ZAGREB – A different kind of Croatia

As of midnight, one of the most widespread traditions in the country, drinking coffee in the sun, has been suspended for at least 30 days. Restaurants, fitness centres, beauty salons and other services businesses have followed that lead.

“The measures taken yesterday are even stricter than those that were in place during the war in the 1990s. This is an extraordinary situation and we have to get used to it,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković at the start of a government meeting.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that the government is working on a measure to enable citizens to defer loan payments.

“There is a lot of understanding and agreement so I hope that there will be a concrete measure like deferral of loan payment for affected citizens. I am hopeful that we will be able to extend that scope,” said Marić, while welcoming the willingness of banks to cooperate on such measures.

Meanwhile, parliament has adopted a set of bills to help businesses affected by the pandemic. The government’s package, which is valued at almost HRK30 billion, contains 63 measures primarily aimed at preserving jobs and ensuring payment of wages amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Tea Trubić Macan,

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