R E P O R T
On the state of judiciary system, freedom of the media, economy and human rights in the Republic of Croatia

1. Political state

The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, as well as the so-called Old and New Yugoslavia are direct predecessors of the today's Republic of Croatia. Hitler's megalomania ideas about conquering Europe lead to the introduction of Bolshevik communist regime in a large number Central and Southern European states. This process witnessed the renewal of the new Yugoslav Federation presided by Josip Broz, aka Tito, a communist leader and dictator.

Skillfully taking advantage of fratricidal war and Fascist terror on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, Tito imposed himself as the only alternative and, as a declared fighter against the Fascist Germany and Italy, he received material and all other kinds of aid from the Allies. Following the collapse of the national-socialist Germany, breakdown of Croatia under the leadership of Ante Pavelić and of Serbia led by Nedić, the territory of the Old Yugoslavia was ceded over to Tito's partisans.

The Allies deemed it crucial to have an ally for their final operations against the Germans and were not concerned about the fate of the downtrodden people, which is exactly the reason why hundreds of thousands of refugees were handed over to Tito's partisans in Southern Styria while fleeing from communist terror.

Tito and his partisans committed mass crimes against the prisoners which can easily be compared to those committed in the Nazi concentration camps. They justified their actions as their natural right to a vengeance against, as they labeled them, their class enemies.

Partisan oligarchs executed mass despoilments against the people, taking over a large proportion of the 'bourgeois' possessions. A certain percentage of communists did not agree with such a behavior by the party leaders since they became communists for their beliefs. Stalin could not tolerate such a behavior from one of the 'fraternal' parties and, following a number of written warnings, called a congress of all communist parties in Budapest which denounced Tito and his party leaders. Having secured the support of the Americans, Tito launched his final battle with party opponents calling them 'members of the Informbiro' and enemies to his kind of socialism.

Receiving abundant aid from the USA, Tito continued his anti Soviet activities trying to gather the so-called non-aligned countries lead by various tyrants and dictators (Nehru, Nasser, Sukarno, emperor Haile Selassie, Saddam Hussein etc.) and remove them from the Soviet influence.

The USA abundantly honored Tito's activities both politically and materially, the practice continuing up until his death. The USA did not care about the fact that Tito was a full-fledged dictator who did not allow his opponents any kind of political activity. Tito managed to gather numerous followers around himself who were all seeking interests of their own, the only thing important being loyalty to the Marshal, ideological commitment to communism taking second place.

The infamous UDBA (State Security Administration) persecuted all who dared to voice unwelcome political opinions or in any way questioned the cult of the self-proclaimed Marshal. This verifies the truth of a statement by Mr. Milan Bandić and by numerous others who claimed to have been communists out of interest and not out of conviction.

Appearance of Gorbachev and Perestroika in the second half of the 1980s made it clear to everyone that the Soviet bloc would eventually introduce democracy and break up, the final point being the demolition of the Berlin Wall in November 1990.

Long lasting Albanian unrest and flourishing of the Serbian nationalism served as a clear sign of the forthcoming collapse of the self-management socialism and break-up of the Yugoslav Federation.

There is reasonable doubt that the Croatian UDBA involved Franjo Tuđman into the mobilization of political allies abroad since they returned him his passport as far back as in 1987, thus giving him the opportunity to visit all the Croatian emigrant organizations located in the Western world.

It is plausible that the Croatian UDBA and their interest lobbies of the time estimated the formerly high-ranked member of Tito's regime Franjo Tuđman as the one who would inflict them the least harm and decided to give him wide-scope logistic support, calculating with the fact that he would spare them from persecution and allow them free economic and political activity. Their assumptions came true.

The elections held in May 1990 saw Franjo Tuđman being elected as President and his HDZ (Croatian Democratic Party) winning the highest number of mandates in Sabor (Croatian Parliament). The fate of the Croatian people was thus sealed for the coming decades.

The interest and party lobbies around Tuđman took over a large proportion of the state-owned possessions and distributed them amongst themselves, similar to the practice by Tito's oligarchs regarding the 'bourgeois' possessions after WWII. The same interest lobby has been in control of the predominating proportion of material goods, political power and media in Croatia ever since.

