Prime Minister Responds to President’s Criticism

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, January 25, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that the government was aware of the problems that exist in the country, including the problem of citizens with blocked bank accounts, which is why a distress bill is being prepared, but he underscored the government is proud of its macroeconomic achievements which have a concrete positive impact on citizens.

“The government is aware of the problems that exist, however it is proud of achievements and we will clearly highlight and articulate those achievements,” Plenković said in Davos at the traditional World Economic Forum.

Reporters asked him to comment on statements by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović earlier in the day when she said that she was pleased that a new distress bill was being prepared but warned that there were still 320,000 blocked citizens and that people were leaving the country and that Croatia needed other measures to ease the burden on businesses.

Plenković reiterated that the government perhaps was not speaking sufficiently about its achievements, which, he added, are not that visible in the media. He underscored the tax reform and the fact that many people have higher incomes as a result. He added that in two years the government had twice increased the minimum wage by 5% and that the average pay had increased and that “consumption shows that people have higher incomes.” He emphasised the “lowest ever” unemployment rate, increased rate of employment, reduction of the public debt and the state budget surplus. “All this indicates that the macroeconomic effects are having a concrete impact on citizens,” the Prime Minister underlined.

He added that the government was absolutely aware that some of the citizens had their accounts blocked. “That is why we have a plan for a new distress law and that is why we wish to see what categories of debtors there are, a relatively large number of them have small debts and then there is a second category of those with higher debts. These are all topics that the Justice Ministry is working on,” he said.

The President said that the work of administration needs to be improved because “opening a company or new jobs is complicated in Croatia compared to other EU member states,” while Plenković said that in that regard, efforts were being made to ensure that state administration was at the service of citizens.

“With regard to state administration, I believe that we are endeavoring to make that a real service for citizens, so that everything they require at any level is provided as soon as possible in the best possible way,” he said.


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