Slovenian cyclists stage anti-government coronavirus protest

Slovenian cyclists stage anti-government coronavirus protest
# 09 May 2020 08:01 (UTC +04:00)

Thousands of cyclists took over streets in the centre of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Friday evening to protest against the government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa and the restrictions it has imposed to fight the coronavirus, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Cyclists sounded horns and shouted “thieves, thieves”, following allegations of government corruption in purchasing face masks and ventilators reported by TV Slovenia last month.

The government has denied wrongdoing.

The centre-right government took over after the previous centre-left administration resigned because it lacked sufficient support in parliament.

The protest, organised by civil society groups, was the largest in recent weeks. Cyclists staged a smaller demonstration in Maribor, Slovenia’s second city, on Friday.

The cyclists carried Slovenian flags and held banners saying “Raise workers’ wages”, “Careful, the government is falling”, and “Stronger together”. Most wore face masks.

Police fenced off parliament while a police helicopter flew above the protesters.

Slovenia imposed a wide-ranging lockdown in mid-March. So far it has confirmed 1,450 coronavirus cases and 100 deaths.

The government started lifting restrictions on April 20 when car service centres and some shops reopened, while bars and restaurants have been allowed to serve food outdoors since Monday.

Next week, public transport will resume gradually and some pupils will return to school on May 18.