Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanović has confirmed on Wednesday that 12,500 of the nation’s poorest citizens have been issued with certificates making them eligible to have their debts wiped as part of the ‘New Start’ scheme...
According to financial data from FINA, around 75,000 citizens are said to be eligible for the scheme. The government recently reached agreement with banks, telecommunications companies, and city councils in 4 major cities to write off debts of the countries poorest citizens.
To qualify for the write-off, applicants had to have their accounts blocked for more than 12 months, a household income in the last three months that did not exceed 2,500 kuna (340 euros), or for a single person in 1,250 kuna (170 euros), and have no savings or property. Debts of up to 35,000 kuna (4,800) can be written off under the agreement.
“This is something the government couldn’t have adopted by sheer force, by law, but only through agreement with those who care about the well-being of citizens who have it hardest. This shows the social nature and humanity of any government, regardless of political affiliation”, Milanović said, adding that the measure was not a recipe for the economic growth of any state but for a fresh start for citizens with blocked bank accounts.
The move has been called a short-term fix by opposition parties, who say that any person earning 170 euros a month will be back in debt again in a few months and the same problem will exist.