As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian minimum wage at this moment in time stands at 624 euros per month, gross. The highest in the EU is unsurprisingly 2,257 euros in Luxembourg, and in only four countries in the European Union do workers receive a lower minimum wage than here in Croatia. In Hungary, Romania, Latvia and Bulgaria, people take home the EU’s lowest minimum wage of a mere 332 euros.
“I should be able to afford to buy some decent clothes, have some sort of normal social life life, such as being able to go to watch a film at the cinema or going to watch a match. What about holidays? It’s all getting harder,” said one person, who added that if they’re havint to work all twelve months of the year and they can’t even go on holiday, then they think it’s beneath the honour of every person.
The average Croatian household spends more than two thousand kuna a month on food alone. Another 1.2 thousand kuna goes to housing costs and another 1.2 thousand to transportation. That means that for pure and simple survival, it costs 4.5 thousand kuna per month, and the minimum wage in Croatia at the moment is 3750 thousand kuna. That is without the latest price increases. Across the European Union, as trade unionists point out, the poverty indicator is the data on how much is spent on food, as reported by Dnevnik.hr.
“The share of food costs on average across the European Union stands at about 13 percent, in more developed European Union countries, it is below 10, and in Croatia more than it’s more than 27 percent without any increase,” said Kresimir Sever from the Independent Croatian Trade Union.
Compared to the Netherlands, the minimum wage is almost three times higher: 1,725 euros, which is almost 13 thousand kuna per month. They spend less than 13 percent of their salaries on food, compared to more than 27 percent here in Croatia, and the price of electricity is a little less than 13 euro cents per kilowatt hour, which is even slightly lower than it costs in Croatia.
When asked if they think that the time will come when the minimum wage for Croatian employees stands at 13 thousand kuna, they answered: “I think so. When young people realise that they shouldn’t run away but stay here and fight against those who do evil.” Some naturally jaded Croatian employees have a different opinion: “I don’t think so, I don’t believe in fairy tales.”
While the meat industry is announcing a rise in meat prices of up to 30 percent, the unions are asking the Croatian Government for all measures to help – they should lower VAT on energy, offer higher aid to the poorest among us, and lower excise duties on fuel, with the addition of more price caps. They also pointed out that chain price increases are on their way in the coming months, and the minimum will remain the same until next year.
For more, check out our lifestyle section.