Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded Croatia’s rating to the level of junk securities saying the country lacked reforms and fiscal discipline, the Vecernji List daily reported.
According to German press agency ‘dpa’, S&P said Croatian authorities did not do enough in terms of reforms to eliminate budget weaknesses, and that its “fiscal resolve has weakened” to shore up public finances.
“We are therefore lowering our long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Croatia to BB+/B from BBB-/A-3,” S&P said.
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic dismissed the criticism and said that for his government “economic growth is the key.”
“We have led and will continue to lead economic and fiscal policies not so that we please everybody,” he said in Brussels. “If we would listen to rating agencies … we would, and I am not overstating, have to sack 30,000 people and cut pensions and wages.”
Croatia, a former Yugoslav republic with a population of 4.5 million, is due to join the European Union in July 2013.