About 70,000 took part in protests in Czech Republic capital Prague on Saturday (September 4). The people demanded action from the ruling coalition government towards controlling soaring energy prices. The protesters also voiced opposition to the European Union (EU) and NATO.
Organisers of the demonstration from a number of far-right and fringe political groups, including the Communist party, said the central European nation should be neutral militarily and ensure direct contracts with gas suppliers, including Russia.
Police estimates said that the number of protesters reached the 70,000 mark by afternoon.
“The aim of our demonstration is to demand change, mainly in solving the issue of energy prices, especially electricity and gas, which will destroy our economy this autumn,” event co-organizer Jiri Havel told iDNES.cz news website.
The protest was held a day after the government survived a no-confidence vote. The Opposition is accusing the government of inaction against inflation and energy prices.
The vote showed how Europe’s energy crisis is fuelling political instability as soaring power prices stoke inflation, already at levels unseen in three decades.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed displeasure at the protests and said the protesters did not have the country’s best interests at heart.
The protest on Wenceslas Square was called by forces that are pro-Russian, are close to extreme positions and are against the interests of the Czech Republic,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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