Public services in the Czech Republic were disrupted as workers went on strike, angry at their lot in the government’s economic austerity plan.
Unions claimed more than 120,000 rallied in cities throughout the country though police estimated that only about 1,000 turned out in the capital Prague.
The government is planning to cut public sector workers’ wages by 10 per cent next year, and reduce the public sector deficit to 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product.
State administrators, teachers and medical staff joined the stoppage that closed some government offices and schools.
Unless the administration changes its plans unions have threatened a general strike. The last one in 1989 played a decisive role in bringing down the communist regime.