The Croatian branch of the group of hackers known as Anonymous has called for mass protests against the sale of government property, describing it as an act of theft.In a video published on YouTube, the Anonymous group called on Croats to protest against government policies on February 15 in main squares across the country.
“Croatian government… you have shown that you run this country only for your private interests, trying to sell and privatize Croatian land and factories,” the message says.
The next protest – as well as the previous one, organised jointly by Anonymous Croatia and Occupy Croatia in Zagreb, Varazdin, Rijeka, Slavonski Brod and Porec, earlier this month – is directed against the Law on Strategic Investments whose draft version was published on January 15.
The law aims to speed up sales of property owned by the state, including forests, water, agricultural land, and even roads.
The protest is timed to commemorate the execution of the legendary Croatian rebel Matija Gubec, a leader of a Croatian-Slovenian peasant revolt killed after a failed uprising in 1573.
On their Facebook page, Anonymous Croatia explained that their goal is to “wake people up and start fighting for their live, rights and future.
“This country is a victim of serious theft, and we first must stop the sale of Croatian resources and property. Second, we must force the government to cancel privatization, and re-nationalize all sold property,” the Facebook post reads.
Anonymous Croatia has staged several actions since the start of 2013, hurling red paint at banks, hacking into the government website, and sending out messages urging people to wake up.
Meanwhile, last Friday, some 20,000 Slovenians also took to the streets in a march against Prime Minister Janez Jansa, in the biggest anti-government gathering there since protests against corruption in Slovenia started in November.
Prime Minister Jansa is on trial over an arms deal, and is fighting to stay in office at the head of a government with just 36 of the 90 seats in parliament. Two parties withdrew from his coalition earlier this month.
They abandoned the centre-right Jansa after Slovenia’s corruption watchdog levelled accusations of tax irregularities against the premier in January.