It is lobby's role to prevent any progress by the undesirable individuals within the political establishment.

2. Judiciary system

Efficient, independent and quality judiciary is one of the prerequisites for a successful development of market economy and free society. Civil law court proceedings on Croatian courts sometimes last for 10, 20 years or even longer.

According to the common practice by the European Court of Human Rights any court action lasting more than 5 years constitutes violation of human rights due to lengthy court proceedings.

The Croatian judiciary system bears two heavy burdeons:

1. The judiciary system in Tito's Yugoslavia

The judiciary system in Tito's Yugoslavia served as an extended hand of the Communist Party, while Tuđman's regime downgraded it even further when taking over the power. His regime (the commission consisting of Ivić Pašalić and Ante Potrebica) did not extend the mandate to the experienced judges, appointing new, inexperienced ones into their place instead who were chosen based on their political suitability and nepotistic membership.

Politics and interest lobbies have remained key factors in the choice of judges of all ranks to this very day.

The last novelty introduced to the Act of the State Judicial Council cemented the existing state: 7 of 11 members of the SJC are chosen from the ranks of judges, the same being appointed on the basis of nepotism and party loyalty.

This fact does not lead to the presumption that the current members of the SJC could choose judges based on objective criteria and appoint the best, one of the presumptions for a smooth functioning of the whole judiciary system.

2. BAR TARIFFS

In Croatia are the main reason for an inefficient and poor-quality judiciary system resulting in longevity of court proceedings.

The author of this Report is not familiar with any country worldwide featuring a similar system of bar tariffs as the one found in Croatia.

The Law on the Legal Profession, passed as far back as 1994, stipulates that the Bar Association determines the sums and ways of calculating bar tariffs (Article 18).

In other words, the Law assigns legislative authority to an interest-driven guild. It is self-evident that the authorities endowed by the law have been abused to the very limits. As well as all other guilds and quasi-governmental organizations in a newly formed state, the Croatian Bar Association was put under direct control of the tycoon interest lobby via attorneys who have abused the assigned authority and imposed rip-off tolls to the Croatian legal and natural persons, previously unknown on this territory. Given the strives by our Association and the pressure by the general public, the HDZ regime introduced some cosmetic modifications into the Article 18 of the Law on the Legal Profession towards the end of 2009 which now stipulates that the Ministry of Justice gives approval of the tariffs (passed by the Bar Association), the Ministry being led by attorneys, the fact being valid for the current Government led by the so-called 'Kukuriku coalition'.

The new bar tariffs system introduced in 2009 provides lump sum settlements in most civil law court actions, legal and property disputes being exempt, which in reality account for 95% of the total value of billed fees for attorney services.

In this way some tycoons amongst attorneys, mainly dealing with legal and property rights disputes, have reserved the status of privileged attorneys with astronomically high fees which enabled them to become millionaires overnight, leaving natural and legal persons victims of legalized plunder.

In order to make discrepancies in bar tariffs clear to the citizens, here is a comparison of tariffs in poor Croatia and wealthy Germany (exchange rate 1 EUR=7,45 HRK):

Value of dispute Euro Germany Croatia
Fee per unit Total fee in Euro VAT included Fee per unit Total fee in Euro VAT included
10,0025,0075,0034,00580,00
2.000,00133,00395,00132,002.300,00
35.000,00830,002.470,00690,0011.670,00
3.500.000,0011.996,0035.688,0014.148,00247.585,00
8.500.000,0026.996,0067.490,0023.490,00411.075,00

The table relates to bar tariffs in legal and property disputes brought before courts. We took an average court action with 4 submissions and 10 hearings, the numbers may naturally be higher resulting in fees several times steeper than the ones illustrated in the table. It is important to point out that there is no upper limit to the fee sums, which makes it possible for an attorney in Croatia dealing with cases of higher value to receive as much as 100.000,00 Kuna for a single half-an hour appearance at a court hearing.

