Anti-gov't protest held in Zagreb
03. March 2011. | 10:27
About 1,000 protesters rallied in Cvjetni Trg square in central Zagreb on Wednesday evening demanding that the government step down and call an electio
About 1,000 protesters rallied in Cvjetni Trg square in central Zagreb on Wednesday evening demanding that the government step down and call an election.
"Today a revolution has begun," protest leader Ivan Pernar told the crowd, stressing that the government was trying to deprive people of their right to live because it had issued 2 million orders for property confiscation.
"They have robbed us and all the capital has ended up in the hands of foreigners and the political elite," Pernar said. He added that the result of the restrictive monetary policy was that no one but banks had money.
Pernar said that over the last 20 years the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which is now in power, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which is the strongest opposition party, had been shifting the blame between each other instead of making changes. "We must show the government that we are not cowards and that we won't keep silent."
The protesters were joined by Damir Kajin, a parliamentary deputy of the regional Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), and Dragun Lesar, the president of the Labour Party.
Kajin told reporters that no one had the right to call the protesters "bandits".
"When they see 15,000 people in city squares, as has been the case in Zagreb, or about 2,000, as has been the case in Split, they are not worried, but when we grow in number, when they see thousands and thousands of us, the government will have to step down," Kajin said.
Lesar said that the government wanted to delay elections until February 2012.
After the protest, the protesters headed towards St Mark's Square, the seat of the government and parliament, their number swelling to about 1,500 along the way. The police turned them back, because protests and public rallies in that square are banned under law, after which the protesters set off towards the HDZ headquarters.
Anti-government protests were also held in the northern Adriatic port city of Rijeka and the eastern city of Djakovo.