Opposition: Coronavirus isn’t Only Problem in Croatia

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ZAGREB, Nov 5, 2020 – Not denying the negative impact of the corona crisis on public finance, opposition parties in the parliament on Thursday said that the epidemic of coronavirus was not the only problem for Croatia and its economy, and that the lack of reforms needs to be taken into account too.

It is true that the coronavirus epidemic could not be predicted however it has exposed all our weaknesses. It has come across an abandoned state that has neither the will nor the idea of how to implement reforms, MP Anka Mrak Taritas said during a debate in parliament over this year’s budget revision.

She claimed that the country’s health system is like a bottomless pit with costs continually increasing while its quality is decreasing and debts are skyrocketing.

With due respect to the effects of the pandemic and need to amend the budget, MP Damir Bakic of the We Can! party said that budget priorities are unclear: rationalisation and savings or redistribution based on social criteria. Funds for the children’s and disabled persons ombudsmen are being decreased, the defence ministry is one of the rare institutions whose funds have not been reduced. The Office for Croats (Abroad) has a budget of HRK 80 million, more than an entire series of institutions involved in the fight against corruption, said Bakic.

Years of idleness now up for payment

Years of not doing anything are now catching up with us. We haven’t implemented any reforms except of the state holidays, said MP Davor Dretar of the Homeland Movement (DP), adding that Croatia was dependant on support from the EU.

Unfortunately that money is being invested in the public sector and not productive activities and the question is how much of that money will end up in the pockets of local power mongers, said Dretar.

MP Hrvoje Zekanovic (HS) said that it is necessary to prepare a transparent catalogue of investments.

Government has helped citizens and entrepreneurs

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has a lot of understanding for the measures that the government has taken during the crisis and consequently the budget revision too. The government has adopted a package of support for citizens and entrepreneurs valued at HRK 8.1 billion, MP Grozdana Peric (HDZ) said.

Lawmakers have time until the end of the debate to put forward their amendments to the budget revision while the Sabor is expected to debate the amendments on Tuesday and then vote on them on Wednesday, when it is expected to adopt the 2020 budget revision.


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