Prime Minister Sends New Year’s Message

Total Croatia News

There will be many challenges in 2017, but optimism has been awoken, says Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković sent a special New Year’s message on Friday. He said that Croatia was entering the new year with many challenges, but also with awoken optimism, reports on December 30, 2016.

“The year behind us was special for Croatia. We had three governments, and for the first time early parliament elections took place”, said Plenković, adding that, after the formation of the parliamentary majority and the government, the country is now politically stable. “In a short time, we have changed the general mood in our society, and we have focused on specific social, economic and environmental issues which concern the future of the Croatian people. In just two months, we have made a number of decisions that will change Croatia for the better”, he added.

Plenković pointed out that starting from 1 January many citizens and entrepreneurs would pay lower taxes due to tax reform which makes the tax system simpler, fairer and more competitive. “We have also adopted a good and rational state budget for 2017, the key financial document of any country. It contains measures of demographic policy, including a significant increase in maternal and parental benefits in the second half of next year. We have also increased funds for science and education, housing for young people, war veterans and armed forces. At the same time, the share of public debt in GDP will fall, which brings us closer to exiting the excessive deficit procedure”, said Plenković.

“Responsible management of public finances has led us to the first positive change in the outlook for Croatia’s credit rating in nine years. In the third quarter, Croatia’s economy grew by 2.9 percent, which was the fastest growth in all 28 EU member states and the largest increase since 2008. Industrial output in November grew by 7.1 percent.” Because of this, said Plenković, Croatia enters the new year with awoken optimism. “Many challenges are still ahead of us. Hard work is not always rewarded, and some of our fellow citizens cannot find a job or provide a dignified life for their families”, he added.

“Encouraged by good economic indicators, we will continue with the adoption of measures to facilitate business operations, increase competitiveness, employment, investments and exports. We will strengthen legal security, continue with the educational reform and consolidate the healthcare system, and we also expect another successful tourist season. All our goals can be achieved only with the involvement of all societal stakeholders, in particular the social partners – trade unions and employers. We will also take care of our retirees”, said Plenković.

“On 15 January 2017, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of international recognition of Croatia, which is a good opportunity to express our gratitude for everything which we have achieved together and, above all, to veterans who took part in the just Homeland War and to the first President Franjo Tuđman. We are aware that we live in an increasingly challenging global environment. Within the European Union and NATO, we will strengthen our engagement in the search for common solutions to foreign policy and security challenges. Special efforts will be invested in the further stabilization and European path of Southeast Europe, particularly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the equal status of Croats as a constituent people in the country”, continued Plenković.

“Another challenging year is about to begin, but I am sure that we will together continue to develop a successful Croatia. On behalf of the government and myself, I wish you all the best and good luck in 2017”, concluded Prime Minister Plenković in his special message.


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