Students and political parties condemn comments made by the recently re-elected MP.
Željko Glasnović, who was recently re-elected as Member of Parliament representing Croatian nationals living broad, wrote a post on Saturday in which he attacked students from the Faculty of Philosophy as “spoiled brats of recycled communists, quasi-intellectuals who have not worked a day in their life. They are a minority gang of two hundred anarchists and Bolsheviks Satanists who block the work of the Faculty and prevent more than 7,000 students of attending classes. In developed democracies, when a minority oppresses the majority, it is solved with police batons and tear gas.” The students protest against Vlatko Previšić, the dean of the Faculty, and demand his resignation, reports Index.hr on September 25, 2016.
Students of the Faculty of Philosophy said that it was unbelievable that a member of Parliament, whose constitutional duty is to participate in the representative body of all citizens, would attack a specific group and express belief that such a group would deserve violence and to be expelled from the country. “In contrast to the distinguished MP, students’ plenum has a long history of peaceful speech and conduct, which does not include incidents of violence or calls for violence”, said the students.
HNS said that it was sad that political extremism was coming from a member of the Croatian Parliament. “Today is a sad day for democracy in Croatia”, said HNS. “The fact that the extremism in this case is coming not from some politically anonymous people, but from an elected representatives of the people in Parliament, who has been mentioned in the last few days as the one whose vote should give the necessary majority to form a new government, makes it even more problematic”, said HNS president Ivan Vrdoljak. He added that the main candidate for new Prime Minister, HDZ president Andrej Plenković, was still avoiding to publicly say that there was no place for such extremism in Croatia.
HSLS, who was HDZ’s partner at the elections, also have its support to students. “We live in a time in which every individual and social group is allowed to protest and freely express their views, including the students”, announced HSLS. “We strongly condemn the statement by Glasnović which calls for solving problems at the Faculty with police batons and tear gas. We certainly do not want to live in Croatia in which legal and legitimate protests about anything are addressed with such means.”
IDS also strongly condemned Glasnović’s statement. It urged all political actors and relevant institutions “not to remain silent and to condemn this shameful rant”. “Do not close your eyes to the things that not only throw an ugly stain on our democracy, but also represent a direct threat to the physical safety of students.”
Glasnović was HDZ’s MP in the last Parliament, while this time he ran as an independent candidate in the eleventh parliamentary constituency which includes Croatian national living abroad.