The bar tariffs in Germany are fixed regardless of the number of submissions and court hearings.

The interest lobbies plundered both rich and poor via 'Tariffs': pensioners and other social categories who happen to be late with payments of their monthly subscriptions to the Croatian Radio Television in the sum of 80,00 Kuna receive a foreclosure making the debt as high as 550,00 Kuna, the same happening with parking tickets and debts for utility services.

The above table makes it clear that the Croatian bar fees are, in average, 7 times steeper than those in Germany. If one takes into account the fact that an average German citizen earns a salary three times higher than the one earned by an average Croatian citizen, it becomes evident that the services by the Croatian attorneys are 20 (twenty) times more expensive.

The bar fees valid in Germany are available at: web page, while the Croatian bar fees can be calculated by applying the Tariff No. 7, Paragraph 1 of the Tariff for Lawyers' Fees and Cost Compensation of 12-11-2009 (Official Gazette 148/09).

It is unquestionable that bar fees in Croatia are one of the greatest plunders of legal and natural persons in this particular corner of the world. We are talking about not only a legalized plunder of historical scales, but about the main reason for Croatia's economic collapse.

Prerequisite for both domestic and international investments is an efficient judiciary, meaning settling disputes in reasonable time-frames. It is clear enough that no one in their right mind would choose to invest, i.e. start economic activities, in a country where court actions last 20 or more years, the fact leading to the only plausible assumption: the state is chaotic, without a rule of law and with mass breaches of human rights due to lengthy court procedures. This kind of country is not only dangerous for living, but also for voluntary investments and starting economic activities.

We are bringing a list of the consequences due to lack of legal regulation of bar tariffs on the basis of reasonable lump sum fees (compensations) for advocating in legal, property rights and other court actions in Croatia, contrary to the positive practice in most European Union states led by Germany.

Devastation of judiciary personnel

Given double the potential earnings as attorneys and notary publics, judges massively left courts and started working as lawyers or notaries. Furthermore, the Tuđman regime refused to re-appoint a part of the judges not belonging to their interest circle, forcing them to start practicing law as attorneys. At the same time their positions were either not filled at all or had inexperienced and incompetent rookies appointed, chosen solely on the basis of their political suitability and nepotistic criteria.

The rank of judges ranging from the lowest to the highest echelons was mainly filled with members of the HDZ interest circles. The regime did not even care to hide the fact that the Constitutional Court judges were not appointed from the rank of expert and the very best judges, but were chosen from the ranks of political parties' commissars. Such a personnel are far from being able to perform its tasks in a quality way.

The number of unsolved cases piled up over the years, while the irresponsible politicians did nothing to tackle the problem. The presiding court judges mostly do not possess the required managerial skills and any given government appoints them according to their political, i.e. interest, affiliation.

It is, thus, necessary to conduct a thorough revision of the judicial personnel in order to appoint the very best based on professionalism and moral criteria.

Organized plunder and unavailability of legal protection is yet another of the consequences of bar tariffs in Croatia, which can easily be classified as usurious, while the ways of their calculation puts attorneys and their clients into a direct conflict of interest. Those citizens who do not possess sufficient financial assets are not able to realize their rights to legal protection.

Several attorneys, close to the political and interest lobbies, took over the representation of the state and municipal institutions, as well as state and municipally owned enterprises, becoming millionaires and richest people in Croatia practically overnight.

The money drawn from the state sector via bar tariffs in a, supposedly, legal way is one of the best organized legalized plunders, i.e. money laundering, in Croatia.

It is estimated that, during the last 18 years following the enactment of the Law on Legal Profession, 60 billion Euros were overcharged from natural and legal persons in the Republic of Croatia, all pursuant to the regulations on bar tariffs. The sum corresponds to 4 annual state budgets of Croatia. 90% of that enormous sum ended up on the several tycoon-attorneys' accounts, while the remaining 10% were distributed amongst other lawyers.

On the one side we have several tycoon-attorneys who possess millions, while on the other side there are 40% of lawyers with blocked accounts due to lack of clients and earnings. According to the data by the Tax Administration, the Zagreb-based tycoon-attorneys kept the leading position in the realized profits.

