Thursday, 30 May 2019

Zdravko Marić and Boris Vujčić Take First Step to Introduction of Euro

When Croatia jointed the European Union back in July 2013, it agreed that it would eventually have to introduce the euro as its main currency as part of its accession to becoming a full member of the bloc. While many are concerned with the eventual introduction of the euro as Croatia's main currency, with a number desiring a referendum on the matter, it seems that Plenković is quite right when he says it's already a done deal.

The first official step in the process of sending the Croatian kuna to the history books has now been taken by the powers that be.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of May, 2019, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Croatian National Bank (HNB/CNB) governor Boris Vujčić have requested that Croatia enter the Single European Banking Supervisory Mechanism, the first pillar of the European Banking Union, the primary duty of which is bank supervision, according to a report from Večernji list.

This is the first step of replacing the Croatian kuna with the euro, which could happen in five years.

The single supervisory mechanism is mandatory for all Eurozone member states. It is one of the last steps that Croatia has now taken before it officially requests the introduction of the euro as its main currency, abandoning the kuna, and entering into the European exchange rate mechanism, Večernji list writes.

Rather morbidly, this event coincides with the celebration of 25 years of the Croatian kuna, one of the few European currencies whose introduction is celebrated as a major historical and national event, yet in which citizens have little real confidence and in a country over which the euro still dominates.

While opposition among some members of the public remains strong, when it comes to savings and other financial practicalities of life, the euro has no competition in Croatia, just as German marks never did either.

If all goes well in not only Croatia but in the wider European Union ''family'', Croatia could introduce the euro during the year of the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction of the kuna - 2024.

If that doesn't occur, anything else could. It's possible that some of the sovereign and populist Croatian parties could seek and even succeed in launching a referendum, binding or otherwise, and convince citizens to reject the euro, which will force the government to stop the Eurozone accession process, but, that seems distant for now.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated politics page for much more.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Croatia Edges Closer to Eurozone, Official Request Coming Soon?

Just how ready is Croatia to join the Eurozone? The topic is one that has many sides to it and a lot of opposition from both the public and from certain politicians and political parties, yet it seems the Croatian Government is steaming ahead with their plans for the country to enter into the Eurozone and abandon the kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes on the 19th of May, 2019, the Croatian Government has proposed urgent amendments to the ZOKI, which creates a normative framework for the accession process to the banking union, a step that implies officially applying for the country's entry into the ERM II Exchange Rate Mechanism.

However, the Republic of Croatia has not yet submitted the aforementioned type of official request for entry into the ERM II Exchange Rate Mechanism, which is considered to be one of the first steps towards official entry into the controversial Eurozone.

This news could see more steps actively taken to enter into the banking union and establish "close co-operation with the European Central Bank (ECB)", which is usually part and parcel of a request to enter the ERM II.

In addition to the fact that the process of close co-operation with the ECB was the subject of a panel discussion on the first day of the Croatian Money Market conference in Opatija in Kvarner, the Croatian Government issued a proposal for a supplement to the Credit Institutions Act on Wednesday for public consultation, which refers precisely to the creation of a normative framework for the assignment of certain tasks to the European Central Bank.

In practice, this means, in the first instance, Croatia's inclusion in a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), and that means that in the furure, the ECB will be able to carry out comprehensive assessments of such credit institutions, while for example, Asset Quality Review has so far covered euro-denominated countries.

At the aforementioned Opatija conference, the introductory speech on the path to Croatia's entrance into the Eurozone was given by an envoy to the President of the Republic of Croatia, with the Croatian Minister of State Property, Goran Marić, also having a part to play. It was stated that the single currency is one of the important aspects of unification, ie, in Croatia's accession to the European Union, and that Croatia has an obligation to respond readily and properly to this process.

That means, as was stated, the need to carry out all of the necessary preparations - monetary, political and others, including those aimed at the wider public, with a view to understanding the changes and eliminating fear, propaganda and potential insecurity. The main focus of the presentation of the Governor of the Croatian National Bank (HNB/CNB) Boris Vujčić was the macroeconomic prospects and challenges, and this is usually a reference to structural reforms without which Croatia will lag behind in reaching the level of development of much older EU member states, especially in terms of Croatia's development in comparison to other, older member states of the Union.

