Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday the government had not adopted energy crisis measures yet and that it would consider the situation and intervene if needed after its summer break, adding that revenues from retail receipts and the tourist season were "cause for optimism."
“Despite all the circumstances, we have a great tourist season,” he told reporters in Rijeka after attending Assumption of Mary mass at the Shrine of Trsat.
“Revenue is great, as is fiscalisation, which is higher than last year, which is a signal for optimism, GDP growth and the possibility for the government to act in situations caused by external factors,” Plenkovic said.
Croatia has logged 12.7 million tourist arrivals and 70 million nights this year, or 90% and 96% of the figures logged in the record year 2019, he said, adding that the central banks estimates revenue from foreign tourists will exceed that of 2019.
Plenkovic said that over the last six years his cabinet had always intervened to the benefit of citizens, businesses and those most vulnerable.
The prime minister said he did not think Zdravko Maric resigned as finance minister last month due to an indictment filed this week against businessmen Mirko and Blaž Pavičić, on whose yacht Marić spent part of the summer last year, for tax evasion totalling HRK 2.7 million (€360,000).
Asked was the timing of the indictment not unusual, Plenkovic said he did not know and that he had not heard of the two accused until last summer.
Maric said last summer the yacht was owned by the family of his friend Blaz Pavic, but dismissed suspicions of a conflict of interest. He added that during his term as minister Pavić’s family did not have its tax debt written off nor benefits or a loan from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Speaking of the fire-fighting season, he said the year had been tough due to more than 7,000 wildfires, as against 4,000 last year. The year has been extremely dry with lots of wind, and it’s necessary to establish if some fires were arson, he added.
Croatia has five working Canadairs and four air tractors, he said, adding there were problems with the procurement of another two Canadairs because the manufacturer suspended production.
Speaking of the situation at the ZTC centre for aircraft repair and maintenance, Plenkovic said those who worked for another employer while on sick leave at the ZTC would no longer work at the centre.
Asked why Paxlovid was not being ordered for COVID patients, he said Croatia had eight drugs that had been procured, approved and were given to patients. The health minister will say if that drug has passed European, Croatian and procurement procedures, he added.
Speaking of the war in Ukraine and droughts in Croatia, Plenkovic said they would have their impact but that it would pass. The water situation has been problematic only in Istria County, but there have been no problems with energy, he added.
He said the Okoli gas storage facility was being filled as planned, and called on citizens to comply with savings recommendations.