Croatia plans 200 mln EUR loan to help budget
ZAGREB Dec 20 (Reuters) - Croatia is likely to take a bridge loan worth 200 million euros ($273.37 million) next week to cover the budgetary needs for this year, Finance Minister Slavko Linic said on Friday.
"Next Monday we will probably decide on a phone government session to take a loan from one bank. Thus we will cover our financial needs for this year," Linic told reporters. He declined to give details on which bank was involved.
Croatia, the European Union's newest member and one of its weakest economies, is targetting a budget gap of 5.5 percent of gross domestic product for this year.
Last month it borrowed $1.75 billion on international debt markets, but Linic said those funds would be used for budgetary needs next year.
The European Commission has proposed that Zagreb gradually reduce its fiscal gap to 2.7 percent of GDP by the end of 2016. Next year Brussels would like to see the gap reduced to 4.6 percent of GDP.
Linic said Croatia would revise its budget by the end of the first quarter of 2014 to adopt measures aimed at meeting the EU's fiscal requirement. The government's original target for 2014 was a gap of 5.5 percent of GDP, like this year. ($1 = 0.7316 euros) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by Patrick Graham)
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