Croatia extends measures to support economy, keep jobs
ZAGREB, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced on Thursday the extension of the government's measures that were introduced in March to support the economy and save jobs hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Until the end of this year, the government will continue to co-finance part-time job of a maximum of 2,000 kuna (315 U.S. dollars) per worker in the event that the entrepreneur has a turnover drop of more than 50 percent. For workers working in vulnerable industries such as tourism, catering, and passenger transport, which had a drop in turnover of more than 60 percent, a monthly allowance of 4,000 kuna (630 U.S. dollars) per worker will continue to be provided.
The same support of 4,000 kuna per worker will be given to businesses if they are closed down by the National Civil Protection Authority.
Plenkovic said that Croatia hadn't experienced a bigger increase in unemployment thanks to the government measures that were introduced at the beginning of the crisis.
According to Finance Minister Zdravko Maric, Croatia has lost over 11 billion kuna (1.8 billion U.S. dollars) during the coronavirus crisis. More than half of it went to supportive measures to preserve jobs. He stressed that preserving jobs is still the government's priority.
The unemployment rate in Croatia was 8.6 percent in July, two percentage points more than in the same period last year.
The worth of the government measures by the end of the year will be around 800 million kuna (125 million U.S. dollars). Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic explained that the measures will be primarily financed by European funds.
In addition to the job-keeping measures, further COVID-19 loans will be issued by the state agency and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR).
Croatia joined the European Union (EU) in 2013. The country's economy is among the three most affected in the EU by the coronavirus crisis, according to a European Commission report released in July. The Summer 2020 Economic Forecast predicted that Croatia's GDP will drop by 10.8 percent in 2020. Enditem