Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Marić Comments on Record-Breaking Consumer Spending in 2021

ZAGREB, 4 Jan 2022 - Consumer spending in Croatia reached a record-breaking level in 2021 as Croatians spent HRK 17.5 billion in December alone.

"The data on record-breaking spending in December partly surprised us, but that's what we expected. You could see that the whole of last year was really good, notably, the 5% increase in the value of fiscalised receipts compared with 2019," Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said in an interview with HTV public television on Monday evening.

Marić said that the record for last month was set on 23 December when nearly 8 million fiscalised receipts were issued and their value reached nearly HRK 900 million. He noted that 13 August 2021 holds the record since the fiscalisation system was introduced when nearly a billion fiscalised receipts were issued in a single day.

Marić said that the government's original growth forecast for last year was 5%. "The last projection was 9%, and by all indications, we have reached the border of the two-digit growth rate. This indeed is a very good result and we will be among the top three (EU) countries with the highest growth in 2021," he predicted.

Speaking of challenges ahead, notably those concerning the COVID pandemic, Marić mentioned inflation and disruptions to global supply chains. "In my opinion, these are the two biggest risks to our macroeconomic projections. However, there is a great deal of or at least several strong positive factors, first and foremost the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and our path towards the eurozone and Schengen."

Marić said that the government has moved from the job retention phase to the job creation phase, noting that the labor shortage is one of the main issues that need to be addressed. "That's why all these measures concerning active employment policy, which should lead to higher employment and higher wages, should be fully supported."

2022 inflation projected at around 3.5%

Speaking of inflation, Marić said that inflation has picked up in recent months and that for the most part it has been imported, citing prices of raw materials and oil and supply chain disruptions. This has resulted in inflation spilling over to a wide range of items, notably food and fuels, he added.

"As for our projections, we will have data for December in the coming days. We expect that inflation will continue to accelerate as it did in the first half of the year. Based on the available data, average inflation for 2022 is projected at around 3.5%," the finance minister said.

Marić said that based on this estimate, it could be concluded that prices in 2022 would grow somewhat faster than wages, but added that there were several strong drivers that would push wages upwards.

"On the one hand, there is a labor shortage, so employers will be forced to increase wages, while on the other hand, active employment policy measures will make their contribution. In case of price growth is higher than wage growth, which is still not certain, but if that happens, the difference will not be such as to substantially endanger the living standards of Croatian citizens," Marić said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Finance Minister and Bridge Party Leader Test Positive for COVID-19

ZAGREB, 7 Nov 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić has been found to be positive for COVID-19 after undergoing a test at the weekend, the government announced in a press release on Sunday.

Marić underwent a test after a member of his family had developed symptoms of the infection. His test returned positive, after which epidemiologists have ordered him to stay in isolation for ten days.

The minister "is feeling well and for now, he has no symptoms of the COVID-19 disease. He will stay in isolation and perform his duties from home while following orders from his doctor and epidemiologists," the press release said.

Marić, as well as other cabinet ministers, were vaccinated against COVID-19 early this year, and would soon receive a booster dose, following recommendations by the Croatian Public Health Institute, government spokesman Marko Milić said, adding that several cabinet ministers had already received the third dose of vaccine.

Milić appealed to all citizens to get vaccinated if they had not done so yet because the vaccine protects against serious forms of the disease. He also appealed to people who had received their second shot six months ago or longer, especially the elderly or those immunocompromised, to get a booster dose as soon as possible.

He recalled that Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević and Labour Minister Josip Aladrović, who had become infected even though they had been vaccinated, had overcome the infection with very mild symptoms.

Also, the opposition Bridge party leader, Božo Petrov, said in an interview with Nova TV on Saturday evening that he was positive for COVID-19. "Two or three days ago I found out I was infected. I had symptoms, I called my doctor and did a PCR test, which showed I was positive," he said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 5 November 2021

Zdravko Maric Reveals Staggering Cost of Croatian Fight Against Covid

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.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

PM Says Motion to Vote No Confidence in FinMin Bizarre

ZAGREB, 4 Nov 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday evening defended Finance Minister Zdravko Marić from yet another attempt by the parliamentary Opposition to have the minister replaced, calling the opposition motion bizarre and the group of MPs who supported it as ridiculous.

"The parliamentary majority rejects the motion and Minister Marić will continue doing his job to the benefit of the Croatian economy," Plenković said in a debate on a motion by 34 opposition MPs for the parliament to give Marić a vote of no confidence.

