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Croatia joins the Happy EU club on July 1 – are they mad or are we?

Tom Winnifrith Monday 3 June 2013

 

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In four weeks’ time the happy band of brothers that is the EU will welcome a new member – its 28th. Welcome aboard Croatia you do not know all the fun you have been missing.

The unemployment rate in Croatia is 20.9% (against a Eurozone average of 12.2%) while youth unemployment is already 51.8%. So in terms of making this a greater “common market” what will be the added trade benefits to Britain of welcoming this economic basket case on board?  Er…exactly.

But of course it means that Croats can now pack their bags and seek employment or claim benefits elsewhere in Europe.  The first flight (one way) out of Zadar, Croatia to London Stansted after July 1st is on July 3rd and costs 47.99 Euro with Ryanair. You kind of sense that it will be sold out soon.

As an employer I welcome more cheap labour. Persuading a native Brit to come off welfare and earn £16,000 as a waitress is pretty much impossible and so the EU provides an answer. I gather that there are some good looking birds in Croatia and so I am not grumbling.

But I am not sure that on balance, the addition of another country which will be a net taker from EU funds really makes the case for the UK staying in the Evil Empire any more compelling.

As for Croatia presumably with its economy already fucked it can do a few Greek style fiddles and compound its misery by applying to join the Euro. At which point youth unemployment of 51.8% will seem like the “good old days.” Although perhaps not quite as good as the the glory days the last time it linked up in an Axis lead by Germany.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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