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Croatia: hot salaries, cool penguins

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Life is not easy in many of the countries of former Yugoslavia, even those whose devastation by war is now several years in the past. Croatia, for example, is a country of around 4.5 million people, of whom some 318 000 are officially unemployed, and 160 000 continue to work without pay for former state owned companies in order to preserve their social security benefits. The tobacco industry, thanks to selling an addictive product, can shrug off the hardest of times, however. In June the highest salary, according to government statistics, was paid to an executive of the independent Rovinj Tobacco Company, Croatia's largest tobacco manufacturer.

While the average salaried employee gets by on around 3000 kunas (approximately $408) a month, the …

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