The B92 independent news agency reports this morning that Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić called for a peaceful Pride march in Belgrade this weekend, quickly adding that he “certainly would not be attending” himself.
“I am in favor of everybody’s constitutional right to express their diversity, but it is my right not to go there. We shouldn’t go to the other extreme and ingratiate ourselves with everybody. What am I supposed to do now, become gay, so that everything’s pro-European,” Dačić said.
The prime minister noted that the pride parade would be “good for Serbia because the European Union asked for it,” but that it would be “a great pity if the violence that happened during the parade held in 2010 were to repeat.”
Dačić also holds the post of Interior Minister and is therefore directly responsible for ensuring public safety.
In 2010, Serbian riot police faced off against thousands of right-wing protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails and stun grenades to try to disrupt Belgrade Pride. More than 140 people were hurt and over 200 arrested.