Thousands of Slovenians protest against corruption

AFP , Saturday 27 Apr 2013

Slovenians protest in thousands against state corruption and austerity measures, and demand early elections to take place in the next six months

Posters of Slovenian politicians burn in front of the Parliament building in Ljubljana, Slovenia (Photo: AP)

Thousands of Slovenians gathered Saturday in central Ljubljana to protest against corruption and austerity measures in the crisis-hit eurozone country and to demand early elections take place by the end of the year.

Some 2,500 demonstrators, according to organisers, and over 1,000, according to police, attended the fifth rally organised by the "All Slovenian Uprising" Facebook group, founded last year to demand the resignation of former centre-right prime minister, Janez Jansa.

"Power to the people", "the power is ours", "every country has a mafia, here the mafia owns the country," read some of the banners carried by protestors at Ljubljana's central Kongresni trg square.

The rally started with the participation of two choirs interpreting WWII partisan and communist songs.

The protest coincided with the Resistance Day commemorating the anniversary of the communist uprising against the German occupation in 1941.

The organisers of the protest, which has not been backed by any parliamentary party, demanded early elections within six months, strong measures against corruption and the suspension of austerity measures.

"Money to the people, not to banks," "we won't pay your crisis" and "the streets are ours" yelled protestors as they marched through the city center blocking Slovenska Street for half an hour.

This was the second protest organised after Prime Minister Janez Jansa lost a confidence vote in parliament in February and the first since the new centre-left government led by Alenka Bratusek took over, promising to continue stabilising public finances although at a slower pace than her predecessor.

During the rally protestors also visited the mayor's office demanding the resignation of Mayor Zoran Jankovic, the former leader of Bratusek's Positive Slovenia party.

Two-million-strong Slovenia, once a model EU newcomer, is seen as the next in line for a possible bailout due to major problems with its banks and a deep recession that have forced the country's government to implement strong austerity measures.

Short link: