Politics

President and Government Again in Conflict over Demographic Crisis

By 17 April 2018

President criticises the government, a minister shots back.

On Tuesday, President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović moved her office temporarily to Šibenik and used to opportunity to launch a new attack on the government due to the demographic crisis, reports Index.hr on April 17, 2018.

“Unfortunately, young people are leaving for better salaries and easier life, which makes the already difficult demographic situation even worse. When I said we were in a demographic state of emergency, which demands extraordinary measures, some said I was exaggerating. These days, the prime minister pointed out that the government, due to the extraordinary situation in which the Agrokor group had found itself, had to resort to extraordinary measures. It had to save some 40,000 jobs, and that great effort of the government should be welcomed and recognised. However, just last year, 80,000 people left Croatia, of that number some 40,000 to Germany alone. What is that if not a state of emergency which demands extraordinary measures,” the president said.

She emphasised that partial measures such as raising quotas for importing workers from abroad will not solve the problem.

The president stated that "we have no more time.” “There is no time for new abstract demographic strategies, but we need a concrete action plan with comprehensive measures for the demographic recovery of the country, especially to create conditions for a substantial increase in salaries, immediately,” she said and called on the government and the parliament to focus on the issue.

Speaking about the necessity of decentralisation, she said it was not the same to live in a major city or small towns like Kijevo, Unešić or the island of Žirje. “We need an active regional policy that will enable the retention of the population living on islands, borderland and less developed areas, starting with the employment policy and increasing public sector wages, We need to stimulate investments in the social standard. Also, the state must use tax measures to increase revenues for our counties, towns and municipalities, and help them make the most of the opportunities offered by the European funds,” the president said.

It did not take long for the Minister of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy Nada Murganić to reply to the president’s criticism. She spoke with journalists in front of the Government House.

“We are certainly aware that it is much easier to criticise than to take over responsibility. We have taken over the responsibility, we are implementing measures that are in line with the government policy, and I see no reason for so much criticism,” Minister Murganić answered to the president.

“I openly invite all those who are well-intentioned to get involved with their specific proposals, as well as with their efforts and engagement,” concluded Murganić.

Translated from Index.hr.

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