March 10, 2020 – There isn’t any amount money that would lure us back to Croatia, according to emigrants who responded to Prime Minister Plenković’s recent financial incentive proposal to encourage their return. Croatian politicians and PM Andrej Plenković are clearly not listening to what emigrants are saying. Money is not the only reason they left, and it’s not even the main reason.
Uhljeb | Facebook
Croatia Mindset Must Change by 300 Percent
The mindset would have to change by 300 percent me to return to Croatia, explained a Zagreb man to Anamarija Burazer/24 Sata on March 10, 2020. He moved with his family to Cork, Ireland a few years ago. Upon being asked why they had moved out, he responded:
“I left because of the bunch of uhljebi (incompetent public sector employees) who are fed by the private sector so they can play solitaire. Then they release pedophiles and murderers while punishing grandmothers for cooking brandy. Politicians are working only for themselves and their own seats and citizens in Croatia feel like second-class citizens…”
In 2018, 24 Sata published the stories of several emigrants, all of whom who have sought happiness throughout the globe. However, they all agree about one thing: they have escaped injustice.
Considering that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic just announced financial incentive measures to encourage Croatians to return home; 24 Sata checked in with several interviewees for the two-year-old series regarding the Prime Minister’s proposed incentives.
Domagoj Starcević | Facebook
Employees Have More Rights in Germany
“I have no plans to return to Croatia, and it’s unfortunate that I have more rights as an employee in Germany than I do as an employee in my own country,” Domagoj Starcević (29) reveals. He has lived in Munich for five years and is working as a chef. He still recommends that Croatians who are considering moving away do so.
“For me to return, they would have to offer me a job with two days off per week, a higher salary which is fully reported, and a guaranteed paycheck on the same day of every month,” he added.
Emigrants Find Work, Friends, Purpose Abroad
Since 2016, chemistry engineer Matea Večeric (27) has been living in faraway Japan.
“I would not go back, because once you find your place under the sun and a purpose, a life goal and create a circle of people around you that make you happy, there is nothing anyone can offer to lure me back. If I had had that from the beginning in Croatia, I might not have left,” Matea pointed out. The only thing that could bring her home is her family.
“For now, I continue on my path here in Japan,” she said and reports that she earns three times more in Japan than she did in her home country.
“There are many more opportunities to move forward and live stress-free,” Matea concluded.
Working to Live, Rather Than Survive
Zagreb’s Sara Tešanović (30) moved to Germany three years ago with her boyfriend. There, she says, they work to live. In Croatia, they worked to survive.
“Whatever the Prime Minister and other politicians offer us will not provide a sufficient reason to return. It’s not about money, it’s about the whole situation. So, I wouldn’t go back and there is nothing that these people can offer me to come back to,” Sara states decisively.
Andrea Simunović (26) also moved out of Croatia and he believes that the announcement of Prime Minister Plenkovic is just a new election trick.
“I don’t think anyone will come back for that,” she said.
Government: No Details on Financial Incentive Plan
Labor and Pension Minister Josip Aladrović says that Croatia has implemented new employment measures since the beginning of the year. He did not explain how he intended to stimulate the return of Croatian emigrants.
There is a brick wall in Imotski (home of the recent gay couple effigy burning), with the names of Croatians who have left the country. According to the latest figures: 189,000 people have emigrated from Croatia in the last five years. The emigration has not stopped and there are more and more names on the wall.
Follow our Politics page to keep updated on the demographic outlook in Croatia.