Zdravko Maric Reveals Staggering Cost of Croatian Fight Against Covid

By 5 November 2021

November the 5th, 2021 - The Croatian fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the economic/job preservation measures which were introduced, have cost the country a pretty penny. Finance Minister Zdravko Maric revealed the exact, eye-watering figures.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, most of the costs relate to government measures which were introduced in an attempt to preserve jobs, both directly and indirectly, and these are taxes, contributions, everything that the state decided to take into its own hands, said Finance Minister Zdravko Maric, who presented to Croatian Parliament the rebalance of this year's state budget.

The supplementary budget increases total budget revenues by 3.3 billion kuna to 153.6 billion kuna, and expenditures by 6 billion kuna to 173.3 billion kuna. The state budget is expected to record a deficit of 19.7 billion kuna or 4.7 percent of GDP, while the general government deficit will be 18.9 billion kuna or 4.5 percent of GDP.

The Minister reiterated that the estimates of GDP growth for this year have been revised from the originally planned 5.2 percent to about nine percent, writes Dnevnik.hr.

When we look at all components of domestic GDP, except for investments in the private segment, we have a significant increase in all categories, Zdravko Maric explained, before pointing out that, in terms of investment, in the coming years, they will be the main drivers of overall economic growth.

Average annual inflation is 2.4 percent

Zdravko Maric also gave an estimate of price movements, meaning inflation.

''Regardless of the last few months and the accelerated, visible inflation, our estimate for this year is 2.4 percent for average annual inflation,'' he said. He also stressed that a reduction in public debt in GDP to 83.1 percent is planned.

"Although we're revising the deficit from 3.8 to 4.5 percent, this year we expect, given the much higher growth rate than initially expected, a further reduction in the share of public debt in GDP to 83.1 percent," he said, before noting that for four years in a row now, public debt has been reduced "cumulatively by almost 12 percentage points of GDP".

''The coronavirus pandemic and to a degree, the earthquakes of 2020, once raised the share of public debt in terms of GDP to 87.3 percent and once erased all the effect of those four years,'' said Maric, adding that those 4.2 percentage points, according to estimates that have been seen in other countries, will place Croatia among the top three.

This result, Zdravko Maric added, should be emphasised not only in numbers, but also in the fact that we have done and are doing everything possible, and according to the growth rate and reduction of the share of public debt in GDP, it can already be concluded that the effect of the pandemic, without no matter how strong, he was a one-off.

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