PM: Profiteering from earthquake and epidemic will not be tolerated

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25.03.2020.

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic waves as he arrives for a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 20, 2020, held to discuss the next long-term budget of the European Union (EU). (Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP)
Aris Oikonomou / AFP

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Tuesday once again appealed to retailers not to raise the prices of products or exploit the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic and earthquake in Zagreb for profiteering, saying that that will not be allowed.

Following a meeting of the government and National Civil Protection Authority, the prime minister recalled a recent government decision under which the prices of certain products are to be returned to the level they were at on 30 January, and he once again appealed to everyone not to exploit the two crises for profiteering.

"The State Inspectorate and ministries will monitor all those who are unnecessarily increasing the prices of their products and that simply will not be allowed. It is out of the question that someone should profit in a crisis situation more than they would normally," he said.

He said that at the meeting they were informed of the current situation regarding the epidemic.

The prime minister once again called on citizens to be maximally responsible, to keep their distance and take care of one another because the number of people infected and the rate of the disease spreading will be reduced only with disciplined and responsible behaviour and compliance with instructions from the National Civil Protection Authority and doctors.

"Considering that more tests are being done than was the case until now, the number of those infected is expected to rise. However, we are following the experience of other countries and have been doing our best, including the introduction of restrictions, to reduce the rate at which the disease is spreading as much as possible," he said.

Commenting on the measures to support the economy that were presented by the government earlier in the day, Plenkovic said that the government was pursuing a timely, comprehensive and inter-departmental policy.

"The measures are valued at more than HRK 30 billion, plus loans that will be taken. I stress that this is the first phase. We are not the only government that is deferring payments. If we've said that you do not need to pay profit tax or income tax or health or pension contributions, and the state will also supply funds for the minimum wage, that means that we are not taking anything and are giving," he underlined.

Two charity funds have been set up: "Together for Zagreb" and "Croatia against coronavirus", and the prime minister said that anyone wishing to help was welcome.

"A lot of citizens, Croats abroad, are asking and wishing to purchase respirators and other medical and protective equipment. The coordinator for all such activities, needs, medicines and protective equipment is Maja Grba Bujevic from the National Civil Protection Authority. Together with other colleagues, she will clearly identify the needs so anyone who wishes to donate respirators can contact the authority to learn to whom, when and how they can make a donation," said Plenkovic.

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