Almost all countries are currently affected by the corona pandemic. However, the population of many countries is currently not only struggling with the effects of the so-called "corona crisis", but also with problems that are added to this.
Croatia is an example of this. There the population is suffering "twice" - In Croatia there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 on Sunday 22nd of March at 6:34 a.m. and another one at 7:01 a.m. with a magnitude of 5.0. 27 people were injured, some of them seriously. The epicenter was about 9 km outside of Zagreb. Around 600 buildings, including a hospital/ maternity ward, were damaged, some of them so seriously that the authorities had to issue an official ban on entering the area. In addition, there was damage to the water and heat supply, and people waited up to a week for the water supply to be restored. A total of 90 earthquakes have been recorded so far, most of them with a magnitude of up to 2, six of them showing a magnitude between 3 and 4 on the Richter-Scale, and in the meantime more than 20,000 damages have been registered. Persons who could no longer return to their accommodation and were not able to stay with friends or relatives were temporarily accommodated in a student hostel that had been specially cleared for this purpose. The solidarity within the population is great! Blankets, upholstery, clothing and food were immediately brought to the dormitory to support the families there.
A donation account has been set up by the government to help repair the damage caused by the earthquake - however, only 5% of the necessary sum is being donated to the reconstruction work. The hatred of the population against the corrupt government is increasing.
Restriction of public life in Istria started already on 5th of March
On 25.2.2020 the first corona-virus infection was confirmed in Croatia. This patient had stayed in Milan from 19th -21st of February. Already on 5th of March the first measures were taken in Istria. Schools, kindergartens and universities, as well as catering, tourism and the non-existent commercial sector closed their doors, public transport was stopped. As with us, "social distancing" was not applied until about a week later. These measures were not extended to the whole of Croatia until 20th of March.
Since 23rd of March there is a ban on leaving the permanent residence. Exception: suppliers, employees of important services, journalists, emergency services and workers who have to do their work (however, they need a certificate from the civil defense). This ban is strictly controlled! The police have blocked all main roads from one municipality to another and checking the certificates of each persons in one car.
The government is very satisfied with the course of the pandemic so far, as the number of infections is not increasing exponentially, but rather linearly. According to official figures, Croatia has only 657 infected persons (as of 28.3.2020). The number of undetected cases of infected persons is likely to be drastically higher, as not even 5000 tests have been carried out so far. More than 20,000 people are currently in self-isolation.
The health system
The migration of doctors and nurses abroad, the privatization of hospitals and medical practices, has led to a dramatic deterioration in the health system in recent years, and this development is particularly disastrous in times of a pandemic. This week, a hospital in Zagreb had to be completely closed because a doctor who was corona-positive did not report his stay in a risk zone (an ski area severely affected by the pandemic) - he has operated on 15 patients since his return! All persons in the hospital were quarantined! How many were infected is still unknown. In Croatia, the social security contribution is deducted from the salary, as in our country - but if you don't have an "additional insurance", you have to pay a part yourself for each visit to the doctor. This also applies to stays in hospital and for operations! If you can afford it, you have "supplementary insurance" (costs about 10 Euro per month) - but many parts of the population, especially pensioners and employees in precarious employment cannot afford it! However, this only applies to "contract doctors" - private doctors must be paid privately anyway. In order to increase the capacities in the hospitals, patients who are currently being treated as inpatients and who are not infected with Covid-19 are simply sent home!
Government package of measures for the capitalists and imperialists
The government has put together a package of measures whose main objective is to "help the capitalists" and keep foreign companies in the country in order to secure "Croatia as a business location" - let's take a closer look:
Companies directly affected (hospitality industry etc.): Subsidies for full-time employees HRK 3,250 (426 Euro), for part-time employees up to HRK 1,620 (212 Euro)
Company in case of short-time work: maximum 40% up to 40% of gross salary and up to the level of the minimum wage (HRK 3,250), with a maximum of 40% of normal working hours.
For entrepreneurs: 100% cost of insurance for 3 months and 50% for another 3 months
For the workers: maximum 6 months pension insurance in the amount of 70% of the calculated unemployment benefit for the first 3 months, then maximum 35% for the following 3 months - so there is no money at all, only a minimum insurance benefit!
Many of the capitalists, especially the booming "private" companies, register their workers anyway only with the minimum wage, the rest is paid in "cash". Only employees in state-owned enterprises are correctly registered. Not permitted by law, but daily practice in Croatia. This tactic serves only the capitalist, who saves taxes and duties. For the affected workers it has serious negative consequences: in case of unemployment, unemployment benefits are only calculated from the minimum wage, in case of illness only the minimum wage is paid and for pension only the minimum wage is taken into account.
Many pensioners only receive a pension of the equivalent of 200 Euros - a small apartment costs more than 200 Euros rent per month! Since Monday there are new opening hours for grocery stores (etc.) from 8 am to 5 pm! This may alleviate the overburdening of the employees, but it also reduces the wage, which is one of the lowest in this industry anyway.
A deferment of payment of duties and taxes for 3 months has been agreed, but after that the taxes must be paid. As in many other countries, this is mainly against "one-person companies" and small businesses, because if there is no turnover, the taxes and duties cannot be paid in three months either.
More and more voices are being raised that are not satisfied with the measures, which are obviously only being carried out on the backs of the workers and the people. In the social media, dissatisfaction is mounting against the anti-working-class and anti-popular government in office, whose main concern is above all to secure profits for its foreign masters. The dramatic developments of recent years, which reached a temporary peak with Croatia's accession to the EU, have led to the privatization of entire sectors of the economy and drastic cuts in the health sector. The workers and the masses are now having to suffer these consequences, and often they pay for it with their lives. Whereas, those who have profited most from this development - the imperialists - are "rescued” with aid money and and bonus payments.
No passing on of the burdens of the "Corona crisis" on the workers and popular masses!
Down with imperialism!