Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Man Abandons Comfortable Job at Mercedes in Germany to Move to Croatia

As Novac writes on the 6th of January, 2020, while many young Croats take advantage of Croatia's European Union membership and head off in their droves to Ireland or Germany, Kristian Hostić decided to move to Croatia from Germany, the country of his parents, to which he had only been going on holiday so far, writes DW.

He grew up in Stuttgart, where his parents moved to from Croatia originally. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics and got a comfortable job at Mercedes. Although he had good conditions and a good salary, he decided a year and a half ago to leave a secure job in Germany and move to Croatia. Ge returned to his family home in Đakovo.

''I always wanted to live in Croatia, but at the time I graduated from college, the salary level in Croatia was still very low. I looked at job postings occasionally and a year and a half ago I simply decided to do it. I feel at home in Croatia, my heart is where it's meant to be here, even though I grew up in Germany and have friends there, it's just a feeling, you either feel it or you don't feel it,'' he says, adding that his parents supported him in his move to Croatia, as did his friends, even though they were in shock, they didn't try to deter him. 

He now lives in his parents' home in Đakovo and travels 40 kilometres to Slavonski Brod every day for work. He found his job at a German certification and risk assessment firm - Tüv Nord, where the working language is German. This German company has been operating in Slavonski Brod for five years now, employing 50 people, mostly Croats who have returned from Germany.

Although it is a German company, the salaries at Tüv Nord are not German. Kristian doesn't mind that, and he says that he is pleased because he has been given the opportunity to move to Croatia and work in a normal workplace, where the Croatian mentality prevails. In addition, he found love in Croatia - his girlfriend Marijana. He wants to build a future in Croatia, precisely with her.

According to official statistics, most of the Croats who have left Croatia were precisely from the overlooked Eastern region of Slavonia, and their destination was mainly Germany. From 2008 to 2018, 240,000 young Croats went to Germany and Ireland. Kristian is convinced that most of these young people or their children will return or move to Croatia once, as he did.

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Friday, 3 January 2020

Ireland, Germany Who? Croatian Emigrants Have Another Favourite Country...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of January, 2020, the minimum wage is 1,200 euros, and workers also get a thirteenth and fourteenth wage in June and again in January. One addition to hot spots for Croatian emigrants such as Ireland and Germany is Austria, which recently announced that it would remove its barriers for Croatian nationals to enter the Austrian labour market. It has now secured its place among the favourites.

''I'm satisfied with the salary, the employer provided me with accommodation, and even paid my bills and for my food,'' says the Dubrovnik native. After working as a waiter for fifteen years and two more years in a shop, Alen Sofić from Dubrovnik has been working in Austria for seven months now.

The waiter is currently in the town of Bludenz, on the border of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Within fifty kilometres lies the Principality of Liechtenstein, in less than two hours you can get to Zurich, St. Galena, Innsbruck..., writes local paper Dubrovacki vjesnik of this Croatian emigrant.

''It's never a problem to get used to something better. Austria is removing the need for work permits for Croatian emigrants next year, and many will look for a new job in Austria,'' stated Alen.

''I left Dubrovnik because I couldn't live off my salary working in a shop. When I got to Austria, I thought: I'll work the season, pay off my debts, and then I'll go home. After six months, not only did I repay my debts, I was left with twice as much,'' said Alen, who recommends that when choosing between Ireland, Britain, Germany and the rest of the EU, that Croatian emigrants give Austria a go.

''Whoever wants to go, try to perfect the German language this winter. Most guests in Western Austria are from German speaking and English is hardly spoken, although it's welcome. For anyone with a basic knowledge of the language, employers pay for training, and the course is included in working hours!

That's how they invest in their workers who, if they do their best, will not fail. The job offers are vast and the easiest to find are in industry and the hospitality industry. The summer season is from May to September and then everyone is out in nature. This is followed by a collective annual break until November the 15th, when the winter season begins.

With me are two Slavonians and a girl from Viš, and many workers from Croatia's neighbouring countries. They've been granted work visas for six months, after which they must pause for three months to obtain a new half-year permit. We respect each other and help each other, and if necessary, jump in as substitutes.