All democratic Europen countries feature court tariffs similar to the bar ones, the situation in Croatia features a huge discrepancy with bar tariffs hundred times steeper than the court ones, the fact resulting in discrimination of judicial work and much lower earnings than the ones in the ranks of attorneys.

Mass breaches of human rights occur due to the longevity of court proceedings.

Croatia has hundreds of thousands of court actions lasting for 10, 20 or even more years. The Strasburg Court of Human Rights declaratively recognizes the breach of human rights due to court proceedings lasting for more than 5 years.

Croatian authorities are evidently in direct breach of human rights of hundreds of thousands of Croatian citizens due to the longevity of court proceedings, which are a sort of European record. This very fact excludes Croatia from the circle of civilized countries and it should not be admitted to the EU. What is more, Croatia should even be excluded from the UN membership given the mass breaches of human rights due to longevity of court proceedings.

Authorities are not willing to repeal the provision according to which the Croatian Bar Association holds the right to independently define bar tariffs despite the fact that the same are regulated by law and harmonized with the standard of living in most EU member states. The fact makes it evident that the government is a direct sponsor of mass breaches of human rights and organized plundering.

Corruption and conflict of interest within the judiciary system ranks at the top of every opinion poll conducted in Croatia. Every single postponement of court hearing brings attorneys engaged on the case tens of thousands of Kuna of additional fees, the practice being very common amongst judges who are acting in favor of their colleagues, the attorneys. Pursuant to the newest tariff model, bar tariffs for legal and property rights cases (accounting for 95% of total court actions) are calculated for each submission and hearing separately, the fact resulting in open conflicts of interest between attorneys and their clients, the first ones having an interest in as much postponements as possible, the latter seeking speedy court actions with minimum costs.

Cosmetic surgery on bar tariffs served as a decoy to the general public towards the end of 2009 when the Croatian government, represented by the Minister of Economy Mr. Đuro Popijač and the Croatian Employers' Association, represented by Popijač's deputy, gave an approval of the new tariff model proposed by the Croatian Bar Association. They over-voted the unions in the Economic and Social Council, thus enabling Sanader's Minister of Justice Ivan Šimonović to give his consent to the new model. Soon before leaving the government and the Ministry of Justice, the Minister generously signed the new tariff model, cynically commenting on the progress in regulation of bar tariffs.

The Minister knew very well that the new tariffs served just as a deception of the general public and that 95% of the total financial volume in attorneys' fees remained untouched. A certain percentage of court proceedings, such as trespassing, divorces, etc., were ceded to lump sum agreements and representation in these matters was handed over to those attorneys having trouble finding clients, while representation in the lucrative legal and property rights cases remained reserved for the tycoon-attorneys.

3. Catholic Church

The Catholic Church had always been an opposition to the totalitarian regime of Josip Broz Tito and, as such, had a lot of followers amongst the people. After Tuđman's HDZ took over the power, the Church very soon revealed its true aspirations: it sought material goods rather than wanting to participate in the construction of a regulated, civilized society in Croatia.

Many of its missionaries spent long years in democratic countries of Western Europe, in the USA, Canada and Australia, but brought absolutely nothing of the democratic concepts back to their homeland. Just the contrary, they seemed to fear democracy, efficient judiciary system and regular functioning of government institutions. Thus the Catholic Church as a whole, as well as members of its clergy, never openly raised their voice against the organized plunder of the people via bar tariffs which are directly responsible for the demolition of the judiciary system and other government institutions, finally leading to massive breach of human rights of hundreds of thousands of Croatian citizens and putting into question the very viability of the Croatian people as a whole.

It is not easy to understand why all those educated and experienced members of the clergy were not able to perceive the advantages of an efficient judiciary system and other institutions in creation of a developed economy, new jobs and spiritual prosperity of the citizens. Perhaps the Church never cared about material and spiritual prosperity of the people and deemed it would be easier to keep them in submission if they lacked both.

