ZAGREB, Nov 4 (Hina) – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Wednesday that the government would ensure the preparedness of the public healthcare system in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and all the necessary equipment to save human lives and the economy.
At the same time, the government will be working on ensuring the availability, quality and efficiency of health protection and the modernisation of the health system, he added.
“We are taking measures promptly and appropriately to the healthcare situation, taking into consideration the economic circumstances as well,” Plenkovic said in an annual report to Parliament.
No one knows how long this pandemic or this wave will last, whether it will get stronger or not, whether there will be more waves and how many, which causes great uncertainty, he said.
“In the past term we have confronted a lot of crises, including this one, by far the biggest of them all, and we have shown that we know how to cope with crisis situations and to lead the country through these turbulent and difficult times with a cool head, firmly and resolutely,” the prime minister said.
Plenkovic said that the autumn wave of the coronavirus pandemic had hit Europe in particular, with many countries imposing tighter restrictions on the movement of people, including a curfew and a complete lockdown, He reiterated that Croatia was not considering such measures for now. “This, however, primarily depends on the responsibility of us all in adhering to the protective measures.”
He thanked all health workers for risking their own health to save the lives of others, and all workers and businesses for keeping the economy going.
He said that Croatia had entered this year intent on continuing in the direction of economic and social development, but that this was slowed down by the pandemic and the March 22 earthquake. He said that the country addressed these challenges better prepared thanks to its earlier achievements which helped it deal with the present difficulties and uncertainty more successfully.
In this context he recalled the increased wages, pensions and benefits, the reduction of the tax burden, increasing employment over the past three years, and the decrease in the number of people with blocked bank accounts and in poverty. “In the first three years we considerably increased the level of social security for our citizens.”
Plenkovic also mentioned the rational management of public finance, budget surpluses, declines in the debt-to-GDP ratio and the return to the investment grade credit rating. He said that the education reform was under way and that investment in science and the absorption of EU funding had increased.
“Behind us are 100 substantive days in office of this government whose priority has been to ensure health, political, financial and economic stability and provide support to our economy and citizens,” Plenkovic said.