ZAGREB, Nov 17, 2020 – The SDP parliamentary group has put forward a bill on a moratorium on debtors’ loan liabilities to protect citizens’ standard of living and stop the decline in consumption, asking the government to regulate the debt collection market and the supervision of debt collection agencies.
“We are proposing a year-long moratorium on loan repayments, regulated by law and binding on banks, allowing debtors to decide on their own whether or not to ask for a moratorium, during which interest would not be charged. Considering the state of the debt and the increase in bad loans, there is a serious danger banks will sell non-performing loans,” said SDP leader Pedja Grbin.
He noted that that market was not regulated and called on the government to finally put forward a bill to regulate the collection of debts and loans, to introduce supervision over debt collection agencies as well as measures to ban them from intimidating citizens.
Recalling that at the start of the coronavirus crisis the party had proposed the introduction of a moratorium on loan repayments, Grbin said the government failed to do anything in that regard, leaving citizens to negotiate moratoriums with commercial banks on their own.
According to the latest statistics, at the end of September, there were 50,000 fewer workers than in September 2019 and from the end of February to November 8, the number of receipts dropped by 25% and their value by 17%, which shows that consumption has dropped significantly, said Grbin.
He cited an estimate by a commercial bank saying that after the expiry of the moratorium, 20% of loans that were subject to the moratorium would become bad loans.
Commenting on the fact that only seven of the 75 measures form the national reform plan had been implemented, Grbin said that this is discouraging.
“We need a reform of public administration. It has transpired during the coronavirus crisis that the system of e-passes can be established quickly, but after that, the government continued behaving as it had until then,” he said.
As for the relationship between the prime minister and the president, Grbin said it was clear that the prime minister, who has refused a meeting with the Opposition on the coronavirus crisis, did not want to share the political stage with other political stakeholders.
He described a decision by Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) to attend events on the occasion of Vukovar Remembrance Day as good because it continued the process that started in August this year.