Peaceful demonstration held in SloveniaSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 01/12/2012 7:27 pm in World / 1 comment
LJUBLJANA, Nov. 30 — Thousands of people held a peaceful demonstration in Ljubljana on Friday to protest against social unfairness and official corruption, calling for social reforms.
The demonstrators carried banners that are critical of political elites, including Prime Minister Janez Jansa, Education Minister Ziga Turk and Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic.
Demanding that “tycoons and thieves” be locked up, the protesters also criticized judges and trade unionists for their “empty talks” about the settlement of social problems in the country.
The police has been on alert since a massive protest in Ljubljana for Friday was announced on Thursday.
While calling for peaceful demonstrations, Slovenian police trade unions have also urged protesters to understand the difficult position of police officers, who share the disappointment of the people.
The police are also “victims of the system and cuts in social rights”, the police trade unions stressed.
To guard against possible damage by violence in Friday demonstrations, police erected barricades in front of parliament building and the entrances to the government and presidential palaces hours before the street protest.
Apart from demonstrations in Ljubljana, protests against political elites and the general situation in Slovenia also occurred on the day in cities of Koper, Nova Gorica and Novo Mesto.
The successive protests and demonstrations, growing grievances over social injustice, and indignation against trash talks between politicians are believed to be a presentation of Slovenians’ disappointment over the country’s situation as well as their concern over future.
“The so-called politicians are always doing empty talks without doing anything,” a protestor said, referring to worsening economic recession.
Slovenia’s gross domestic product contracted by 3.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, the Statistics Office said on Friday.
Besides, the official survey showed, Slovenia’s unemployment rate hit 20-year high in the third quarter this year, noting that the number of the unemployed rose by 13.8 percent to 94,000, the fourth consecutive year of growth.
Also on Friday, more than a dozen of organizations, including two trade union confederations, student and pensioners organizations announced that they had formed a Coalition of Solidarity in a bid to force the government to change present situation.
Following protests in Ljubljana and Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia, protests are being planned in Celje, the third largest town in the country, for Monday.