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Croatian government to adopt budget within EU deficit limit: minister
March 9, 2016 / 11:24 AM / 2 years ago

Croatian government to adopt budget within EU deficit limit: minister

Croatia's new Finance Minister Zdravko Maric (3rd R) is seen in parliament before the government is approved in Zagreb, Croatia, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia’s government will adopts its 2016 budget on Thursday with a gap no bigger than the European Union’s limit of three percent of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said.

In line with fiscal guidelines adopted two weeks ago, he said that the central government budget gap would amount to 7.5 billion kuna ($1.09 billion), while the overall deficit, including state agencies and municipal authorities, would reach about 9.2 billion kuna.

“The parliament will discuss the budget next week ... We may tap the market already in spring to cover the gap which we plan to partly cover also from privatization receipts,” Maric said in an interview on state radio.

Besides financing the budget gap, the government will also need about 18 billion kuna this year to refinance the current obligations.

In the fiscal guidelines, the government planned revenues of 112.9 billion kuna, while expenditures of 120.4 billion kuna will remain unchanged from last year. It also plans to earn about 500 million euros ($548.25 million) from privatization receipts this year.

The official figure for last year’s general budget gap has yet not been released, but is expected at slightly above four percent of GDP.

Croatia, the newest European Union member, is under EU’s monitoring for excessive budget deficit and high public gap nearing 90 percent of GDP.

The center-right government, which took office in January, vowed to reduce public debt to below 80 percent of GDP during its term.

Reporting by Igor Ilic

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