Hauliers meet with tourism minister, say no need for sharp rhetoric

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Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Thursday that he was satisfied with talks held with representatives of the Voice of Entrepreneurs association and hauliers who work occasionally and who, too, said that agreement had been reached on important matters.

They noted that there was therefore no need for sharp rhetoric at the protest of road hauliers scheduled for today.

The talks were held ahead of a government session and the protest of entrepreneurs and their employees, to be organised by the Voice of Entrepreneurs and an initiative gathering road passenger transport operators who work on an occasional basis.

Marko Sliskovic, who represented the hauliers at the talks, said that they were happy to have been received for talks and that a true dialogue had been opened.

He said a new meeting would be held next week, adding that the initiative's requests would be met and that that important branch of tourism, with around 20,000 jobs, would be salvaged.

Sliskovic expects that next week's talks will also be attended by representatives of leasing companies to discuss with them a possible moratorium on lease and interest repayments or a partial or complete interest write-off.

Sliskovic said the protest scheduled for today would be held but that its rhetoric would be toned down considering today's meeting and the launching of dialogue.

Croatian road hauliers had asked to be granted a moratorium on loan and lease repayments, with deferment of loan principal and interest payments for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and for at least six additional months after an end to the pandemic is declared.

Once the moratorium expires, the repayment period would be extended for the duration of the period when the moratorium was in force.

Hauliers said this would enable their activities to recover and gradually strengthen.