Unions to govt.: Annul price hikes, or face mass protests
Alliance of Autonomous Unions of Serbia leader Ljubisav Orbović on Tuesday "gave the government 15 to 20 days to bring back previous prices of basic foods".Source: Tanjug
Unless the government complies, the organization will call on the citizens to take part in mass protests, he announced.
"The VAT rate increase did not include basic foods, therefore hikes in their prices that are happening these days are not justified. We will give the government some 15, 20 days to return the prices to the September 1 level, and unless they do so, we will call people to join us in mass protests in all Serbian cities," Orbović said.
He also listed the significant price increases in September, that included milk and dairy products, cooking oil, flour, pastries, eggs, fruit, juices, chemical and energy products, and transportation fares.
"Most producers increased their prices by 15 to as much as 30 percent year-on-year, while in some cases the figure is 100 percent," Orbović noted.
Trade Minister Rasim Ljajić addressed the issue and concurred that some producers used the VAT rate decision as an excuse to hike prices, and announced that the government would "not sit idly" faced with this challenge.
Consumer associations also believe there was no economic justification for the latest wave of price increases, and cite abuses of monopoly positions as the real reason behind them.