Zdravko Maric.jpg
Finance minister Zdravko Maric
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP/ dk

Caretaker Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Friday that Great Britain's decision to leave the EU was a big change entailing a high dose of uncertainty, but that there was no need for Croatia to panic because it had a strong financial system capable of responding appropriately.

Maric said that the referendum decision had taken him by surprise because the circles he had communicated with had wished and expected Great Britain to remain in the EU.

He underlined the major effect of the referendum decision on financial markets, unprecedented since 2008 and the onset of the global financial crisis.

"The biggest short-term negative effect has been on the British pound, which has lost more than 10% of its value. Short-term repercussions can also be expected for Britain's economic growth and the growth of its trade partners because the referendum result entails a major dose of uncertainty that definitely discourages investors and economic activity in general," he said.

Asked about his advice to Croatians having problems in managing their savings denominated in the pound via Internet banking, Maric said that he was confident the Croatian banking system and all those in charge would deal with the situation in an appropriate way.

The GBP today depreciated against the US dollar by a record 10%, going down to the lowest level since 1985.

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