The president of the Czech Republic was pelted with eggs on a day to mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet revolution which led to a change in the political direction of the country.
“Cowardliness” shouted President Milos Zemen to the protesters as his aides protected him from eggs and tomatoes being hurled by the crowd. They were showing their anger at what they see as the president’s drift towards Moscow, the one time power centre of the country.
The Presidents of Hungary, Poland and President Joachim Gauck of Germany were present to unveil a plaque to commemorate the events of 1989. One egg hit the the German president.
It’s estimated 5,000 protesters rallied in Prague waving red cards, a soccer-style warning aimed at their president. Banners said, “We don’t want to be a Russian colony.”
Zeman has defended Russia despite Prague’s European Union partners imposing economic sanctions on Moscow for its involvement in Ukraine.
In Prague and other cities candles were lit in memory of those who were injured when police violently broke up a student march 25 years ago.
Supporters of President Zeman planned a separate rally to show their backing for him. The former leftist prime minister came to power last year and still retains the support of about half of the voters.