Protests in Serbia persist

epa05895473 Protestants hold a Serbian flag in front of Serbian parliament building in Belgrade, Serbia, 07 April 2017. Several thousand people protested because of the results of presidential elections. Protesters are denouncing the 02 April presidential election victory of Aleksandar Vucic. EPA/KOCA SULEJMANOVIC

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“Police investigators, tax officers, pro-government tabloids” have become the hammers of President Aleksandar Vucic and his populist, conservative Serbian Progressive Party. That was the testimony to the Council in Europe in November of Nebojsa Zelenovic, the mayor of Sabac, one of the few places not controlled by the governing party.

Serbia has become a live wire of contradictions running through Mr. Vucic, a former information minister for the strongman Slobodan Milosevic who rebranded himself as a moderate. He faces intense protests as he both strives for E.U. membership and celebrates President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

In an interview with The Times, he painted the protest movement as agitation against his risky plan to settle over Kosovo, and against E.U. membership. Mr. Zelenovic countered that “beneath that European surface, Vucic is a dictator.”

Last year, Borko Stefanovic, an opposition politician who speaks out about the overlap between government and organized crime, was attacked by three men and beaten viciously. He survived, and a protest movement of tens of thousands grew from early December to resist Mr. Vuvic and push pro-democratic measures.

via New York Times


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