Friday, 1 April 2022

Opposition Urges VAT, Fuel Excise Tax Cuts, Additional Measures

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Bridge MP Zvonimir Troskot said on Friday the government had not used all the available instruments to cushion the impact of rising prices on citizens' living standards and on businesses or secure energy supply routes, calling for lower VAT and fuel excise taxes and for subsidies for enterprises.

Troskot recalled that Bridge MPs and 16 other MPs had submitted a motion to offer additional short and long-term solutions as, he claimed, the government had not used all the instruments at its disposal.

Asked about a government reshuffle, Bridge MP Nikola Grmoja said he did not want to comment on new candidates for ministerial posts "because it is clear that due to numerous scandals a whole set of government officials are under investigation by independent institutions and the only solution is a new election."

This is not a government reshuffle but an attempt to decriminalise the government, however, such an attempt can never succeed with the HDZ's partners because the ones to be appointed will probably also be compromised, said Grmoja.

Social Democrats expect additional measures for business sector

The Social Democrats group in the parliament today said they expected the government to introduce additional measures to consolidate the economy and help households, noting that a new election would be the best solution.

MP Ivana Posavec Krivec called on PM Andrej Plenković to consider appointing in the coming government reshuffle a minister of transition, noting that Croatia urgently needed transition to renewable energy sources and lower VAT for households and enterprises.

MP Domagoj Hajduković believes Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković should be replaced over inactivity in light of the rising prices.

We still do not know the state of commodity stockpiles and what kind of goods they contain, he said, adding the government had replenished the stockpiles only after the war in Ukraine broke out and prices started to soar.

Prices continue to rise despite cuts of VAT on certain products, he said, noting that unfavourable weather conditions, the rise in prices of mineral fertilisers and large areas of uncultivated land bode a very bad year, he said, fearing Croatia would not be self-sufficient.

MP Matko Kuzmanić warned about the high price of blue-dyed diesel used in fishing and called for subsidies for fishermen.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Prime Minister Believes Opposition Satisfied With Talks on Situation in Ukraine and Drone Crash

ZAGREB, 18 March (2022) - PM Andrej Plenković said on Friday after talks with opposition MPs on the situation in Ukraine and last week's crash of an unmanned aerial vehicle in Zagreb that they seemed to be satisfied with the information presented at the meeting, and that he suggested holding such meetings on an as-needed basis.

A special item on the agenda of the meeting, held in the government offices, was information on last week's crash of an unmanned aerial vehicle near a student dorm in Zagreb.

"We believe our colleagues from the Opposition have obtained valuable new information that will help them take a position when making comments, in political debates and when assessing the seriousness of the situation," Plenković told reporters after the talks.

He said that opposition politicians were mostly satisfied and that the information they obtained today would be useful to them when making public statements.

"(We need) the greatest possible amount of responsible behaviour, responsible statements, politics that is on the right side of both law and history... in the circumstances that have been anything but normal since 24 February," he said.

The PM said the opposition MPs were provided with reliable and verified information that the drone was armed, that an explosion occurred and that the device in question was most probably an aerial bomb that exploded on impact.

A fuse and bomb fragments have been found and it has been established beyond doubt that the drone, normally intended for reconnaissance, was adapted to carry a weapon, he said.

For more, check out our politics section.