18:32 / 21.01.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Opposition hammers Government over inflation

The Croatian Parliament

The Croatian Parliament

Foto: HRT / HTV

Opposition lawmakers criticized the government on Friday for not responding to the rising prices of nearly all goods. 

Opposition MPs seized the opportunity to hammer the Government during a debate on a new consumer protection law, accusing it of being out of touch and indifferent to the falling standard of living.

Social Democrat Davor Bernardić said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s was failing to protect its citizens.

"Representatives of the government are here today to present the new consumer protection law, but I ask you who is going to be consuming anything when the prices of bread, oil, flour, sugar are rising? Even toilet paper is up by 50%!" Bernardić said, calling for a price freeze on food staples.

Nikola Grmoja of Most offered a different solution.

"What can the government do in order not to cause more harm to consumers? It can make more logical decisions like scrapping excise taxes on fuel, not freezing prices because that will only lead to Croatian citizens footing the bill," Grmoja said.

Members of the ruling coalition tried to reign in the attacks by pointing out that the debate was about protecting consumers from businesses and that the government was not a business. This caused a few sparks but when lawmakers finally came around to addressing the bill, there was more of a consensus.

One of the key novelties of the bill is that it aims to protect Croatian consumers from companies selling products of lower quality but under the same name as sold in other countries.

During a visit to the island of Pag on Friday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković spoke again about measures the government could use to mitigate the increase in gas and electricity prices, especially for low-income families. In Croatia, about 64,000 households already receive 200 kuna vouchers to help cover utility costs and the Government intends to increase that number in the near future. Echoing remarks he made Thursday, the PM listed other options as well.

"The second element is the important role Hrvatska Elektroprivreda, as the national energy utility, can play in carrying some of the burden of these global price changes. The third element is the other mechanisms and tools of tax policy like cutting the VAT on energy," said Plenković.

The PM said the government was working hard to address this issue and protect the standard of living.

Vijesti HRT-a pratite na svojim pametnim telefonima i tabletima putem aplikacija za iOS i Android. Pratite nas i na društvenim mrežama Facebook, Twitter, Instagram i YouTube!