He then described independent MP Karolina Vidović Krišto's presentation in which she explained the reasons for the motion as 'bizarre', likening the ideologically diverse group of MPs who supported it to "a circus troupe".

The PM said that the Opposition did not understand the concept of division of powers, judicial autonomy or unobstructed police work, dismissing their claims as conspiracy theories.

Speaking of the government's achievements, Plenković recalled the tax reform, reduction of public debt, restoration of the country's credit rating, and job preservation, wondering what Vidović Krišto had done. "What have you done for Croatia to join the EU? Nothing at all," he said.

He added that the incumbent government would continue in its present form for several years to come and work to improve citizens' living standards.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić dismissed allegations from the motion for a vote of no confidence, calling them unfounded.

He said that he categorically rejected any insinuation, starting with the one that he used his position to favour his friends' and acquaintances' interests, noting that he was doing his job conscientiously and responsibly.

Vidović Krišto launched the motion for a vote of no confidence in Marić over his spending a few days on a yacht owned by businessman Blaž Pavičić and over what she described as "his lie to the public that the businessman does not do business with the state."

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Finance Minister Maric: Croatia to Reach Pre-Recession Levels in 2 Years

October the 27th, 2021 - Finance Minister Maric has been discussing the completion of the rebalance of the state budget for 2022, and has stated that all of the processes and procedures which need to be done have been passed, as reported by N1.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Finance Minister Maric stated that the rebalance and domestic economic growth is higher than expected, that he and his team are busy finalising the macroeconomic projections and that they're going over 8 percent, which is a very good result and we can be satisfied with it.

''The Republic of Croatia will reach pre-recession levels of GDP in two years, which is a fantastic result. That rate had its repercussions, revenues will be slightly adjusted for the better, but that said, we also have not the best news, as the expenditure side of the budget is growing slightly more than the revenue.

We had a slightly higher indexation of pensions, primarily due to inflation, but as a government, we're glad that pensions are rising. We also have a situation with measures to preserve jobs, they were envisaged only for the first couple of months, but for some sectors they're still valid. As for salaries, we knew from the beginning that we had insufficient funds, but now we're securing them. At the level of the general government, the deficit is slightly higher,'' explained Finance Minister Maric.

On the debt to wholesalers, he said that healthcare is in the first budget, so now, given the situation with coronavirus, this enfeebled sector inevitably needs a quality reform on the expenditure side.

''Revenues provide their contribution, and this year, we'll allocate over 9 billion kuna to keep the payment deadlines at 180 days for hospitals and 120 days for pharmacies. If we look at wholesalers, at the moment, with a small deviation, the debt of hospitals stands at 2.8 billion kuna, and pharmacies some 400 million kuna. To compare, over 9 billion has been paid off so far and will be paid by the end of the year to meet those deadlines. That's when we'll need to come to increasing expenditures,'' he added.

When asked how much the rebalance for the healthcare system will amount to, Maric said quite frankly - one billion and six million kuna.

"You'll get to hear about the deficit on Thursday, and then we'll have to dose it a little, it will certainly be over 4 percent but it won't reach some unsustainable level," he said.

“It brings us back to the trajectory we had before the pandemic. We had a continuous reduction of public debt for four years, then we had a jump due to coronavirus, and this year alone we've been returning to the path of reducing public debt,'' he said.

''l’ll finish up with a bit of good news - public debt will decline at the end of the year. It's something we want to emphasise, it's a clear message to everyone, you know yourself, fiscal policy has been put into the function of preserving health and life and jobs from day one,'' said Finance Minister Maric.

''The inflation projection is still below 3 per ent. Despite the acceleration, it's stayed at that level, but we're still taking it very seriously, not only because of the Maastricht criteria, but also because of people,'' concluded the Minister of Finance.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric Talks Rebalances, Projections, Eurozone

October the 23rd, 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Maric has spoken out about rebalances, projections for the future, stability and of course, the topic on the lips of most - Croatian Eurozone entry, which is edging ever closer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, at the end of this year or at the very beginning of 2022, the situation in the Republic of Croatia should return to pre-crisis levels. This is of course good news for the domestic economy with the perspective of Eurozone entry in 2023, but this generally optimistic picture is still being threatened by numerous risks, from poor vaccination levels to so-called ''bubbles'' on the Croatian real estate market. These matters could be heard being discussed at the conference of the Zagreb Stock Exchange and pension funds entitled "The Challenge of Change/Izazov promjene".

