Small businesses’ owners protest in Belgrade; State asks for demands in writing

Source: Nova.rs/Nemanja Jovanović

The protest of several hundred small businesses’ owners outside Serbia’s Finance Ministry on Wednesday, demanding talks with the Government officials and Finance Minister to help them overcome problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ended without a meeting with the officials who told them to submit the requests in writing.

The traffic in the central Admiral Guépratt street was at a halt and demonstrators wore face masks until 3 pm when it added as planned but without the reactions, they requested from the authorities.

Instead, the official message was – submit the demands in writing.

During the protest, the demonstrators held banners reading: ‘Against criminal robbery system,’ ‘This is workers’ rally, without help, we are left in the street,’ Tourist agencies dying,’ ‘Domestic economy is robbed,’ ‘Minister is not economy’s boss,’ and alike, nova.rs journalist reported.

Milena Almond, from the organisation for the of entrepreneurs and private business people in Serbia, said that by January 2021, 200,000 people would lose jobs if the state did not react.

“Foreign investors receive huge subsidies, while small local business, like bakeries, are punished for the smallest violations,” she said.

The demonstrators said if they were not satisfied with the official reaction, they were ready for further activities, without specifying what they had in mind.