I’ve painted Croatia in a fairly positive light I believe but the two women also revealed the areas in which Croatia is struggling namely with the economy, the worldwide struggle. Their unemployment figures are very high, they said officially 14% but unofficially probably around 20 or 25%. At the same time the black market is thriving, taxes are high, and 70,000 are not getting their daily salary or pension. Those 70,000 are apart of the unorganized sector of workers who have no job security and could be fired anytime because their employers didn’t register them. The women said 72% of employers don’t properly record and therefore pay their employees which was suspiciously high to me. How would you even find out that figure? Regardless it’s unquestionably a grave problem if people aren’t paid and don’t have job security. The average salary per month is around 700 euros but they said that number is extremely skewed from the highest earners and that the average is closer to 300 euros per month. Serbia’s official and skewed average is 30,000 dinars (300 euros) per month but most earn between 10,000 and 20,000 dinars (100-200 euros).
The current president is Josipovic and he’s been the president for about a year and a half. Both women and Ceca praised him claiming he’s moderate and willing to compromise and they said he has an 80% popularity rating which is remarkable. The other government officials sound less promising and are tangled in a web of corruption according to the women. Still an honest president is a really good start.
Serbia and Croatia are the same in terms of social justice, unemployment, corruption, and human rights but Croatia’s EU ascension is much further along. Why?
C is clearer with their national identity,
C glorifies war veterans,
C has unanimous public story of the ’91 war which they’re proud of,
C is more stable with a simpler government (according to the two women),
C is composed of only Catholic Croats—side: one man told us you can’t get a birth certificate in Croatia without being baptized—no other religions create tension amongst the people,
C does not have problems with Kosovo,
C does not have a Roma population or other minority groups. There are hardly any Roma in Croatia according to the two Croatian women I’ve been referencing. In Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, there is one small Roma settlement. In Split there is a single Roma family and they are a “local legend.” Both women knew that the father is a fisherman and they debated whether his son left for Zagreb or remained in Split. Neither felt like Croats treat them poorly.
I apologize if these have grammar or spelling errors. I've posted them without proofreading! We don't have internet in the convent where we're staying and the internet at this cafe isn't strong enough to operate the image uploader but at some point I will be posting many many pictures for your viewing pleasure from the last three weeks. Signing off from the boardwalk of Split, Croatia. I am sooo glad it's shorts weather again!