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Serbian retirees demand pension hikes after austerity cuts

October 26, 2017

Serbian pensioners hold up banners reading, from right to left: ''Give back and increase (pensions)'', ''Thieves are just fine, what about us?'', ''Courts rule as told'', ''Stop lying!'' and ''Respect the law, not a deal'' during a protest, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Several hundred pensioners protested in Belgrade against austerity measures that included pension cuts. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Several hundred Serbian pensioners have rallied in Belgrade to demand that the government increase pensions which were reduced as part of austerity measures agreed with the International Monetary Fund.

The pensioners gathered Thursday in a central square carrying banners such as “Stop lying!” or “Thieves are doing just fine, what about us?”

The Serbian government has cut pensions as part of a package designed to curb public spending as the country seeks to stabilize its economy and attract foreign investment.

Authorities recently promised to allow a rise in pensions, but the pensioners have insisted that this is not enough and the initial cuts were illegal. One pensioner, Dima Velickovic, insisted that “only pensioners have been left deprived.”

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