It’s been a week since my arrival in Croatia and it’s been a wonderful series of connections, old friendships revisited and renewed, new ones forged – all this in an air of eyes wide-open; I want to see the progress in democracy and freedom. I don’t want to see reminders of communist mindset or bad habits formed under the communist regime up to a quarter of a century ago.
A week is nowhere enough for for me to make any definitive conclusions or analyses but I am sorely disappointed that remnants of habits formed under communism that are directly related to a practical denial of choice and merit in employment opportunities still runs rife. It’s still mainly the case of who you know rather than what you know and this is unhealthy for any society and economy. I had hoped I’d see less of this despite the information and warnings I came here with. If I translate this into the “Western” or democratic merit-based staff recruitment processes and stages it means that referees or references come first and if they pass then no need for job interview or job interview is a mere formality. A reversed situation to the one based on merit system and equal opportunity system. Indeed, much work to be done in making opportunities for employment in Croatia a fair game.
But I shall not dwell on the negatives for the moment as negatives exist to be turned into positives. Croatia knew this from the beginning, it has just had the misfortune of slack governments and rather careless and democratically unfocused powers that be. Future holds much promise. So, having said that, on this Sunday morning I visited what I see as the heart of Croatia – the Zagreb Cathedral, took some photos for you to enjoy in the beauty of Croatian culture and beautiful, proud forces of faith. Ina Vukic