Pakistanis, Indians are coming: Croatia lost 500,000 workers, abolishes quota for foreign labor
Croatian media reports point out that the private sector has been warning for some time about an alarming situation, while the biggest problem arises precisely during the tourist season
Croatia lost 500,000 workers between 2008 and 2018, said Davorko Vidovic, an advisor for labor policy and employment with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
Vidovic explained that out of a total of half a million workers, as many as 200,000 left "naturally," i.e, by aging or retiring, while 300,000 left Croatia in a wave of migration.
Croatian media reports point out that the private sector has been warning for some time about an alarming situation, while the biggest problem arises precisely during the tourist season. In order to mitigate this negative trend, the HGK announced the abolition of quotas for foreign workers. In addition, the plan is to integrate some people into the labor market and prevent emigration, and the Croatian Employment Service is also engaged in financing through the European Social Fund.
According to the daily Jutarnji List, 40,000 foreigners worked in Croatia last year alone, while a total of 65,000 work permits have been issued. Although there will be no quotas from the middle of this year, many warn that employers should have already started preparations, because the paperwork to hire foreign workers can take more than two months.
Aware of the situation, a restaurant owner from the town of Opatija, Stipe Dunatov, prepared on time.
"I was in Dubai recently where I interviewed 20 people. They are mostly from Pakistan, India and all are ready to come to Croatia and work here. My recommendation to everyone is to hire an agency, it will help you a lot, but it will take time. In a month there will be total chaos, everyone will need thousands of people, they will be overwhelmed with bureaucracy and in the end they won't be able to hire workers," says Dunatov.
Aware of the situation, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce warn that the shortage of workers is not a temporary problem and will not disappear overnight, and stress that foreign labor is what awaits the country in the future as well.
Video: EU Border Police in action in the Adriatic