The European Bank Coordination “Vienna” Initiative is a framework for safeguarding the financial stability of emerging Europe. The Initiative was launched at the height of the first wave of the global financial crisis in January 2009.
Opening this annual conference, the HNB Governor and Chairman of the Vienna Initiative Steering Committee, Boris Vujčić, said that the availability of bank lending was currently much better than in 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, during the lockdown of economies there was no need for taking funds, as economic activity was suspended, but the price of the money today is more favorable, the governor said in his opening speech.
Asked whether he feared inflation, Vujčić said that he could now, perhaps, be more afraid of inflation than other citizens, however, inflation was not currently an important issue.
He elaborated that this year’s 2.3% inflation rate should not be a rate that caused concern.
It will grow into a bigger problem if such a rate remains present for a long period, he explained.
The governor also admitted that a part of bankruptcy proceedings that had not happened during the pandemic could ensue later and that state grants for job-keeping measures helped to achieve employment even higher than before the corona crisis.
He said that Croatia would get an exact date for the euro changeover next summer.
HNB survey shows that 61% of Croats are for switching to the euro
As for a referendum initiative by a few right-wing parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties against the adoption of the euro in Croatia, Vujčić said that not one country that introduced the euro had experienced a decline in living standards.
He went on to say that opinion polls conducted by the central bank show that 61% of Croatians support the euro, 19% are against it, and the remaining respondents are also in favor of the euro on certain conditions.
The HNB reports on its website that the participants in the Split conference include Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mark Bowman, the European Investment Bank Vice-President, Lyiana Pavlova, World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia, Anna Bjerde, who will join virtually, as well as central bank Governors of Estonia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
Representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the European Investment Fund will also be participating in the conference together with commercial banks and other financial sector stakeholders.
As the region recovered, the Initiative’s focus shifted to addressing the remaining and new challenges in the financial industry, including the resolution of non-performing loans, the development of local capital markets in emerging Europe, funding innovation, and green transition.
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