Tens of thousands protest against Czech government

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Tens of thousands of protesters from the far-right and far-left joined forces in the Czech capital to rally against the pro-Western government.

Police estimated that the crowd at Prague’s central Wenceslas Square numbered around 70,000 on Saturday.

Some of the groups represented at the demonstration included the major anti-migrant populist Freedom and Direct Democracy party and the Communist Party.

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The protesters demanded the resignation of the current coalition government, led by conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

They criticize it for a number of issues, including its Western-oriented policies.

They also condemned the government for its support of the sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine and accused it of not being able to tackle soaring energy prices.

The demonstrators also hit out at NATO and the European Union’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reach climate neutrality.

The country belongs to both organizations.

Fiala said everyone had a right to demonstrate, but said those protesting were expressing pro-Russia views that were not “in the interest” of the country or its citizens.

Czechia (Czech Republic) firmly supports Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion and has donated arms, including heavy weapons, to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The government is planning to call an emergency meeting of EU countries next week to seek a united approach to the energy crisis.

The Czechs currently hold the bloc’s rotating presidency.

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