June 29, 2020 / 9:53 AM / 16 days ago

Croatia to finance shorter work week for coronavirus-hit companies

FILE PHOTO: Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic arrives for the a special European council on budget in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2020. Julien Warnand/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

ZAGREB (Reuters) - The Croatia government will finance a shorter working week for coronavirus-hit companies whose turnover fell at least 20% from the same month last year, the prime minister said on Monday.

“The goal is to save the jobs in the companies where the extraordinary circumstances have reduced the working volume. The government’s support will amount to 2,000 kuna ($297.48) a month per employee,” Andrej Plenkovic told the news conference.

The measure is planned to be in effect from June 1 to December 31, 2020 for companies who have reduced their working weeks due to a fall in activity as a result of the pandemic.

Plenkovic added without elaborating that companies engaged in processing would be able to get support even if their revenues had fallen less than 20%.

The government has already spent some 8.0 billion kuna since March to help save jobs in companies affected by the pandemic. Those measures mostly included writing off tax obligations, deferring tax payments and supporting salaries in troubled firms.

The new measure on a shortened working week is expect to cost the government some 3.0 billion kuna.

Croatia plans a budget gap of 6.8% of gross domestic product this year.

Reporting by Igor Ilic, Editing by William Maclean

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