ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 – Part of the parliamentary opposition on Wednesday strongly criticised the aliens bill, under which an annual quota for the employment of foreigners will no longer be determined.
“We are passing a crucial law that will determine the demographic future of Croatia at an extraordinary session, during the coronavirus crisis, amid unfavourable demographic trends,” said Miroslav Skoro, leader of the Homeland Movement, noting that the bill had not received support from the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee.
Zeljko Sacic (Sovereignists) said that such situations were rare in the parliament and that the the bill should be withdrawn due to its deficiencies or discussed.
Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said the fact that the bill had not received support from the Committee did not mean it could not be discussed.
“It is the plenary session that decides whether the bill will be passed or not,” he said.
Ahead of the discussion on the bill, Miro Bulj (Bridge) warned about worrying demographic trends in Croatia and noted that the number of work permits issued to foreigners rose from 9,000 in 2017 to as many as 108,000 this year.
“… we are heading towards a total demographic collapse, there will be no more Croats in Croatia,” he said.
Marijana Puljak (Pametno) said that almost 10 percent of the working-age population had left Croatia, and that according to data by the national statistical office (DZS), 40,000 people emigrated last year and a record 37,000 immigrated, of whom only 9,000 were Croatian citizens.
She noted that there was a lack of quality labour and that one should not make employment procedures more complex for employers. If we make procedures for the issuance of work permits more complicated, it will affect the business sector, Puljak said.
Under the aliens bill, which is in its first reading, there is no longer an annual quota for the employment of foreigners and employers in search of workforce can contact the Croatian Employment Service, which will issue an opinion on the employment of foreigners.