Zagreb - A round table discussion on war veterans' rights in Parliament on Thursday lasted only 15 fifteen minutes as veterans repeated their demands and walked out of the conference room after introductory remarks by Parliament Speaker Josip Leko and the head of the Fully Disabled Homeland War Veterans Association, Đuro Glogoški.
"We demand the resignation of Veterans' Affairs Minister Predrag Matić and his closest aides and the adoption of a constitutional law on the rights of Croatian war veterans," Glogoški said. "We are ready to discuss the law after Matić steps down," he added.
Glogoški thanked Leko for receiving them and invited about 50 veterans who had come for the meeting to leave the conference room. Addressing veterans who had rallied outside the Parliament building, Glogoski said that they would not continue talks until their demands were met, which elicited applause from the crowd. "We expect the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the President of the Republic to state their opinions on our demands at the start of next week," he said.
About 800 veterans gathered outside the Parliament building shortly after noon for the round table discussion organised by the Speaker of Parliament. They came in a procession from the Veterans' Affairs Ministry, where they have been holding a sit-in for 11 days, carrying banners reading "100% for Croatia" and "Always Faithful to God and Country". Police stopped traffic along their way. (Hina)