Several hundred people working in Serbia’s event industries protested outside the Government main building in Belgrade on Monday, under the ‘Protest for Survival’ banner, after 380 days ban on organising weddings, corporative celebrations and other ceremonies, without any state help.
They blocked the main street near the building and caused a traffic collapse in the city’s centre.
The protesters demand direct financial aid for the most endangered industries for the period of the ban on work until they start working in total capacity and the exact date when they will be allowed to go back to work.
They suggest weddings with face masks, without buffet, with a maximum of five people per table and musicians behind the plexiglass sheets. They added it would be better than the current uncontrolled weddings in small indoor premises, which are organised en masse.
The event industry, according to its representatives, employs some 30,000 people.
One of the organisers of the protest, Nikola Janković, said that the Institute of Public Health had approved of a joint document prepared by representatives of the events industry together with doctors on 24th February, but that there has been no reaction from the relevant institutions since then.
He pointed out that venues for certain celebrations are a safer environment than “illegal” weddings held in smaller enclosed spaces, which, he claimed, are currently happening en masse.
“We cannot wait any longer, every day costs us a week’s work,” Janković said, arguing that the government’s Crisis Response Team is not strongly opposed to event industry resuming its operations.
“It’s been three weeks since the last meeting with the government officials. I am appealing to the government to grasp the severity of this problem, and to look around and see that shopping malls are working, public transport is full to the brim and that everything is working except our industry,” he added.
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