Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday the economic damage caused by COVID-19 would be worse than the 2008 global economic crisis and that Croatia would put forward new measures to help the economy.
"We responded promptly with 63 measures, very clearly presenting what is most important at this time, facilitating all we can, notably for the private sector. Next week we will propose another set of measures," he told reporters in Laz Bistricki.
Given that there are no indications when a vaccine will be available, we don't know how much time we will need to acquire immunity, so "all that puts us in special circumstances," Plenkovic said.
The government will adopt decisions in the best interest of Croatian citizens, "finding liquidity and funds in every way possible, both on the domestic and the international market," he added.
Everything will depend on the duration of this crisis, he said, reiterating that Croatia would receive €1.16 billion from the EU's coronavirus investment plan and that part of the first instalment of €240 million would arrive early next month.
We will use all the European funds at our disposal to fight the pandemic and try to explain, after calculating the damage, all that can help us at European level to deal with the effects of last Sunday's earthquake in the Zagreb area, Plenkovic said.
Asked if the law which envisages covering only 5 percent of the damage caused in an earthquake would be amended, he said the relevant ministry was working on the amendments.
We will try to find a solution that takes into account the specificities of this earthquake, which was big and has affected a huge number of people, he added.
Reporters also asked him if Croatian companies were complying with coronavirus precautions and if employers had ensured sufficient protective equipment for their workers.
"Yesterday I spoke with Chinese Prime Minister Li, they will give part of the donations. The rest we ordered from big Chinese companies, materials, protective equipment, primarily for hospitals, but also for all other services which must have it, the police, firefighters, customs officials, inspectors, the army. There will be enough given that we want to have supplies for an extended period of time for all who need it," said Plenkovic.