Neighboring town bombed

Carinthian fears for his life’s work in Ukraine

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14.05.2024 14:00

Carinthian entrepreneur Nils Grolitsch is watching the new Russian offensive in Ukraine with trepidation. His company, the largest ironing board manufacturer in Europe, is located just 500 kilometers from Kharkiv, the target of the attackers.

Carinthian entrepreneur Nils Grolitsch is currently observing the course of the war in Ukraine with growing concern. Together with his brother Tobias and his late father Erich, the Techelsberg native has built up a large factory there and developed it into what is now Europe's largest producer of ironing boards, clothes horse racks and stepladders. However, the war of aggression launched by Russia a good two years ago has also left its mark on Eurogold.

Grolitsch makes aid deliveries for the Ukrainian soldiers. (Bild: EVELYN HRONEK)
Grolitsch makes aid deliveries for the Ukrainian soldiers.
Eurogold has to rely more on women. (Bild: Krone Archiv)
Eurogold has to rely more on women.

Five employees killed
Before the invasion of Ukraine, 1200 people were still employed, but now only 700 are keeping production going. Nils Grolitsch: "120 workers from our company were ordered to the front, unfortunately five were killed. We will be more reliant on women in the future because they don't have to go to the front. And we also had to make some changes to production." Not least because it is becoming increasingly difficult to supply the plant with energy. The constant attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure are causing production stoppages.

The plant is located in Zhitomir in the north-east of Ukraine. (Bild: Krone Archiv)
The plant is located in Zhitomir in the north-east of Ukraine.
Nils Grolitsch (l) became Honorary Consul of Ukraine. (Bild: Ukrinform)
Nils Grolitsch (l) became Honorary Consul of Ukraine.

"Bombs are getting closer"
Grolitsch only rarely has the opportunity to talk to employees on site. He returned to Carinthia with his wife and daughter when the war broke out. His plant in Zhitomir is only around 500 kilometers away from Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine and currently the declared target of Russian troops. "The bomb and missile attacks are getting closer." They are making the best of the circumstances. In addition, a newly founded import company that brings goods from the EU to Ukraine has opened up a new line of business that is developing well.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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