ZAGREB, January 24, 2018 – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who has temporarily relocated her office to Krapina, some 60 kilometres north of Zagreb, said on Wednesday that she was glad to spend the next three days in the Zagorje region whose residents, she said, had always preserved Croatian freedoms and rights.
“Always patriots, the people of Zagorje… gave a major contribution to our victory in the Homeland War. The Croatian Zagorje was home to our displaced people and refugees and offered the necessary logistical support to Croatian army and police units. Many residents of this county gave their lives and health for Croatia’s freedom and independence,” said Grabar-Kitarović, who in the next three days will meet with local business people and farmers and visit successful companies and institutions, as well as youth representatives. Today, she met with local officials and veterans’ representatives in Krapina-Zagorje County.
“I welcome what has been done so far, but that’s not enough. It is necessary to adopt measures, as soon as possible, that will increase job security, notably for pregnant women and mothers of small children, and bring to the minimum the number of fixed-term employment contracts,” she said.
Noting that increasingly good macroeconomic results were being emphasised recently, including those on improved state finances, she said that this was encouraging and should be welcomed but that citizens had to be able to feel it as well.
“If the state is recording increasingly good financial results, then citizens must be able to feel it in their bank accounts. Unfortunately, the number of people with frozen bank accounts continues to exceed 300,000. It is a national tragedy that many of them are leaving the country… to start their life anew abroad,” she said, calling on the government to urgently adopt measures to deal with the problem of frozen bank accounts.
Recalling the need for decentralisation, she said that the government had adopted taxation-related measures to ensure the financial decentralisation of regional and local government units and that it should pursue such efforts in order to make counties more autonomous in withdrawing money from EU funds.
The potential for that can be seen in Krapina-Zagorje County, she said, commending the county’s orientation to exports and its results in health and cultural tourism.
Krapina Mayor Zoran Gregurović (HDZ) said that the number of jobless people in the town was on the decline and that the number of new jobs was rising.
He called for financial decentralisation, and his call was supported by county Prefect Željko Kolar (SDP), who said that in the coming days local officials would discuss with the President local projects and challenges.
Calling for a consensus on issues of national importance, Kolar said the county supported the President’s advocacy of demographic revival, veterans’ rights, and measures aimed at preventing a large-scale emigration of young people.