We're protected by good laws and the Privileg Association was founded in Vienna: for an annual membership fee of fifty euros, seven top lawyers provide legal assistance and represent you in front of your employers. For example, at a neighbouring hotel, a shift manager banned a worker from talking with a colleague in his native language. Privileg responded and resolved it with a single letter with the argument: Croatian is one of the 24 equal languages ​​of the EU and anyone can speak it without freely if they want to. Outside the hall, German is of course spoken among the guests.

The worker is guaranteed a day off each week and five overtimes a week brings two days off in the following week. It's not like in Croatia, where you work from morning to tomorrow, ''as long as the guests are there''.

Overtime is paid double, and a day off is no problem to get: it just needs to be announced the day before. If you're on sick leave, the insurance sends a controller to your apartment, and they also ask you what the doctor's attitude to you has been like,'' says this satisfied Croatian emigrant in Austria.

He also notes that accommodation, utilities and food in the hospitality industry are paid by the employer.

''If you're fired, you can stay in the same accommodation until you find a new job or return home! In addition, local governments in Austria set rent limits for each type of accommodation and if the owners ask for more, their tax is automatically increased by fifty percent!'' added Softić.

''Austrians aren't cold, they just need time to accept you. They're skeptical until they're convinced that you're human and then only the sky is the limit! I greeted my neighbour for days but he kept quiet. After about twenty days he started to answer and even waved to me across the street! They are closed off to strangers, and they only appreciate you when they're convinced that you are contributing to the well-being of the country. Patriotism proves tax deductible.

Thus, the state receives about 200 million euros annually, which it allocates to municipal infrastructure and renewable energy sources. And in our country, hospitality workers wave flags and cheer, but they don't fiscalise the bills! This doesn't even enter the heads of the Austrians. They are workaholics, and after dinner they always do something. For example, they cut grass not only in their gardens but also for more than 100 metres around the house, thus contributing to the community. If we were like that, imagine where we could be now?'' concludes Alen, and his words are more than likely to tempt other Croatian emigrants to Austria.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on Croatian emigrants.

Monday, 20 May 2019

National Action to Keep Educated Youth in Croatia Held in Zagreb

As VLM/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of May, 2019, two respected Croatian newspapers, Večernji list and Poslovni dnevnik, in cooperation with the University of Zagreb and the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, are set to organise a round table entitled Future in Croatia and a ''time travelling'' exhibition through Večernji list's history.

After successful events already held in Osijek, Koprivnica, Rijeka, Zadar and Split, Zagreb will now play host to this national action launched by the Vecernji list group with the ultimate goal of retaining young educated people here in Croatia in the face of continuing and concerning negative demographic trends.

The event will be opened by Večernji list's Andrea Borošić, Prof. dr. sc. Lorena Škuflić and Prof. dr. sc. Damir Boras.

The Zagreb roundtable will discuss the vital importance of the retention of young and educated people here in the Republic of Croatia, and will be attended by numerous significant figures from across the spectrum of both politics and science in Croatia who have succeeded in standing out in their respective fields.

The first part of the program will conclude with the official opening of Večernji list's exhibition "We've been together for 60 years", which, through interesting and interactive content, will present the rich history of Croatia's media leader, along with an introductory speech from the curator.

At the very end of the program, an interactive forum will be held during which a student contest in writing projects will presented, and the present Večernji list group will reward the excellence of Croatian students.

Guests will be Podravka's dr. Sc. Jasmina Ranilović, PLIVA's Blagica Petrovac Šikić, UVI eSports d.o.o.'s Marko Komerički and the directors and founders of the company Hodajuće reklama Tino Vrbanović and Ante Starčević, who will present their encouraging and successful business ventures and projects which have been realised here in Croatia to all those gathered there.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle pages for much more. If it's just Zagreb and what's going on in the capital you're interested in, follow Total Zagreb or check out Zagreb in a Page.

 

Click here for the original article by VLM on Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 28 April 2019

''Don't Leave Croatia, I Thought it Would be Easier in Time, I was Wrong''

The economic situation in Croatia is far from promising, and with more and more Croats flocking to Western European countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany, it seems that the country's massive staff shortages and concerning demographic crisis aren't about to be over any time soon. 

