Prime Minister Oreskovic: National reform programme at next govt session

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Prime Minister Oreskovic at the government session on Wednesday announced that the National Reform Programme would be presented to the cabinet at the next government session, and that it, along with a Convergence Plan will be handed over to the European Commission by the end of the month.

The reform plan is a quality one, Oreskovic said. Perhaps it may not be to some people's liking but I think that the programme is fair, that it is balanced and that it will be to the benefit of Croatian citizens.

This is the first time the plan was first presented to social partners, the prime minister underscored. During an open dialogue the government was given "good input" from them. The unions, he said, recommended additional reforms.

We have a lot of work and have to work together, Oreskovic underscored. He added that the government planned to send 238 laws in parliamentary procedure  by the end of the year.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic also decided that the annual quota for employment of foreigners in Croatia in 2016 would be 3,115 permits, which include 800 renewed licences and the issuance of 2,300 new ones.

The sectors eligible for this quota are: shipbuilding that can hire 500 aliens, transport (123), tourism and hospitality (85), culture (34), agriculture and forestry (20), the manufacturing industry (18), healthcare (15), and science and education (5).

In addition the 2016 annual quota for seasonal employment in agriculture and forestry is set at 15.

Labour and Pension System Minister Nada Sikic said that the quotas were based on agreements with employers and chambers of commerce and crafts and other stakeholders.

The Croatian government  unanimously decided on the conditions of the use of official cars, mobile phones, credit cards, entertainment funds and official travel.

Explaining the decision at a Cabinet meeting, Public Administration Minister Dubravka Jurlina Alibegovic of the Bridge party said briefly that its purpose was to ensure the economic and effective use of budgetary funds.

Labour and Pension Minister Nada Sikic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that although she had signed the decision on behalf of her ministry, she considered it "extremely populist and unnecessary".

The decision introduces monthly limits on the use of official mobile phones for different categories of civil servants. Air travel will be allowed for official purposes only, based on a travel order, and office holders will be allowed to stay in hotels of up to four stars. The use of official credit cards will be allowed for official purposes only and the use of chauffeured vehicles will be limited.

(Text: Hina)