The Croatian World Congress has sent a strong message to the Croatian government, saying that its plan to tax foreign pensions of Croatians returning to live in Croatia is absurd, and will only result in killing what they say is the second largest stream of cash into Croatia’s economy after tourism.
Simun Sito Coric from the Croatian World Congress, which is made up of 30 associations from 30 countries around the world and is a member of the UN’s Economic and Social Council, said yesterday after the congress met in Zagreb, that taxing foreign pensions which returning Croats bring from overseas when they move back to retire in Croatia after living abroad, will only deter many from moving back. Coric said that Croatia’s Diaspora provided the ‘second largest branch of the economy” behind tourism.
The largest community outside of Croatia are the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina with around 650,000 there. The Croatian diaspora outside of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to close to a million scattered around Europe, and a total of over 1.5 million in the world. The largest overseas community is reported from the United States and Chile, with about 400,000 members.
In Western Europe, the largest group is found in Germany. The German census reports 228,000 Croats in Germany as of 2006[update], but estimates of the total number of people with direct Croatian ancestry (including naturalized German citizens) range as high as 450,000.[