Outgoing Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Wednesday that his cabinet was leaving the new government with a good starting position, underlining the need to pursue fiscal discipline, continue implementing reforms and enhance public companies' governance.
Reforms must be implemented because without them there can be no additional growth, Oreskovic said at a government session at which a report drafted by Oreskovic's government for their successors was adopted.
The outgoing PM particularly underscored the need to implement tax reform and emphasised austerity possibilities in public procurement.
He said the objective of his government was to organise public finances and the economy, accelerate the economic growth and improve living standards.
"We did not succeed in everything we planned, but what we did, we did a good job and you can see the results today," Oreskovic said, adding that all economic indicators today were better than expected.
He said that Gross Domestic Product in H1 2016 was up 2.7% and that he expected the growth to reach 3% by the end of the year, while experts projected a 2% growth. Oreskovic also underscored an increase in consumption, investments and exports, a better-than-ever tourist season, and 100,000 new jobs. The outgoing PM also noted that the average salary in the first six months of this year was up 3.1% on the year.
Speaking of the public debt and deficit, Oreskovic said that his ministers had "tighten their belts and results are visible today."
"The collection of budget revenues is better due to economic growth, the deficit has been reduced by 0.7% from last year," Oreskovic said and expressed hope that at the end of this year, the deficit would be cut to below 2% of GDP.
He also underscored that his government had activated approximately one billion kuna of state-owned dormant capital and that the share of the public debt in GDP dropped from 86.7% to 83.5%.
"We have improved the investment climate and you can see that, you can feel it," Oreskovic said, recalling the arrival of private investors in Croatia (Lukaps, IBM). He also said that the Zagreb Stock Exchange Crobex index has been growing for nine consecutive weeks.
Speaking of foreign policy, Oreskovic said that everything was in the service of the protection of national interests. "During the migrant crisis we have managed to close the so-called Balkan route through intensified cooperation with the neighbours and Croatia had actively promoted its positions at European Council meetings, Oreskovic said.
He concluded by saying that he was confident that the new government would manage to strengthen the country's credit rating which his government had failed.
In nine months in office, Oreskovic's cabinet held 41 sessions and discussed a total of 641 items on the agenda. Parliament adopted a total of 33 laws put forward by the Oreskovic cabinet.