Croatia: Furnace Of Economic And Social Chaos For Government and Of Guinness Book Of Records For The Culinary

Many Faces of Zoran Milanovic Photo: Vecernji List

Many Faces of Zoran Milanovic
Photo: Vecernji List

While the Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic prepares for his “State of the Nation” report that is reportedly to be delivered on 24 September the words many are known to use these days to describe the state of Croatia today according to Vecernji list include: general depression, hopelessness, confusion, lacking in ideas.

One waits in anticipation to see as to whether Zoran Milanovic will in his first “State of the Nation” speech, as a statesman of dignity should, point to and confront the economic and social chaos that’s sweeping across Croatia, or will he use this opportunity to coiffe or cover up that chaos and indulge in political confrontation with the opposition.

Whatever he says, if he says anything at all given that his government has been known to play games and tricks with legislation in order to get its way, one would expect him to address the incomprehensible drama his government has created with its rushed legislation dubbed “Lex Perkjovic”, which prevents the extradition of one Josip Perkovic (I have written about this in recent posts) to Germany where he stands accused of being involved in the murder of a Croatian national and which case falls into the category of Communist crimes. Because of “Lex Perkovic” and Milanovic’s government’s forceful, deceitful moves Croatia stands at the cross-roads of either swiftly doing away with “Lex Perkovic” or face sanctions from the European Commission, which can include significant withdrawal of EU funds to Croatia for development.

While Milanovic and his finance minister Slavko Linic easily jump onto the blame-the-former-government wagon for Croatia’s economic woes one cannot circumvent the fact that most of the parameters by which the success of a state is measured are at a much worse condition now than ever before. This government has had almost two years to stop blaming the former governments and show leadership for improvement.  Giving credit to Linic’s firm stance on implementing taxation and trade laws (which , by the way, have not made any significant inroads to real progress), the truth is that the standard of living has dropped by some 8% during the past two years in Croatia, exports have fallen drastically, trade competitiveness has fallen back to 2008/2009 levels, perception of and affirmative actions against corruption has barely shifted forward, unemployment remains in astronomic proportions compared to population of workers and job-able, there is a real danger that the state will not be able to meet pensioner payments by December this year, Fitch has just placed Croatia’s investment rating into the garbage or junk category – which means that many investment and pension funds may be barred from buying Croatia’s government bonds.

Fitch said Croatia’s government had only made “limited progress” on implementing a credible programme to improve the country’s finances over the medium-term.
A rigid labour market and weak business environment are undermining competitiveness and hampering medium term growth, it added.
Protests against bilingual signage on public buildings in Vukovar continue, moves to exclude Vukovar from erecting signs in Cyrillic and to declare Vukovar as a special place of piety persist. The government continues to reject engaging in a dialogue with the people regarding this matter even though this matter is clearly of grave importance to peace and to dignity of victims of Vukovar.

So, much is on the plate for Milanovic to consider in his “State of the Nation” speech, including an answer to request made in parliament two days ago for him and his government to resign.

While this utter chaos reverberates as if in a hot furnace there are lots of instances where the fighting spirit of Croatian people continues reaping rewards.
A Guinness Book of Records worthy 1 kilometre of cabbage leaves rolled around a filling of minced meat, known locally as Sarma, and weighing around 4 tonnes, was the highlight of the 16th Greens Festival which took place in Varazdin over the weekend.

Croatian Sarma in Varazdin - Going for The Guinness Book of Records Photo: Facebook page

Croatian Sarma in Varazdin –
Going for The Guinness Book of Records
Photo: Facebook page

The biggest Sarma ever to be made in the world was just one of the attractions during the traditional festival held in Vidovec, where visitors were treated to a variety of ‘greens’, folklore, old customs, and music and dance.

Croatian Strudel - Going for the Guinness Book of Records Photo: Zadarski list

Croatian Strudel – Going for the Guinness Book of Records
Photo: Zadarski list

But this was not the only Guiness Book of Records attempt made regarding food in Croatia over the weekend. On Saturday in Biograd na Moru (part of Zadar county), a 1.2 kilometer, 1.5 tonne strudel, filled with a cherry compote, was successfully baked by locals. The previous longest strudel in the Guinness Book of Records was 720 metres, which the Croatians have comfortably beaten.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. The People know how to make BIG GOOD things

    The Government knows how to make BIG BAD things

  2. I’m interested to see what the premier will talk about tomorrow. My guess is that he will praise his government (as he has in the past), continue to stand behind the decisions made re: lex Perkovic, and continue to talk about forgiveness and democracy re: Vukovar/Cyrillic.

    On to a more refreshing topic, looks at that strudla!!! Wish I was in Varazdin right now!! 🙂

    • Yep didigrbesic that seems just about right but let’s hope he will surprise – pleasantly! Wouldn’t that be nice for the people who are going through so much unpleasantness to say the least

  3. Pa kaj reći? Nažalost ako politiku stavimo sa strane onda je jasno da mnogi u Hrvatskoj kukaju i ne čine ništa da bi poboljšali svoj status tj. čekaju doma ili u kafićima da im neko servira posao i dobru plaću ili kak bi naši stari rekli:” Da im padne z neba!” S druge strane ima umirovljenika koji jedva preživljavaju jer u svojim godinama nisu zdravi ni sposobni dodatno zaraditi. Ima ljudi koji rade na crno,sivo ili bijelo i to za 10 kuna na sat i to cijeli dan i od toga se prehrane,plate režije i kupe si gorivo za auto za razliku od mnogih ti ljudi ne sjede već traže rješenje za sebe i svoju familiju,ZDS!

  4. Well What to say? Unfortunately, if we put politics aside, it is clear that many in Croatia whine and do nothing to improve their status, ie waiting at home or in bars that served them a job and a good salary or how to our old said: “If them drop from heaven! “On the other hand there are pensioners who can not survive because of their age are not healthy or able to make some extra money. There are people who work in black, gray or white and is 10 kuna(2 $) per hour and the day, and from that the food, pay utility bills and buy you fuel for the car, unlike many of these people can sit already looking for a solution for themselves and their Familia, ZDS!

    • English language version of previous comment in Croatian by Zeljko Jurinic

    • Thank you Zeljko Jurinic, indeed one wonders why there are not more small businesses or home-craft products on smaller scales e.g. foods, handcrafts etc, why there are not enough local businesses, why there are many abandoned olive tree groves or vineyards, why there is never enough fish in local fish shops etc etc… there are many who would want to work but can’t find a job and have no means to develop self-employing or small business and then there are many who find it ok to exists on grey-economy jobs, work on black so to speak…

  5. Reblogged this on Croatia Business Report.

  6. Reblogged this on Croatia Business Report and commented:
    Good comment here…

  7. Te premié con el Liebster Award…!!
    aquí los pasos a seguir:

  8. Te premié con el Liebster Award…!!

  9. What an awesomely huge strudel. How did the speech go?


  1. […] speech on the state of the nation and it was no speech of a credible and serious statesman. In my previous post I had in mind that this speech could deliver either a prescriptive confrontation with the economic […]

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