The global crisis has hit Croatia’s economy hard. The country is experiencing increased poverty and unemployment rates yet the Government is still favouring non-sustainable approaches to development. The authorities seem to serve only the private sector while the people’s well-being often has to be defended by civil society organizations, as shown by a successful campaign against the extension of an oil pipeline to the Adriatic Sea. The Government’s Strategy for Sustainable Development is inadequate and the current land, water and forest legislation is not only flawed but also lacks transparency. The country must embrace the cause of sustainable development immediately.
A lack of up-to-date and reliable data makes it difficult to determine the extent to which poverty in Croatia is deepening as a consequence of the economic crisis, but indicators suggest that the 2009 recession reversed recent improvements in the social sphere, making it hard to rein in the country’s growing pauperization. Circumstances are thus more and more unfavourable for the realization of Millennium Development Goal 1 on poverty eradication. The Government’s belief that it is possible to reduce poverty and inequality while at the same time embracing the neoliberal agenda has proven not only unrealistic but also imprudent.



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