Anti-Istanbul Convention Protest Held in Split

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 13, 2018 – A rally against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention was held in Split on Thursday evening, with speakers at the event claiming that the document would impose a new totalitarianism on Croatia and calling on the government to pursue a policy of sovereignty instead of its current policy of servility.

“This rally calls for eliminating the causes of the current situation in Croatia because the country has been morally, financially and spiritually devastated,” said Sanja Bilač, an activist of the Croatia Against the Istanbul Convention civic group, which organised the rally, held on Split’s seaside promenade.

“Prime Minister Plenković has turned us into servants to the bureaucrats in Brussels. Croatia should be pursuing a completely different policy, a sovereign policy, just as our neighbours Hungarians, Poles and Austrians are,” the really heard.

The protesters also called for the adoption of a new election law, saying that “the current election law generates exactly the type of politicians we now have in power, and Croatia must change that.” “Croatia must elect new people for a new policy of a new Croatian national revival: learned, brave and honourable patriots who will define and direct the country’s policies,” it was said.

“Just go ahead and try to ignore your own people again! Not only will the Split promenade be full, all squares in the country will be full of protesters,” Bilač stressed.

She went on to say that Croatians were at a crossroads at which they would either opt to preserve their national identity, sovereignty, democracy and future or would “watch them die and agree to their undermining that is being done by the current government which is controlled by the Brussels establishment.”

“The incumbent coalition government no longer has legitimacy because it was made through political engineering and contrary to voters’ will. That government is pursuing an anti-Croatian policy which is detrimental to the Croatian people,” said Bilač. She went on to say that attempts to impose the Istanbul Convention were attempts to divide the Croatian society. “The current government has dared manipulate the Catholic Church and its dignitaries as well. They have proven that nothing is sacred to them and this is an attempt to separate the Church from the people,” said Bilač.

Ivana Haberle, another speaker at the rally, who said that she was a nurse and that she had taken part in the Homeland War, said that “the battle of all battles” would be fought in the parliament on Friday, when the Sabor is expected to ratify the Istanbul Convention. “I expect representatives in the parliament who are supposed to represent my values there not to vote for the ratification of the convention. I expect those who we helped enter the parliament, because they said that they were Christian Democrats, to show with their deeds that they are Christian Democrats,” she said.

Ivana Bilić Antičević from Zadar said that the convention would not provide protection for victims of domestic violence. She said that the German Constitutional Court in October 2017 ruled that the national parliament would have to adopt a law by the end of 2018 to provide for the possibility of entering a third gender in birth certificates.

“I don’t want my children to be reeducated by political parties and NGOs. I don’t want the government to force me as a nursery school teacher to reeducate other people’s children one day,” said Kristina Bašić from Split.

War veteran and former prisoner of war Ivan Turudić said that the HDZ-led government was hiding behind women and children to impose on their voters “ideology-based education, undermine their sovereignty and finance left-liberal NGOs that keep lying about the Homeland War.”

The county police have said that the rally was peaceful and that no incidents were reported. The police have scheduled a news conference for Friday to publish information on the number of protesters.


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