Some 8,000 protesters opposing tighter coronavirus restrictions gathered on Wednesday evening in Slovenia's capital Ljubljana. After some of them threw torches at the country's Parliament building, Croatian state agency Hina said, riot police responded with tear gas and water cannons.
A recent surge in Covid cases forced the government to impose tighter restrictions starting on Wednesday, which include mandatory Covid passes for most indoor areas such as shops and even petrol stations.
The protesters, who chanted “We want our lives back, we want freedom” had gathered earlier in the day at Ljubljana’s main square. Although organizers had called for a peaceful rally, an incident occurred when a protester threw a bottle at one of the police officers guarding the rally, missing him. Shortly after 8 pm police used tear gas, forcing the unruly crowd, which had come closer to the entrance to the Parliament building, to disperse.
Later in the evening some of the protesters returned and used torches, to which police responded by deploying a water cannon.
The epidemiological situation in Slovenia is deteriorating. According to health authorities, there are currently 11,238 active coronavirus cases in the country, and 347 Covid patients are in hospital care – including 75 in intensive care units. Six people died of Covid on Tuesday.