December 10, 2022

Main Protest in EU Capital Calls For Direct Gas Discussions With Russia

Prague rally demands resignation of government, decrying its support for Kiev and anti-Russia sanctions.

Hundreds and hundreds of demonstrators filled Prague’s main square, on Friday, in order to decry rampant inflation among the Czech government’s support for anti-Russia sanctions and aid packages to Ukraine.

They will called for direct gas talks with Moscow and the resignation of Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his cabinet. Individuals chanted  “ resign, resign”   while waving Czechian national flags.

The latest rally follows two similar protests last month, including one that reportedly attracted an estimated seventy, 000 people.

The crowd in Wenceslas Square demanded an end in order to Czechia’s participation in anti-Russia sanctions over the Ukraine turmoil, which have contributed to increasing energy and food prices.

“ Russia’s not our foe, the government of warmongers can be our enemy, ”   the  Related Press   mentioned one speaker at the rally as saying. A group called Czech Republic First, that has organized the protests, opposes NATO and has called for the nation to adopt a militarily fairly neutral stance.

“ This is a new national revival, and its goal is for the Czech Republic to become independent, ”   Reuters   quoted organizer Ladislav Vrabel as saying.   “ When I see a complete square, no one can stop this. ”

Fiala’s government has shrugged off the protestors, calling them  “ pro-Russian”   and accusing their particular organizers of listening to Ruskies disinformation campaigns. Czechia joined NATO in March 99, just days before the US-led bloc attacked Yugoslavia, and became a member of the EU within 2004.

“ We know who our own friends are and that is bleeding for our freedom, ”   Interior Minister  Vit Rakusan   said on Fri in a Twitter post.   “ And we furthermore know who our foes are, and we will not allow them to steal our patriotism. ”

Czechia has been hit particularly hard by the European energy turmoil, at least partly because of its historic reliance on Russian gas. Households in the country are apparently incurring the  second-highest   electricity costs in the EU, behind just Estonia. Czechia’s inflation rate soared to 18% within September.

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