ZAGREB — Croatian police used tear gas on Thursday to disperse about 1,000 protestors who tried to approach the government building demanding resignation of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor’s cabinet.
Heavy special police forces sealed off the St Marc square, in the central old part of the town, where the government building is located, to prevent the protestors from approaching it.
Protestors threw stones and bottles on police who used tear gas to disperse those who tried to push their way through the cordon.
Police later said in a statement that eleven protestors were detained. There were no information whether anyone was injured in the clashes.
“Thieves, Thieves!” and “Jadranka Go Away!” chanted the protestors who gathered around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) at the central square, as they marched through downtown Zagreb heading towards the government building.
The protest was organised through Facebook. A similar one, with some 300 people attending, was held in the Croat capital on Tuesday.
“It’s not a political but rather the issue of our country’s and its citizens survival. This government must go,” the organisers said on Facebook.
The organisers demanded Kosor to step down, accusing her government of “making citizens’ life more difficult every day and leading the country into the economic chaos.”
“Croatia is robbed to the bones by its own politicians. All we want is to work and have a decent life from that,” Mirela Basic, 29, told AFP.
Protestors carried banners that read “Fight against Bribe and Corruption” and “You are Fired.”
Anti-government protests were also held in some other major Croatian towns, with most of the protestors, around 500, gathering in the northern port of Pula.
Kosor took over the helm of the government in 2009 when her predecessor Ivo Sanader, currently suspected of corruption and abuse of power, suddenly stepped down.
The EU-aspirant country’s economy was hard-hit by the global crisis and has contracted for the past two years.
The number of unemployed earlier this month reached an eight-year peak with 334,378 registered job seekers among the population of 4.4 million.