Croatian PM Predicts Recovery Starting in 2013

On visit to Hvar island, Milanovic says economic recovery will begin in 2013, while pledging more investment in country’s war-torn undeveloped areas.On a visit to the Adriatic island of Hvar on Thursday, Croatia’s Prime Minister expressed his belief that the shaken economy will start to recover next year.

“The crisis is big, deep and global and I am sure it will take a few more years, but we believe our recovery will begin next year,” Zoran Milanovic said.Milanovic noted that living standards vary widely in Croatia, as they are much higher on islands than in the rest of Croatia, except for some major cities.

“Tourism on the islands enables them to reach the standards of Western Europe. With the development of agriculture on the islands, we should try to extend the tourist season from two peak months, currently, to five peak months,” Milanovic said.

He said that Croatia needs to invest in less developed areas, while at the same time ensuring that the prosperous islands can continue their growth.

“Parts of the country were stricken by the war and destroyed, with local people feeling emotionally exhausted and empoverished, and in those parts the government must give more assistance; such areas are, for example Slavonia and the Dalmatian hinterland,” he said.

Milanovic also said the state ought to help Croats in neighbouring countries who “live in more difficult circumstances than we do here – and we must help them as their contribution to the creation of the Croatian state was great”.

Milanovic concluded that country must be integrated into the world market and simultaneously be protected against disturbances. “Croatia has learned that lesson from the global financial crisis,” he said.

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