Serbian Protesters Surround Presidential Palace as Vucic Speaks

Riot police officers stand off against protesters demonstrating at the state run TV headquarters on March 16.

Photographer: Oliver Bunic/AFP via Getty Images

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic faced down angry protesters in Belgrade as he warned that violence won’t be tolerated.

Vucic called a press conference Sunday at the presidential palace after police were
last night to restore order when demonstrators entered RTS television’s building, demanding unbiased reporting by the public broadcaster. Serbians have been protesting on weekends since early December, demanding freedom for the media, better rule of law and free and fair elections.

“You are dead wrong if you think that you can achieve political results through physical attacks,” Vucic told reporters. The government “will not allow any violent threats to anyone,” he said, adding that his political opponents want to return to power to “continue to steal.”

has been on the rise in the Western Balkans, with protesters keeping pressure on Montenegro and Albania over corruption and calling on leaders to step down.

Vucic pledged to lead Serbia into the European Union after having served as information minister during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic.

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