MARCH 13 2012 21:49h
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as it was once said by some wise ancient Chinese who couldn’t have known Slavko Linic, Zoran Milanovic, Dragutin Lesar and Jadranka Kosor.
Although those four politicians agree on less than a few subjects consensually, they are more than unanimous around the public announcement of the list of all Croatian tax debtors. Croatia can’t be more terrified over information that 1.7 million taxpayers owe tax to the state. It all together derives a number of 50 billion HRK.
And after Slavko Linic announced this information, people expected that his idea of public announcement of the debtors list as a national list of shame will be accepted with sympathy. Although half of Croatia should be on that list, a general impression is that entire Croatia strives for the announcement. And no one asks if that half of Croatia is remorseful or self-destructive?
Unfortunately, it seems that this part of Croatia doesn’t even know it's on the list. Let’s initiate a public survey among all recently fired workers to see if they support the announcement of that list, probably 90 percent would give an affirmative answer. And there is no doubt that these people make majority of that list.
The majority of Croatian companies who were losing their business (the best example is Kamensko) during months, even years, weren’t paying taxes and fees for salaries of their workers. And wise Croatian legislation says that company is a payer of those outcomes for employees but a tax payer and a tax debtor is an employee himself.
Only few people are interested in this division on payers, tax payers and tax debtors except tax collectors. And a terminology will quickly attract interest and hurt many of them, if the list of shame goes public.
Every employee whose employer didn't pay taxes or fees for, is a tax payer. And this employee will end up on the list of shame. There will be entrepreneurs who didn't pay their taxes and fees since the state owes them much more money than they owe it to the state. But in Croatia, as we should immediately warn all foreign investors about this beauty , there is no refraction of mutual debts with the state.
If the states owes 20 million HRK to some company (and such cases really exist), this company should have sent bills with VAT to the state. If you top VAT to 20 million HRK it is around 5 million HRK of VAT. And that company owes those 5 million to the state although the state haven't paid a dime of 20 million HRK it owes. And the company will go to bankrupt and the company owner will be pilloried.
By appliance of analogy according to which some tax debts will be equalized with thievery, we can say that the entrepreneur will be accused of stealing those 5 million HRK. It’s only because he has been a fool who credulously sent his invoice to the state on time. Eventually he will be remarked as a thief. So his ''thievery'' will terrify every truthful and honest Croatian politician who made this entrepreneur to fail, and not only this entrepreneur but all his workers who will share a place at the unemployment agency with their boss as well as a place on the list of shame.
In order to strip naked all this good intentions of our politicians, we'll be sincere and say who ends up on that Croatian list of shame. The list of shame will be filled with that part of Croatia which was privatized. There will be private entrepreneurs and their workers, some current ones as former and dismissed ones. If state firms, ministries, county districts, cities and counties don't pay their taxes and fees on time, do you think that politicians will ever admit that?
Croatian ministries, county districts and cities were paying (if they really were) their costs only because they were getting that money from private Croatia. The laziest, the most crooked and the most corrupted state official won't be on the list of shame. Neither will some Croatian politicians end up on that list.
The list of shame will be filled with corrupted, greedy private Croatia that makes this honest, hard working and public Croatia to live. The list of shame will be filled with names of private Croatia that has cut off salaries and labor rights to half from the beginning of the crisis, so this public Croatia could still enjoy luxuries while not owing anything to anybody. There will be those people on the list, who can't save 100 thousand Euro from their salaries within four years like some SDP's minister can. There will be that part of Croatia that hasn't managed to squeeze into the famous Plan 21 which promised life without debts.
And then, one day some state official, while being bored during his working hours, will browse some internet pages of the Ministry of finance in order to look up if there is someone out of his neighbors on that list. Like an old Croatian tradition of envy requires. And he will see the name of his neighbor he has never found out what her job really is, but she was always wearing a nice clothes.
- She has money to buy her clothes but she doesn't have money to pay her taxes. What a bitch! - this official will add in his contemptuously flush during his pause in-between doing nothing. Then he will sign up for the request of the atonement for a separate living since someone probably has to pay him for being separated from his parents at the age of early thirties.
And that stealing bitch, who is the reason for his basing salary of ten thousand HRK, will presumably be a Kamensko worker. She was deceived, used and thrown away. Now she will be publicly disgraced. She will be marked as a person who made Croatia to downfall. Maybe even Nino Pavic would pillory her over his publishing news pages. That would be a poetic justice, as some cynics might say.
The private Croatia loses more and more business and money, and it has been suffering and keeping quiet by far. What will this Croatia do when becoming publicly disgraced? What it will do when losing all hopes and escapes, when its weakness will have to make room for a fury? It is the first question all Croatian politicians with good intentions should pose themselves.
Among private and public Croatia there's been a smoldering conflict and mistrust for a long time. The announcement of the debtors list could be a gasoline tank for mindless sparks that tingle from politicians.