Croatia unveils new cabinet that will tackle ailing economy - media

Foreign news agencies covered the nomination of members of a new, centre-right government in Croatia on Thursday, saying that the main task of the new cabinet headed by a manager without political experience would be to put public finances in order and to revive the economy.

The Italian news agency ANSA and the British news agency Reuters noted that Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Oreskovic was raised and educated in Canada and that he had previously served as a financial officer at an Israeli pharmaceutical company, adding that the technocrat prime minister had been appointed to focus on the country's financial and economic problems.

The  main task of the new centre-right cabinet will be "to repair the country's public finances and restore economic growth after years of recession," Reuters said, noting that this task would mainly fall to the new Finance Minister, Zdravko Maric, and the new Economy Minister, Tomislav Panenic. "They will have to cope with public debt of near 90 percent of gross domestic product and a 2015 budget deficit expected to come to around 4.5 percent of GDP."

Reuters also said that the new government would have to cope with Brussels, "which wants Croatia, the European Union's newest member, to pursue fiscal consolidation." It quoted Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko as saying that Croatia needed fiscal consolidation worth an annual 4.5 billion kuna, or close to 1.5 percent of GDP.

ANSA said that the future prime minister of Croatia, Tihomir Oreskovic, came from the business world, but lacked political experience, noting that most of the proposed candidates for ministerial posts were unknown to the Croatian public. It said that Oreskovic considered them competent for their roles.

The Serbian news agency Beta noted that of the 20 ministers in the new cabinet only three were women and that many of the candidates were "little know to the general public".

"Mijo Crnoja of the HDZ is the candidate for Minister of Veterans' Affairs despite his idea to establish a register of traitors, which has met with strong criticism in some sections of the public," Beta said.  It mentioned as a curiosity the nomination of former nun Bernardica Juretic as Minister of Social Policy.

The Slovenian news agency STA commented on the nomination of HDZ candidate Josip Buljevic as Minister of Defence, recalling that he had headed the intelligence service at the time of a scandal involving the monitoring of phone conversation of journalist Helena Puljiz. It also mentioned Mijo Crnoja as the candidate for the Minister of Veterans' Affairs and his idea to set up "a register of traitors of national interests", as well as Vlaho Orepic as the candidate for Minister of the Interior, who had opposed construction of a thermal power plant in the Ploce area of southern Croatia.

Last update: Thu, 21/01/2016 - 19:15

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