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Serbs Protest Against Pension Cuts

Several hundred pensioners gather at a protest organized by the Association of Trade Unions of Retirees in Serbia and the Union of Pensioners of Serbia in Belgrade on October 30.

Several hundred pensioners have rallied in the center of the Serbian capital to protest against pension cuts and low living standards.

After the gathering on Belgrade's Nikola Pasic Square on October 30, the demonstrators marched to the Constitutional Court.

Similar protests were held in several other Serbian cities.

In February 2015, the government of then-Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic signed a three-year loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after Belgrade committed to drastic measures to cut its debt and budget deficit.

To secure the 1.2 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) loan agreement, the government in late 2014 lowered public-sector wages and pensions.

Serbia's pensioners are demanding that the current government of Prime Minister Ana Brnabic refund lost pension payouts and reintroduce yearly pension adjustment, saying their wages have fallen by 25 percent due to the rising cost of living.

They are also calling on the Constitutional Court to consider a request to review the constitutionality of the pension cuts that was submitted three years ago.

If the court fails to consider the case, the pensioners plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.