Zeljko Glasnovic – Launching Real Croatian Economy Changes Campaign

Zeljko Glasnovic
Member of Croatian Parliament for the Croatian Diaspora
Pakovo Village, Drnis region ,Croatia
Photo: Screenshot

Saturday 16 December 2017, Member of Croatian Parliament for the Croatian diaspora, has launched a campaign evidently with a view to accelerating changes needed for a robust economic growth in Croatia, which process, according to this campaign, needs to bring in real changes in legislation and economic stimuli that favour increased productivity and investments (particularly from the Croatian diaspora) and hence, creation of new jobs. While the video released for the campaign (see below) is in the Croatian language these are the words spoken in it by Glasnovic, translated into the English language:

Here we are in the Drnis region, on a family agricultural enterprise and we are with people who work every day. They’ve preserved the Croatian tradition and they need stimulus, state tax reliefs … also, they need simple laws, transparency and security for their investments…Communism has destroyed not only the souls and the intellect of people but also the agriculture. Today, in Croatia, we have half a million hectares of uncultivated agricultural land and that is an embarrassment, We have all the potentials needed to work at what needs to be done, to move forward, but, unfortunately, the socialist bureaucracy inhibits us … The time has come for us to take advantage of the whole of the global potential of Croatia – Croatian diaspora, the homeland and Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The rule of law needs to be established. Someone needs to start governing by decree and above all leadership and courage are needed; that have been missing from Croatian politics up till now.


Launching the campaign on his Facebook page also, Glasnovic writes:

It is time to move away from the hollows of the Balkans, it is time to create a functional state. Instead of being Singapore of Southeast Europe, the state has been transformed into a country resembling the bad social experiment called SFRY (Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia). Same people, with same mentality lead the country. The transition of society from socialism into a modern society was stopped because of war, and after the war a partial transition of part of state administration was carried out. The pension, health and school systems remained in the socialist framework (“cost-free”). Freedom of the labour market has remained within a socialist framework of political prerequisites (obedience) because of the public servants within those sectors. There can be no democracy and free society. We are in a semi-socialism – Croslavia. God and Croats

Campaign video:


Reflecting on the above it needs to be said that Croatia has so far failed to implement seemingly forever urgently necessary structural reforms (which undoubtedly depend on tailored to market needs legislation) that could boost its competitiveness and growth potential. An obstructive bureaucracy, cumbersome legislation, and rigid labour markets undermine the country’s business climate. The habits and mindset of the former communist come socialist regime has meant that procedures as well as paraphernalia of doing business inherent to those failed regimes is still poisoning real progress. In spite of ongoing deleveraging efforts by companies and households, largely foreign currency denominated debt levels remain elevated, depressing domestic demand and exposing the private sector to refinancing risks. Public debt dynamics remain worrisome, as the government after government failed to rein in budget deficits. Absent successful structural reforms, which would improve the competitiveness of Croatia’s private sector, growth is therefore likely to remain modest at best and insufficient to stop the exodus of people looking for work elsewhere around the world.

Croatia’s governments have in the past two decades, at least, pledged to boost the investment climate and yet nothing much has really changed. Legal uncertainties and administrative burdens continue to deter foreign firms from pouring in money; continue to deter its very own diaspora from pouring money in as well. It is beyond a shred of a doubt that the problem lies in the fear of being swallowed and stifled by the communist mindset instilled in much of the public administration. It is beyond a shred of a doubt that successive governments in Croatia over the past two decades have not addressed this fear objectively nor embarked on uprooting it with view to opening up impediment-free the foreign investment pathway.

Croatian business and economic environment suffers from legal uncertainty and frequent changes of the regulatory framework an investor is faced with, foe example. Despite the several reforms which have eased the pressure on businesses, the tax take is still high, while many non-taxation fees bring an additional burden, and stimulus to business growth and maintenance is in many cases inadequate or nonexistence. Croatia’s business growth will remain meagre and inconsequential  unless business-friendly changes, to which pivotal ones Glasnovic’s campaign refers, are swiftly ushered, with no mercy to those who occupy the relevant public administration and service positions with their stubborn business unfriendly customer approaches as well as to hostile to healthy business growth processes and procedures. Ina Vukic

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