Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in an interview with CNN on Friday that during the coronavirus crisis Croatia had combined public health protection measures and measures designed to help the business sector and financial system well, and that in that sense it had been successful.
We have struck a balance between health and economic, that is, financial security, Plenkovic said in a programme called Quest Means Business.
Asked if in preparing for the tourist season Croatia had possibly relaxed epidemiological measures too much, given that tourism accounts for a significant portion of its economy and its experience from 2020, when tourism results were significantly lower than in 2019, Plenkovic said that Croatia had a stable economic growth before the coronavirus crisis, with a drop in the share of public debt in GDP and budget deficit.
We have supported workers and employers during the pandemic, spending more than HRK 10 billion for aid schemes intended for some 700,000 workers and that has been crucial, he said.
In the current stable political situation, the economy is crucial, he said, adding that Croatia’s prospects of recovery were good because in the next seven years it could count on a total of €25 billion from European funds.
As for tourism, he said that it accounted for around one-fifth of GDP and that this year Croatia wanted to achieve results that were better than last year’s.
“If we achieve 60-70% of the 2019 results, it will be very good,” he said, adding that that was why extensive preparations, epidemiological and those related to security, had been undertaken in cooperation with airports, airlines, restaurants and others.
“Safe stay in Croatia is our main motto this summer,” he said.
In response to the interviewer’s remark that there have been a lot of objections in Europe about vaccination against COVID-19 being poorly coordinated and asked if he was satisfied with how the opening-up after lockdown and recovery were being coordinated, he said that he was absolutely satisfied with the coordination of recovery efforts, mentioning in that context the €750 billion secured by the EU for its member-states for that purpose.
He also noted that the coordination of the vaccination process in Europe was “very good, with a lot of solidarity” and that there was a sufficient quantity of vaccines.
As for the interviewer’s remark that that was not so and that coordination was terrible and a fiasco, Plenkovic said that that was not true and that at first there had been delays in the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine but that nobody could have known that the company would be late with it.
Vaccination in Croatia now is running smoothly and anyone who wants to get vaccinated can do so, he said.