Prague, Sep 17 (IANS) Thousands of Czechs gathered at Prague's Wenceslas Square (NYSE: SQ ) in the Czech capital to protest against the government. Under the slogan "Czech Republic against the government," the rally was mainly against the inappropriate actions of the government on inflation, tax changes and pension adjustments. There were also banners in the crowd that read "Down with the US minions" and "Down with NATO," according to the Czech News Agency (CTK).
The rally was attended by more than 100,000 people, according to the organiser, the non-parliamentary PRO (Law Respect Expertise) party.
Some of the participants later marched through the city from the Square to the headquarters of the Czech Interior Ministry, Xinhua news agency reported.
Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Vit Rakusan, told CTK that he sees the demonstration as "a legitimate expression of discontent by some people in difficult times," but that he finds it incomprehensible and unacceptable to use that discontent to incite hatred and fear.
A recent survey by the Center for Public Opinion Research in Prague showed that the majority of Czechs were unhappy about the country's economic situation. Out of the 929 people surveyed between May 16 to July 24, 57 per cent perceive the economic situation as bad, about a quarter consider it "neither good nor bad," and 16 per cent take it as good.
According to the Czech Statistical Office (CSU), the real GDP of the Czech Republic declined by 0.6 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year. For the whole year, the Czech Finance Ministry predicted in its August forecast that it could fall by 0.2 per cent.
Consumer prices in the Czech Republic, meanwhile, increased by 8.5 per cent year-on-year in August, according to the CSU. Although the inflation slowed for the seventh consecutive month, it remained well above the tolerance band of two per cent set by the Czech National Bank.
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