GALLERY: Anti-fuel duty hike protests draw 1,500 ({{commentsTotal}})

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Around 1,000-1,500 people turned up on Sunday to protest the planned fuel excise duty hike, although 65,000 had protested on social media and organizers were hoping for a figure closer to 6,000.

The protest initially began as a broad-based attack on the plan, which is yet to be implemented and which could see tax on fuel increase by 10 percent each year for four years, but Sunday's culminating event was organized by the youth wing of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE).

Protesters said if tax hikes will continue, fuel prices will be higher in Estonia than in Finland by 2020. Alternatives such as tax on cars according to horsepower and curbing government running costs were offered.

Jaak Madison, a young EKRE MP, called on IRL and the Free Party to join forces to bring down the 'purple social democrat-liberal' coalition, Postimees reported.

A second protest has been registered for May 1 in Tartu with EKRE's youth wing, called “Blue Awakening”, promising more events.

PM Taavi Rõivas said fuel prices at petrol stations will increase by 5 cents per liter and the plan has been overdramatized.

The other meeting

As last year, pro-Russian protests failed to attract noticeably more people than journalists covering the event. Sunday's remembrance meeting at the former site of the Bronze Soldier statue saw only around 20 people show up.

Editor: J.M. Laats