PM: Continuation of support to transport, tourism and partially hospitality sectors

Photo /Vijesti/2020/05 svibanj/21 svibnja/Izjava-PVRH1.jpg

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday said that the government would continue to "calibrate" measures and provide support even after May for those sectors which will obviously be in more difficult circumstances, primarily tourism and transport, and partially the hospitality sector.

Addressing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Plenkovic said that after April and May, account would be taken after lockdown measures have been lifted entirely to see which sectors whose business was significantly different, for example, from the same period last year and then the government will continue with "calibrated" support for them.

"We will endeavour to calibrate measures only for those sectors that will obviously been in more difficult circumstances and there are several of them, primarily this relates to tourism, partially to hospitality and naturally to transport," Plenkovic underlined.

He stressed that the government had done an awful lot for Croatia's entrepreneurship.

"We are speaking of massive support to the private sector and for preserving jobs," he said and highlighted jobkeeping measures of HRK 3,250 per employee for March and HRK 4,000 for April and May each, adding that in April alone that measure related to just under 600,000 workers.

Plenkovic described today's government decision to borrow money from the World Bank as one of the examples of financing measures to support the economy.

During today's meeting, the government decided to launch proceedings to take out  two loans with the World Bank - one worth €200 million for post-earthquake reconstruction and a stronger COVID-19 response and the other, worth €275.9 million, for a broader crisis response and recovery support.

Asked by reporters whether he would meet with casual hauliers and other entrepreneurs who conducted a protest rally on Thursday organised by the Voice of Entrepreneurs association, Plenkovic said that the relevant ministers were communicating with all representatives of entrepreneurs.

He added that Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli met today with representatives of casual hauliers, adding that the government had the role of a mediator via the relevant ministries and that the HANFA Financial Services Supervisory Agency was there for entrepreneurs who have leasing contracts.

"If there is an opportunity, I too could talk with them but that is not on the agenda now," he said.

PM: Number of counties remains the same, municipality reform possible

Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader, Andrej Plenkovic, stated on Thursday that the HDZ had a very clear position on the number of counties remaining the same, but that the party discussed models of municipality reforms.

"Counties constitute the modern and contemporary Croatia. They have been with us since 1993, and they have 27 years of tradition. The HDZ, which had 13 out of 20 county heads in the last local election, has a very clear position in favour of keeping the counties. There is no question about it, and the subject was never under question," Plenkovic said after a cabinet meeting, when journalists asked him why the HDZ thought that a small country such as Croatia still needed 20 counties and the City of Zagreb.

As for municipalities, he pointed out that the subject was discussed at the HDZ National Council, where Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica proposed various models of reforms at the municipality level. One of the ideas is decreasing the number of local officials at the 2021 local election.

"We understand the problem, and we will go and solve it," he stated.

As for the question of whether he could imagine a government consisting of the HDZ, the Homeland Movement party leader Miroslav Skoro, Ivan Penava, who has just left the HDZ, and ethnic Serb leader Milorad Pupovac, for the sake of stability, the PM said it was still early to predict who will make up the future parliamentary majority.

Plenkovic thinks that citizens, and especially entrepreneurs, will recognise that the HDZ-led government had ensured political stability and predictability. He recalled that it was the key of their political message in 2016, and brought forth all the accomplishments of his government. The PM added that they were running for the next parliamentary election at a moment when they had rounded off all that was important and all they had dealt with during their time in office.

The next parliamentary majority will be formed after Croatian citizens decide to whom they will give their vote of confidence, the PM said, adding that the citizens have a choice - to watch this government's protagonists, who had done consistent work in points which improved the quality of life, or to watch those who have no credibility.

Plenkovic said that he was not ready to form a coalition with everyone, and that the HDZ would, when it was in such a position, form a government with partners similar to them in their worldview and programme, adding that those were the two elements that had always guided the party.

As for the comment that the Croatian People's Party (HNS) was not similar in their worldview to this government, Plenkovic stated that they had found common points from their agendas.

Text: Hina