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Serbian Workers Begin Unblocking Danube After Deal On Unpaid Wages


An aerial view of the port of Belgrade, near Pancevo Bridge

An aerial view of the port of Belgrade, near Pancevo Bridge

BELGRADE -- Serbian shipping company workers have begun lifting a blockade of the Danube, one of Europe's main arteries, after reaching an agreement with their employer to receive unpaid salaries.

The workers began their protest late on April 11, warning that they will halt river traffic as long as their wages, in arrears for six months, were not paid by the company.

The protest was the latest in a series of strikes that has shaken Serbia just weeks ahead of general elections set for May 6.

Serbia's economy has been severely hit by the global crisis and stalled economic reforms.

Thousands of Serbs are jobless, and the unemployment rate has reached a record 23 percent, while the average monthly salary is around 300 euros ($393).

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL's Balkan Service
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