15 Mar 2009

Croatia calls off NZ visit

9:20 am on 15 March 2009

The Croatian President Stipe Mesic has called off his official visits to New Zealand, Australia and Brazil because his country cannot afford it.

Croatia has been badly hit by the global financial crisis after enjoying annual growth ranging between 4.3% and 5.6% in the past seven years.

The government forecasts a 2% contraction for this year. Facing recession, the government has announced €470 million in budget cuts so far, with more to come.

President Mesic's office says he will not now be travelling to the Southern Hemisphere this autumn due to the country's economic circumstances.