Massive Protest Sees Demonstrators Call For Czech Government's Resignation

 Authored by Robert Semonsen via,

Amid mounting economic woes, thousands of flag-waving Czechs filled Prague’s iconic Wenceslas Square on Sunday afternoon to demand the resignation of the country’s five-party coalition government, with many urging peace in Ukraine and for the Czech Republic to leave NATO.

Organized by the new non-parliamentary party Law, Respect, Expertise (PRO), the rally, the second of its kind to take place in just over a month, saw thousands of people—under the banner “against poverty”—gather in the capital city’s main square, before walking to the Straka Academy, the seat of the government, the online newspaper iDNES reports

Protesters, most of whom accuse Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s center-Right government of being overly concerned with Ukraine while neglecting the needs of Czechs, were seen carrying banners with the words “Away with NATO,” “No war,” and “Lying government and media.” 

“We are here to stand up for our country and for our Czech Republic. We want to take down the five-coalition Fiala government with a non-violent civil protest,” Jindrich Rajchl, a lawyer who serves as the head of the PRO party, said at the beginning of his speech. 

“Collect the last remnants of your honor, realize that you are not up to [the task], and resign,” he said, referring to Fiala’s government.

Rajchl, the main organizer of the event, called Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova “the biggest security risk for our country” due to her pro-war stance. Rajchl rejected claims that he and his party are pro-Russian.

Protesters like Renata Urbanova, who traveled to Prague from the southern city of Pisek, told the press that Fiala’s government is “full of warmongers” and complained that their policies are “making [Czechs] suffer.” She complained that “energy is too expensive and so is food.”

Since the onset of the war in February 2022, Fiala’s government has been among the European Union’s most fervent proponents of the collective West’s sanctions against Russia, despite the serious damage they have inflicted on the Czech economy. Additionally, the Czech government is among the top providers of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and has taken in massive amounts of refugees, both of which place a further strain on the country’s economy. 

Having granted temporary protection to some 400,000 Ukrainian refugees—with its relatively small population of 10.5 million—the Czech Republic hosts the most Ukrainian refugees per capita in the world. The country’s inflation rates are among the highest in the European Union, registering at 17.5%, 16.7%, and 15%, in the first three months of this year, respectively.

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