Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Moving to Germany, Austria and Ireland: Every day 180 citizens leave Croatia

By  The Dubrovnik Times Jun 19, 2018

In the last couple of days the topic of Croatians leaving their country has become more actual.

In one of the latest articles by Jutarnji.hr, it’s said that at least 250 thousand Croatian citizens have moved abroad during the past five years, since Croatia became a member of the EU. Judging by the data on the registration of citizens with Croatian citizenship in the offices of Germany, Austria and Ireland - the countries most often destined for Croatians - the outflow of population, despite the lapse of time since the opening of borders and the growth of the Croatian economy, continues.

According to figures from the German Statistical Office, more than 56 thousand Croatian citizens reported in Germany last year, which is the highest number in the last ten years.

More than 5,000 people with a Croatian passport arrived in Austria, as well as in Ireland. In just these three states, last year, more than 65,000 Croatian citizens arrived, almost 180 each day. For illustrative purposes, this is the number of equal to the total number of inhabitants that Vinkovci and Koprivnica had together in 2011 when the last census was made – Jutarnji.hr explains.

In 2012, the last year before Croatia's accession to the EU, 4.5 times less people moved to the same three countries. In Ireland, in 2012, went a total of 86 citizens with a Croatian passport, 537 in Austria, and with no doubt the most popular Germany, were there were slightly more than 7600.

UNRELIABLE DATA

However, Jutarnji.hr writes that it should be emphasized that it is not a pure loss of 250,000 inhabitants – the number is certainly smaller because some of the citizens returned to Croatia in the same period and it has to be taken into account that one part of the people with Croatian passport moving to other countries comes from neigboring countries, mostly Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

But immigration to Croatia is incomparably less than emigration. The data of the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that about 14,000 people came to Croatia last year. The CBS data on migration is rather unreliable, as only those residents who have registered are recorded. Immigrant numbers are, however, much more reliable than emigrant numbers, because every immigrant is required to sign up for any right. The emigrants do not receive anything at all, so a large number doesn’t even register. Therefore, it is not surprising that, according to CBS data, around 36,000 emigrants were registered in Croatia last year - almost twice less than those reported in only three countries surveyed – Jutarnji.hr writes.

The data of the foreign statistical offices also show that it is permanent emigration - about 15 percent of all displaced persons in Germany, according to the statistics of their offices, were children under the age of 15. That means that the whole families are leaving.

According to other indicators monitored by foreign statistical offices, Jutarnji.hr writes, Croatian citizens leave their homeland in order to feed their families through their work and allow them a decent standard, not due to the generous social systems. According to the analysis of 2015, in Germany, just under five percent of citizens who have come from Croatia benefit from any form of social assistance and from all immigrant communities in Ireland, Croatia is the one with the highest work activity: more than 95 percent of men with Croatian citizenship are on the labor market.

WHO WILL WORK IN CROATIA?

Almost 6 percent of the population in less than five years left Croatia, most of them working-age – and that consequently had to cause earthquakes in the domestic labor market. Data from the Croatian Employment Bureau shows that in May this year, employers across the Bureau sought twice as many workers as in May 2013, the last before joining the European Union.

Employers point out that they are not able find workers despite the fact that they offer better conditions and significantly increase salaries, as partly shown by Eurostat's official data. Average salaries per hour in Croatia have increased by 11 percent in the last two years, and at the EU level by 4 percent.

But hourly earnings in Croatia are still incomparable with those in Western European countries. For example, in the area of construction the average salary in Croatia amounted to 8 euro per hour last year, and in Germany, Austria and Ireland between 22 and 24 euros – Jutarnji.hr concludes.

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