The Croatian government intends to adopt a budget for this year on March 10 and plans to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said in Brussels on Friday.
Maric today participated for the first time in a meeting of EU finance ministers and met with Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici.
"I told Commissioner Moscovici that in the next two weeks we will have an outline of the budget within fiscal and economic policy guidelines. The government plans to adopt the budget on March 10, but we did not discuss any details," Maric said.
In its winter forecast the European Commission estimated that Croatia's budget deficit would be 3.9% of GDP, but Maric said the government planned to reduce the deficit more.
"We definitely intend to have a lower deficit than that forecast by the EC. Our goal is to reach 3% of GDP and the exact figure will be known when we have the budget. We will surely take certain measures to achieve that goal," said Maric.
He added that Commissioner Moscovici was satisfied with what he heard at the meeting with him. "The Commissioner expressed support for certain measures of a structural nature to be taken in relation to the budget and the entire economy. I think that we have a very good message from him, the Commission is satisfied and expects the measures discussed to be implemented," said Maric.
He added that he planned to hold another round of talks with government ministers before the budget was adopted.
The government's economic policy has two main goals - economic growth and putting public finance in order, he said.