Farmers to Receive Grants Worth Billion Kuna Next Week

By 15 February 2018

ZAGREB, February 15, 2018 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at a government session on Thursday that the Agriculture Ministry and the Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development would start paying, as of next week, an additional one billion kuna to 100,000 farms, as an efficient way of managing farm grants with which he expected farmers to be satisfied.

Farmers will get additional funds after last November they received advance payments in the amount of 950 million kuna, said Plenković. He announced that the Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem would hold its fourth session in Virovitica next week to coincide with the local Bioexpo fair, which increasingly attracts foreign partners. Plenkovic said the Council session would focus on agriculture and economy.

He also noted that exports in 2017 increased 13.9% from 2016 while imports increased 11%. EU countries account for 65% of Croatia's exports while 70% of imports come from EU countries, he said, adding that this proved that Croatia's wish to adopt the euro was more than a logical choice given the national economy's orientation.

Speaking of criteria for accession to the Schengen area of passport-free movement, the PM said that it was important for Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović to continue working on preparations for accession. "It is our wish to meet the necessary criteria this and next year and that positive decisions are made at the time of Croatia's presidency of the EU (in the first half of 2020) at the latest," said Plenković.

He noted that everything that was being done in that regard showed that Croatia was a mature and responsible member that would be capable of efficiently controlling its borders in line with the Schengen criteria.