Croatia's business climate in us is still not good enough, remotely. To improve the country's overall business environment, the governor emphasised that what is particularly important is the raising of the quality of Croatia's institutions which greatly affects the general level of investment into the country, and that this is a key to faster productivity growth.

Therefore, in the first quarter of 2019, the indicators are solid: strong growth in industrial production, personal consumption and construction, the continued growth of exports (as well as imports) and favourable labour market trends (but with the increasing and very concerning problem of a lacking labour force owing to Croatia's demographic crisis).

In the case of economic slowdown today, however, there is a significant fiscal space that, at least according to Boris Vujčić, should be used in the case of a recession occurring. Otherwise, the Croatian National Bank expects to further reduce surplus on current and capital account balances this year, as well as significant appreciation pressures on the Croatian kuna.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages for much more.


Click here for the original article by Jadranka Dozan for Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Croatia's Paradox: Work But No Workers, Workers But No Work

The Republic of Croatia is in a group of four European Union member states with a lower uncovered demand for workers when compared to one year earlier. The Croatian paradox of staff fighting over workers who either don't exist or don't want to work, while would-be staff complain about there being no jobs continues.

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of March, 2019, the workforce problem is rapidly becoming one of the most burning issues not only here in Croatia but across the European Union. In the last quarter of last year, Croatia ranked among the four EU member states with a lower uncovered demand for workers than was recorded during the same period last year, Eurostat figures show.

At the Union level, as well as at its very core in which the euro currency wains, the rate of vacancies grew to 2.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018. Just for comparison, this rate, which shows uncovered demand for labour, was 2.1 percent in the previous quarter, and 2.2 percent in the Eurozone.

The availability of labour in the last year has become the top theme for domestic employers. While a few years ago this issue was only mentioned from time to time, in the last surveys answered by business owners, it emerged at the very top of the list. In Poslovni Dnevnik's recent interview with AmCham, Andrea Doko Jelušić pointed out that when the last survey was taken, their members underlined this topic as the main constraining factor in 2018, while back in 2017, it was placed on the list for the first time ever.

Reflecting on the workforce as an inevitable issue of the competitiveness of the domestic economy, CNB/HNB Governor Boris Vujčić said on Monday that Croatia is specific in the EU because as many as 40 percent of working-age citizens don't work. "When looking at the employment rate, Croatia is the second worst in the European Union after Greece, which means that everyone else has to work harder to maintain the same level of living standards," said the governor.

The key to the mobilisation of this population, Vujčić believes, is to evaluate the positive changes in pension regulations which extend the working life. The EU and the Eurozone are currently experiencing the most problems with finding workers in the service sector, with the job vacancy rate standing at 2.6 percent. Industry and construction account for 2.1 percent in the EU, and 2 percent in the Eurozone. In Croatia, the vacancy rate in the fourth quarter fell to 1.4 percent, which was the lowest level in just over a year. The highest jump in labour demand for the same period last year was in the fourth quarter in the Czech Republic, Austria, Malta, and Germany.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and politics pages for much more.


Click here for the original article by Ana Blaskovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Move towards ERM Membership Likely in Second Quarter

ZAGREB, February 26, 2019 - Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujčić announced on Monday that a letter of intent for ERM membership (European Exchange Rate Mechanism II) was expected to be sent "some time in the second quarter of this year."

Responding to questions to the press after delivering a lecture on Croatia's prospects of entering the euro area at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU), Vujčić said that the letter would certainly not be sent by the end of this month and would most likely be sent "some time in the second quarter".

"In any case, first there will be a report from the European Commission, then we will continue consultations with our partners - the European Central Bank, the Commission and the Eurogroup, and after that we will decide on an exact date," Vujčić said, adding that he hoped Croatia would soon get out of the excessive imbalance procedure, on which the Commission is soon to release a report.

Asked if Croatia could be expected to join the exchange rate mechanism in 2020, the governor said this was a tentative time frame, but he would not speculate about an exact date.

