Plenkovic and 4 European heads of government discuss restart of tourist industry

Photo /AAA_2020_ABC/a_fotke/200417_plenkovic_babis.JPG

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday evening held telephone conversations with four European heads of government on restarting the tourist industry, a sector important for the Croatian economy.

The ban on nonessential travel imposed by many countries in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 has adversely affected the tourism sector, which makes up a 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product of Croatia, a popular destination for many Europeans.

According to the information which he tweeted on his Twitter account, Plenkovic held telephone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

Last week, the talks between Plenkovic and his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis were held on this topic, too.

Last night's conference call also focused on an EU summit meeting with western Balkan countries, which was due to have been held in May in Zagreb. The coronavirus epidemic is the reason why the summit meeting will be held as a virtual event by the end of Croatia's six-month presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2020.

On Thursday afternoon, EU heads of state or government will hold a video conference to discuss a joint response to the economic and social repercussions of the corona crisis.

They are expected to reach agreement on a strategy for the recovery from the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic and on gradual reactivation of the economy.