29 Oct 2022 17:04
At a large rally in the Czech capital, the resignation of the government was demanded. The protesters condemn support for Kiev and sanctions against Russia – and call for talks with Russia.
Tens of thousands packed Prague city center on Friday to protest rising inflation, the Czech government’s support for anti-Russian sanctions and aid packages to Ukraine.
The demonstrators called on Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to start talks on gas supplies with Moscow. The participants chanted “Resign” while waving the Czech national flag.
The rally is the latest in a series of protests on the same issue. An estimated 70,000 people gathered on Wenceslas Square last month to express their dissatisfaction with the confrontational policy towards Russia. Back then, too, demonstrators called for an end to the Czech Republic’s involvement in sanctions against Russia, which are leading to rising energy prices and fueling inflation.
🇨🇿🇪🇺🇺🇦 Huge protests spill through Czech Republic, Prague, demonstrators shout;”Europeans don’t want to starve and freeze for Zelensky and Ursula von der Leyen!!!” pic.twitter.com/9dm3CpfLF9
— GeorgeOrwell3 (@george_orwell3) October 28, 2022
“Russia is not our enemy, the warmongering government is our enemy,” quoted Associated Press a speaker at the rally.
The organization Czech First, which organizes the protests, opposes NATO and demands that the Czech Republic adopt a neutral stance. “This is the resurgence of a national movement and its goal is the independence of the Czech Republic,” he said Reuters the organizer of the event, Ladislav Vrabel. Vrabel continued: “When I see this full place, I know nobody can stop it.”
The Czech government has dismissed the protesters’ demands, defaming them as “pro-Russian” and accusing the organizers of spreading Russian disinformation.
“We know who our friends are and who is bleeding for our freedom,” Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said in a Twitter post on Friday. “And we also know who our enemies are and we will not let them steal our patriotism.”
The Czech Republic has been particularly hard hit by the European energy crisis because of the country’s dependence on Russian gas supplies. According to reports, households in the country pay the second highest electricity prices in the EU after Estonia. Czech inflation rose to 18 percent in September.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in March 1999, just days before the US-led bloc attacked Yugoslavia, and became a member of the EU in 2004.
more on the subject – “Break the spiral of escalation” – Open letter from Königs Wusterhausen to the federal government
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