Vujčić said that Croatia "de facto" meets all five nominal convergence criteria, while "de iure" it does not meet one relating to exchange rate stability. He said that the exchange rate stability requirement can be met only within the exchange rate mechanism, and that this is the first key step for entering the mechanism.

On the other hand, there is a range of indicators relating to excessive macroeconomic imbalances, such as public debt, external debt, unemployment rates and labour market participation. "Here we stand much better than we did five years ago because external imbalances have been reduced as a result of the decline in public debt, which right now is three times faster than that required by the EU procedures."

More news on the introduction of euro in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Croatia's Foreign Debt is Lowest in Last Eleven Years

The trend of the Republic of Croatia's foreign debt falling on an annual basis has been going on since the end of 2015, according to RBA analysts in light of their review of the recently published data of the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of February, 2019, at the end of October last year, Croatia's gross foreign debt amounted to 38.4 billion euro, which is less by as much as 4.1 percent when compared to one year before, meaning that the country's foreign debt fell to its lowest level since back in September 2008, according to a new analysis carried out by Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA).

RBA pointed out, in addition to the fact that the falling of Croatia's foreign debt has been a trend since 2015, that the fall of this debt in October in particular is the result of a decline in the debt(s) of other financial institutions, which fell by 13.1 percent, as it also did in other similar sectors.

Thus, the gross foreign debt of other Croatian (domestic) sectors dropped to 13.5 billion euro at the end of October, or by 5.3 percent year-on-year, continuing the trend of depreciation dating from January 2016, as was stated on Tuesday.

The gross foreign debt of the state amounted to 13.7 billion euro at the end of October, which was 0.4 percent less than it was one year earlier. The growth of Croatia's gross foreign debt at an annual level was recorded only in direct investments, by 4.4 percent, to 6.3 billion euro.

"We expect the data for the last two months of 2018 to point to the continuation of similar developments, and at the end of 2018, the relative indicator of external borrowing should be below 75 percent of GDP," RBA analysts point out.

They expect that this year's debt to gross domestic product (GDP) will decline, thanks to the growth of the domestic economy and further diversification of all of Croatia's key sectors. "Further reductions in debt in the corporate sector are expected as a result of the discrepancies in the cost of financing on domestic and foreign financial markets," analysts from RBA have stated.

However, a tightening monetary policy and worsening funding conditions in regional and global financial markets could warn of a potentially negative impact.

"[This is particularly concerning] in the case of Croatia's modest progress in the implementation of structural reforms, which leads to an increase in risk perception and, consequently, the risk premium of the country itself," concluded RBA's financial analysts.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and politics pages for more infromation on Croatia's financial situation, doing business in Croatia, and the overall business and investment climate.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Euro in Croatia Senseless Without Responsible National Institutions

For some, the mere idea of the introduction of the euro in Croatia is enough to induce passionate debate. For others, the introduction of the single European currency is the next step to leaving the country's tumultuous past behind, and joining the ''ever closer union'' that Eurocrats in Brussels speak so highly of. While the United Kingdom managed to secure a way out of the currency's introduction much earlier, Croatia had to agree to take on the euro in order to join the bloc.

Introducing the euro in Croatia is likely to bring problems as well as solve them, but what use is the adoption of the single currency when many of Croatia's national institutions are in total disarray? Until state institutions can be brought into line, the introduction of the euro and the overhaul that involves will only work to contribute to existing issues, rather than help to solve them.

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of January, 2019, just over a year after the announcement of the Croatian Government's intention to introduce the euro, encouraged by positive signals from Europe, Croatia will send a letter of intent to enter the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) by the summer. The aforementioned mechanism is known as the ''waiting room" for a country's introduction of the euro as its currency. Although the letter is only the first formal step in the process of replacing the kuna with the formerly problematic single currency, its content is not merely a pleasant yet rather empty formality.

The letter will involve the Croatian Government agreeing on a series of concrete reform moves, in a relatively short period of about a year. "The ball is now in the government's court to make a list of moves that can be completed within a year, within the gauge that they're achievable, easily measurable, and are written in the letter of intent," an interlocutor close to the central bank told Poslovni Dnevnik.

