Predrag Bejaković: We Should Be Grateful For Foreign Workers

Lauren Simmonds

predrag bejaković

August the 1st, 2023 – Croatian economic analyst Predrag Bejaković has stated that everyone here in Croatia should be grateful that we have foreign workers to do jobs that otherwise wouldn’t be filled.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, we’re now at the very peak of the summer tourist season and there is plenty of work to be done. Tourism companies are struggling to find manpower, and this isn’t a new story in any way, shape or form. Workers from neighbouring non-EU countries such as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been coming to work in Croatia for years now, and now workers from other continents are increasingly joining them, writes HRT.

40,000 work permits expected to be issued to foreigners this year

Economic analyst Predrag Bejaković spoke about the lack of workers in tourism and other sectors given that it is now expected that up to 40,000 work permits for non-EU nationals will be issued this year. Bejaković said that this is not remotely surprising.

“These are occupations that have traditionally been lacking in the Croatian economy, and due to the circumstances, it’s very good that foreigners are coming to Croatia to fill those positions. We as citizens should be grateful that they come here to work because without them the problems would be much more significant. We need to be the best possible hosts and help them to find their way in Croatia as well as possible”, he pointed out.

When asked if the standards are generally rising across Croatia considering that people from poorer countries are coming here to work, Predrag Bejaković said that yes, the standard is slowly rising.

Salaries have increased, but we still can’t make comparisons with the West

“Croatian salaries have grown, but they’re still far from what they should be. The fact is that our salaries still can’t be compared with salaries paid out in the West. Although we must be aware that for some professions, such as hotel maids, the salaries are very similar to those paid in the West”, he commented.

Predrag Bejaković also commented on the prices in tourism and said that Croatia unfortunately doesn’t have that many apart from Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar where tourists would come outside the tourist season. While we’d argue that that isn’t entirely true and that a lot has changed recently, he is correct in saying that Croatia is still very much chained to the sea and sunshine tree.

“We’re mostly related to sun tourism. I think there’s very little room for further price increases. If tourists get burned by costs this year, it’s almost certain that the effects will be very unfavourable going forward and that they will think very carefully about whether to come to Croatia again,” he concluded.


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