Slovenia: riots at Corona demo for EU summit

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Slovenia: riots at Corona demo for EU summit

Status: 05.10.2021 9:37 PM

On the eve of the EU summit in Slovenia, police and protesters clashed in the capital Ljubljana. Hundreds of people protested against the strict corona rules in their country.

Slovenian police repeatedly used tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of protesters in the capital Ljubljana. Your protest on the eve of the EU summit was not directly related to the meeting, but was directed against the cabinet’s corona measures. The protesters carried banners with the words “Stop Corona Fascism” and demanded equal rights for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

A police helicopter circled over the center of town. Police sirens were blaring everywhere. In addition, the emergency services stopped about 30 buses that were about to take protesters from other Slovenian cities to Ljubljana. The leaders of the protests apparently took the opportunity to gain media attention from foreign journalists. According to Slovenian media, protesters also surrounded the car of a foreign delegation in a square closed off by the police.

leader arrested

The rapper Zoran Stefanovic, who is considered to be the leader of the protests, has therefore been taken away by the police. He had previously called for the suspension of all measures to combat the coronavirus, the resignation of the government, early elections and “a new electoral system that won’t let the old political zombies run”.

Rapper Zoran Stefanovic is considered the leader of the protests.

Image: AFP

In Slovenia, the authorities have imposed strict requirements on the use of corona passports, including for work in state-owned companies. Employees must demonstrate that they are either fully vaccinated or have undergone an expensive PCR test. In Slovenia, almost 48 percent of citizens are fully vaccinated, which is significantly less than in many other EU countries. With a 14-day incidence of 627 new coronavirus infections, Slovenia is a corona risk area in Germany.

Attacks on journalists

The public Slovenian news agency STA reported that journalists were insulted, threatened and pushed away during the protests. According to the STA, protesters have smashed a glass door at the entrance to the transmitter building near TV station N1. A broadcast had to be interrupted when tear gas entered the studios. The Slovenian Association of Journalists called on the police to ensure the safety of the reporters.

EU leaders advise on Europe’s role in the world

The next EU summit starts on Wednesday in nearby Brdo pri Kranju. Due to the protests announced ahead of the meeting, the Slovenian government has ordered the police to blockade parts of Ljubljana, Brdo pri Kranju and the city of Bled.

At the summit itself, the European Union’s heads of state and government want to discuss a stronger role for Europe in the world and its relationship with the US. At the start of the meeting, EU Council President Charles Michel said the question was “how the European Union can exert sufficient influence at international level to defend our values ​​and interests”. According to Michels, “Afghanistan, the relationship with China and the situation in the Indo-Pacific” will initially be on the agenda. Chancellor Angela Merkel also attends the meeting. At first she did not comment on her arrival.

Discussions with the countries of the Western Balkans will continue in a more extensive form at a later date. The heads of state and government of Albania, North Macedonia and four other Balkan countries are expected for this. Albania and North Macedonia hope that accession negotiations with the EU will start.

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