JANUARY 27 2012 23:23h
Do you remember the times when Jadranka Kosor as the former prime minister explained why the unemployment rate was such a huge problem in Croatia while stating that jobs do exist but people weren’t simply interested in some things? Do you remember she illustrated her thesis by claiming that no one in Croatia wanted to be a shepherd? Do you remember reactions on her statements? You certainly remember people mocked her while talking about unfortunate Croatia led by person who wanted to hire citizens as sheep-keepers. You certainly remember people making ironic comments how it would have been better for her to spare the citizens from her own sublime greatness and to start guarding seeps on her own. You surely remember how Zeljko Kerum as a mayor of Split send a message to unemployed citizens to return back to a village since everyone has some part of a land he could cultivate. You surely remember how he illustrated his advice with statement that his brother Jure in Ogrovac, the village they grew up in, is digging and cultivates onion. Everybody was laughing at Kerum, as they laughed at the former PM. They were telling him to leave alone the decent world in Split since he didn’t have rights to arrogant derision from the point of his fortune.
It was considered that things would get better after the reign changes. It was considered that the new directors of Croatia will have some modern version of economic growth and that people will have to hear no more stories about rescue return to the countryside.
And then we got the new minister of agriculture Tihomir Jakovina who ran to the political field with a statement about his personal believes about young people in Croatia revealing the beauty of countryside and returning to places their fathers have ran from while searching for a better life. There is no other option, says the minister, the world crisis will force many people to start cultivate their gardens and produce food for their families. The land is the only value, and people have to eat, he concludes. This is a simple and accurate logic like Kosor’s and Kerum’s statements. The former prime minister and Split’s mayor said the truth. The villages are empty. The land is not cultivated. There really is no one to guard sheeps and goats. And Croatia, as the new Government announced, marks more than 315,000 unemployed people. But why were Kosor and Kerum exposed to the barrage fire, and the minister Jakovina wasn’t? Maybe he explained that truth in some softer version. He surely wasn’t that raw as Kerum was and it sounds more decent when a young and new minister of agriculture says things can’t go further this way anymore since it is not normal that the Croatians are surrounded with fertile land while they can’t produce food for themselves but eating imported food from Germany, France, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, Italy...
But, it seems things are about something different. The new minister Jakovina, whose glow hasn’t been depleted yet since it hasn’t been showed in entire strength, can do things Kosor and Kerum can’t. No one is laughing at him. He isn’t mocked and people don’t warn him to leave the nation alone. He actually has a big credit in the eyes of the citizens as a part of the new Government. People are still patiently waiting to see what measure the new Government led by the PM Zoran Milanovic will initiate to save Croatia. They are still hoping things can get better and that maybe they won’t have to wait too long. They are still ready to believe the promises while thinking that the politicians won’t fail them down this time. The question is, however, how long their patience is going to last. Will they hold on till summer when the effect of some specified measured may occur as some changes in every-day life of regular people? Will they hold on till the shutdown of workplaces which have to be shut since it is inevitable? Will they hold on till the prices of food and energy will start to grow as a consequence of increased VAT?
Will the minister Jakovina still be able to talk about the return of the city children to the villages where their parents grew up, hoping that those kind of statements won’t cause mockery Kosor and Kerum had to face to? Is the minister of labor Mirando Mrsic going to join him and dare to say that some unemployed people should think about changing their lifestyle and start to find their luck by leaving cities and going back to the countryside?
The announcement of VAT’s growth up to 25 or 26 percent also says much about the credit the new Government has. This was a very proposition of the HSS boss Josip Friscic in 2009 when Jadranka Kosor introduced crisis tax and increased VAT to 23 percent in order to save the state finances. Friscic was silenced from each side, and from the former opposition (which become the new government meantime) as well. It is easier to deal own incompetence by transferring problems to the citizens, they were complaining back then. Today they talk and suggest the same things, and no one is attacking them, no one is laughing at them.. If they are wise, they won’t wait a day more and they will finally initiate those specific measures and policy, since they are already late. It is time to start some action, if they know which way to go of course. Approved Credit coming from the citizens is big and it gives them space for big demands. This credit, however, won’t last too long.
If the citizens won’t be satisfied, the interest rate will jump over night, and credit rating will fall. And afterwards, they can expect the same thing Kosor and Kerum have gone through in the episode of going back to the countryside, and that is - mistrust, irony and mockery...