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Croatian government prepares HRK 2.1bn aid package for private sector

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PM Andrej Plenkovic (screenshot)

ZAGREB, Nov 30 (Hina) – The new aid package for businesses that have been ordered to shut down as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic will amount to HRK 2.1 billion and will include support for wages, for covering fixed costs and for “COVID loans”, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced on Monday.

Speaking at the start of a cabinet meeting, Plenkovic said that these measures were designed for more than 80,000 private-sector workers. He said that the government had so far preserved 630,000 jobs and helped 107,000 companies by disbursing a total of HRK 7.4 billion.

He pledged the continuation of a monthly allowance of HRK 4,000 per worker during the lockdown and exemption from payment of contributions, which he said would cost HRK 470 million in total.

The government will also help businesses cover their fixed costs, in part or in full, if their turnover in December drops by at least 60 percent compared to December 2019. The cost of this measure is estimated at HRK 250 million.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said that this measure would help businesses cover, among other things, the costs of rent, utilities, the Internet and land-line telephony, accounting and bookkeeping services, and the public television subscription fee.

In addition, a new package of “COVID loans”, in the amount of HRK 1.3 billion, has been prepared with the HAMAG-BICRO agency to help small and medium enterprises maintain liquidity.

“It is on these three points that we base our support to the private sector, notably those that are affected by the epidemiological measures currently in force. In total, the package will amount to HRK 2.1 billion,” Plenkovic said.

“In this way the government is trying to accommodate the enterprise sector, businesses and employees,” he added.

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