High unemployment, exorbitant rates and utilities bills, no money at administration level to invest in infrastructure, and no social support are just some of the problems many towns in Croatia face today. There is one small town however in the north-east of the country which seems to be immune to those issues, reports daily Jutarnji list.
“We live on a natural gas field, everyone in the village works, and our children have free nursery, food and books. It is the best place in the world,” says one resident from a small Croatian town of Kalinovac.
Kalinovac, located in the Koprivnica-Križevci County in Croatia, has a population of just over 1,800 and is currently going through somewhat of a ‘baby boom’, for the towns standards at least. More than 20 babies have been born so far this year, 10 more than the yearly average but locals say it has nothing to do with the financial reward system. For every baby born in Kalinovac, the mother receives 25,000 kuna (3,000 EUR), and parents have free nursery for their kids, school books are free, as are school lunches.
Most of the town are employed at the local cleaning equipment factory, which employs over 250 people and is planning to expand in the next year. Kalinovac locals do not pay any local council taxes. However, pavements and footpaths are constantly decorated and clean, the grass in public areas and courtyards is green and always freshly cut, and facades of buildings are always clean and tidy.
“Our main goal is to create conditions where people will stay here and also come to live here. We are still an ‘old’ place because the average age here is around 60, but that average is always falling,” the towns head Branko Sobota.