Protest against sale of state-owned assets

A protest against the sale of state-owned assets was held in Zagreb's main square on Saturday at which about 200 people demanded the replacement of Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, telling him that "a sale is not a reform."

Members of Free Croatia, the organiser of the protest, demanded the suspension of all decisions on the sale of strategic state companies until the people decided about it, as well as the replacement of Oreskovic and the government.

Speakers at the rally said Croatian assets were being sold for HRK 3 billion, while the annual interest rate was HRK 15 billion and the national debt HRK 300 billion.

They said this warning protest was not the last one and that if the government did not scrap the sale of strategic companies, they would stage bigger demonstrations.

"The sale of state assets, First Deputy Tomislav Karamarko's corruptive actions in the INA-MOL case, announcements that a property tax will be introduced and a series of harmful decisions are a clear cause for alarm," they said, adding that the protest had no party or other backdrop and that they wanted to put an end to 25 years of disastrous government.

Vesna Balenovic of the Whistleblower association said the problem was not only recent sales of state companies, but those over the past 15 years. She said the INA oil company "was worth US$ 25 billion, yet was sold for a mere $505 million."

ORAH president Luka Keller said this party was against the sale of strategic companies, notably the Hrvatske Vode water management company and the Hrvatske Sume forest management company.

Commenting on the sale of  the Koncar electrical company, he said there would be layoffs en masse and that it was another example of a good company which would be ruined.

The management board of the Restructuring and Sale Centre on Friday adopted a decision to sell 526,926 shares in Koncar in various packages to pension insurance companies for just over HRK 360 million.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:51

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