President Milanović at “Dan velikih planova“ Business Conference: I’m not against introducing the euro, but I have to caution about the challenges

21. September 2022.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović took part in “Dan velikih planova” (Big Plans Day) business conference, which has been organized by the “Lider” weekly for the past 14 years. In addressing conference participants, President Milanović talked about next year’s introduction of the euro in Croatia, expressing hope that it will not have negative effects for Croatia because “the Croatian economy is a service economy and depends on the volatility of Europe, which is good for the time being”.

Quoting examples that it is presently difficult to reliably predict economic trends, President Milanović inquired: “Who could have predicted that this situation would cause numerous complications in Central European states that did not introduce the euro – and could have, even should have, but have been avoiding for years – Hungary, the Czech Republic or Poland. Who could have predicted that interest rates on loans in Hungary, or personal loans at four percent would increase to 10 percent? Or that the value of the forint would fall by 25 percent in relation to the euro and thus automatically reduce the purchasing power of the population? Who could say that the same will not happen in the Czech Republic and Poland where the interest rates on loans are also rising, however the currencies remain stable”.

On account of such unpredictable economic trends, President Milanović cautioned that “we just have to hope that the euro, to be introduced in the New Year, will be a good friend simply because our economy is a service economy, a tourist economy and depends on Europe’s volatility”. He reminded that the euro did not benefit all the states that introduced it, naming Italy as an example. “Who benefitted from the euro? Germany, the Netherlands, partly Belgium, Austria and we can stop here. All the other countries are where they were and are having a hard time”, he added. “We have been a member of the European Union for nine years and I still feel that it is a good thing for us. I was never against the euro, not today either, but I am in a position to be able and have to be a little skeptical, to caution about the challenges”, President Milanović noted.

Welcoming remarks to the participants of the 14th edition of the “Dan velikih planova” business conference were made by the Editor-in-chief of “Lider” weekly Miodrag Šajatović and the Director General of the Croatian Employers’ Association Irena Weber. Besides President Milanović, the following persons also delivered speeches at the business conference: Deputy Governor of the Croatian National Bank Sandra Švaljek spoke on the topic “Credit and Monetary Policy in 2023” and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia and envoy of the Prime Minister Davor Filipović spoke on the topic “Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in 2023.”.

Accompanying President Milanović was the Special Assistant to the President of the Republic for the Economy Velibor Mačkić.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Marko Beljan