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric announced that he would step out next week with a rebalance and a few new projections.

"At the end of this year, or at the beginning of next year, we should reach pre-pandemic figures," he assured. The Croatian Government will also refresh its fiscal expectations for the next three years, which will be marked by the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the effects of which should boost GDP by 1.5 percentage points on average.

818 million euros have been pumped into Croatia so far, and the new cash injections will depend on the fulfillment of 34 different criteria by the end of the year. If they're met, the government will submit a report to the European Commission (EC) in January or February, and then "we can expect a new payment in May or June."

In terms of Eurozone accession, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric says, everything is currently going according to plan. Interest rates and the exchange rate aren't in question, but inflation is a new fear. "Inflation is a priority for us because of society, the economy and of course because of people, but we should also look at it through Maastricht, even though Croatia is at the EU average. According to these projections, we should satisfy that as well. The real date of joining the Eurozone is 2023, I see no reason as to why we won't manage to meet the criteria,'' said Maric.

The introduction of the euro as Croatia's official currency could reduce the risk premium by two levels and thus partially amortise the possible growth of interest rates, which has been a current topic lately.

Croatian National Bank (CNB) Governor Boris Vujcic, on the other hand, expects a quick recovery "in the shape of the letter V", for 2021 in the form of GDP growth of 8.5 percent, and then of 4.1 percent. He noted that inflation is a consequence of supply disruptions, making it somewhat difficult for ordinary monetary tools to address it.

"Raising the reference interest rates over the next two years isn't going to significantly affect the price of oil and gas, which make up half of inflation," said Vujcic. He underlined that the current figures (3.5 percent in September, op.a.) are historically low, but that we have become accustomed to a long period of low inflation, which has in fact been too low.

"This year we expect an inflation rate of 2.3 percent, which isn't worrying, it's actually very close to the goal of monetary policy and it will calm down slightly next year,'' he assured.

Risks in the macro environment...

In addition to energy, the CNB sees numerous risks in the macro environment in the form of the slower cleaning of the market from bad companies and the creation of a real estate bubble, among other things. Prices are also being pushed by foreigners buying properties, especially on the coast.

“The availability of property has started to deteriorate, loan installments in relation to disposable income are slowly growing. "If this trend continues, property purchasing becomes inaccessible to a part of the population with lower incomes, and this should be kept in mind because it's now also becoming a political problem," the governor warned.

Assessing the risks to financial stability, Hanfa's Ante Zigman briefly summed it up by saying that "it isn't exactly great, but it isn't terrible either".

“We’re not too worried about it all, but we’re on guard,” he said. In the second quarter, the risks were somewhat reduced, and for the third, in which inflation returned to the scene, there is no data to be looked into yet. There are a range of risks present; from investment concentration, labour market issues to, once again, the issue of real estate.

"Currently, there are high risks of valuation, the question is whether or not we have an overheated market. The risk of things falling due to high valuations is very possible ", warned the head of Hanfa. Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic out that there is reason for optimism at the end of the global coronavirus pandemic.

"We've never had closer cooperation between politics and economics. The government acted in a timely and adequate manner, we can say that we saved the economy. We're now going into the job creation phase,'' he said, announcing that a very important role is played by pension funds that manage 130 billion kuna.

“They need to invest in long-term sustainable investments, which will create pensions and increase them in the future. It's up to us to redefine the regulations in the direction of the diversification of investments and goals, which we'll do in the short term and in cooperation with those pension funds,'' he concluded.

For more, follow our politics section.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić: Only Those That Meet All Criteria Will Get Money From NPOO

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić told a press conference on Wednesday that the money from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO) would be granted only to those that met all the criteria.

The European Commission on Tuesday disbursed €818 million to Croatia in a pre-financing payment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF), which is equivalent to 13% of the country's total financial allocation under the RRF.

Marić said that the government had agreed the pace of expenditure and implementation of reform and investment measures. He said he expected at least 50 projects to be prepared by the end of the year, adding that they concerned digital transformation and the transition to green transformation in the industrial sector. 

"Who will get these funds will depend on tenders and fulfilment of the criteria," the finance minister said.

He announced tenders for the construction of kindergartens and schools, and said that individual projects, such as development of autonomous vehicles by the Rimac company, were also important.

