First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko on Wednesday once again dismissedspeculation about the introduction of a nine-hour work day.
"As for the introduction of a nine-hour work day, it's out of the question," Karamarko said during Question Time in parliament while answering a question from Social Democrat Mirando Mrsic, who also wanted to know if the government would reduce salaries in public and state services.
"As for salaries in the public sector, I think that we have discussed a possible increase, but we will know more in the second half of the year," he said, noting that the most destitute categories of citizens would not be affected by reforms in the health system.
"All the measures you are mentioning are an attempt to prevent new borrowing, you know how much debts you have incurred," Karamarko told former health minister Sinisa Varga of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who wanted to know if the cost of measures designed to consolidate the health system - such as a higher price of supplementary health insurance, the introduction of a HRK 150 fee for patients seeking medical help at emergency wards, and discontinuation of the financial rehabilitation of hospitals - would be borne by the poorest citizens.
Karamarko said that the health system cost too much, around 24 billion kuna annually, and that those costs had to be cut. "We will demonstrate solidarity with the needy and they will definitely not be affected by the measures you have cited," he told Varga.
He boasted of EUR 300 million worth of investments having been made in the last two months. "We will open the door to investments, they are already happening, in the past two months investments worth 300 million euros have been made," Karamarko said while answering a question from former enterprise minister Gordan Maras, who wanted to know when the government would start unburdening the economic sector.
Karamarko said that a new set of tax laws was being prepared, noting that the new regulations would be stimulating and that taxpayers would be exempted from many taxes and non-tax levies.