Drivers in several Serbian cities stopped their cars on busy locations during the afternoon rush hour in a protest over soaring fuel prices.
Friday’s protests in the capital city of Belgrade and other cities were organized through social networks. It halted traffic for about an hour on a hot and sunny afternoon, forcing some people to walk home from work.
In Belgrade, people could be seen crossing the bridges on foot alongside kilometers-long lines of cars. More over there were fights, even one robbery was noted. One man complained about traffic jams and in a moment he was jumped by three men who beat him up and steal his bag. Horrible.
President words on this incident
He described the beating of a citizen during the blockade of the Zrenjanin Road in Borca as a brutal act of violence of the kind that has not been seen in Serbia in the last ten years. “It’s sad that some people want to hide it and present it as an accident. What accident? The man was brutally beaten because he asked (protesters) ‘why are you doing this’. These people prevented the freedom of movement guaranteed by the Constitution,” Vucic said.
According to him, two out of the three men who were arrested for assaulting the citizen in question, but also for stealing his bag, have previous criminal records.
Streets in two other large cities, Novi Sad and Nis, were also jammed, as were several country roads. It was not clear how many drivers took part in the protest, but thousands of cars, trucks and public transportation vehicles were stuck in the resulting back-up.
Drivers are angry that fuel prices in crisis-ridden Serbia have reached some 1.4 euros per liter ($1.7), with the state collecting more than 50 percent in taxes. The government has blamed the hikes on global markets, since Serbia imports most of its oil.
Last month, crude oil prices rose to 3 1/2-year highs following U.S. President Trump’s announcement that it was pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
In Serbia, 95-octane petrol costs 152 dinars per litre (1.62 dollars), while quality diesel is 167 dinars. Those prices are the most expensive in the region – AMSS
The average salary in Serbia is about 420 euros.
In the region, fuel is considerably cheaper, which is another reason for protest but does not justify rage and harm to others.
Protests lasted for five days, yesterday they failed to occupy masses and today, as announced they will not be any we hope.
Fuel prices in region/avarge salary: (EURO)
- Austria 1,3 euro – avarge salary 3.800 euro
- BIH 1,18 – 450
- Montenegro 1,4 – 512
- Bulgaria 1,15 – 560
- Croatia 1,42 – 825
- Macedonia 1,19 – 350
- Slovenia 1,36 – 1.062
- Hungary 1,26 – 730
- Romania 1,2 – 520
- Serbia 1,4 – 430
We understand the reasons of the protest but they are preformed in a terrible way. First a big damage was done on other people, some of them had a problems with work, some of them rush for medical reasons, and there are a lot of kids who had waited for their parents to pick them up from school. Also there were many news about emergency vehicles who couldn’t get on the right point because of them.
How did the protest start?
It all started on social media with the hashtag #nestalomigoriva and it was on social media that the protesters decided to assemble and start blocking the roads.
The protestors stopped cars at the agreed time at a designated location, claiming they were “out of fuel”, and thus stopping the traffic. The traffic on the Mladenovac-Belgrade road was interrupted almost the entire day.