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Tuesday March 8th 2011
Ex-communist Europe
Protests in Croatia
Et tu, Zagreb?
Mar 6th 2011, 15:39 by T.J.
THE English-language Croatian Times reports that there may be ancient pyramids in the historic port town of Dubrovnik. Could this be a case of Balkan pyramid envy? In 2006 we reported on a tourist boom in the Bosnian town of Visoko following the discovery of pyramids there.
Another Croatian city, Zagreb, appears to be taking a different sort of lead from Egypt. The capital has been rocked by a series of protests that are partly being organised, Egypt-style, via Facebook. One demonstration, a week ago, turned violent. As many as 10,000 took to the streets on Friday night. Here is Balkan Insight’s take:
As in previous protests this week, the demonstrators first tried to reach St Mark's Square, the seat of the government and parliament, but were turned back by the police because protests are prohibited in that square.The demonstrators then headed for the headquarters of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, party, chanting "HDZ thieves," "We want elections" and "We want change". They stayed there for about 15 minutes and then moved to Vukovarska Street.The protesters also accused the Croatian opposition of failing to improve the situation in Croatia, saying that they were only concerned with their own self-promotion.​Croatia has faced a number of anti-government protests in recent weeks, including one on Saturday that saw violent clashes between police and demonstrators. More than 30 people were injured and dozens arrested in the rally, at which protesters called on the government to step down.Friday's rally was also supported by Croatia's teachers' union, as well as several smaller opposition parties, including the nationalist HDS SB party of Branimir Glavas, a convicted war criminal.The protest passed without incident, with only a small number of police providing security. The traffic along the march route was disrupted.
Thus far the opposition Social Democrats have kept their distance from the protests, which is hardly surprising given that they are coming under attack too. Another reason for their discomfort may be that some of the protestors have been seen burning EU flags.
Croatia hopes to join the EU soon, but last week there were contradictory reports on the final stages of its accession process. “Lack of reforms hits Croatia’s EU hopes” reported the Financial Times. By contrast the Southeast European Times wrote that Jadranka Kosor, Croatia's prime minister, thought EU accession talks could be finalised by June.
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icetea777 wrote:
Mar 6th 2011 9:18 GMT
croatia has gained its idependance and freedom in 1995. elected officials promissed to enforce democracy, 15 years later, the same party commited more than a milion of criminal acts, which resulted in failure of croatian economy, millions left with out a way to make ends meet. the same party then stole tax money and sold croatian property and government facilities to foreign entities who have no interest in croatian future other than destroying the most beautiful nature of croatia and build factories (croatians are not for sale, neither is their land), world wildlife has arleady stoped this from happening once, now 85% of croatian people are trying to stop it, by peacefully protesting on the street. but did you hear their cry for help? if you didnt its because croatian media is not covering it the way it really is - they keep manupilating with the number of protestors, they say its only few thousand of them when in fact it is 85% of the nation!! so shouldnt the criminals be in jail regardless of the false media coverage? please help croatia to free it self of corruption!
croatians do not want to sell their land to EU because croatians are highly educated, and why should they be slaves in their own land to foreign bosses? young, healthy, hard-working and educated people should have an option to decide the paths of their own future, not being manipulated by some criminal organization who was elected on lies! they promised democracy but delivered dictatorship!
Croatia is not for sale, and croatian people are not bred to be slaves on Earth! Help Crotians free them selves of corruption! thank you!
Mar 6th 2011 11:16 GMT
This is bullcr@p! These protest will wane in no time, since they are led by a person who cannot write a more coherent statement other than that Croatian government should use Linux-based platforms instead of Microsoft ones. Give me a break! I saw just a bunch of bored and drunk kids, who looked after nothing else but their five minutes of glory.
@Icetea777: who sold the Croatian land, and who sold government facilities to foreigners, and when??? Croatia freed itself of corruption once the former PM was jailed in Austria, and all that happened when his party was still in power! I consider that to be quite a feat! Just be patient, the elections will come by, and the HDZ will be trashed!
icetea777 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 12:06 GMT
@raspad.. im sorry i have to tell you this, but if you only seen some drunk teens protesting then you clearly need an eye exam, dont worry there is no shame in that, there is a lot of people who wear glasses these days!
Mar 7th 2011 7:54 GMT
I wear glasses, and I am not ashamed of that! Now, please broaden my horizons and tell me what is the goal of these demonstrations? What is their purpose?
xrocker wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 10:22 GMT
People are wenting their frustraitions. They demand early election instead of the one scheduled at around the end of this year, as a 6 month earlier election would make a difference. When asked in a poll whom they want to govern, over 40% responded 'don't know'!?