Judging by the Bulgarian version of the letter that Sofia officially sent to a number of European Union addresses at the end of July, the answer to the question of what exactly Andreja Plenković's government could or should put on paper doesn't need great philosophical effort put into it. There is already a list of specific recommendations from Brussels for the Republic of Croatia.

Reforms is a word that everyone in Croatia gets sick of hearing, and this next political move involves a well-known series of infamous reforms, the implementation of which has been largely shifted to ''next year''. The euro in Croatia however, demands certain reforms be met, and sooner rather than later.

For example, there are administration reforms (including those regarding salaries), reforms to the utterly bizarre Croatian justice system, the establishing of a more just system of social benefits and rights, the strengthening of the fiscal framework, and the introduction of property taxes, a controversial idea which Plenković has moved around quite a lot on.

"The European Commission supports member states' efforts to introduce the euro, not only politically, but in also providing the necessary technical assistance and potential financial resources," said Valdis Dombrovskis, adding that Croatia is very serious in its intentions and is working intensively to meet the conditions for its eventual entry into the eurozone. One of the panelists at that conference was the Croatian National Bank's Boris Vujčić, which is also regarded by all as a firm sign of Croatia's support.

"The most difficult thing to do is to enter the ERM II, because there are no clear criteria that a country needs to meet in order to enter the exchange rate mechanism. Once you're in the ERM, the criteria for introducing the euro is clear, although some of it is constantly changing, so you do need a bit of luck on your side in order to be able to fulfil it,'' said Latvia's governer. One thing is certain, unlike the correspondence Croatia has had with the European Commission until now (primarily concerning becoming a member of the EU), the rules for a country's adoption of the euro are much stricter.

Make sure to stay up to date for more information on the intended introduction of the euro in Croatia and much more by following our dedicated politics page.


Click here for the original article by Ana Blaskovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 4 January 2019

Boris Vujčić Proclaimed Best European and International Governor in 2018

As tportal writes on the 3rd of January, 2019, The Banker, a magazine which belongs to the Financial Times group and is issued monthly, gave two prestigious awards of recognition to the Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, for the year 2018 - one as the best European governor, and the one for the best central banker on a global scale.

The Banker has been following various financial developments across the entire world since 1926. It has been declaring the best regional governor and governor of the year on an international level each year in its January issue, and the winners are based on the magazine's editorial rating and research conducted among bankers and economic analysts.

Recognition from The Banker is guided by the criterion that the winners are those responsible for "stimulating growth and stabilising the economies in which they operate". The recognition is awarded globally, as well as regionally - for Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa. The Banker also gave recognition to the former Governor of the CNB (HNB), Željko Rohatinski, back in 2008.

In the article published by The Banker on the occasion of the award to Croatia's Boris Vujčić, his versatility was emphasised: "Seven years before Croatia's entry into the European Union in 2013, he was the deputy chief negotiator during the successful candidacy of that country for joining the European Union. He was Deputy Governor of the Croatian National Bank and has been Governor since 2012. He has recently co-ordinated central bank management and the development of the Croatian strategy for joining the Eurozone with the chairmanship of the Vienna Initiative steering committee.''

The explanation further states that the Vienna Initiative, which is less known outside of the region, was launched in 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis with a view to securing the financial stability of emerging economies with markets in Central and Eastern Europe. There was a fear that the major Western and Northern European banks, which dominated the financial systems of these countries, would withdraw from lending and cause a catastrophic credit crunch. Since then, the Vienna Initiative has spread to seventeen countries in the region, as well as to international financial institutions, the European Commission, and to several major European lenders.

The Banker cites the role of Boris Vujčić and the Croatian National Bank in ​​keeping hold of Croatia's financial and banking stability during the recent Agrokor crisis. The article also highlights the public advocacy of the governor of the Croatian National Bank for structural reforms - particularly when it comes to education, in order to create market competencies that will dominate innovation and technological progress, as well as a smart immigration policy as one of the measures to address the problem of labour shortage which is currently enfeebling the Croatian economy.

