Prague, September 5 – The Czech Republic faces an autumn of discontent as some 70,000 protesters gathered in Prague to protest rising electricity bills and demand an end to sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine is falling
Protesters joined a Czech Republic First rally calling for a new deal with Moscow to halt gas supplies and arms shipments to Ukraine, while calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s centre-right government. solicited.
The rally in Wenceslas Square, historically the site of mass discontent in the Czech capital Prague, appeared to spell the end of a relatively quiet period in domestic politics since Fiala took office last December.
His five-party coalition on Friday survived a parliamentary trust vote, which was spurred on by the opposition, which accuses the government of being unable to cope with rising domestic fuel bills and controlling inflation, which clocks 18%. has increased to. , among the highest. in the European Union (EU).
The rally, organized by the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party and the Communist Party, which once ruled former Czechoslovakia, included complaints about military neutrality and the arrival of Ukrainian refugees. About 400,000 have taken up residence in the Czech Republic since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Standing next to banners with slogans such as Best for Ukrainians and Two jumpers for us, Zuzana Mazerova Zahradnikova, from the far-right, anti-EU Tricolor party, told the protesters: “The Fiala government may be Ukrainian, it may be Brussels. Maybe, but it’s definitely not a check.”
Some protesters wore T-shirts praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, while others carried banners expressing anti-EU and NATO sentiments. The Czech Republic has been one of the staunch supporters of Ukraine’s Western Coalition.
Organizers have vowed to hold more rallies unless the government steps in before 25 September, with another planned for 28 September, the Czech state’s symbolic date.
Civic Democratic Party (ODS) leader and former politics professor Fiala called the demonstrations extremist and inspired by Russian propaganda.
He said: “The protest at Wenceslas Square was called by forces that are pro-Russian, close to extreme positions and are against the interests of the Czech Republic. It is clear that Russian propaganda and propaganda campaigns exist in our region and some people Hear them.”
However, voices outside the opposition have warned of potentially dire consequences of the impending winter energy crisis, which Fiala will discuss with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz when he visits Prague on Monday.
Justice Minister Pavel Blaek – a member of the prime minister’s party – last week warned of the risk of unrest and a government collapse in the absence of an immediate solution. “If the energy crisis is not addressed, the political system of this country is in danger,” he said.
A Czech commentator, Boris evi, who writes on the Britsky Listi website, noted the number of attendees. “When I read in the morning that there were 5,000, I shook my hand thinking there would be no more. There were 70 thousand in the afternoon. It blew me away,” he said.
“The agenda is suspiciously reminiscent of Donald Trump’s agenda. When we see how this man can threaten the very fabric of an old and seasoned democracy like America, he certainly shouldn’t leave us alone.” (Text & photo: CubeDebt)
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