Crisis: Situation very difficult, Croatia finance minister

Zagreb might have to ask IMF for aid

11 July, 17:47

(ANSAMed) - ZAGREB, JULY 11 - ''Croatia's economic situation is extremely difficult and will get worse next year, to the point where we might have to ask the IMF for help,'' Finance Minister Slavko Linic told Globus weekly in an interview today.

''There is no other way to define a situation in which GDP is in permanent decline and unemployment is constantly on the rise,'' the minister said. ''Our foreign debt right now is 47 billion euros (equal to 100% of GDP) and public spending is too high. To really solve our problems we should be spending more, and we have no other choice but to spend less. If the real economy does not recover by the end of the year, 2013 will be even worse. We need to grow at least 5% a year, anything less will not allow us to revert this trend.'' Croatian GDP contracted in the first semester, but should post overall 0.8% growth by the end of 2012, according to the latest statistics. (ANSAMed).

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