvat and Josip Aladrovic, as well as HUP, HGK and HBOR leaders sat down to discuss coronavirus’ effects on the economy.

As Novac writes on the 11th of March, 2020, the Croatian Ministry of Finance held a meeting with representatives of the Croatian Employers’ Association, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Development Bank to discuss measures to counteract the impact of coronavirus on the economy and finances.

After the meeting, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said that the meeting was a success and that he was pleased that all sectors had successfully cooperated.

”We all agreed that the first and basic variable that must be taken care of is precisely the preservation of jobs, but also the liquidity of all sectors. We all remember, not so long ago, when we were faced with a huge fall in jobs and how long it took to get things back to normal,” said Maric, adding that such a scenario should not be repeated.

”We must also ensure an adequate flow of goods so that all companies can function normally. We’ve started creating framework measures that we will eventually all implement together,” the minister said.

The Minister of Finance added that the consequences of the epidemic in Croatia are not yet ”catastrophic”, but also that no one can estimate how long this crisis will last or how much of an effect it will ultimately have on the economy.

”We started preparing the measures on time and we all agreed that safeguarding jobs is paramount, both in tourism that is at our door and in other sectors,” said Cappelli of the meeting of Croatian ministers.

Numerous people in the hotel industry, as well as those in the hospitality sector, according to Cappelli, have already started preparing future staff, and for this reason we must show them that the situation is being monitored and assistance measures are being taken into account.

”We’re also sending a message to our foreign partners that we can keep everything under control and that tourists can feel safe with us,” he added.

HUP Director General Davor Majetic explained that he was pleased that they had found a common language with those in power at the meeting with Croatian ministers.

”The first objective, of course, is to provide adequate care for people’s health, followed by car for jobs and business activity. I’m glad we started a very open conversation,” he said.

Maric emphasised once again that the most important thing was that those in power, as well as the representatives of the private sector, have started to develop a crisis plan on time.

”As the situation develops, we’ll adapt as such. We’ll try to anticipate all the possible threats that the crisis will cause,” said Maric once again, adding that the most important thing is to secure wage payments and job retention, and that they don’t want to compare Croatia with other countries. Among other things, he said another meeting among Croatian ministers would be held next week.

He also said that already in the existing tax system, they have introduced a delay in the repayment of loans in crisis situations, and that on that same line, they plan to work on measures for all those affected by coronavirus. In addition, he added that there was a possibility of introducing further tax relief to entrepreneurs.

”We hope to have some more concrete proposals for the measures next week,” Majetic added.

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