Tens of thousands of Czechs have staged one of the country’s biggest protests since the fall of communism, marching in Prague against spending cuts, tax rises and corruption, and calling for the end of a centre-right government already close to collapse.
Police estimated between 80,000 and 90,000 workers, students and pensioners marched through the capital on Saturday to rally in Wenceslas Square. Chanting and whistling, the crowd held banners reading “Away with the government” and “Stop thieves”.
The demonstration against Prime Minister Petr Necas’s government is the third such trade union-led protest in 12 months against austerity measures, and the turnout underlined mounting public frustration after a series of corruption scandals.
“This government is devastating state structures and is demeaning the unprotected with its asocial reforms,” Jaroslav Zavadil, the head of the Confederation of Trade Unions, told the crowd.