Croats Leaning More Towards Rural Life as Trends Indicate Change

Lauren Simmonds

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More and more Croats are starting to see the benefits of going about their lives in more rural environments, especially young people, according to a report from Glas Slavonije.

“It’s certain that today, rural life offers unparalleled benefits compared to those it did ten or more years ago, when people left in their droves for the cities. The advantages of a peaceful and stable life that smaller environments provide, and the quality of life in such place, have equalled the benefits of life in cities and have potentially even exceeded them, and for an organised life we ​​need only a safe car,” they are unique in their assessment of young Croats, who today in small villages are often managing to become the owners of valuable properties and pieces of land with gardens that a decade ago simply couldn’t have even been dreamed of.

There is now more and more support to local families from self-government units when it comes to purchasing houses, offering free textbooks and meals in schools, subsidising kindergartens, subsidising the cost of staying in dorms, bus tickets and offering scholarships to almost all students, constructing new schools, clinics and specialist clinics, and offering harmonious conditions for sport. It isn’t all that surprising that many younger Croats are now dreaming of life in the countryside.

One of the areas that really proved to be one of the first to see the need to invest primarily in people, and only then in property, is the Magadenovac Municipality, writes Glas Slavonije. This small municipality could easily be a model for many for the abundance of measures it has introduced in order to support life in the local area.

With 3,000 kuna for the first-born, 5,000 kuna for the second-born and 8,000 kuna being offered for the third-born child, the amount for each subsequent child is determined by the mayor personally in order to help that particular family more in accordance with their material condition. A few years ago, almost alone, with very little help from the state, they financed the kindergarten construction, for which parents pay 354 kuna per child.

The kids who attended got free textbooks while others across the country were only just starting to consider such an initiative. High school students also received financial help from the municipality if they were staying in student dorms. Croats with young families are increasingly turning to a more rural way of life.

There are already plenty of people interested in buying cheap houses in the area, and with the new school, which will soon boast an additional hall, a renovated kindergarten, as well as better communal infrastructure and many other measures, Mayor Darko Dorkić hopes that the negative trends we have been witnessing so far will soon turn around and take a more positive direction.

Apart from the fact that smaller houses in Slavonia and Baranja are sold very cheaply, young people are increasingly attracted to the fact that village life is ready and waiting to offer a life lived in peace and in coexistence with nature, and a garden in which they can grow fruits and vegetables.

The idea of breeding pigs and poultry for their own needs doesn’t put them off either, recognising that such a lifestyle is not only healthier, but much cheaper than purchasing such items in the city would be. In such small communities everyone knows everything, so there is never any problem for children to go alone to school and to playgrounds, not to mention the fact that overall living costs are so much lower.

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