The City of Zagreb ran a budget deficit of about 400 million kuna in 2019, in addition to the 629 million kuna deficit carried over from previous years, the city's authorities said on Monday, noting the negative impact of recent tax reforms on the city's revenues.
The statement came after Jutarnji List daily had published a statement by the head of the city's finance bureau, Danijela Juroš-Pečnik, who had warned the city government in a letter last week that the city's budget deficit currently exceeded 1 billion kuna.
The finance bureau responded by calling it an internal document, normally sent to the heads of municipal bodies in order to pressure for better budget discipline. The annual financial report for 2019 has not yet been finalised.
"In accordance with rules governing budget accounting, a deficit can be covered successively over a longer period of time. The deficit of 628.9 million kuna carried over from the previous period is envisaged to be covered from the projected budgets for 2021 and 2022," the statement said.
The latest deficit data comes amid growing calls for Zagreb's long-time mayor, Milan Bandić, to step down, on account of his alleged involvement in a series of corruption scandals.
Several non-governmental organisations hold regular protests against the incumbent mayor, the latest of which attracted up to twenty-thousand people on Saturday.
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