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Croatian government holds session

ZAGREB, Dec 24 (Hina) - Transport Minister Bozidar Kalmeta announced on Wednesday that as of 1 January transit trucks would not be allowed to use regional roads but only highways. Kalmeta made the announcement at a session of the government, which also decided that during the period from 15 September until 1 June it would be possible for trucks and buses to pay highway tolls by credit card, using the electronic toll payment system, with 20 per cent discount.

The government increased the guarantee capital of the Croatian Agency for Small Business (HAMAG) from HRK 500 million to HRK 1 billion so that it could issue guarantees for planned investments in the development of cattle and pig breeding.

The government adopted a strategy for the promotion of nautical tourism over the next ten years, according to which no more than 15,000 berths would be built during that period, as opposed to 33,000 as initially planned by regional authorities.

The government established a Regional Development Agency to take charge of capacity building for the implementation of EU programmes. The agency will become responsible for national and regional programmes after the adoption of a strategy and legislation relating to regional development.

The government adopted reports on the measures taken in implementing the European Charter of Social Rights and the National Plan concerning the rights and interests of children in 2007.

In the closed part of the session, the government amended the regulation on incentives for power production from renewable energy sources and cogeneration. It also adopted a decision on the financing of the Croatian Agency for Mandatory Oil Reserves in 2009 and approved the exploitation of the Okoli hydrocarbon field.

The government declared the Arena Zagreb sports hall to be of special interest to the country. It also gave the Croatian Skiing Federation permission to organise Alpine skiing races for women and men on Mount Sljeme, which overlooks Zagreb, from 4 to 6 January 2009.

At the proposal of the Health and Social Welfare Minister, the government established a Council for Genetically Modified Organisms.