Maribor Protest Calming Down after Heavy Clashes


The situation in Maribor, where the protests began last month against the policies of Mayor Franc Kangler and mounting allegations of corruption, got out of hand just before 7 PM, as part of what were an estimated 10,000 protesters moved towards City Hall and started to pelt it with rocks, bottles and flares.

Police reacted by pushing back the crowd and calling for them to end the protest, media reported. A police helicopter and reinforcements were sent in to deal with a group of trouble-makers who reportedly responded by attacking police with stones and other objects.

Several arrests were made, and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, clashes with violent groups however continued at various sites.

Media reported that things started calming down after 10 PM as police cleared most of the squares and closed the main bridge leading to the city centre.

By 9 PM, nine people were admitted to the Maribor UKC hospital, five of which police officers. No serious injuries were reported.

Thousands of people had turned out to the Maribor rally, which started peacefully in the Trg Svobode square.

The crowd had chanted various slogans against Kangler, who today reiterated he does not intend to stand down, and also burned an effigy of the hated city speed traps.

The police presence was initially visibly lighter than last Monday, when the protest turned violent, with local media reporting that plain clothes police had been deployed in the crowd to seek out trouble-makers.

Violence also ended last Friday's protest in Ljubljana held against the government's policies and political elites.

Several protests were held around the country today, including in Ljubljana. Apart from Maribor, no major incidents were reported.