In Parliament on Thursday MPs debated whether or not to confirm three contracts for loans from international financial institutions that would be used to stimulate the economy during the corona-crisis and in the wake of the earthquake that hit Zagreb on March 22nd.
Presenting the loan package to MPs Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that the total value of the loans is 660 million Euros. MPs are expected to vote on the package on Friday. Along with stimulating economic recovery amid the corona-crisis and in the wake of the 5.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Zagreb, the funds will also be used to strengthen the public health system.
MOST MP Miro Bulj wanted to know if government was doing anything to ease the pressure on citizens with loans, given the detrimental affect the corona-crisis and earthquake have had on jobs: "Do you plan on introducing a moratorium on interest and loans, which is vital to our citizens at this time?"
Minister Marić responded that efforts are underway to do just that: "I'll take this opportunity and you well placed question, to say that we are once again exerting a positive pressure on the banks, not just in terms of a moratorium, but what is key for the coming period, new working capital, meaning new loans."
Marić also informed MPs as to how the coronavirus has affected the revenues side of the budget: "This year has been so hard, that it will be difficult to make it better. However, we have to transparently present all of the data. As far as the total revenues side of the budget is concerned, it's down by 14 to 15 percent since the beginning of the year. Having said that, over the past couple of weeks and months, the situation is slightly better."