Thousands of Croats will see their debts written-off on Monday as part of an attempt to boost the economy by helping households to regain access to basic facilities including bank accounts.
The scheme, which has been dubbed “fresh start”, will see the debts of around 60,000 citizens erased by banks, telecoms and utilities operators as part of a deal with the government.
Around 2.1bn kuna (£20m) worth of bad debts are expected to be written off by creditors who have signed up to the scheme. None will be refunded for their losses.
Qualifying households must have debts lower than 35,000 kuna (£3,500), and their monthly income should not be higher than 1,250 kuna. Croats who own property or have any savings will not benefit from the deal.
“We assess that this measure will be applicable to some 60,000 citizens,” said Milanka Opacic, Croatia’s deputy prime minister. “Thus they will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt.”
It is estimated that the program will give 20pc of the 317,000 Croatians whose accounts were frozen in July last year due to bad debts access to their accounts again.
“This is the first time that any [Croatian] government tries to solve this difficult problem and we are proud of it,” Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told a cabinet session.
The deal will be noted in Greece, where the new Syriza government is trying to renegotiate the terms of its multi billion euro bail-out.