By Natasa Radic – Zagreb
The survey of the world’s largest info news portal for global prices Numbeo, which was carried out in 118 countries and 355 cities, shows that Croatia is a sixth highest ranking country in the world when ranked accoring to the cost of utilities and regular monthly household costs. Norway, Slovenia and Luxembourg are in the top five and Croatia is followed by a number of much richer European countries.
The fact that strikes the most is the one that the basic utility bills – bills for electricity, heating, water and trash – of the living space of 85 square meters, is more expensive in Split and Zagreb than in Frankfurt, although the average salary in this German metropolis is three times higher than in Croatia.
The average salary in Germany is around 2030 euros, in Austria it is 1810 euros, and in Croatia it is around 675 euros. Czech Republic, for example, has higher average salaries tha Croatia, but the utilities are cheaper. Numbeo states that the Czechs pay for the electricity, water, gas and trash an average amount of 138 euros, with an average earning of 787 euros. Only in Hungary the utility expances are similar to those in Croatia, and the salaries are for one quarter lower than in Croatia.
-These data should not be surprising. Specifically, the trade unions and various associations have been warning that Croatia is very expensive country and family income actually fails to cover expenses. When it comes to utilities, they are particularly high in Croatia and a great burden for citizens. Especially since the last year due to a drastic increase in the prices of gas and electricity – said the president of the Independent Croatian Unions Kresimir Sever.
Split, the second biggest Croatian city, for example, is located at the 14th place in the expensiveness among 355 major cities from the list of Numbeo and Zagreb is at the 23rd place. The most expensive city when utilities concerned is Trondheim in Norway, where the average wage is six times higher than in Split. Croatia has very costly food products, too. This is why most of Croatian citizens spend their income on food and housing and transport costs, and in the past year, the biggest pressure on the standard of living was created by the increase in energy prices.
-We have for long a disparity between wages and the cost of living. If the government fails to implement immediate measures and meaningful employment and economic growth, I am afraid that it will be even worse – says Darija Danko, an unemployed economist from Zagreb.