Instead of active participation in the construction of efficient government institutions, the Church satisfied itself with organization of budget-funded soup kitchens, while the impoverished and miserable people flocked there to get a free daily meal.

The Vatican diplomacy took advantage of the power-ravenous Tuđman and signed the shameful treaty with his regime which binds Croatia to finance the complete Church activities from its state budget. In turn the Church gave Tuđman its unlimited support. The alternative would be an introduction of a separate Church tax which Catholics would pay directly to the Church, a common practice in most European countries. We can only hope that some future government will cancel the Concordat and sign a new agreement with Vatican in accordance with European standards.

The Church must be aware of the fact that it significantly lost its support amongst the people, not that they seem to care. It would also be necessary to prevent the monopole of the Catholic religious education in schools in order to secure equality of Catholics, members of other confessions and atheists.

We are hereby appealing to those brave and honorable members of the clergy and asking them to raise their voices against the organized plundering of every kind and to give their support to the creation of an efficient judiciary system in Croatia, including a thorough revision of all members of personnel appointed on the basis of their political or nepotistic suitability, an action badly needed in order to reverse the development trends in Croatia.

4. Freedom of the media

One of the most significant problems present in the Croatian society is lack of freedom of the media. There is not a single independent free medium in Croatia.

The printed press rests in the hands of domestic tycoons of questionable moral, while 'gossip columns' type of international press penetrated its ownership structure with interests in realizing huge profits in short periods of time and not in developing free media.

Journalists have no protection which is needed if they are expected to independently and professionally practice journalism and the tycoons often dictate what is and what is not going to be published.

Unfortunately Croatia does not possess a newspaper that would inform the citizens without being bias and which the people would trust, like the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or the Neue Zuericher Zeitung.

In the realm of electronic media there is a formal duality with public and private televisions. The Croatian Radio Television was supposed to become a public medium, but the intention never came to realization. During the Tuđman regime his close friends exercised despotic control over the CRT with Antun Vrdoljak, a Tuđman's close friend, as a symbol of arbitrary management of the 'public' television. After Tuđman's HDZ lost the elections, there were high expectations from the new coalition government and, indeed, a very liberal Law on CRT was passed which stipulated direct elections for the members of the CRT Council. The drawback lies in the fact that, simultaneously, another act was passed prescribing the formation of the so-called Governing Council of the CRT, its members being appointed, once more, by politics.

Independently and directly chosen members of the CRT Council (23 of them) were not controlled by politics and, when it came to the choice of program editors, their work resulted in a disagreement between the Management and the Council. When politics realized it could not control the independently and directly chosen members of the Council, they decided to modify the Law on CRT, its new formulation envisaging 11 members of the Council, 6 of whom were appointed by the governing party, 5 by the opposition. Formally the Law envisaged that various associations would choose and appoint the Council members. Naturally, the governing parties had 6 associations of their own, the opposition 5 of theirs, thus both parties had their own associations for the choice of the Council members, which they called the 'Program Council'. It was known in advance who would be appointed to the body and the contest was a real farce. Political parties exercised their right in practice.

Sanader had the intention to take over complete control over the CRT and appointed his people into the Council with a clear goal to replace the existing Director and Management and appoint new ones who would be under his control. Siniša Grgić, a skilled operative, was chosen to carry this task out and to bring his people to the key positions within the CRT. He performed his task rather well, recalled the existing members of the Management and appointed his people with rather compromised pasts. After Sanader left, Siniša's Group on the CRT continued to perform on their own, favoring only their own material advantages. The current CRT Management is often referred to as mafia organization.

Following a request by our Association and the general public, a Petition was signed by 11.550 citizens Petition the newly elected government undertook to modify the Law on CRT.

Despite all expectations, the current government proposed a draft for the new Law on CRT which places CRT fully under political control, with members of the Management and the Council being appointed by Sabor (Croatian Parliament). Stormy clouds are nearing the CRT. Thus, after 20 years of 'democracy', instead of becoming a public medium, the Croatian Radio Television remains a state television. Formally speaking, the show is run by Čačić's HNS (Croatian People's Party), an insignificant clientelistic political party controlling the Ministry of Culture exercising competence over the CRT. Čačić undoubtedly possesses full support from his coalition partner Milanović and his SDP (Social Democratic Party). Instead of becoming a public medium after 20 years of 'democracy', the CRT is once more state controlled.