Before the end of this year or early next year, there will be additional tenders for the award of grants for energy efficiency and further green transformation, and some of the funds will also go towards post-earthquake reconstruction, he said.

Asked about the possibility of Croatia losing some of the money because of problems with public procurement, Marić said that public procurement must be efficient because "projects are subject to deadlines, and speed and efficiency are the key."

He noted that the Croatian public procurement law is the most complicated in the EU and needs amending.

Asked who can apply for NPOO funding, Marić said that in the context of the manufacturing industry those would be small and medium-sized businesses, notably those that would contribute to green and digital transformation.

"Funds will be disbursed to all those that fulfil the criteria and requirements," he said, adding that funds would also go towards development of the telecommunications network.

"This 13 percent of the allocation has now been paid, the next €700 million will be paid by the middle of next year and a further 700 million by the end of next year. We need to carry out 34 measures until the end of this year. Some have already been implemented, while some have certain risks," Marić said.

"The next tranche will depend on how many measures have been fulfilled. If we fulfil all 34 measures, €700 million will come in, and if we don't, there will be a certain correction to this amount," Marić concluded.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Inflation Should be Taken Very Seriously, Says Financial Minister

ZAGREB, 22 Sept, 2021 - Inflation should be taken very seriously because of the criteria for introducing the euro as well as living standards, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Croatian Radio on Wednesday.

Asked if inflation would threaten Croatia's entry into the eurozone, he said next year's budget deficit would again be within 3%, which would mean that the cost of COVID-19 of over HRK 35 billion would be almost totally a one-off.

The public debt-to-GDP ratio is again decreasing this year already, he added.

He said that inflation, one of the criteria for introducing the euro, had become a topic in recent months and that it must be a maximum 1.5% more or less than in the three member states with the lowest inflation.

Croatia's average inflation is somewhat below the EU average but Greece, Cyprus and Portugal still have very low inflation, which affects the formula for calculating the Maastricht criterion, he added.

But even with those three countries combined, he said, Croatia is still within the criteria for introducing the euro.

He said inflation was, first and foremost, affected by energy prices, oil in particular, and that this was reflected in food and construction material prices.

Speaking of fears of price rises after the introduction of the euro, Marić said that at least six months before it was announced that Croatia was entering the area, prices would have to be displayed in both kuna and euro for a year, perhaps longer.

Although the general VAT rate is not expected to be cut upon accession to the euro area, he did not rule out the possibility of cutting VAT on food.

Marić reiterated that Croatia would receive €25 billion from the EU budget in the next seven years, including €6.3 billion for its National Recovery and Resilience Plan, of which a 13% advance "is arriving in a matter of days."

Marić said he was surprised by the success of the tourism season, notably in July and August, but this month also as the amount of fiscalised receipts in tourism this month so far was up 24% from September 2019.

He announced a 2021 budget revision, alongside preparations for the 2022 budget, for mid-October.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Switching to Euro Will Help Croatia Enjoy Better Credit Rating

ZAGREB, 13 Sept 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Monday that the introduction of the euro as the sole legal tender would impact Croatia's credit rating, and quoted the Fitch agency's presumption that the country's admission to the euro area would raise its credit rating by two notches.

Addressing a meeting of the National Council for the introduction of the Euro as Official Currency in Croatia, which was also attended by the EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, Minister Marić recalled that the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic triggered off a rise in the budget gap, and last year the general government deficit amounted to 7.4% of the country's GDP.

This year, it is estimated at 3.8%.

According to the latest estimates, the budget deficit in 2022 will fall to 2.6% of GDP and to 1.9% in 2023, while in 2024 it is projected to be 1.5% of GDP.

Marić recalled that as a consequence of the higher budget deficit, the public debt also rose in 2020 when it reached 88% of GDP.

This year, the public debt is likely to fall by two percentage points to 86.6%, and in 2022, it is expected to be reduced by a further three percentage points.

Marić expects the public debt to be 76.8% of GDP at the end of 2024.

He announced a shift of the focus to inflation, noting that inflation trends were now present worldwide.

Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor, Boris Vujčić, said that Croatia's admission to the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) II had brought the country under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and it also joined the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM).

Concerning the HNB, we are already in the bank union to a large extent. Our experience from participation in the SSM and SRM is good, we have adjusted ourselves to that, Vujčić said.

