Veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) clashed with the police on Monday morning as they protested their exclusion from efforts to raise the minimum wage.
Today, the Parliament of Kosovo failed to vote on a law that would raise the minimum wage to €250 euros a month. The opposition abandoned the plenary session, and parliament was unable to reach quorum.
Opposition parties stood with protestors who argue they haven’t been consulted about the draft law.
While this measure would increase the minimum wage by almost 50%, it does not foresee a similar increase in pensions for war veterans. This, despite the Constitution of Kosovo requiring that veterans’ pension be higher than the minimum wage.
Protestors gathered in front of Parliament in the early hours of Monday morning to protest the law. Some managed to enter its perimeter where they encountered resistance from the police.
Two officers and one protestors were injured after police officers threw tear gas at protestors, according to eyewitnesses.
In an official statement, the police denies claims that they used tear gas.
Speaking to Radio Free Europe, acting chair of the veterans’ organization, Faton Klinaku, said that “We have been ignored by the country’s institutions and we have been forced to express our dissatisfaction in protest.”
He warned that today’s protest was only the beginning, and veterans will continue to fight for their due in front of Parliament.