Croatian borrowers say soaring Swiss franc a 'disaster'

GMT 17:04 2015 Thursday ,15 January

Arab Today, arab today Croatian borrowers say soaring Swiss franc a 'disaster'

Swiss francs
Zagreb - AFP

An association of Croatians with loans in Swiss francs called the soaring of the currency Thursday a "disaster" and were to urgently meet with the government over the issue.
"Such a decision by the Swiss National Bank impacts borrowers with loans in francs... For us it is a disaster," head of the Franak association Denis Smajo told the state-run HRT state-run television.
The association immediately contacted Finance Minister Boris Lalovac with whom they were to meet later on Thursday, he said.
Switzerland's central bank said Thursday it was ending a three-year bid to artificially hold down the franc's value.
Croatia's kuna currency fell by nearly 17 percent against the Swiss franc on Thursday.
Some 60,000 Croatians have loans in Swiss francs and the Franak association that estimates that the move could affect lives of up to 300,000 people.
More than 100,000 people in Croatia, the country of 4.2 million, have taken out loans denominated in Swiss francs, almost three-quarters of which were to buy homes.
Meanwhile, the largest circulating Vecernji list daily on its online edition called the borrowers to pay their instalment "already today" and explained that banks were using exchange rates formed during the previous working day.
"Deluge for debtors in Swiss francs!" read the paper's online front-page headline.
Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, but has yet to adopt the euro.


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