PM says budget to be presented on March 10


Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said at the start of a government session on Wednesday that the state budget for 2016 would be presented on March 10 and that its adoption was one of five points on which reforms the government had promised to citizens were based.

“This budget is our budget. We have promised reforms to citizens and Croatian citizens expect them,” he said, adding that the government was going in the right direction.

Oreskovic said that the budget had been discussed at a number of meetings he had held and that he would continue talks on that topic in the weeks to come.

Oreskovic will attend a meeting of the European Council today, and on February 22 he travels to London for a conference organised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The PM said that he had already talked with numerous business people, notably in the IT sector, with EU ambassadors, and ambassadors of non-EU countries.

“They all see great potential regarding investment, notably in the energy sector and agritourism. They are all confident that we can succeed but only if we stick to agreements,” he said.

Oreskovic said that he had also held meetings with a large number of potential investors who, he said, were very much interested in investing in Croatia, but who still saw as the main problem the complexity of domestic regulations.

We have promised reforms to our citizens, Oreskovic repeated, adding that those reforms would be based on five points.

The first point is the activation of half a billion euro of dormant capital owned by the state so as to reduce the public debt, he said.

The second point is the establishment of a fund for medium and small businesses, worth around half a billion kuna, which is expected to result in increased revenues from VAT.
Oreskovic said he had discussed with representatives of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Croatian Agency for SMEs and banks ways of establishing such a fund with the help of European funds.

The third point on which the planned reforms are based is a plan to absorb EUR 10.7 billion from EU funds, the fourth are investments, primarily in tourism, and the fifth point is the budget, said Oreskovic.

(Hina) rml