Commenting on fears of higher prices being triggered off by the euro changeover, the governor pledged the protection of consumers and good communication.

"We are preparing the code of ethics which will be offered to businesses and services to sign, whereby they undertake fair performance during the euro changeover, he explained.

We will introduce monitoring and we will use the best practices of countries that have already converted their national currencies to the euro, he said.

For more, follow our business section.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Financial Minister Zdravko Marić: Overdraft Solution in Days or Weeks Ahead

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Wednesday a solution to current account overdrafts was expected in the days or weeks ahead and that it remained to be seen if the law would need to be amended.

He was speaking to the press after Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's meeting with representatives of banks' management boards, which was also attended by central bank (HNB) governor Boris Vujčić and Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić.

Marić said the purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and views on current account overdrafts with a view to finding an adequate and satisfactory solution in which, he added, the government emphasised consumer protection.

He said several good proposals crystallised at the meeting, aimed at protecting social sensitivity, fairness, information and transparency as well as at reaching a solution under which authorised overdrafts would again dominate, as they are regulated by law in much more detail, much more clearly and transparently than tacit overdrafts.

The 2010 Consumer Credit Act recognises authorised and tacit overdrafts, but since 2018 the latter have become prevalent, accounting for almost 95% of all overdrafts, Marić said. Tacit overdrafts have been approved for almost 1.8 million consumers and are being exercised by 840,000.

That happened because under a central bank decision from the end of 2017, pursuant to European regulations, the calculation of the effective interest rate includes the fee for having a current account. As a result, authorised overdrafts became less available to lower income citizens and banks switched to tacit overdrafts.

Marić said a solution should be prompt but not rushed and to the benefit of all consumers. He told people living with tacit overdrafts that the government did not intend to nor would support a solution that would result in a drastic cancellation of overdrafts because that would put additional pressure on their everyday lives and livelihoods. "We'll dispel all fears that this instrument will be annulled and disappear."

A solution may be found by changing the decision within the central bank's remit, but if necessary, the law will be adjusted, he said, adding that if the former option was chosen, that would be known in the next few days, and in case of the latter, in the next few weeks. "We are really not talking about months."

The minister said it was necessary to continue to work on people's financial literacy as well as on product transparency.

Vujčić: The goal is that lowest income citizens don't lose current account overdraft option

The central bank governor said that since Croatia was the only country limiting effective interest rate on overdrafts, the inclusion of the current account fee in the rate as of 2018 resulted in the fee "swallowing" interest, primarily on small overdrafts.

He said that, for example, no interest was paid on overdrafts up to HRK 2,000 and a current account fee of HRK 12.

"We have several different regulations which produce such results and that should be put in order, so that for those with the lowest incomes, and consequently overdrafts, those products don't become unprofitable for banks and they start cancelling them."

Vujčić said the point was to return tacit overdrafts under the same regulations that applied to authorised overdrafts, without a certain number of people with the lowest incomes losing the overdraft option in the process.

"That's the point and that's what we'll do," he said, adding that it remained to be agreed on how to do it.

Croatian Banking Association (HUB) director Zdenko Adrović said that representatives of the banking sector spoke at the meeting about practices in other European countries, expressing hope that the new solution would be in line with those practices.

He stressed that there was no cap on the effective interest rate in other countries, so one of the proposals presented was for the cap on the effective interest rate to be removed and a cap on the nominal interest rate to be possibly introduced.

Adrović said that one of the proposals was for costs related to current account overdrafts to be calculated at "a slightly higher minimum amount", but noted that this was a technical solution that still had to be discussed with the HNB.

Asked by reporters how citizens would now be able to trust banks after they had switched their authorised overdrafts to tacit ones, Adrović claimed that everything was done in line with the law and that authorised and tacit overdrafts were two equal products.

He said that he "assumed" that a "vast majority" of citizens had been informed by their banks about tacit overdrafts, but that a large number of citizens, including himself, "relatively rarely" read notices about possible changes.

Marić: No reduction of VAT on food in 2022

Asked is VAT, including on food, would be lowered considering current price hikes, Finance Minister Marić said that the government had already reduced the VAT rate on some food products, including fresh meat and fish, and fruit and vegetables, and that it planned to reduce VAT on all food products during the current term in office.

But that will happen only after the necessary conditions are met, he stressed, noting that currently and in 2022 there was no fiscal room for such a move.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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