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We live in a world where so many of us are ruled by debt. We work long hours to earn as much as we possibly can but still find ourselves drowning in mortgage payments and credit card bills. As far away as “freedom” may be for most of us, it is still a distant light at the end of the tunnel – something that is attainable… eventually.

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In a bold move to help those whose light faded long ago, the Croatian government – under the leadership of its Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic – has decided to forgive the debt of 60,000 of its poorest citizens. Meaning that 60,000 Croatians will be given the opportunity for a fresh start, something that the Croatian government hopes will both set them personally on the right path and also stimulate the country’s economy through new spending.

To qualify for the forgiveness, the collective monthly income of a family (without savings or assets) must not exceed 2,500 Croatian Kuna -approximately $367 US dollars – while the collective monthly income of an individual must be under 1270 hrk ($187 US).

With this unheard of move, Croatia becomes the first country in the European Union to ever offer debt forgiveness to any of its citizens.

“We are doing all we can to make people’s lives easier in this protracted and strenuous crisis and give them a chance for a fresh start.” – Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic

To both protect itself and to also encourage its citizens to use this grace wisely, the Croatian government has stated that it will only be available to each household or individual this one time.

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How Much Of Our Debt Is Necessary?

As much as many of us may be inclined to point the finger of blame at the system, saying that it is not designed for us to avoid debt, there is no denying that our spending habits and decisions also play a role. Even the basic essentials in life can certainly be expensive, but do we truly need everything we currently have and are striving to attain/ own?

One potential little reality check is the rise in popularity of tiny homes. (To find out more about them, read this great article put together by Jeff of the CE team: Sell Your Crap, Pay Off Your Debt, And Do What You Love! This Makes It All Possible)

I’m not suggesting that we all pack up our current lives and move into a tiny home, but I am encouraging us to consider this alternative lifestyle as a reminder of how little we truly need. Let it inspire you to look at your own life and see what changes you can make to help bring that light at the end of the tunnel at least a little bit closer.

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We at CE are curious to hear your thoughts on this move by the Croatian government. Would you like to see debt forgiveness granted to a percentage of the poorest in your country? Or do you see this as unearned for those slated to receive it? Let us know via the comment section below!

Sources:
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/02/03/croatia-forgives-debt-of-60000-poor-citizens.html
http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/03/pf/debt-forgiveness-croatia/


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