Croatia's Teachers demonstrating last Year Teachers in Croatia have been on strike with nurses against government plans to cut their pay Croatia is trying to reduce its spending in readiness for joining the European Union. The efforts of the government appear to be concentrated on reducing the deficit in order to ensure a good credit rating. These ratings are set by private companies like Fitch's or Standard and Poor. Their prime function is to inform the international bond markets and enable them to gamble on the future economic performance of countries. Fitch's has just downgraded Croatia's rating to 'negative'. As in so many other countries, the Croatian Government is attempting to reduce its deficit by attacking public services - in this case by massive cuts in the education budget and the breaking of a collective agreement with public sector unions. 70,000 of the 100,000 workforce in Croatian schools took part in Thursday's strike.