On Thursday, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković presented a new, fifth package of measures to mitigate price growth, worth almost half a billion euros. Among the measures is the extension of the limit on the prices of electricity and certain food groups.
The new package of measures to help citizens and entrepreneurs will be valid from October 1 to March 31 next year. It is worth 464 million euros.
According to Plenković, the aim of the package is to keep energy prices low for citizens, institutions and entrepreneurs, protect them from inflation and help the most vulnerable target groups.
The government has extended the price limit for seven food groups that have been frozen so far. It added 23 new food groups to the list.
The price of sunflower oil thus remains EUR 1.72 per liter, permanent milk with 2.8 percent fat EUR 0.98 per liter, white crystalline sugar EUR 1.33 per kilogram, smooth flour type 550 EUR 0.80 per kilogram, sharp flours type 400 0.83 euros per kilogram, whole chicken 3.32 euros per kilogram and mixed minced meat 4.11 euros per kilogram.
In addition, the government reduced and limited the price for a 200-gram pot of yogurt to 0.49 euros, half a kilogram of spaghetti to 1.09 euros, a kilogram of semi-hard Gouda cheese in a piece to 6.49 euros, a kilogram of long-grain rice to 2.29 euros, a package of ten fresh eggs for 2.45 euros, a kilo of boneless pork neck for 5.49 euros, a kilo of beef neck with bones for 6.99 euros, a kilo of chicken and turkey hot dogs for 2.69 euros, a kilo of hamburger bacon for 6.99 euros, five-kilogram bags of potatoes for 3.99 euros, kilos of carrots for 0.89 euros, kilos of cherry beans for 1.99 euros, kilos of lemons for 1.49 euros, kilos of gala apples for 1.39 euros, 100-gram tablets of milk chocolate at 1.29 euros and a 500-gram tetrapack of tomato puree at 1.09 euros.
According to Plenković, large retailers have also expressed their willingness to lower prices. They will start lowering prices already these days, he said.
Banks will raise interest rates on savings deposits
Banks will also contribute to the government’s efforts to help citizens. As Plenković explained, they will raise interest rates on savings deposits, but at the same time they have guaranteed that they will not raise interest rates on housing and consumer loans.
The government is also extending the limit on electricity prices. The price of electricity for households will remain at 59 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for the next six months for half-yearly consumption of up to 3,000 kilowatt-hours and 88 euros per MWh for half-yearly consumption of more than 3,000 kilowatt-hours. Until now, the threshold for half-year consumption was 2,500 kilowatt hours.
Even the public and non-profit sector, which includes schools, kindergartens, hospitals, utility companies, etc., will continue to pay for electricity at 62 euros per MWh for half-yearly consumption of up to 250,000 kilowatt hours. The same electricity price will apply to small businesses, while there will be no price cap for large businesses.
One-off cash assistance for pensioners and families
The government will also provide one-time cash assistance for 720,000 pensioners who receive up to 700 euros in pension. The amount of assistance will depend on the amount of the pension. Those with the lowest pension will receive 160 euros, and those with the highest 60 euros.
112,000 families receiving child benefit will also receive one-time financial assistance. It will depend on the number of children and will range from 50 euros for one child to 300 euros for five or more children.
Croatia adopted the first major package of measures to mitigate the consequences of price growth last March. It was worth 640 million euros. The fourth package of measures was adopted in March this year, and it was worth 1.7 billion euros.