The First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Radimir Cacic on Saturday dispelled fears about 20,000 lay-offs in the public sector, adding that this topic was "obviously miscommunicated".
"We have 250,000 people employed in the state administration. The plan is that 16,000 public sector employees with conditions for the full retirement age should be now sent into retirement and an additional 17,000 can be sent into early retirement," Cacic said while participating in one of the events within the international Weekend Media Festival in the northern coastal city of Rovinj.
The minister said that the new legislation on public sector employees that would be passed by the end of this year would facilitate this plan.
He described the situation in state-run companies as "a cancerous wound of the Croatian society". He said that the number of employees in public companies would begin falling with the introduction of the assessment of their performance.
"Those who do not meet criteria can leave. This is an ordinary thing in doing business and there will be no longer the life-long sitting in offices," Cacic said.
Croatian Telecom board chairman Ivica Mudrinic, who also participated in that event, praised the current government for being more competent than the previous one.
"A turnaround has been made and we have a more competent system. I think we have good people in certain departments, although I think, a clearer strategy for the future is lacking," Mudrinic said.