Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that the biggest task for the government was to fight the socio-economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, asking all ministers to make savings in their ministries and underlining that the burden of this crisis must be endured with solidarity.
Speaking for the public broadcaster, he said rationalisation was the main concept and that ministers would have to plan in stages how to reactivate the economy in line with health and safety guidelines. “We don’t want to fall into the trap of easing the measures and then having to deal with new infection hotspots”.
Plenković said the uncertainty of the pandemic’s duration is the key problem of the crisis, as no one knows when a vaccine will be found or the population immunity acquired.
He said he would do everything for the state to function as much as possible, while primarily seeing to citizens’ health. “It’s not just a common sense obligation of the government but a constitutional provision as well.”
Plenković said he was satisfied with the results of the second set of measures to help the economy and that some 100,000 companies had applied for aid to maintain employment.
Speaking of the third set, he said the government today tabled a bill to enable a stay on the enforcement on physical persons’ monetary funds for the duration of the crisis.
He said the government’s measures had been planned for a period of three months and another three if the crises continued.
Asked if the crisis would delay Croatia’s introduction of the euro, he recalled that Croatia adopted a euro introduction strategy two years ago and that it would complete an action plan next month. He said the pace might be somewhat affected but that Croatia remained committed to this goal.
Plenković said that if Croatia was in the eurozon, there would be no pressure on the kuna now and the European Central Bank could do for the state what it was doing for all euro area member states. “In a way, we would have been secured”.
He went on to say that this situation was an opportunity for a new start, not just by the government but all of society, as it provided “a fresh outlook on what is really good and what isn’t”./ibna