Finance Minister Zdravko Maric commented on Saturday on the Fitch Ratings agency's latest report on Croatia, saying it was good that Croatia's rating was affirmed because the new government just stepped into office, and that the 2016 budget would be the first test and the basis of future assessments of Croatia's credit rating.
The affirmed rating gives the new government a certain period of time during which they expect to see and hear the concrete measures that will be taken, Maric told reporters, adding that the rating agencies were very clear about how the rating should be improved through economic growth and public debt sustainability.
Maric voiced confidence that the government, with its moves, would dispel the doubts Fitch voiced in its report concerning public debt reduction, the reforms expected to encourage economic growth, and the new government's stability.
He said the 2016 budget would be the first test. "We are working on making the budget the first model of what the government plans to do this year."
He recalled the government's goal was to reduce the deficit to three percent in the next two years. How this will be done will be known from economic and fiscal policy guidelines to be presented in two weeks' time.
Maric would not say whether it was possible to cut expenditures by HRK 4.5 billion (EUR 592 million).
He also said there was no need for new hirings in state administration and the ministries. All the set goals can be achieved with better and more efficient realisation, he added.