kolinda grabar kitarović, pegla, kamensko.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Tuesday donated an industrial iron to the Kamensko association which she purchased with remaining funds from her presidential campaign and during the donation-giving ceremony she commended the association members' business spirit, determination and empathy as an example that shows how Croatia can succeed.

"I can tell you that I, together with the government coming into power, will always and everywhere raise business spirit and respect anyone who wishes to start up a new business, no matter how small it may be and to facilitate that it develops and expands. Because, only through developing entrepreneurship, small, medium and large, can we create new jobs, new values and pull the country out of recession and propel it to prosperity that I can see will come," the President said in the seamstresses association's premises in Zagreb's suburb of Knezija.

That (prosperity) won't occur overnight but if we keep trying and working like the members of this association, without giving up, using their pride, creativity, empathy and business spirit, I truly believe that we will succeed, the President added.

The association currently employs six former workers of the now defunct Kamensko clothing factory and has an additional four volunteers including the association's leader Djurdja Grozaj. The association conducts training for all those interested, particularly young people, in learning sewing.

This donation is small but a symbolic way to show respect for the women of the Kamensko (factory) who are fighting for their unpaid wages and severance pays, the head of state said. "You have shown courage, resoluteness, not to give up, a business spirit and you are working for the benefit of the community, educating citizens. That's exceptionally important," Grabar-Kitarovic underscored.

Grozaj said that they were not losing hope that they would get their money even though no bids have been received to purchase the former Kamesnko factory's real estate and it is unlikely that workers will be paid out considering other creditors.

Asked by reporters about the imbroglio over the factory, President Grabar-Kitarovic said that she would consult with the relevant institutions with regard to the issue even though this was not in her jurisdiction. "Simply I think that solving problems in the country go on for too long and I hope that such practice will change," she said.

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