To claim in a comment that 85% of population is taking part in demonstrations is false and that local media is manipulating the number of protesters is manipulation in itself. If anything, all local media is relishing the opportunity to report from towns across the country with a cumulative total of well less than twenty thousand on a given day this past weekend (in a country of 4.5 mil). Will the numbers increase or the people will get tired of listening to opportunists of various kinds and the populist nonsense as exposed in comment of icetea, remains to be seen. Hope for the former. The least the country needs now is to switch its focus on an early elections with no valid candidates to choose from. That is the problem.
icetea777 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 2:13 GMT
there is more than 4.5 million reasons why this mafia needs to get out, but im gonna give u basic ones for your better understanding: people are protesting because they can no longer afford food to eat (even though most of them have university degrees)they eat from garbage cans , most of them is unemployed and dont have any income, the other half has worked for 6 months with out a pay check!!!! would you go to work for 6 months with no pay??? well, thats slavery , aint it? okay so there you get the point! then , they can not afford heat or hot water in their homes! it gets so cold in croatia! all of their jobs are "frozen" because of the "trade competition" laws - even work that could be enforced is forbidden by the eu! they are selling out everything they can! even the shipyards! they are even selling croatian shipyards that used to employ 100's for only .18 us cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now, croatian land belongs to the people of croatia - and majority rules!!! this criminal organization HDZ sold 70% of croatian property to foreigners and took money for them selves, and they are trying to get all of the croatians to move out of croatia to loose their identity and to loose the right on their land which they fought for since the 7th century, the last war was only 15 years ago and it was a massacre on croatian nation, and the whole world slept through it, croatia cried for help to Europe, europe ignored them, but now europe wants to be the one to buy off all of croatia and kick us to the curb, to turn us into slaves on our own land! and this elected pary is the one who made all the secret deals with EU without including the majoritys opinion! now these protests have been going on for 10 days and they are ignoring us, protests are continuing to stay peaceful! how far are they going to try to push the nation >? dont forget media coverage is simply a joke at this point! because the whole nation of croatia wants them out! NOW!
Mar 7th 2011 4:59 GMT
@Icetea
"people are protesting because they can no longer afford food to eat (even though most of them have university degrees)they eat from garbage cans , most of them is unemployed and dont have any income"
I have never seen anyone eating from garbage bins. Do you eat from garbage bins? Do you personally know anyone who is scavenging for food? I don't, and I really know a lot of people from all walks of life! The unemployment rates are lower than in Spain, Ireland and Latvia for example. And there was this thing called the global financial crisis, and you cannot really blame the Croatian government for that.
What I see is just a bunch of kids who are drunk and/or stoned, in designer clothes and with ipods having fun and ranting just like you.
Here are some videos from this charade: http://dnevnik.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/zavrsio-najmirniji-prosvjed-do-sada.h...
"even the shipyards! they are even selling croatian shipyards that used to employ 100's for only .18 us cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And do you know why? Because they are loss-making! Just google quickly how much money was spent into subsidies to keep them afloat.
"now, croatian land belongs to the people of croatia - and majority rules"
True, and a majority elected and reelected the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), don't you remember? You see every once in a while there is this thing called the elections, you know, where people are scribbling something on little pieces of paper. Calm down and then vote for whomever you want!
"but now europe wants to be the one to buy off all of croatia and kick us to the curb, to turn us into slaves on our own land! and this elected pary is the one who made all the secret deals with EU without including the majoritys opinion! now these protests have been going on for 10 days and they are ignoring us, protests are continuing to stay peaceful! how far are they going to try to push the nation >? dont forget media coverage is simply a joke at this point! because the whole nation of croatia wants them out! NOW!"
Oohhh, I see, the big bad EU wants to enslave poor little Croatia, truly heartbreaking! Secret dealing with a multilateral organization like the EU??? Heck, one can always learn something new! :D
cro_0 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 5:43 GMT
Few of the supporters of our Government (latest pool, CroDemoskop, shows the scandalous total of 13.7% supporters) are obviously set in motion everywhere.
Anyway, the only point of these protests is (and after already surviving the unsurvivable for any healthy democracy - numerous corruption scandals, former prime minister and few ministers ending up imprisoned and complete devastation of the country's economy with totally inadequate ruling), for the Government to finally step down.
Peaceful protest are held every second day, with the average of 5000 mostly younger and highly educated (few may be teen & drunk, but not the majority) protesters marching approximately 8-10 km each time, and with a substantial support from windows and cars they pass by.
And the Government is afraid, as protest of a larger scale, especially continuous (and 5000-10000 here is considered larger scale), aren't something this county is used to, but it still remains to be seen if they'll be prepared, at least once, to do the right thing and finally resign.
icetea777 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 6:41 GMT
okay raspad i seriously read your first question and then i stopped reading everything you typed! the answer is yes i do know many of people who have absolutly nothing to eat and no income, i know too many! i was one of them, then i was forced to move out of my homeland because these was no other options for me, (being a foreigner really sucks and croatia at one point even had a future for me)yes i was hungery! yes croatians are hungrey! yes its the biggest reason why they are protesting, you are clearly working for the idiots so just stop talking! enough is enough! people are done starving! yes this mafia lied to the people! if croatians wanted their country to fail they wouldn NOT of fought in a 4 year long war where we were tourtuted! failure of croatian economy it could of been stopped, and it was because the voice of the people was not heard all alnog. now the government MUST resign because 5 million of croatians want them out! now! and you how dare you send me a link that a false media posted?! i am aware of only one incident with the police out of more that 10 days of protesting in such huge numbers obiouslt speaks that we are well organised, well united and have one goal: to take down mafia of croatia from conrtolling it! we are trying peaceful revolution! yes we are you blind man! its only a matter of time before the world starts talking regardless of your ignorance! and yes we elected them because they continuously lied to us through great advertisment, and now they are fired!!!!! yesw the people elected them now the people fired them! im sorry you refuse to comprehand. but ur in the minority now, so who cares, please dont bother answering - things u say are irrelavent!
