The Croatian government must pass urgently needed reforms in order to save the business community, according to the Entrepreneurs Voice, a small-business owners organization.
The Entrepreneurs Voice is calling for tax breaks, a lower VAT rate, reform of the judiciary, and digitalization of state and local government.
"Croatian entrepreneurs are fleeing the country. They are going to other countries to build those countries instead of Croatia, the country that our people fought and died for and dreamt of for centuries," said Hrvoje Bujas, the president of the organization, which held a protest in front of the Ministry of Economy on Monday. Its members placed a funeral wreath in front of the building to symbolize the death of entrepreneurship in Croatia.
Bujas said businesses were forced to pay exorbitant membership fees in chambers of commerce and other organizations and were suffering under a VAT rate higher that is higher than in most other EU countries. The group is also calling for Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić to step down over his lack of action on these issues.
Labor Minister Josip Aladrović defended his fellow minister and said the Entrepreneurs Voice represented a minority within the business community. Commenting on the funeral wreath, he said the display was inappropriate at a time when dozens of people were dying from COVID every day.