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Serbia opposition hold huge anti-government rally

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Serbia opposition hold huge anti-government rally


Demonstrators in Serbia on Saturday held the biggest anti-government rally in decades to demand early elections.

Police estimate 70,000 supporters marched through the capital of Belgrade to call on President Boris Tadic to hold a snap poll.

They said it was largely peaceful with only a handful of arrests for drunken behaviour.

Tomislav Nikolic, the leader of the main opposition Serbian Progressive Party, said Serbs were unhappy about high levels of unemployment and low wages.

“Serbia does not deserve to be tormented by its government,” he told the crowd.

Nineteen percent of Serbia’s working population are jobless.

Those in work earn an average net wage of 390 euros a month.

In January, the government hiked prices on controlled items such as oil, fuel, milk, coffee, sugar, heating and public transport, further fuelling discontent.

Nikolic’s nationalist opposition party has been rising in the polls as Serbia struggles to recover from the global economic recession amid voter anger towards Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic’s pro-European Union coalition.

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