Protest against Excessive Deforestation Held in Zagreb

By 30 March 2019

ZAGREB, March 30, 2019 - About 200 citizens, organised by the Green Squad, the environmental forum of the war veterans' organisation Vidra, rallied in St Mark's Square in Zagreb on Friday to draw attention to excessive deforestation in Croatia, accusing several ministries, private and public companies and leading politicians in the last 20 years of ecocide.

Protesters said that in the last nine months they had gathered sufficient evidence of "the appalling devastation of forests", which they included in a 400-page complaint addressed to the State Attorney's Office, the Office for Prevention of Organised Crime and Corruption (USKOK), the Human Rights Ombudsman and EU institutions.

"Forests are literally disappearing before our very eyes," Green Squad leader Vesna Grgić said, adding that "the scandalous Forests Act even encourages forest cutting, and all this in the race for profit because wood is scandalously cheap."

Grgić said that one cubic metre of wood cost 300 kuna (40 euro) in Croatia and 120 euro abroad. She said that the damage done to Croatia was estimated at two billion euro and that those responsible should be brought to account.

"This is ecocide, and ecocide is a crime. That's why we have every right to call it a joint criminal enterprise and we have evidence to prove it," Grgić said.

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