The Czech Republic on Saturday marked the 23rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which toppled the communist rule in the country. Top Czech officials commemorated the student march of November 1989 which led to the fall of the communist regime, as well as the Nazi persecution of Czech students from 50 years before. But this year, the anniversary was partly overshadowed by anti-government rallies held in Prague and other places in protest against the government's austerity programme.
Saturday to protest against the policies of the Czech government. Organized by the country's trade unions and other groups, the rally called for the centre-right cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Ne?as to step down.
The protesters slammed the government's austerity measures, including budget cuts, and criticised the reform of the pension system, which they said would benefit banks, not pensioners. They also denounced a CZK 120 billion agreement to return and compensate for church property confiscated by the communist regime. And many of the people who came out to the streets on Saturday criticized perceived high levels of corruption in the government sector.