Several hundred people gathered in central Zagreb on Saturday to express their support to refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa who are seeking shelter in the European Union. They observed a minute of silence in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks carried out in Paris on Friday night.

They marched from Victims of Fascism Square to Europe Square, carrying banners that read "March of Solidarity", "Solidarity Has No Boundaries" and "For an Open Europe". On their way they stopped at the French Embassy to lay five red roses for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

They held speeches at each stop along the way and in Europe Square speeches were also given by activists from Serbia and Slovenia.

"We, volunteers, citizens, refugees are against Europe becoming a closed continent. We do not accept that the only alternative for people fleeing the insecurity of wars is insecurity within the European borders where they will be marginalised, criminalised and exposed to racism and xenophobia," one speaker said.

The March of Solidarity was organised by the Network of Antifascist Women from Zagreb (MAZ) and the Welcome! initiative. The organisers estimated the number of people involved in the march at 700, while the police put their number at 350.

On behalf of the organisers, Damir Culjak expressed his sympathies and condolences for those killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris and called on those gathered to observe a minute of silence in tribute to all victims of terrorism, war and violence. He said that it was precisely situations like the one in Paris that refugees were fleeing from because such attacks were part of their everyday lives.

Culjak said that the MAZ organised the March of Solidarity once a year to draw public attention to social and economic policies that exclude, disenfranchise and impoverish various social groups.  He said that this was the eight such march and that its focus was on the problem of refugees.

"While European governments and institutions are putting up fences and turning Europe into a fortress, European society is showing a different picture. They are showing their solidarity and will not allow to be ashamed by the actions of their governments but want to build a different Europe, an open Europe," Culjak said.

"The present humanitarian crisis on European soil is the result of a cynical attitude of the EU institutions and EU governments whose centralist practices are directly responsible for migrations. Such policies must stop!" the organisers said in a proclamation.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.