Minister: Government doesn't conceal unemployment data
It was not the government's intention to hide unemployment data and it is aware that this is the number one problem in Croatia, Economy Labour and Entrepreneurship Minister Djuro Popijac said on Wednesday commenting on Tuesday's publication of statistics on the labour market in which the Croatian Employment Service came short of giving the figures about unemployed people.
Popijac, however, decline to reveal the number, saying that reporters came on their own to the conclusion that the number of unemployed rose to 334,327.
He also declined to say if the Croatian Employment Service would in the future release the number of unemployed people, as it has been the case so far, or if it will publish a 12-page document with many graphs and analyses and leave it for journalists to do the math.
Asked about his political responsibility for such high unemployment figures, the minister said he was responsible for a much wider area than the labour market, namely the largest part of Croatia's economic sector.
He stressed that the high unemployment was a result of negative economic trends from 2009 and 2010 which, according to him, will be halted this year.