BELGRADE – About 1,000 Serbian army soldiers and supporters have taken to the streets of Belgrade to demonstrate against low wages and poor working conditions in Serbia’s military.
The demonstration in front of Serbia’s Defense Ministry on November 27 was the first-ever public protest of its kind.
The protesters also delivered a letter to the office of President Tomislav Nikolic, who is the supreme commander of the country’s armed forces, calling on him to “protect” them.
The state-run Tanjug news agency reported that the protest was organized by the military trade union and backed by their police counterparts.
Union leader Novica Antic told the rally that “if a Serbian soldier cannot feed his family… it is a problem.”
The union says more than three-quarters of the army’s employees have monthly wages lower than Serbia’s national average, which is about $389.
Antic said about 1,000 people left the armed forces in 2016 because of low salaries and poor working conditions.