Thousands of people have protested since Saturday against the government of the Czech Republic for focusing more on Ukraine than the problems of the people of the country. Protesters also protested the European Union and Western military alliance NATO’s failure to oppose the statement.
An estimated 70,000 people took to the streets of Prague’s historic Wenceslas Square on Saturday to protest, Euro News reported. At the rally, they accused the government of focusing more on Ukraine than the country’s people and demanded the resignation of the center-right government led by Petro Fiala. The current government came to power last December.
Protesters expressed their anger mainly against the country’s rampant inflation, rising oil, gas and electricity prices, and the country’s acceptance of large numbers of Ukrainian refugees.
Protesters believe the Czech Republic should have remained militarily neutral on the Ukraine issue. In addition, the protesters called on the government to communicate directly with Russia to resolve the gas crisis.
Also, they strongly demanded to reduce the price of gas and electricity before winter, they said, if the government does not take special measures in these two sectors, the country will be destroyed.
The ruling coalition called on the European Union (EU) and NATO to bring energy prices under control.
Jiri Havel, co-organizer of the event, told local media, ‘The aim of our demonstration is to demand changes, mainly to solve the problem of energy prices, especially electricity and gas, which will destroy our economy this autumn.’
The case of the Czech Republic shows how Europe’s energy crisis is fueling political instability. Because electricity prices are rising, unprecedented inflation is occurring.
Many Europeans are worried that high inflation caused by the current energy crisis could lead to social unrest, protests and strikes, according to a new European survey.
Fiala, head of the ruling center-right, five-party coalition, told CTK news service on Saturday that the protesters were acting against the country’s interests. The protest in Wenceslas Square was called by forces that are pro-Russian, close to extreme positions and against the interests of the Czech Republic.
But he also said that everyone has the right to protest.
Fiala’s government wants to call an emergency meeting of EU countries next week to find a unified approach to tackling the energy crisis.