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Original scientific paper

https://doi.org/10.21857/9xn31cdq4y

Stop Mass Exodus: Guidelines by the Reform Part of the Croatian State-Party Leadership for the Policy Regarding Labour Migrants from the Socialist Republic of Croatia in Western Europe

Wollfy Krašić orcid id orcid.org/0000-0003-0823-7363 ; Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


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Abstract

The paper presents the fundamental guidelines issued by the reform part of the Croatian state-party leadership in the early 1970s regarding the issue of the increasing number of labour migrants from the Socialist Republic of Croatia in Western Europe. In this context, an analysis of the aforementioned trend within the Communist Party of Croatia was made, which was oriented towards spreading the autonomy of the Socialist Republic of Croatia within Yugoslavia. It limited the introduction of market mechanisms in the Yugoslav economy, and abolished the patterns of operation and behaviour of state-party officials, the roots of which lied in the Yugoslav unitarism or the idea of Greater Serbia. Since the reform movement had been ended in Croatia by force, it was not even attempted to implement a part of the planned policies. Although several policies continued to be advocated, there was no genuine wish or possibility for the implementation. For the purposes of comparison, the paper illustrates – using selected documents from the second half of the 1970s and the 1980s – the relationship of the Yugoslav communist regime to labour migrants, in particular the ones from the Socialist Republic of Croatia, and the main characteristics of the return-emigrant trends in the labour migrant population on the relation Yugoslavia – Western Europe. Nevertheless, in this period, further mass exodus was halted, and even a part of labour migrants returned. This was what the reform part of the Croatian state-party leadership strived to achieve, yet the principal reason lied in the suppressing factors in Western Europe. On the other hand, however, those labour migrants, who managed to keep/get employment in Western Europe in the midst of crisis, were joined by their family members. This radically reduced their chance of return. The Yugoslav authorities claimed in public, and their officials in many closed meetings, how very dedicated they were to the return of labour migrants, although the regime suffered from major difficulties in the context of employment, even of the persons who were forced to return. During the 1960s and in the early 1970s, the Yugoslav diplomatic, consular and other officials abroad continued to maltreat, humiliate and deprive labour migrants of the Croatian nationality of the recognition of their national identity.

Keywords

Croatian reform movement, Socialist Republic of Croatia, labour migrants, Savka Dabčević-Kučar, Catholic Church, Bjelovar Community of Municipalities

Hrčak ID:

290442

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/290442

Article data in other languages: croatian

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