Stefanovic: Five percent of police force on strike

BELGRADE -- Five percent of Serbia's police force is on strike, the Minister of Interior, Nebojsa Stefanovic, said on Monday.

Tanjug
Tanjug

Five percent of Serbia's police force is on strike, the Minister of Interior, Nebojsa Stefanovic, said on Monday, adding that most police officers were doing their job on Sunday by securing the Pride Parade in Belgrade.

"Over the past few weeks, they have also become politicians who are telling the government and the ministry how to conduct their policy," Stefanovic said.

Only five percent of the police force have chosen to go on strike, Stefanovic said, adding that the strike is not legally defined and that no one has threatened anyone.

The minister noted that there is no money to increase salaries.

"I cannot promise higher salaries, but I want to fight to make the status better," said Stefanovic, who added that the police will get new uniforms this year.

Earlier on Monday, the officials of the unions that are on strike said that 80 to 90 percent of their working colleagues are taking part in the strike and added that statements from the Interior Ministry that allege that only five percent of union activists are on strike cannot change the actual situation on the ground.

Addressing a press conference, they said that they are pleased with the success of police security measures for Sunday's Pride Parade and requested a meeting with the interior minister.

The union representatives say that they do not seek higher salaries but want them to remain at current levels, and warned that the strike could become more radical if their demands are ignored.

Under the law on the police force, those who are on strike must ensure the minimum work process and intervene in case of security threats to citizens or property - as was the case during the Pride Parade - while a radicalisation of the strike would mean a further reduction of workload and street protests.