tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

During the first formal meeting of his cabinet in Zagreb on Thursday, Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said that he could see from the status reports presented by the newly-appointed ministers about the state of affairs in their departments that there was huge potential, and he reiterated his confidence that his team would use that potential.

Presenting a report on the state of affairs in the healthcare system, Health Minister Dario Nakic said that after the bailout of hospitals in 2014, the total deficit in the system came to 2.5 billion kuna, which meant that the debt was reduced by 300 million kuna.

We promised the European Union that we would reduce it by 700 million kuna, and this means that we have failed, Minister Nakic said, announcing a reorganisation of the system so as to make sure that it will be stabilised by the end of 2018.

Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic said that the the structure of employees rather than the number of those on the payroll was an issue in his ministry.

He said that in the past three years (during the term of the previous government) 30 people were employed due to certain unclear employment criteria.

He announced a reorganisation of the culture ministry, primarily pertaining to the media and media policy. This sector makes the work of the ministry more difficult, Hasanbegovic said.

The new culture minister called on PM Oreskovic and the finance minsiter Zdravko Maric to allow a rise in the budgetary outlays for the culture ministry.

Hasanbegovic called for resuming the implementation of a project for the reconstruction of the Croatian History Museum.

Education and Science Minister Predrag Sustar said that his ministry's annual budget was 11.8 billion kuna, with the 9.8 billion being spent on employees, that is 84%.

Sustar said he would request more funds for the Croatian Science Foundation so that it would count on 150 million annually, while its current annual financing is 80 million.

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