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Estonians protest govt featuring far-right

AFP  |  Tallinn 

Several hundred Estonians gathered in the capital Tallinn on Saturday to demand the resignation of the three-party coalition government, which for the first time features a far-right party.

Demonstrators held up signs in Estonian, English and Russian with slogans such as "Fighting fascism is my cardio" and "No racism, no islamophobia, no hate, no violence".

The protest was organised by the "Yes to Freedom, No to Lies" movement formed when the prime minister's Centre Party began coalition talks with the conservative Isamaa party and the far-right EKRE in March.

The eurosceptic EKRE is known for its populist rhetoric and anti-migrant stance.

"It was a protest against a party in government which wants to rip apart everything done in the last 30 years, change the constitution and turn Estonia into a far-right country," Siim Tuisk, one of the organisers, told AFP.

Ahead of the protest organisers issued a statement condemning members of the government for not hesitating to "insult and bully doctors, researchers, environmentalists, foreign students and minorities.

"The only group that has gained from the government's policies so far are those who like alcohol," they added -- a reference to a recent tax cut to discourage Estonians from buying their alcohol across the border in Latvia.

The demonstration took place on the anniversary of the eurozone member's referendum on joining the European Union.

A dozen people in Tallinn attended a separate demonstration Saturday calling on the country of 1.3 million people to leave the EU.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 15 2019. 00:00 IST