Hooligans protest in Bratislava and Prague

AOn Saturday afternoon, a few hundred people, mostly young men, gathered in the Slovak capital Bratislava (Pressburg) for a demonstration. Their insults indicated that they were against Prime Minister Igor Matovic’s corona policy and demanded his resignation. The police, who were pelted with stones and bottles, used tear gas and water cannons. Some of the demonstrators appeared as football “ultras”, some as supporters of the right-wing extremist politician Marian Kotleba, who a week ago was sentenced to four years and four months imprisonment by a court in the first instance (not legally binding) for spreading hatred and extremism .

One and a half years ago, when the new corona virus was still out of the question, Kotleba publicly distributed checks for 1,488 euros to needy families. This supposedly purely social act carried the scent of extremism because the numbers 14 (for a racist slogan for “protecting the white race”) and 88 (for “Heil Hitler”) are relevant codes – and because the whole thing is on the anniversary of the Founding of Hitler’s Slovak satellite state in March 1939 was going on. The court considered it proven that the action was in truth about conveying these codes. Kotlebas LSNS (People’s Party of Our Slovakia) has 14 seats in the Slovak parliament; if his conviction becomes final, he loses his.

The Czechs were hit hardest

The fact that Kotleba’s supporters are now against the Corona restrictions could be seen as a political diversion. In any case, it is a topic that can obviously stir up aggression in a certain segment – especially in those countries of Central Europe that appeared as model students in the field of Corona in the summer. In any case, a few hundred football hooligans followed on Sunday in the neighboring Czech Republic, closely linked by history and language to Slovakia, with a demonstration that also escalated into violent clashes.

The Czechs have been hit hardest when it comes to Corona. The number of infections is increasing exponentially from week to week, on Friday the 10,000 mark was exceeded, and on Sunday there were also sad record highs for new infections and hospitalizations (although lower in absolute numbers, as is usual on weekends). The most prominent victim of infection was Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman, who was the first member of the government.

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