In the last six years, a period of time which has seen about 380,000 people leave Croatia, just two families left this island municipality…
Grants, free nursery places for kids, free textbooks for students, financial aid for every newborn baby…
It might seem like some dreamed up, farfetched fantasy land far from the often difficult realities of life in Croatia, but we’re actually talking about a real place in the country, hidden away from some of the harsh day to day factors other communities across the country continue to face.
The small municipality of Smokvica on the island of Korčula proves that not everything has to be doom and gloom accompanied by the constant beating of the drum of negativity so adored by the media. Smokvica boasts a more than alluring list of benefits for parents and their children, and it seems that it’s doing well, Slobodna Dalmacija writes.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of August, 2018, students from the small area of Smokvica receive 800 kuna per month in grants, and among other desirable bonuses, the municipality helps with transportation for kids, it finances additional bus lines for students, even those students who are studying away from the island of Korčula.
“Happy kids, happy Smokvica, Smokvica is a place for happy kids” is the name of the program with which the island municipality of Smokvica attempts to withstand the increasingly concerning demographic crisis into which the whole of Croatia is gradually slipping.
“Some of these measures have already been implemented, and we’ll all set them all in motion on the 1st of September this year. When you ask me how much it costs, I can say that it’s about 300,000 kuna. With our budget of 1.8 to 2 million kuna, it’s a very large amount,” said Smokvica’s Kuzma Tomašić.
Smokvica has just 918 inhabitants, 70 children attend school, while 25 other younger kids are leaving kindergarten.
“We’ve reallocated the costs, some of it has been reduced, I cut my own salary to 6100 kuna. These measures aren’t a cost but an investment in the future, and when you look at it that way, it’s easier. Here in the Smokvica municipality, five children were born last year, this year there are already ten newborn babies, and by the end of the year there could be a total of 13-14 newborn babies, which is a respectable number for Smokvica,” Tomašić explained.