Government Planning Reforms in Key Areas

Total Croatia News

After a slow start, government plans to speed things up.

The government has lost nearly two months on the case of the SOA director Dragan Lozančić and the long process of staffing numerous positions within ministries, but the focus should now turn to economy and reforms, reports Večernji List on April 3, 2016.

The main basis will be HDZ’s economic program (the ministers have already received instructions to work according to the document prepared by the IFO Institute from Germany), which HDZ presented during the pre-election campaign as its main asset. The five main measures which will be priority for the government (at least for the HDZ part of the government) are: better management of state assets, better absorption of money from EU funds, more efficient public administration and judiciary systems through rationalization and computerization, improvements in property and cadastre registers, and better business climate for entrepreneurs.

The top five reforms cover the key problems of Croatian economy and society. Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković has already emphasized the importance of using the currently unused state assets, which is however likely to produce the slowest results because so far no government has managed to turn state property into cash. When it comes to EU funds, the government promises to withdraw this year more than 10 billion kuna, which would be 90 percent more funds than in 2015. As for the public administration system, the plan is to reduce the number of state agencies from 56 to 43, then to reduce the number of ministry branches at the local level, and to introduce a new system of wages. Salaries of employees in public administration system will be linked to the results achieved, which means that a system of incentives and rewards will be introduced.

During the election campaign, HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko repeatedly said they would reduce various fees that businesses have to pay, and the government now promises that it will reduce them in the amount of 330 million kuna a year. The government has also announced the introduction of online registration of companies and reducing the cost of registration. When it comes to better management of state assets, the Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasized the sale of apartments and business premises owned by the state.

During the campaign, HDZ emphasized the importance of agriculture and the plan is for it to become a strategic sector of the economy. By the end of this year, Croatia should get a new agricultural strategy, with changes to programmes of rural development and amendments to several of agricultural laws.


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