In the 1970ies and 80ies Croatians went shopping to Italy and Austria because they/we had money to spend. Now, we don't have to go to Trieste or Graz because we have Italian, Austrian and and German
stores here (from shopping malls to boutiques). But now we have no money to spend.
In the socialist times, 99% of people lived okay (traveling to other countries was not prohibited),
now 99% of people live with a personal debt (because the money needed for basic supplies is higher than the monthly wage).
It's not that personal debt is created due to buying Armani or BMW,
but things like bread, milk, fruit, and paying electricity and gas bills.
The first thing Croatian telecom did after privatization (it was bough by Deutsche T-com)
was raise prices. Tcom internet prices in Croatia are 5-10 times more expensive
than the prices in Germany, for the same ''product''. (I pay 50 euro a month for this crappy
speed internet, and in Germany T-com charges 5 euro, and they get better speed and
no limits on data traffic).
In the socialist times, we had a more Scandinavian-like society (95% of people belonging to middle class). Capitalism and privatization gave us the Latin American model (all Croatian companies were sold to foreigners, from state oil agency to banks)...Once privatized, this once Croatian
but now foreign companies favor(ed) importing from abroad instead of producing locally...
50% of people got fired, the unemployment rate soared, the local economy vanished...
Now we live like in a Latin Amerika-like country...
200 of families own 80% of all Croatian profit.
The middle class is virtually no longer to be found, and we are poor.
We were like a poorer version of Sweden, now we are like richer version of Paraguay or Brazil.
This ain't progress.
(The only thing we still have is the tourism sector. Thank God, we didn't embrace the Cape Verdian/Caribbean/ [insert the name of most island countries] model in which all hotels are owned by foreigners and local people don't see a penny
from this ''tourism'' money. 90% of Croatian tourism is generated through private accommodation services and by and family-run hotels, and only 10 % of tourism money goes to owners of foreign-owned hotel chains).