In a recent discussion held in the show entitled 'Otvoreno' all the mockery of the new legal regulations proposal became visible. Among the guests on the show, there was Mr. Denis Kuljiš, a shabby ex-communist journalist who claimed the proposal of the new Law on CRT a brainchild of his mysterious task force whose members remain a secret to the general public to this very day.

What the general public actually thinks of Kuljiš's proposal became crystal clear from the results of an opinion poll conducted during the show with 74% votes against and only 26% pro. The current government, in which Radimir Čačić holds the key position with only 3% support in the electorate, is not at least interested in the opinions by the general public, neither in the opinions by European experts in the field of public electronic media. Citizens can only cancel their subscriptions to the CRT since there is not a single valid reason why they should continue financing a partisan television.

5. Economy

The Croatian economy is facing a complete collapse and the fact does not, unfortunately, come as a surprise since the State is not capable to attract investors. Only people not in their right minds would invest in a country in which court actions take 10, 20 or more years to be solved, their price being 10 times steeper than in the rest of Europe.

The economy is facing collapse due to inefficient judiciary system, i.e. steep bar tariffs. Entrepreneurs and other citizens are forced to write debts off when debtors refuse payment. Debtors and various speculators massively abuse the longevity of court proceedings and refuse payment with the common parole: 'Sue me'. Politicians, including the President and the Prime Minister are constantly urging foreign and domestic private investors to invest in Croatia, thus helping to liven up the economy and increasing employment, but fail to realize that the inefficient judiciary makes their endeavors words in vain without any real meaning.

The government does not support legal regulations of bar tariffs and a radical revision within the ranks of the judiciary system, just the contrary: it very often solidarises with them and helps them to realize their intentions to plunder. A clear example are the former Minister of Economy Đuro Popijač, acting on behalf of the Government, and his colleague, the President of the Croatian Employers' Association, Damir Kuštrak: by mutual consent they enabled organized plunder.

It is necessary to harmonize bar tariffs with European standards, mirroring the German model, and secure the very best personnel within the judiciary which would, in the end, result in legal regulation of tariffs and new appointment of judges of every rank according to very strict criteria and under the sponsorship of the EU institutions and their leading experts. It is not realistic to expect Croatia to possess enough reputable individuals in judiciary who would undertake to independently choose and appoint judges; the system would need aid by some of the leading EU countries (Germany, France, the UK, etc.) in order to perform this task.

Radical reforms are due in order to attract the most skilled personnel into the rank of judges and to remove those who were massively appointed based solely on their political suitability or nepotistic ties. This would constitute a sort of an additional lustration which would remove a large part of incompetent and corrupted members of the judiciary system personnel appointed over the last 20 years. Together with lump sum settlements, this procedure would multiply the efficiency and productivity of the whole judiciary system and bring the time needed for court actions to a reasonable frame.

The current executive and legislative branches of the government are headed by attorneys or members of their lobbies who eradicate every thought of bar tariffs' legal regulation, thus blocking the complete reform of the judiciary system, consequently blocking the economy for the time being.

Instead of focusing on creation of favorable economic surroundings characterized by efficient and quality legal protection, the unions are more interested in realizing their own advantages, perks and distribution of power.

Labor law should be liberalized in the sense of simplified conditions for termination of employment contracts and lowering of severance payments since employers are not the ones expected to solve social problems in a free market economy.

The real role of entrepreneurs is to increase employment and, via contributions payment, help the State solve those issues related to unemployment and other social spheres. It is necessary to simplify the process related to employment and termination of contracts as much as possible.

6. Banking

The inefficiency of the judiciary could easily result in a complete collapse of the banking system in Croatia.

It is common knowledge that a large proportion of mortgages and other loans cannot be serviced, while banks, being aware of the inefficiency of court actions, hesitate to start massive foreclosure procedures knowing they could last for 10 or more years.

