Monday, January 23, 2012

More on Croatia and the EU

Croatian flag: part of the EUSSR

Our Croatian correspondent Vortac sends this follow-up on last night’s post about the referendum on Croatia’s accession to the EU:

I would guess the situation is probably more or less the same in all other ex-communist European countries, which, like Croatia, probably joined the EU for the same reasons.

The all-corrupting aspect of the welfare state is to blame here, since it’s almost impossible for any government to remain uncorrupted when it’s raising (and distributing) billions of unearned dollars in the form of credits and loans. In the case of Croatia, a good part of that money was used to support the welfare paradigm, meaning it was spent on pensions, social benefits, and on a huge state administration.

The ratio between the employed and pensioners in Croatia is about 1.2:1 now, meaning the number of pensioners almost equals the number of the employed, which is of course unsustainable. We also have to bear in mind that many of the employed are in fact working in the public sector, meaning they are by and large also supported out of the state budget, and are not really contributing to the economy.

In effect, we have created a super-welfare state here in Croatia, even worse than in the EU, and of course it’s very hard for the electorate to vote against it, since almost everyone is made dependent, which in turn creates the need for even more debt and even more loans — again resulting in even more corruption.

Additional reading


Since 2009, negative trends persisted in Croatia with jobs in the industry declined further by 3.5%.[84] Number of unemployed and retired persons combined exceeded number of employed in August 2010, as it fell to 1.474 million.

The Croatian Times:

The Croatian public sector employs a quarter of the country’s workforce or 400,000 people, a study by Zagreb-based Institute of Economics and Friedrich Ebert Foundation shows.

Google Books:

As a result the present ratio of dependent to employed is almost 1:1 and Croatia has the youngest retired population (the average age is 50 years).


Croatian officials, who have launched a pro-EU campaign ahead of the referendum, warned that a “no” vote would deprive the country of the much-needed accession funds, and that even the payment of pensions for retirees and war veterans could be in jeopardy.

“If citizens vote against Croatia’s EU entry, “the first response will probably be a downgrading of our credit rating, and the second an assessment of Croatia’s investment security, given that EU membership is also a measure of security for economic activities,” said Pusic [Vesna Pusic is the Croatian minister of foreign affairs] who joined a rally which her Croatian People’s Party (HNS) held in downtown Zagreb today.


Anonymous said...

I take it that teachers and doctors don't really contribute to economy?

Anonymous said...

And since the government has spent the retirement pensions the need for massive third-world enrichment is now needed creating waves of crime and cultural conflict. The enrichers have a higher birth rate and within 50 years the country becomes Balkanised forming two or more nation states within the original country which is no longer recognisable as the country it once was.

Vortac said...

Teachers and doctors... despite massive increases in public spending, Croatia lags behind both in education and in public health. Recent studies have proven that in both sectors there was only very modest improvement since 2003. inversely proportional with huge investments, particularly in public health. To bring some statistics into play, Croatia is still among the Top 10 fattest countries in the world and is a leading European country according to alcohol consumption data. I would say that investments in public health have not really contributed to the economy as much as they should have.

Henrik R Clausen said...

I take it that teachers and doctors don't really contribute to economy?

That really depends how you define 'economy'.

The fundamental way to create value in a society is to produce goods. Take cheap raw material, use them in one production process or another, and end up with a product that sells for more than it has cost to produce it.

That will in the short term create income for workers, entrepeneurs and then traders. They, in turn, will desire the services of teachers and doctors, who will make a living, too.

If one defines the 'economy' as GDP, their earnings is a contribution. But then, so is taking out savings and spending it on useless crap. The 'economy' is a misleading term leading to bad politicial decisions.

bewick said...

I suspect, as one who once studied economics. that a working population of only 1.6m with a population of ? 3m is simply unsustainable.
Retiring at 50? Sounds like Greece. Would that I'd had that chance. Scrap that. I'd have been totally bored.
The fact is that this is the perfect example of "united we stand, divided we fall". Croatia should not be admitted to the EU and the UK should leave pronto. (lots of arguments there not for this post)

kloutlichter said...

My 10 yr old daughter has been studying the European Union at school.She along with everyone else in her class has recieved a 'Passport to the European Union'
This is a little blue book that describes all members in the Union and has a little cartoon fox with a golden star on its tale,that is on every page.My daughter thinks it is fun.However here is a few lines from it.

***'The European Union is one big market place for all member states based on four freedoms:

FREE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE allowing us to travel but also to live,study and work abroad.

FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS allowing us to buy and sell products from/to each other.

FREE MOVEMENT OF SERVICES allowing us to share the skills and expertise we need from eachother.

FREE MOVEMENT OF CAPITAL allowing us to transfer or invest our money to/in other member states.

This is all very normal and taken for granted by young people who have never known anything different.Many adults also do not know that this freedom is a result of the work of the growing number of club members for nearly 60 years,and means that many more things besides travelling have become easier through membership of the European Union.'***

I discern a number of questionable points to these lines.
The four freedoms are also the four freedoms that are mentioned in documents when concerning the expansion of the european union to encapsulate the north african mediterreanean and middle eastern countries (The future Eurabia?)
This seems to be preparing our youth for future expansion.

Why the difference between the young and adults?It seems to suggest that adults do not know the 'benefits' of the union ,whilst the young are in the know and in the 'club'. Smacks of the Hitler Youth and brainwashing to me!

Why the hell is a political body producing this stuff to give to our children.It seems that they have decided that they know best and the Union is the future. No political reading material should be given to children. Especially at primary school level when children have not developed any anylitical skills or are unable to discern what may be right or wrong.

Am I right on these points or have I lost the plot somewhere?

1389 said...

Maybe it's bad mojo from throwing out the Serbs in Operation Storm. Left to themselves and unencumbered by government tyranny, Serbs (as well as Serbian-Americans, Serbian-Canadians, Serbian-Australians) are very hardworking and productive people - yes, even into old age. It's part of our culture. Throw us out and things don't get done.

The Serbs used to handle garbage pickup and waste disposal in Kosovo. After they were thrown out in 1999, the place is crammed with trash and garbage because nobody picks it up.