HNB governor: Positive economic trends continue



Zagreb, 230518. Trg hrvatskih velikana.
Okrugli stol na temu monetarna kretanja, inozemna ulaganja i konkurentnost Hrvatske kojega organiziraju Hrvatska narodna banka HNB i Hrvatska gospodarska komora HGK.
Na fotografiji: Boris Vujcic.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / CROPIX

Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujcic

Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujcic submitted a report on the implementation of monetary policy in 2018-2019 to Parliament on Wednesday, saying that positive economic trends continued on the labour market with increased employment and wages.

"We also saw increased personal spending which led to GDP growth of 3.1%, while the positive effects on exports after Croatia's accession to the EU were decreasing as expected," Vujcic said.

He added that the HNB was pursuing an expansionary monetary policy, securing liquidity on the capital market and exchange rate stability. Interest rates dropped to record lows, while international reserves were at their historically highest levels.

Croatia is a highly euroised country and the adoption of the euro would have multiple benefits for the country, the central bank governor said. He expressed regret that criminal complaints filed against the HNB were used as "political marketing" and added that such behaviour should be sanctioned.

Marin Skribola of the Youth Independent List asked the governor what had been done about the attempt by RBA bank to exert pressure on the Constitutional Court in connection with the court case concerning CHF-denominated loans. Expressing a suspicion that other banks had tried the same, he accused the central bank of defending the interests of banking institutions rather than Croatian citizens and warned that they would be closely monitoring the HNB's steps in that regard.

Vujcic said that the matter was being looked into and after the examination was over, the HNB would respond accordingly. He recalled that RBA's board chairman had resigned in the meantime.

Miro Bulj of the Bridge party said that the HNB should be more engaged in protecting the interests of Croatian citizens, while Ivan Lovrinovic of the Human Shield and Let's Change Croatia group said that the HNB, along with the judiciary, was the main destabiliser of the Croatian society, state and economy.

Lovrinovic said that a good part of the shipbuilding industry, as well as the wood processing industry, had collapsed because of the central bank's exchange rate policy, adding that the economic policies of the HDZ and SDP parties had forced 300,000 citizens to leave the country in search of better livelihoods.

Lovrinovic said that CHF loans, granted by eight banks, were toxic and had landed half a million people in financial trouble, while the HNB had done nothing to protect them. He said that the HNB should support growth and development rather than banks in loansharking the citizens. He concluded by saying that the HND should be brought under democratic oversight.