More than 90,000 Czech students, workers and pensioners took to the streets of Prague on Saturday to protest against new austerity measures and corruption scandals. "Stop Thieves" was the message on many of the banners. The country's corruption-tainted centre-right government has muscled through more than $3bn in budget cuts, along with new sales and income tax rises for the coming year. Saturday's march to Wenceslas Square in the heart of Prague was the people's riposte. By Sunday, the ruling coalition had fractured, bringing the government close to collapse.
The size of the protests, perhaps the largest since the 1989 Velvet Revolution, was news in itself. But the demonstrations also reflected the popular anger bubbling across Europe. Large protests have rocked Greece and Hungary, and now the waves of discontent are being felt in Europe's stronger economies. Budget talks in the Netherlands fell through this weekend after coalition partners failed to agree on new cuts; now, the prime minister has resigned. And in France, presidential hopeful Francois Hollande, a socialist who favours tax rises and spending to boost the economy, has beaten Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of voting. Democracy is more about the streets than the boardrooms – where will it march next?
Further reading: Paul Krugman takes apart Europe's "suicidal" economic policies.