Today, the Slovenian police used tear gas and water cannons against anti.government demonstrators in the capital Ljubljana, where they gathered before the big EU.Western Bakan summit.
Hundreds of demonstrators opposing the government’s strict anti.war measures clashed with police today in the third such incident in Ljubljana in the last month.
EU leaders are arriving in Slovenia today, where the EU.Western Balkans summit will be held tomorrow.
The protest is not directly linked to the EU summit, but protest leaders apparently took the opportunity to get more media attention from the journalists covering the event.
The Slovenian government has decided to restrict movement in Ljubljana, Bled and around the conference center in Brdo near Kranj during the EU.Western Balkans summit for fear that the announced protests will disrupt the gathering, which is considered the peak of Slovenia’s EU presidency.
Slovenian police have set up checkpoints and restricted traffic and movement in Ljubljana and near Brdo near Kranj, where the summit will be held.
The leader of the protesters was reportedly detained and police stopped about 30 buses bringing protesters from other Slovenian cities.
Protesters carried placards with the words “Stop the crown of fascism” and demanded equal rights for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
A police helicopter flew over the center of Ljubljana while the police fired tear gas and used water cannons while the protesters tried to march through the city center.
Slovenian authorities have introduced mandatory kovid passes, including for going to work in all state.owned companies. People must show that they have either been fully vaccinated, or that they have done an expensive PCR test.
As a large part of Central and Eastern Europe, Slovenia has seen a new jump in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Almost 48% of the population in the country is completely vaccinated, which is a smaller proportion than in many other EU countries.
The decision was made after a new mass protest was announced for today due to the introduction of mandatory kovid passes, and the protesters indicated that they would try to disrupt the summit by blocking the access roads.