PM: Once it sees planned reforms, EC will revise figures upward

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has said he is confident that once the European Commission analyses the measures from his cabinet's National Reform Programme, it will improve its forecast for Croatia's economic growth.

Speaking at the start of the government session on Wednesday, Oreskovic said that according to the 2016 Spring Forecast which the European Commission released on Tuesday, the Commission expects a 1.8% economic growth in Croatia, thus reducing its previous forecast of 2.1%. The government projects a 2% growth and the International Monetary Funds a 1.9% growth, but I am confident we will exceed that, Oreskovic said.

He added that the downgraded forecast was based on figures for Q4 2015 when the recorded growth was lower than expected. The PM, however, said that after that, all indicators were positive. "Once they see the government's plans, they will change those numbers," he said.

Oreskovic underscored that while making those projections, the European Commission had not been familiarised with the reform programme, so the forecast did not include the government's plan to reduce the public debt by 200 million euros.

The prime minister said that the European Commission's confirmation regarding the government's plan to have this year's deficit at  2.6% of GDP was a positive thing. "Now we see that the plan was realistic and the European Commission confirmed it," Oreskovic said.

One of the measures from the reform programme, which is aimed at improving the business climate through the removal of administrative barriers in Croatia, is the abolishment of the use of official seals, which the PM described as "relics of the past."

Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic said that the abolishment of official seal would help modernise business processes and improve public administration services.

This measure is likely to ease the financial burden in the amount of nearly six million kuna.

PM Oreskovic said that according to the World Bank Doing Business report, the only two countries, aside Croatia, using such kind of seals were Ireland and Greece.

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