However, just how much milk and honey really flows through the rivers of Western Europe, or is it all just a myth? Having been raised in the UK and having lived in Croatia for years now, I can quite confidently state that neither milk nor honey can be found at least in the British isles, and while the economic conditions are indeed more stable and safe, the idea that huge wage packets and a perfect life are waiting for you when you step off the plane in London is farfetched, to say the very least.

Wages typically (not always, of course) match the cost of living, and when you need to pay over £100 for council tax per month and have your heating turned on for several months per year to cope with the cold temperatures and miserable weather, suddenly that fatter pay packet doesn't seem as appealing as it did at first.

As Croats from all corners of the country continue to go and try their hand abroad, thanks to Croatia's accession to the EU and the freedom of labour, many are faced with shocks which only longer than three months in their newly adopted Western European countries can show up.

As Novac writes on the 27th of April, 2019, Marko Mihaljević, a 27-year old Croat with a Masters degree, went from Babina Greda in Vukovar-Srijem County (Eastern Croatia) to the bustling German city of Frankfurt seven months ago, and managed to get a job in construction. He is one of the very many young Croats who haven't been able to find a job in Croatia, so they placed their hopes and dreams for a better future in the hands of one of the Croats' favourite countries to go and seek work - Germany.

However, just like in the United Kingdom, there are no rivers flowing with milk and honey in Germany either, and Marko soon found that out for himself.

"I thought it would get easier in time, but everything's harder," Mihaljević explains in a short Facebook video he posted in which he discusses the matter.

He shared his experiences of leaving Croatia and working in Germany via the aforementioned Facebook video, and told his fellow young Croats still in Croatia not to go abroad if they weren't absolutely sure of everything, because he himself thought things would be very different.

''I'm spending my days doing this job. I'm not trying to throw anyone under the bus, nor am I trying to talk badly about any job, because I've never underestimated anyone in my life, but I'm doing a job for which I don't even need a primary school education. Having a Master's degree sounds nice, but I've got to break my back here from morning til night for my bare existence because that's [gaining respectable employment with a Master's degree] not allowed in Croatia. Why is it not allowed? Because I'm not in any political party,'' Marko stated bluntly.

He says he's angry that as a man with a Master's degree, he has to work in the construction industry, but he currently has no choice,'' writes Fenix ​​Magazine.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle  page for much more on the Croatian demographic crisis and the mass exodus of Croats to Western Europe.

Monday, 22 April 2019

600,000 Residents in Croatia Were Born Abroad, Where Are They Located?

The unemployment rate for young people up to 29 years of age is the highest among Croatia's domestic population, and the lowest among young people from third countries.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of April, 2019, the Republic of Croatia is among the countries of the EU with the best integrated immigrants from third countries, which can only be met with surprise by those people who do not know that these ''immigrants'' are actually mostly just Croats born in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by a few immigrants from Serbia, Germany, Slovenia, Kosovo and Macedonia.

According to the latest census, 584,947 (13.7 percent) of the population of Croatia were born abroad. The number of migrants are as follows: Serbia (9 percent), Germany (5.8 percent), Kosovo (3.5 percent), Slovenia (3.4 percent), Macedonia ( 1.7 percent). Immigrants to Croatia, predominantly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, are doing much better in terms of the employment rate of young people up to 29 years of age, meaning that they're significantly better integrated into the Croatian labour market than those born in Croatia and those from other EU countries.

This data were presented by sociologists Snježana Gregurević and Sonja Podgorelec, and social geographer Sanja Klempić Bogadi from the Institute for Migration and Ethnicity in the presentation "The Influence of Immigrant Groups on the Social Cohesion of the Receiving Society - the case of Croatia".

A large number of Croatian residents born in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the result of labour migration during the socialist period of Yugoslavia and immigration during the Bosnian war. Most immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina live in Zagreb (98,579), Split-Dalmatia County (36,864), Zagreb County (35,427), Brod- Posavina (29,537) and Osijek-Baranja County (28,051), these are the "entrance" Croatian counties, those closest to the border regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the exception of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, from which emigration towards Croatia was the most intensive,'' stated Klempić Bogadi.

