Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Thursday that there would be no changes to the tax system this year but that after a detailed analysis, to take four to five months, an integral solution could be found for the reform of the tax system.

Addressing a seminar held at the Croatian National Bank (HNB), Maric said that the recession in Croatia had significantly restricted economic activity and drastically reduced the tax base. The response to that were too extensive interventions in the taxation system, which is now too complicated, Maric said.

"Now we are not ready for that, but after an analysis is done, in about four to five months, I believe that we should be ready for an integral solution for the tax system," said Maric, adding that he was not in favour of any radical solutions.

Commenting on the budget for 2016, which the government is expected to discuss next week, Maric said that guidelines for its drafting were criticised as being both insufficiently ambitious and overly ambitious, which he said was proof that he was on the right track.

He singled out again public debt as the main macroeconomic risk for Croatia, notably its current growth dynamic, saying that in such circumstances fiscal policy should give an answer as to how to stabilise the debt and how to reduce it.

"I believe that already this year... we will be able to help directly reduce public debt, with the message of fiscal consolidation of below three percent and with the activation of state property. As early as this year we expect its growth to stabilise, to be followed by its gradual reduction. The dynamic will not depend only on fiscal policy but it is important to reverse that trend," said Maric.

The adoption of this year's budget will only be the first step, to be followed by the real job - dealing with numerous structural weaknesses of the national economy, said Maric.

Speaking to reporters after the seminar, Maric again would not comment on the budget in greater detail, saying only that it would be "more or less in line with the guidelines."

"The limits will be as those set, and as to whether there will be slight changes or corrections for specific budget items - maybe," he said.

The state has a big role in the economy and cannot ignore its responsibility, said Maric, citing the pension, health and social systems as well as the wage system and subsidies as the areas where the state must act.

Related stories

FinMin: No changes to tax system this year

FinMin announces changes to tax system

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.