The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) wants political parties, with whose representatives it will organise a series of round table meetings, to provide concrete answers to seven problems concerning the settlement of accumulated economic problems in the country.
"We do not see operational plans, we do not see how political parties plan to deal with accumulated economic problems. The economic growth so far is a result of the multiple restructuring and adjustment of the real sector and is the least the result of politicians' work. We would like the contribution of politics to be more significant and the growth to be better and faster," HUP president Gordana Deranja told a news conference on Wednesday.
She said the business community would appreciate a rate of economic growth of at least 3.5%, or of 4-5%.
Deranja went on to say that politicians had not been dealing so far with problems such as inflexible public administration regulations, legislation that imposes too many rules, court inefficiency, too big taxes and a generally inadequate entrepreneurial climate.
"There were some signs in 2015 that reforms could be undertaken, but now nobody even speaks about them. We must be aware that we still have a deficit and that the current growth is not sufficient. We continue to borrow money. We are not interested in promises without a realistic operational plan, the foundation of general recovery is in the economic sector," said Deranja.
HUP director-general Davor Majetic said the first of the seven priority issues on which HUP would insist in talks with political parties was the introduction of reasonable fiscal behaviour and fiscal consolidation.
Croatia should spend in the future only as much money as it makes, he believes.
HUP also wants a major reform of public administration to improve its efficiency and the removal of the biggest bureaucratic barriers as well as of excessive and unnecessary taxes.
"Entrepreneurs are preoccupied with paperwork instead of with doing business," he says, adding that lower tax and non-tax contributions would make the national economy more competitive.
HUP also calls for a more efficient judiciary and clearer regulations.
The sixth priority concerns ways to increase the efficiency of state-owned companies and property.
All state-owned companies that are not strategically important should be privatised and state-owned companies should be run by professional managers, says Majetic.
The education system should be modernised and the labour market reformed. The domestic labour market is outdated, says Majetic, describing the education system as insensitive to market signals.