18:04 / 31.03.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Plenković: Measures to mitigate the growth of energy prices will come into force tomorrow

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: HTV / HRT

At the beginning of today’s Government cabinet session, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reminded ministers of a package of measures to reduce the impact of rising energy prices on citizens and the economy. He also said that all initiatives taken by Croatia are good-neighborly and well-intentioned, in the interest of improving relations between the two countries and restoring trust and alliance, especially between Bosniaks and Croats in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the beginning of the Government cabinet session, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković briefly commented on the accepted package of measures to reduce the impact of rising energy prices on citizens and the economy, which will come into force tomorrow.


“Due to rising energy prices, as a result of the war in Ukraine, we want to mitigate the impact with our measures of almost five billion kuna. We have limited the growth of energy prices and reduced the VAT rate. We took care of the most endangered, who live on the edge of poverty, we increased the amount of social transfers, he recalled, saying that solidarity is the most needed social category.


He said that a special program of measures for fishermen and farmers had been made and a decision had been made on direct one-off support for pensioners.


“We also intervened in the prices of petroleum products, reduced excise duties and limited margins,” he added.


Given that electricity prices will rise by an average of 10% and gas by 16% from tomorrow, he pointed out that the package of measures to help citizens and entrepreneurs presented by the Government in mid-February amounted to 5 billion kuna, which should help everyone to better cope with the impact of energy prices on other prices, which will certainly grow in a chain reaction.


“Thus, I will single out the reduction of VAT prices for gas from 25% to 5%, given that this price will last for a year. Then it will be equated with the price of VAT on electricity, which is 13%. VAT has also been reduced for certain food and agricultural products from 13% to 5%, and for some even from 25% to 5%, such as butter. Special vouchers will be issued for the most endangered members of society, the value of which has been raised from 200 to 400 kuna. A special package applies to pensioners, who will receive a one-time allowance in the amount of HRK 400 to HRK 1,200, depending on the amount of their pension. For farmers and fishermen, aid measures are also being introduced given rising fuel prices, especially when it comes to blue diesel, whose price is rising week by week,” he said.


The Prime Minister pointed out that certain decrees and decisions have already been made.


At the Government cabinet session, the Prime Minister recalled the 31st anniversary of the death of police officer Josip Jović in Plitvice in the action we call Bloody Easter.


“It is an opportunity to remember all the killed Croatian veterans and to thank all the soldiers, police officers and all those who gave their lives for freedom,” said the Prime Minister.


Especially important Strategic Compass


Among the important topics last week, he singled out the adoption of the Strategic Compass at the level of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Council, which was later adopted by the European Council.


“The strategic compass is especially important for us because the topic of security and defense is in the focus of everyone, especially in the new circumstances. At our initiative, a discussion was held on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said, adding that all initiatives are good-neighborly and well-intentioned, in the interest of improving relations between the two countries and restoring trust and alliance, especially between Bosniaks and Croats in the Federation.


“The European Council reached conclusions,” said Plenković, “that additional efforts should be made to change the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”


“Bosnia and Herzegovina should function so that everyone is satisfied. We know that the representatives of the Croatian parties are ready for further talks and that they want to reach an agreement, and we hope that the Bosniak representatives will recognize the same, for security, stability and good functioning of our friendly country. I call on them to consider the important message of the European Council on Croatia's proposal,” he added.


He also spoke about the visit of Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša. They discussed, he said, among other things, "topics of the future - cooperation in the field of gas and nuclear energy", all of which will continue to be discussed.


He emphasized that Croatia had met all the criteria after becoming part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism 2 and the Banking Union.


Source: HRT


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