Croatia expects to receive an advance payment of between €750 and 800 million from the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument by the end of this summer, or 13% of the total amount of grants, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Thursday.
Responding to questions from the press before a cabinet meeting, Maric said that the state institutions had so far held 45 meetings as part of the preparation of a national recovery and resilience plan. Croatia is required to send in the final version of the document by the end of April, after which it will be evaluated by the European Commission, he added.
Maric said that the advance would most likely be disbursed after the approval of the national recovery and resilience plan, which is expected towards the end of summer.
Croatia has access to slightly over €10 billion from the NGEU instrument, of which about €6 billion will be available in grants and about €3.4 billion in loans. “Croatia is in an excellent position here because the amount of grants allocated to us is above the average,” Maric said.
Maric also mentioned the €700 million Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU) package, a small amount of which was already made available to Croatia and was spent last year, while the rest of it is included in the 2021 budget.
There will be enough money for COVID-19 vaccines
Asked why the HRK 97 million donated by citizens into the State Treasury account had not already been allocated to the earthquake-affected Banija region, Maric said that it would be decided in the coming days how the money would be distributed.
Asked if there was money for the possible emergency import of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, Maric said that money would be ensured for that purpose, but added that he did not have information on how much one dose cost.
“We are still in the pandemic. We have to find money for that purpose and to help the economy as well, and we will,” Maric said.