Plenković: ''Too Many People in Croatia Live on Edge of Poverty''

By 3 December 2017

Prime Minister Plenković says he's aware of the uncomfortable truth and aims to do something about it.

It wouldn't be new information to state that Croatia, particularly Slavonia and Baranja, are seeing countless residents jump onto buses heading to the UK, Germany, Ireland and other desirable locations across Europe in search of a better life, more job opportunities and a decent wage. Employment opportunities in Croatia, especially away from the coast and outside of the summer season, are hard to come by even for highly qualified individuals. 

Despite the fact that we here at TCN like to highlight the very true, very real fact that not everything is so black, and that Croatia does indeed offer stability and happiness to an increasing number of entrepreneurs, both Croats and foreigners, the epidemic of the ''emptying of Eastern Croatia'' doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. 

Many feel that politicians are ignoring their cries for help. The beautiful agricultural inland region of Slavonia which could not only become a valuable sustainable tourism destination, but feed the whole of the country and beyond, is gradually losing its residents to ''more developed'' European countries and the general feeling is that nobody who is able to do anything to improve things is paying the concerning situation quite enough attention. 

Under Andrej Plenković's mandate, the Croatian Government has made conscious efforts to hold some of its sessions outside of the capital in order to make the rest of the country feel less disconnected from what goes on behind closed doors in the political ''bubble'' of Zagreb.

So far, four sessions have taken place outside of the capital, the most recent of them having been held in one of Slavonia's more well known cities, Osijek, in the hope of allowing the general public and the citizens of Osijek and Baranja to see and feel that these regions aren't being forgotten about, nor are their very serious issues being pushed under the rug on the political scene. Plenković and several other prominent government officials have made it clear that they have full interest in the further development of these seemingly overlooked areas, and various contracts have been sign for large-scale improvements when it comes to infrastructure, entrepreneurship, public transport, environment and the overall quality of life.

Just a few days ago, at the government session held in Osijek on the 1st of December, 2017, Plenković revealed the great news that a very welcome contract worth almost one billion kuna, with the final value of the planned projects totaling over two billion kuna, was to be signed for the City of Osijek and Osijek-Baranja County. Plenković stated that these sessions held outside of Zagreb show the government's orientation in trying to reduce the numerous disparities in the regional development of Croatia, highlighting the fact that the good that had been done following the government session held in Slavonski Brod could now be clearly seen.

The welcome contract would bring Osijek and Osijek-Baranja County a series of grant agreements for everything from infrastructure to environmental protection and energy, with plans to sign yet more lucrative contracts for numerous other Slavonian cities and counties.

As N1 reports on the 3rd of December, 2017, Plenković has reiterated his awareness of what people in various parts of Croatia are going through and the less than adequate standards they're having to endure life under, he openly stated today that too many people are living on the edge of poverty in Croatia.

"We're aware of this and without social solidarity, without raising the standard of living for young people, for employees and for retired people, it's difficult for us to feel better with good macroeconomic trends," Plenković stated to journalists in Varaždin, where he was present to open a student home.

He said that at their next session, the government would consider a variety of measures to finally increase the minimum wage, and that a host of other measures would be discussed because the Croatian government wants to enable a dignified life for the people.