Zdravko Marić.jpg
Finance Minister Zdravko Maric
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Wednesday he was confident that the budget deficit would be reduced to more than the planned 2.6% of GDP by the end of this year and that the plan was to additionally reduce the deficit to come closer to 2% in 2017.

"The plan for this year is to reduce the budget deficit to 2.6% (of GDP). We continue to stand by that plan and we will definitely achieve that. I am confident that we will do even better," Maric told the press outside the government headquarters.

He recalled that budgetary liabilities for 2017 amounted to HRK 27 billion and that two domestic bonds worth 9.5 billion kuna and one foreign bond worth 1.5 billion dollars were maturing next year.

Maric said that the capital amount of the debt of the road maintenance sector (HC, HAC, and ARZ), worth approximately one billion euros, was also maturing next year, expressing confidence there would be no problem with refinancing of these liabilities.

Maric also commented on positive economic trends in H1 2016, saying that "until all citizens feel the consequences of these positive figures. they are only mere statistics."

"The 2.8% economic growth in H1 is good after six years of recession, but this cannot and must not satisfy us. This economic growth should be an additional argument to continue the implementation of structural reforms and to accelerate them even further, to raise the potential of the economy and most definitely it should not be an excuse to postpone them," Maric said.

According to him, the objective is to achieve the economic growth which will generate jobs and contribute to the demographic renewal in order to halt negative demographic trends.

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