Upon receiving the prestigious recognition, Boris Vujčić said: "I'm exceptionally honoured; this is a great tribute to the Croatian National Bank, and to me personally. This award is further motivation to me to continue working on our goals - price and exchange stability, so that every citizen of the Republic of Croatia knows, with certainty, that what they earn won't lose value. We're also thinking about Croatian companies and the security of their financial operations and financing possibilities. We will continue to monitor banks in order to maintain financial stability, as well as to improve consumer rights and information.

Success in achieving our goals contributes to creating a better environment for economic growth and the development of the entire country. And finally, we believe - and in this way we'll communicate with all citizens and companies, inform and answer every question and dilemma - that our entry into the Eurozone can further stimulate economic growth and development, make our country stronger within European frameworks, and thus serve for the prosperity of every citizen of Croatia.''

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and politics pages for much more.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Croatia’s ERM II Exchange Rate to Be Known Soon

ZAGREB, December 1, 2018 – Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić said on Friday that Croatian citizens would not have conversion costs when the country entered the euro area and that the ERM II exchange rate with which Croatia was expected to enter the Exchange Rate Mechanism could be known as early as next year.

He was responding to questions from the press at the government after the first meeting of the national council for the introduction of the euro in Croatia.

As part of ERM II, the national currency of a member state is tied to the euro and a median exchange rate is established. It is the result of a balanced exchange rate, which means the currency must not be either undervalued or overvalued.

"There will be no conversion cost. It will be automatic, based on the exchange rate to be established earlier," Vujčić said, adding that the rate might be known as early as next year. "That will be the rate with which we will enter the Exchange Rate Mechanism and which we will de facto have to maintain while in the Mechanism, which essentially means that this will be, possibly with very small oscillations, the conversion rate."

He said there would be no cost for citizens and that their deposits and loans denominated in euro would have to be changed based on that exchange rate.

Asked if this meant that the exchange rate with which Croatia would enter ERM II would be very close to the current exchange rate given that it would not be able to vary markedly as of next year, Vujčić said the rate would be close to the one Croatia had over the past 25 years, which "didn't oscillate much."

He recalled that the government and the central bank presented a joint euro strategy late last year, which underwent public consultation and which the government adopted in May.

Vujčić said talks about the next steps were being held with European partners and that the first step was entering ERM II, which envisages close cooperation with the euro area and joining the banking union.

He added that the European Commission and the European Central Bank were conducting due diligence of Croatia's economy as a prerequisite for continuing the talks.

Vujčić said he would soon resume talks on the contents of a letter which he and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić would send about membership of ERM II and in which Croatia would commit to certain things. By entering ERM II, Croatia must meet five convergence criteria which the Commission evaluates and if Croatia meets them, it enters the euro area, he added.

Addressing the same press conference, Minister Marić said that a country was invited to ERM II if it had a stable economy, sustainable growth rates and no imbalances.

Asked about the date of entering the euro area, he said the government's euro strategy did not specify formal deadlines for entering either ERM II or the euro area, and that one must also keep in mind that European partners would follow the whole process and make decisions about Croatia.

Marić recalled that 2005 was the last year when an EU member state entered ERM II and said Croatia must do all that was necessary so that, when certain steps intensified, it was as prepared as possible.

Asked about the previously mentioned five to 7-year deadline for entering the euro area, he said it was realistic.

The first meeting of the national council for the introduction of the euro was chaired by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. It was attended by several ministers and representatives of employers and unions.

Marić called the meeting very constructive, saying employer and union representatives would not have attended had they anything against Croatia's entering the euro area.

Asked about employers' claims that they had not been sufficiently consulted about a minimum pay rise, he said Labour Minister Marko Pavić had announced that the government would correct the minimum pay by the end of the year but that the actual amount was not made public until the very end.

Marić said he was pleased that, even before VAT on fresh meat and fish, fruit, vegetables, eggs and nappies was due to be slashed on January 1, some retail chains had started to correct their prices.

