Hrvaška z vstopom v EU ne bo veliko pridobila

Hrvaška, ki bo čez nekaj dni vstopila v EU, si z ekonomskega vidika od vstopa ne more veliko obetati. Preostanek industrije, ki ga ni ugonobil 20 let zacementiran tečaj kune, bo s padcem carin izgubil še preostanek zaščite pred tujo konkurenco. Turistični in bančni trg sta že odprta. Pridobila bodo predvsem evropska podjetja zaradi nižjih carin ter mi, tuji državljani, ki bomo po novem na Hrvaškem lahko telefonirali do desetkrat ceneje (zaradi znižanja cen roaminga), brez carin čez mejo prevažali stvari ter v bolj enakopravnem položaju glede posedovanja in prometa nepremičnin. No, Hrvaška si lahko obeta vsaj EU denar za kmetijsko politiko in sredstva iz evropskih skladov, s katerimi bodo izgradili in obnovili prometno infrastrukturo.

Zelo trezna analiza v Der Spieglu “Late for the Party” navaja podobne argumente:

However, it is unlikely that the small country itself will benefit from EU accession in the short term. A deep economic crisis has battered Croatia for the last five years. Government debt is growing rapidly, and two rating agencies have already downgraded Croatian bonds to junk status. As such, the country will probably have to be subsidized from EU coffers for the foreseeable future.

In fact, the dream of Europe is likely to become a nightmare for many. More than half of young Croats are unemployed, and the overall unemployment rate is about 20 percent. Tough competition from the EU will drive many obsolete companies out of business once and for all.

The future looks grim. Many Croatian companies have already lost the fight. Because of the relatively high wages and lack of investment in Croatia, they are hardly competitive in Europe. Even Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are in better shape, according to World Bank statistics.

Only the food sector has a promising future. Croatian tangerines ripen four weeks earlier than elsewhere in Europe. Cherry lovers consider Maraska cherries to be the best in the world. The Istria region produces about the same number of truffles as Italy. Nevertheless, Croatian products hardly make it onto the European market. In fact, the country so richly blessed with natural beauty regularly becomes a net importer of food products during the main tourist season.

Money from EU funds will be needed once again. This year, the EU is already setting aside €655 million ($860 million), or about 1.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, for Croatia. Some €13.7 billion has been earmarked for adjustment measures between 2014 and 2020. The Croats have established a separate ministry, run by the deputy premier, to handle the distribution of EU money. They want to use the fresh capital to renovate their railroad lines. And, in five years, the EU flag will also be flying in front of many new sewage treatment plants.

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