Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic: Economic Measures Can't Last Forever

April the 2nd, 2021 - Croatian Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic has spoken out publicly about the continued government efforts to help companies keep their heads above water as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. This state aid includes economic help and so-called job preservation measures. Aladrovic stated that they can't simply go on forever.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic was a recent guest on Dnevnik N1, where he spoke about the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and what it means for the country as the pandemic continues.

To begin with, he said the plan envisions 54 percent of the funds going to the domestic economy.

"This is the segment in which we expect the most job creation and the highest quality jobs, and that means that most investments will go to the real sector. 100,000 seems ambitious, but it's also realistic. I must mention that in the last four years, we've created a little less than 110,000 jobs,'' he said and added:

"At the end of the term, we only had 110,000 more jobs than we did at the beginning of the term, so these numbers we want to compare stand at 100,000 more than today, and I'm sure we'llsucceed and we want to reach 70% employment."

New workplaces

"It's up to the state to create the preconditions for jobs to be created. We have several chapters here that show where these investments will be directed. The economy will use these funds to create new jobs. We hope that it will be in industries that are more advanced, that are more technologically aware and of course that these will be jobs that will create more added value. In other areas as well, we've allocated more than a billion kuna precisely in the aspect of the green and digital sectors, where we expect not only to generate 100,000 new jobs but we expect them to better quality jobs,'' noted Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic.

He also explained that they have another month to better set goals, after which the approval of the European Commission (EC) is to be awaited, and after which the implementation of the plan will actually concretely begin.

Reform salaries by the end of the term

Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic also referred to the reform of salaries in the state and public sector.

"The salary reform in the state and public administration is something we've been talking about for a long time now. Last year, which was entirely marked by the pandemic, wasn't the one in which we tackled that reform, but we applied for funding so we could implement that reform and listed it as a priority and a goal.

We'll certainly implement the salary reform in both the state and public administration in two to three years. We've committed ourselves to implement this within these deadlines. It is important to state that a significant aspect of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan are these goals. It's important that these reforms are implemented in parallel with investments. I'm sure that this mix of reforms and investments will be positive for us," he said.

Government measures and state aid cannot be infinite

Aladrovic also said that higher expenditures from salaries for healthcare weren't a topic of conversation. "What the healthcare system is facing is an increase in costs in the middle of a pandemic, but also a multi-year accumulation of liabilities. I must mention that, as far as I know, the increase in contributions wasn't a topic,'' he said.

He also said that government aid measures cannot last indefinitely.

"That isn't going to simply be infinite and we're all aware that can't be the case, given that part of the funds are financed from the state budget. Now we have a challenging epidemiological situation, I want to emphasise that while there are problems in the economy, and when certain segments can't operate at their pre-pandemic levels, we're going to be here to help, but it simply isn't possible for this sort of help to last indefinitely," he warned.

"Our first projections were that we would need help for January or February, now we're already in April, I'm sure that in the second part of April we'll see what the epidemiological and economic situation is and determine possible help for May accordingly. As long as there is a need, we'll do everything to help out workers and employers as much as possible,'' Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic concluded.

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