For more on the Croatian National Bank, click here.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Zdravko Maric Unenthusiastic About Martina Dalic's Agrokor Book

In case you didn't know, Martina Dalic, the former deputy prime minister who spent a long time at Andrej Plenkovic's side, left her position earlier this year amid not only the Hotmail affair, in which she was sending highly sensitive emails via no less than Hotmail, but amid growing suspicion surrounding her in regard to the very messy Agrokor affair.

Now, despite the public's general opinion of her being less than sparkling and with all sorts of unsavoury suspicions and accusations about her involvement in Agrokor still flying around, left unanswered, Martina Dalic went ahead and published a book on Agrokor, causing raised eyebrows among many politicians, including MOST's leader Bozo Petrov, who was heavily involved in the Agrokor situation when it first came to light, especially given the fact that the crisis saw the former HDZ-MOST coalition collapse.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Tomislav Pili writes on the 30th of October, 2018, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric, who felt the very personal unpleasantness of the Agrokor crisis on his own skin, stated quite bluntly that he didn't have any desire to comment on whether or not Martina Dalic should return to the government at all.

Marić used to work for Agrokor before taking up his position within the Croatian Government, this caused a lot of suspicion around him, too, as many across the political spectrum and in the general public failed to believe that he had no knowledge of the plethora of underhand deals and the threatening collapse of the company that eventually raised its ugly head in the spring of 2017. Despite the controversy, Maric stuck to his guns and held onto his position, with the situation eventually blowing over. Despite that, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that he'd prefer to avoid discussing Martina Dalic or her new book.

"I've got a good relationship with all the people I've worked with and am working with now, and if we have some disagreement, then we find a common language," the finance minister said briefly.

''I haven't read Martina Dalic's book and I don't know if I'll manage to,'' Maric added at the margins of Poslovni Dnevnik's conference. In response to a journalist's question as to whether everything worked well in regard to Agrokor's extraordinary administration, and why Martina Dalic had to leave, Maric expressed his lack of desire to comment on whether or not she should return to the government.

As for the dangers the Uljanik shipyard situation represents towards public debt, Maric said Uljanik's influence will of course have an effect on the overall fiscal policy outcome for this year.

"The only good thing about it is that it will have a one-off effect. From our side, we intend to solve [the situation] as soon as possible so as to avoid any further consequences. Nevertheless, by the end of the year, according to our projections and expectations, public debt will continue to decline,'' Maric emphasised.

"With regard to taking further steps, we can't influence the worsening global environment that much, but do we have certain mechanisms in our hands. I, as finance minister, am responsible for implementing fiscal policy. All we propose is a responsible, rational fiscal policy that suits all of the challenges we're facing. We're putting emphasis on a more stable public debt, but the basic idea of us all should be ​​economic growth, which will lead to stronger employment growth,'' Maric noted.

Journalists present at the conference in were also very interested in the disappearance of the so-called "mantra" about budget savings which has been being talking about a lot over recent years.

"I wouldn't say that is stopped. If you look at the structure of the expenditure side of the budget, the biggest item is the retirement expenditure. It's true that the issue of expenditure has been challenged more than once and we must not give up on that. We reduced interest costs by over two billion kuna, but we're still paying too much,'' Maric said.

Regarding retirement, the question of whether or not retirement benefits in the new Law on Croatian Defenders represent a budgetary burden arose, to which Maric responded that his ministry had looked into potential financial implications during the process of the adoption of the naw Law on Croatian Defenders.

"The Law on Croatian Defenders is fiscally viable and isn't an additional burden for the budget," Maric concluded.

Want to find out more about what exactly happened within Agrokor and learn more about Martina Dalic's role within it all? Click here and follow the news on Dalić, the Hotmail affair, the writing of Lex Agrokor, and more.


Click here for the original article by Tomislav Pili for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 27 September 2018

GDP Growth to Remain Steady Next Year

ZAGREB, September 27, 2018 - Next year, the Croatian economy is expected to grow roughly at the same rate as this year, or "slightly below three percent of GDP", Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujčić said on Wednesday, warning of the first signs of external risks.

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