Pursuant to Croatian and other domestic and international standards, banks should write such debts off which would automatically result in a collapse of the whole banking system in Croatia. It is only a question of time when mass foreclosure procedures on real-estate will have to be started and how long this uncertainty will last.

All of this does not seem to bother the Government and its economic 'strategist' and 'first deputy Prime Minister' Radimir Čačić who, with only 3% of electorate, controls half of the State-owned assets. He and his followers believe that State budget funds will suffice to start the economy via such ludicracy as renovation of neglected facades of buildings in Zagreb and other places across the country. One does not have to be an economic guru to realize the mockery of this, so-called, strategy.

Only wealthy countries can afford to renovate neglected facades in times like these. After all, who is going to finance Čačić's strategy?

Croatia is soon going to reach the point of no return when all major international credit agencies lower its creditworthiness, which means it will no longer be capable to realize loans with reasonable interest rates.

Instead of taking care of such serious issues vital for the very survival oft he State and trying to save it from bankruptcy, the Government and the President are currently more involved in the Split gay pride festival.

7. Health care system

Public health care system has been neglected for years without enough investments into the sector. The last HDZ government plundered this sector as well.

A common practice for years was to choose private entrepreneurs, who were not even medical professionals, and whose equipment, including CT and other cutting edge diagnostic tools, was rented for the use of public health care. Everything was subject to organized plunder of the public sector.

His led to creation of long waiting lists and the government does not seem to have the means to cut them short. Instead of legally introducing private patients whose medical bills would be covered by private medical insurance or by themselves, the government keeps insisting on socialist equality of all patients, thus, in fact, stimulating bribery and corruption in this sphere.

If Croatian hospitals adopted a model similar to the German one, they could realize significant additional revenue, while the top-notch physicians could earn extra income in a legal way by charging private patients or private medical insurance companies.

In this way a constant problem of overtime work could be solved since it would become stimulating to the medical professionals, resulting in shortenings on the patients’ waiting lists and in increased quality of care. The elevated level of medical care would certainly help raise the quality of living in Croatia and its swifter economic recovery and prosperity.

Today, Croatia is not only economically unsuccessful, but a dangerous place to live given some of the reasons dealt with in this Report.

8.Conclusion

The Republic of Croatia is a country basically ruled by interest lobbies which exercise massive control and plunder natural and physical persons. All of this is happening in a legal manner, the laws being passed by those same lobbies.

Given the longevity of court procedures, inexistence of quality legal protection in a reasonable time-frame, inflexibility of labor law, insufficient health care, to name only some of the factors, Croatia is a country which does not offer any prerequisites for investments, re-starting of a positive economic cycle and decreasing of unemployment. Furthermore, it is turning into an undesirable and dangerous location for normal living.

Unless the current government does everything to change the enumerated macro-economic conditions, a complete collapse of the banking system and the whole economy is certain, which will lead into a state of chaos and unrest of immeasurable proportions.

The Author of this Report is not certain that any government of this particular part of the world, with their heavy burden of the past, is capable of realizing the forthcoming dangers. The current clientelistic government, especially its coalition partner HNS, is more immersed in distribution of lucrative managing positions in the state-owned enterprises, so it does not have enough time to ponder upon national issues. The government does not possess competent people who would be capable of realizing the full severity of the situation, let alone solve it.

The only way out is to create such macro-economic conditions, first and foremost speedy court settlements at affordable prices. It is also necessary to seek advice and aid from independent and competent international experts. The Author is concerned that the current, a bit narcissistic, government would be more ready to declare bankruptcy than admit its own incompetency.

All who are interested can read what The Washington Times columnist thinks about the modern Croatia in an article entitled "A modern mafia state".


U Zagrebu, 25.6.2012.

JURIS PROTECTA
Association for the enhancement of the rule of law in Croatia
Zlatko Zeljko, president
Business Consultant
Tel. +385 1 777 6495
Fax: +385 1 374 5382
e-mail: zlatko.zeljko@jurpro.hr