By the year 2015, Croatia, along with Serbia, Germany and Austria, was the most common destination for immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, since 2016, the trend is for the Bosnian population to migrate to Germany and Austria, and the number of such persons in Croatia and Serbia is steadily decreasing.

"According to Eurostat's data, immigrants from third countries, predominantly immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, are better involved in the Croatian labour market than the domestic population and immigrants from other EU countries in terms of the employment rate of young people aged from 15 to 29. The employment rate of young people from third countries in Croatia is higher by 18 percent when compared to the employment of domestic youth,'' said Snježana Gregurović.

As stated, the unemployment rate for young people up to 29 years of age is highest among the domestic Croatian population, and is actually the lowest among young people from third countries.

"Because of their small share of the total population of Croatia, immigrants haven't endangered or undermined the country's social cohesion. Because of the modest share of the immigrant population in Croatia who do not have Croatian ethnic origin, and the large share of those who do have it, the integration challenges are not yet posing any sort of significant cost to the state, or a threat to the domestic population,'' says Podgorelec.

In Zagreb, the largest concentration of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina live in Sesvete, where the research "Influence of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the socio-demographic development of Croatian urban regions" was conducted on a sample of 301 people aged 18 and over born in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Most of them (93.4 percent) were ethnic Croats, ethnic Serbs made up 3.7 percent of them, Bosniaks made uo 2.3 percent, and 0.7 percent was made up of others. Otherwise, 85.2 percent of Croats born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and living in Croatia are actually Croats, 6.3 percent of them are actually Serbs, and just 6 percent are Bosniaks.

A third of respondents hold dual citizenship, (Croatian and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Almost half of them work, of which 68 percent are mostly in trade or the construction industry. 14.6 percent are unemployed, those who stay at home make up 6.6 percent, pensioners make up 29.2 percent, and students and pupils in education make up 2.7 percent. The largest number of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina living in Sesvete have secondary education, and 6,3 percent have higher education.

"Most respondents feel very welcome in the local community, they have a strong sense of belonging to the Croatian society, and they vote in large numbers during elections in the Republic of Croatia, but are exceptionally poorly involved in any organisation and/or civil society. Given the fact that many of them also have Croatian citizenship and therefore they vote in the elections in the Republic of Croatia, many are significantly less interested in political developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which shows a high level of political integration,'' concluded Podgorelec, reports Večernji list.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

High Economic Expectations for Croatia's Brod Port Project

Despite the odd investment here and there, continental Croatia rarely gets a look in when compared to the coast, particularly when compared to Dalmatia. In Eastern Croatia, more specifically Slavonia, the situation is even more depressing, but it seems that not everything is as bleak as we sometimes like to imagine and even portray.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of April, 2019, the economic expectations from the Luka Brod (Brod Port) project worth more than 100 million kuna are high. Through the construction of new port infrastructure, the project has become the driving force for the development of Brod-Posavina County, as was highlighted by the Croatian Government.

As stated, the much anticipated construction of new port infrastructure is the driving force for the development of this Slavonian county, this was highlighted at the eighth session of the Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, and according to the prime minister, it's essential for the Croatian Government and local self-government units to do everything to create the proper conditions for economic development that will end the mass exodus of citizens from Croatia.

Until now, contracted projects with EU funding amount to 9.7 billion kuna, stated the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Gabrijela Žalac. Another 1.85 billion kuna are contracted investments from the state budget.

For the strengthening of the Croatian economy, the development and enhancement of competitiveness, projects such as Brod Port are of great importance, stated the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's Mirjana Cagalj. This is also an incentive for the development of a local environment that is particularly burdened with the exodus of the resident population who are leaving in their droves owing to the unfavourable economic situation, contributing to Croatia's worrying demographic crisis.

Its exceptional traffic position provides great potential for the development of the new port in Slavonski Brod in an intermodal logistics centre, which, according to Cagalj, would work to influence its future strategic role in international container traffic because Brod Port is located on the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the crossing of the railway corridor X and the road corridor Vc, which is an international entry port for the EU.

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Click here for the original article by Suzana Varosanec for Poslovni Dnevnik

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