Workers Comp Zone


(Workerscompzone has been traveling; this is the last in a series from Croatia before returning to more meat and potato issues on workers’ comp and employee rights…..)

Dubrovnik…..A study in survival….

Some refer to Dubrovnik as the pearl of the Adriatic. An
ancient walled city, built of cream colored stone, it spills down from steep hills to the sea. Inside the walls are virtually all the major architectural elements of the last thousand-plus years. Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque. All covered with orange terra cotta roofs.

On any short list of the world’s most beautiful cities, Dubrovnik would be there with Rome, Paris, Florence, Prague, Barcelona and Venice.

It’s possible to walk the entire perimeter of the town’s fortress walls. They directly abut the sea, with a series of small islands stringing directly off the coast.

Even the causal observer would note that those roofs don’t appear to be very old. Huh?

Dubrovnik was shelled by Serbian and Montenegrin forces in 1991, causing at least partial destruction to over half of the town’s buildings. The town was a sitting duck for artillery launched from surrounding mountains.

After the Dayton Accords resolving the Balkan conflict (talks led by Richard Holbrooke, who is now the U.S. regional special envoy to the Pakistan/Afghanistan region), stone artisans from around the world were enlisted to help in reconstruction. What has been preserved is stunning.

Leaving Dubrovnik by bus back to Split, the bus was boarded on 3 separate occasions by Croatian border patrol checking passports. In the USA many of us assume that our immigration issues are unique.

Not so.

Clearly, Croatia is concerned about immigration coming up from it’s southern neighbors….Albania, Macedonia, Turkey etc.

Dining with an aquaintance in Amsterdam on my way to Croatia, he noted that over the past decade there has been an increasing degree of resentment bubbling up in Dutch politics towards immigrants. Holland, traditionally a very tolerant country, enamored of consensus, is said to be becoming less tolerant and more polarized.

On BBC TV last night was a report of street confrontations between British youth and immigrants.

This won’t surprise many of my readers, but it does serve to underscore the fact that immigration and transnational migration is and will continue to be a hot button issue in many societies, including Europe.

We’re already seeing the immigration issue become prominent in the debate over U.S. healthcare reform, as politicians trip over themselves to make sure that illegal immigrants can not benefit from healthcare reform.

Stay tuned.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments