The Croatian Labour Party on Saturday staged a protest in downtown Zagreb against the government's plans to privatise state-owned companies, saying that the plans "resembled the criminal privatisation by the HDZ in the 1990s, which resulted in plunder and disappearance of numerous companies and the loss of thousands of jobs."
The rally brought together some 200 protesters, who were supported by the HURS trade union federation, the Democratic Party of Women, the Union of the Unemployed of Croatia, the New Trade Union, the Free Croatia initiative, and the Workers' Front.
"We are more numerous than those who steal and it's time to oppose them," Labour Party leader Tomislav Koncevski said.
"We will not stop with this rally, rallies will become more massive across the country, we should take to the street and fight to prevent our children from leaving the country," said Koncevski.
HURS leader Ozren Matijasevic said that the remaining state-owned companies would not have to be sold if all who had participated in the non-transparent privatisation in the 1990s had been prosecuted.
"Criminals should be sent to prison, their property should be confiscated and there would be no need for selling state-owned property," said Matijasevic.
Maja Marija Jelincic of the Democratic Party of Women said that there had been enough "of individuals hiding behind patriotism" and called on the government to "immediately stop the sale of strategic companies."
The Labour Party warned that the government was six months late with the adoption of a plan for the management of state property for this year and that instead, it was selling successful companies such as Podravka and ACI, "thus directly harming the interests of the national farm sector and nautical tourism."