Mar 7th 2011 8:33 GMT
@cro_0
I am not a supporter of HDZ, and I would be the first one to join protests if the former PM was not arrested and if Messrs Polancec & Co. did not land in jail. But they did! So the fight against corruption is taken seriously here. The next elections are scheduled for the end of the year and then they will certainly be removed from power. I know that the "protesters" are against the government, but I really have no clue what are they for. It's just a motley crew of rebels without a cause!
@icetea777
A hungry man connected to the internet, who happens to be subscribed to the Economist. Interesting!
icetea777 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 9:06 GMT
lol they made internet so afordable these days croatians can purchase connection for $4 a month! they can not feed the family with $4 a month! also i must point out that croatia has more voters than its residents, that is how the mafia stayed in power. let me explain, this criminal organization that presents them selves as democratic party, gave away more than 3 million croatian citizenships to catholic people of bosnia, and pronouncing them croatian citizens because they needed votes back in 1991, these people of bosnia have always labeled them selves as bosnian-croats only because their religion is our religion as well. so HDZ gave them croatian citizenships in exchange for their votes , you tell me that does not sound like bribery to you? today i live in the usa with more than a million of these bosnian-croatas who vote every single election in order to keep croatian citizenships, yet most of those bosnians never ever even been inside croatia! they are not people of croatia , they are not residents of croatia - they are bosnian refugees who have no honor no class no respect and everything they do is to benefit their own personal interests. (yes there is exceptions as always)oh and so you know when u vote here in usa they give u a paper and a pencil?!!! so hmmmmm... a pencil? it can be easily erased, and also the voting system is anonomus your name is not on the paper, only the circular hand motion pulled with a pencil. (ironicly croatians invented a pen yet they are not allowed to use it even when they vote) but im sure bosnian-croats were not aware that they were harming the croatians by doing this! now the media coverage is a joke - they are trying to point fingers at everyone and everything, they are calling these people "hooligans" and other insults because they are painting a wrong image of what its going on, these people are warm hearted, they are a singing nation who loves god, family and their country! but they do not support crime, poverty, media manupilation and negativity! and you are telling them to be quiet? dont yu think that every crime should be properly investigated and judged in the court room? dont you think that those who steal and lie and steal some more should be in jail? this HDZ mafia is first in line to go to church on sundays yet they are the first ones to break every single one of the 10 commedments ! and why are you still talking like you know what its like to be starving, and "left out in the cold" by the people who promissed you democracy but delivered dictatorship! ok im done talking now, its pointless trying to speak to a blind man - i made my point loud and clear - now its on you to do a real research not listen to the media because its a lie! until you do your own research and stop repeating what the news said you will never understand, anyway FACT is 85% of croatian nation wants them out, other 15% is related to those in power, you do the math, and dont you write back to me with some made up numbers like you know what its like..
xrocker wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 10:50 GMT
Yes...and icedtea forgot to mention that no one seems to curb the smoking and the use of cell phones in Croatia while foraging through the garbage containers for the food, apparently habits are so hard to kick off.
There are many things in Croatia that need fixing, but emotion soaked and histerically exagerated outbursts such as his do not bode well and are sure no way to do that.
People are right and have many reasons to show their frustration with the government which is especially welcome in a country such as Croatia where generations were not allowed to express their true sentiment towards the ruling elite. But what needs to change first and foremost is the mindset of people, their responsibility toward work, environment, themselves. I do not see anybody in the current set of politicians of any color in Croatia who would inspire that change.
icetea777 wrote:
Mar 7th 2011 11:49 GMT
why would croatians give up habits (although they are bad) and cell phone luxury in a free democratic state? why would they need to choose - food or cell phone? just so you know their cellphones are prepaid and they do not cost a lot of money, all of croatian incoming calls and incoming text messages are free, minutes are way too expensive so people of croatia only text! although its common cell phone usage is not something they like to spend money on! they do however love to socialize with each other and with other human beings of the world, they are literally shouting "we are hungry" "we want elections" "theifs, theifs" "liars, liars" "hdz mafia" "we want elections" so i dont care about your little excues as to why you dont want to stand behing them but oh my god, million and millions disappeared and the land was sold out, and the people are sad, so please let go of every excuse and join the revolution for peace, for love, for unity and justice for all!! thanks!
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Eastern approaches deals with the economic, political, security and cultural aspects of the eastern half of the European continent. It incorporates the long-running "Europe.view" weekly column. The blog is named after the wartime memoirs of the British soldier Sir Fitzroy Maclean.
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