Contact UsOur Mailing List       About UsOur MissionThe Senior LeadershipLeadership Board and Senior AdvisorsLeadership Team and Research FellowsEndorsementsMedia Inquiries       Media - NewsroomAdriatic Institute Disappointed by Pending German Approval for EU to Admit Croatia Global Financial Integrity and Adriatic Institute Announce Strategic Partnership to Launch New Study on the Balkans’ Illicit Adriatic Institute Raises Concerns Regarding Upcoming Freedom Fest Conference, F. A. Hayek Institute Ties to Anti-Semitic Groups       Join Us/Contribute       Blog Adriatic LibertasTeach an Old Dog New Tricks?Sound reasons not to invest in Croatia yet        EventsRule of Law Events       Prisega       Tax Freedom Day       AI In The NewsInternationalRegionalCroatia       Croatia in the News       Video Highlights       IssuesThe State of the Economy Rule of Law and Judicial ReformProtection of Property RightsCombating CorruptionTax ReformLabor Law ReformPrivatizationGovernment ReformFree EnterpriseOpen Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Croatia       Int'l Leaders SummitILS 2011ILS 2009ILS 2008ILS 2007ILS 2006ILS 2005  2005 News Articles  Strategic Economic PoliciesILS 2004  Seven Strategic Recommendations  2004 News Articles  2004 Speakers and Topics  ILS 2004 Presentations       Links       Home       Past Events



Despite the EU's assurances, Zagreb is no model for the region

 Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy, Co-Founders, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy




The New Adriatic Institute Blog


"You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks"

June 4, 2012
Guest Contributor, Zagreb, Croatia

Last week, Slavko Linić, Croatia's Minister of Finance came out with the statement that HEP and INA are, among others, responsible for the fall in industrial production in Croatia. He further stated that the shipyards that must be “restructured”. Linić also mentioned credits for companies in difficulty as well as development of new passenger cars for the railway company.

Such credits usually end up as being gifts as they were in thedays of Yugoslavia. As usual, there was no mention of quality privatizations involving foreign strategic investors that could make some of the half-dead, industrial dinosaurs such as Đuro Đaković capable of competing on the international market.

People like Linić, from the communist school, are never willing to permit a vibrant and functioning free market economy and instead always fall back on government-sponsored projects such as those for infrastructure that can be carried out by a group of state-owned companies enabling the managers to divy up the spoils of kickbacks from suppliers and subcontractors.

To be fair, one of the main causes for the fall of industrial production is the worldwide recession. However, if there were more companies in Croatia that were able to compete on the international market, the situation would be considerably better. Linić is also concentrating heavily on more aggressive enforcement of the burdensome tax load on both companies and individuals while making no serious effort to reduce the size of the bloated government bureaucracy and the armies of parasites, including people with phony veteran and invalid pensions and those working for state-owned companies such as HEP and Zagreb Holding, many with superfluous and no-show jobs.

It is unrealistic to expect people such as Linić to make the radical reforms necessary to put Croatia on the right track. As they say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.