Local Press Digest


ZAGREB, Apr 21, 2000


Croatia is already working on the budget for 2001-2003, when Finance Minister Mato Crkvenac expects GDP to rise at rate of 4-6 percent.

Parliament approves higher incentives and subsidies to farmers, totaling some 1.7 billion kuna.

Despite pleas from Prime Minister, Ozren Zunec, head of HIS intelligence, intends to resign.

Hague investigators in Gospic have so far exhumated two human remains and it is not likely that more bodies could be found on the same site, says district attorney Pavao Rukavina.

The Ruling Social Democrats' slate in local Zagreb elections will be topped by Milan Bandic, despite rumors that Prime Minister Ivica Racan might step in.


- Italy's Unicredito buys 63 percent in overhauled Splitska Banka for 374 million kuna. Unicredito will boost the bank's capital by another 80.3 million kuna and announces Splitska's growth and development.

Commentary: The struggling HDZ is organizing protest rallies of war veterans to get back on political stage.

Despite three years of banking crisis, Croatia's banking sector still has no credible system of guaranteeing bank deposits.

Hoteliers' debt of over one billion German marks will be reprogrammed for a period of ten years, with a three-year grace period, says Tourism Minister Pave Zupan-Ruskovic.

Several Western TV stations, including RAI, TF 1 and SAT 1, want to buy Croatian cartoon series Segrt Hlapic.


Analysis: The Social Democrats are likely to triumph in Zagreb elections on May 7, while the former ruling HDZ might not cross the threshold and make it to the city council.

The avalanche of trials and prosecutions of formerly untouchable tycoons and officials is just the beginning of the legal state, which would not happen if the HDZ had won the election, says Djurdja Adlesic, head of parliamentary commission for internal affairs.

Croatia has a great future and can be a very important partner for us, says Czech ambassador Jiri Kudela.

Government plans to repay some of its domestic debts by issuing 400 million kuna bonds in May and another 1.3 billion in autumn, says Deputy Finance Minister Damir Kustrak.


Commentary: After parliament dismissed his report on banking system, central bank governor Marko Skreb should step down - it is time for new people.


Diplomats based in Zagreb are concerned about Croatia's delay in passing laws on refugee returns, which could undermine Western political and financial support.

Original article