Coronavirus: Serbs protest against government's handling of pandemic
Violent demonstrations shake Belgrade as Covid-19 cases rise again across Serbia
Protests have spread across Serbia against the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak as infections surge and lockdown measures are reintroduced.
President Aleksandar Vucic claimed that “criminal hooligans” were behind the demonstrations that injured 10 policeman on Wednesday, according to the government.
The interior minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic, said one man had fractured both his legs as protesters threw rocks and police were forced to use teargas in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital.
The protests began on Tuesday after Mr Vucic said a curfew would be brought back into force, although this order has since been withdrawn.
On Thursday, gatherings of more than 10 people were banned as officials feared the health system could be threatened.
Critics claim the authorities have underreported the number of deaths while hastily lifting almost all virus restrictions before a national election in late June. Serbia has reported more than 17,000 infections and 340 deaths among a population of seven million.
"I have promised you that we will be able to protect peace and stability despite the violent attacks by criminal hooligans, which shock us all," Mr Vucic said as he travelled to France to meet President Emmanuel Macron.
On Thursday, Hungary’s government said it was reviewing rules on travel to neighbouring countries as Covid-19 cases rose in Serbia, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Updated: July 9, 2020 06:10 PM