Labour Shortage: No One Wants to Cook for the President

Total Croatia News

Due to mass emigration and low salaries, not even the president can find a good chef.

In a twist of irony, the highest state officials cannot find enough chefs to cook for them because all the good cooks have fled to better-paying jobs in tourist destinations and abroad, reports on May 20, 2018.

With mass emigration to other EU countries, many Croatian companies are having a hard time finding good employees. As for the state institutions, the Office of the President and the Government, the worst situation seems to be with cooks. Well-informed sources say that problem has turned into an actual crisis. There are not enough chefs and auxiliary cooks, and all attempts to find qualified staff end up without success.

The main problem is a meager pay offered for a job which is at the same time complicated and burdened with protocol and security checks. The salary provided for the open positions is allegedly just 3,200 kuna net. No wonder no one is interested.

Of course, persons working in such sensitive positions are not allowed to have side jobs, which means that opportunities for additional income are non-existent. The only benefit of cooking for the president is the prestige which it presumably brings and perhaps the ability to enjoy the park around the president’s office.

That there is trouble with the search for chefs for the highest state officials is best seen by frequent public competitions announced for these jobs, which can be checked at the website of the General Affairs Office of the Croatian Parliament and the Government, which is a joint service that provides administrative and logistical support to the Parliament, the Government, the Office of the President and other highest state institutions.

There are very frequent announcements of vacancies for these positions, followed by reports about interviews taking place, which are further accompanied by the partial or total annulment of the competitions. In one such decision, published on December 6, the trouble the state has with finding good employees was described in detail. “The public competition is partially suspended because two of the candidates who have been tested have not achieved satisfactory results,” says the explanation.

Another competition was announced on January 8, then on January 22, there were interviews on January 30, followed by new competitions. The latest, for three chefs, was announced on May 9.

While the president and prime minister argue who will present demographic measures and stop qualified workers from leaving Croatia and moving abroad, they can feel the effects of the exodus and gloomy Croatian reality literally on their plates. They can see for themselves that skilled workers in Croatia no longer want to work for a salary which does not allow a decent life and prefer to move to countries where their knowledge and competence are appreciated. And they are not impressed by the opportunity to work “for the prime minister” or “for the president.”

Translated from


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