Tag Archives: Serbia

“Red Tape”: the Labor Crisis in Europe’s Most Unequal Country

Note from LeftEast editors: This is Part I of “Serbia’s Labor Law: a Counter-Proposal” reprinted from the author’s blog with his kind permission. I went to work in the morning and returned late in the evening. And on Sunday I had to go to work. I did not have any free time anymore. The owner of the company increased the volume of work but did not increase the number of us who are working. For every mistake, he took a part of our salaries, so I often did not get even the minimum (wage). He never paid out our hot meals, vacation and travel expenses, although we all signed that we had received them. We h ..

Serbia: State and Party-backed Violence against Members of the Housing Movement

Note from the LeftEast editors: Repression against our comrades in Serbia fighting for the right to housing is growing. Planned modifications to the Law on Enforcement and Security would expand the powers of private bayliffs and criminalize solidarity with those evicted. Also, direct violence against housing activists by the far right has intensified.  On June 6th, housing activists from Roof Over One’s Head in Serbia were beaten up. A large crowd gathered on June 11th in Novi Sad to protest the attacks. Also, On June 14th activists protested in front of the European Delegation building in Belgrade, asking for ..

What is Rotten with Serbia’s Mass Protests?

The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 was marked by a wave of mass anti-government protests in Belgrade. The direct cause for the first protest held on December 8th was the attack on the leader of the Serbian Left, Borko Stefanović, ahead of a forum of the newly formed coalition of the opposition parties, Alliance for Serbia, in the City of Kruševac. The first protest was organized by the Alliance under the banner “Stop to Bloody Shirts”. After the crowd expressed its dissatisfaction with the proposals to continue protests after the New Year break, the organization of the protest was taken over by an al ..

The New Heroes of their Class

After two privatizations, massive layoffs and two worker strikes in less than a decade, the quarry and lime plant “Ravnaja AD” bears testament to the class struggle in Serbia, serving as a vivid example to the dictatorship of capital over the lives of workers who toil for their bare existence in the country. In the winter of 2017 a picture of a woman throwing a large boulder appeared in the daily paper Danas. With her back bent over, Danka Simić was performing her daily work as a “cleaning lady,” but instead of cleaning halls and toilets she was sent to the stone quarry of the company she works for, “R ..

How Serbia was systematically destroyed – by privatization: an interview with Marija Obradović

Note from the editors: The following interview with Marija Obradović was conducted by Vladimir Sudar for the Serbian publication, Sputnik. It is published here in translation with generous permission. If remaining state-owned strategic resources are sold, it will bring about enormous economic damage. Although the oligarchs that sell them will make great material gains, the situation of the working class will get even worse, says Dr. Marija Obradović, author of a new book Hronika tranzicionog groblja (Chronicle of the Transitional Graveyard). Privatisation cannot be fair. There is no empirical evidence that any ..

The open violence of the Balkan labour reforms: an interview with Aleksandar Matković

The following interview between Petar Protić and Aleksandar Matković originally appeared in Serbo-Croatian at Al Jazeera Balkans and concerns the recent labour laws that have been carried out almost simultaneously across several Balkan countries, each bearing similar tendencies: a weakening of workers’ rights and a strengthening of the rights of employers, the increase of precarious work and employers arbitrarily assigning work times as they see fit. These labour reforms form one of the central topics of the interview. Protić: Recently the Chinese company Hesteel Serbia, which operates the Smederevo ironwork ..

The Trump Effect in the Balkans: Serbia’s third election in four years?

Serbia faces a set of regular presidential elections this year – but also the prospect of its third parliamentary election in four years. The latter possibility confirms those analyses that have posited the instability of Serbian politics in spite of the appearance of stability, following the ruling coalition winning almost half the votes cast in both previous elections. Serbia after Milošević: Between West and East From the fall of Slobodan Milošević in 2000 to the presidential elections of 2012, Serbian politics was primarily divided geopolitically. Serbia’s governments predominantly took the form of ..

LGBT rights: question of priorities

Note of the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web-portal Bilten.Org and has been translated by and republished with the consent of the author himself.  Although pronounced successful, Belgrade Pride has aroused more interest amongst politicians, than the public and the LGBT community. While politicians didn’t hesitate to express their attitude, the community mostly ignored the event, showing clearly that it is not interested in political images without real solutions. In spite of this, the message that LGBT rights absolutely are not a priority was sent. A ..

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

New hope for the Balkans, New Formations on the Left

This is the text of a speech by Pavle Ilić – a sociology student at the University of Belgrade, a member of Marks21 in Serbia, and a contributor to LeftEast – that was delivered at the Marx is Muss conference in Berlin earlier this year. Pavle was on the panel entitled New Hope on the Balkan Left, which took place on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We re-publish the speech kindly produced by Pavle as a contribution to discussions on how to build the left in the region. Dear comrades, I would like to begin my talk by thanking the organizers of Marx Is Muss 2016 for inviting me to speak at this event. I w ..