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Croatian government announces further support for wages and employment

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PM Andrej Plenkovic (screenshot)

ZAGREB, Dec 17 (Hina) – The government will continue to protect every job for as long as necessary, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the start of a cabinet meeting on Thursday morning, announcing further support for wages and employment.

“We will continue to protect every job for as long as necessary to weather this crisis together and to be ready and competitive when the pandemic ends,” Plenkovic said.

He said that the government was continuing the measure of HRK 4,000 per worker in January and February to protect jobs in businesses forced to close down as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government will support this measure with more than HRK 500 million, which will be provided through the National Employment Bureau. In consultation with the social partners, the government will also extend the measure to shorten working hours for all businesses unable to achieve maximum performance because of the present circumstances.

These measures are yet to be confirmed by the National Employment Bureau.

Plenkovic went on to say that the government would invest over HRK 1.2 billion in 2021 to boost active employment policy measures covering over 25,000 people. Special focus will be on workforce training.

“We will make good on our promises already in the first year of our term in office , which means that as of 1 January 2021 grants for self-employment will range from HRK 55,000 to 130,000,” the prime minister said.

Labour Minister Josip Aladrovic said that the government’s active employment policy was aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the workforce and the economy in general.

In his opening remarks, Plenkovic said that the government had so far paid out HRK 7.7 billion for private-sector wages, “for more than 600,000 workers and more than 100,000 employers.”

Commenting on yesterday’s drilling of a tunnel on the Peljesac peninsula, Plenkovic said that Peljesac Bridge should be completed by mid-2021 and the entire project to connect the south with the rest of the country by road was expected to be finalised by the start of 2022.

The prime minister also announced his visit today to the Ucka Tunnel near Rijeka, where work formally begins on building a second tube. The project, due to be completed in 2024, will ensure full functionality of the Istrian motorway.

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