The European human rights court dismissed Belgrade’s appeal and confirmed that Serbia must pay overdue wages to veterans of the 1990s conflicts.Belgrade must now spend millions of euro on satisfying the ex-servicemen’s claims.
The European rights court initially ruled in favour of the war veterans in July 2012 but Belgrade filed an appeal, which Strasbourg rejected on Monday.
The decision affects war veterans from seven municipalities from south Serbia who appealed to the court after the government refused to pay their overdue wages in 2008.
Dusan Nikolic, president of Association of Serbian Soldiers, which filed the lawsuit, said that about 100,000 war veterans will benefit from Strasbourg’s decision.
The association plans to seek at least 240,000 dinars (2,150 euro) per combatant from the government.
“We’ll discuss how we could be paid and in what time schedule with the representatives of the government,” Nikolic told news agency Tanjug on Tuesday.
The exact number of war veterans in Serbia is unknown. The defence ministry says around 500,000 people can be classified as veterans, but some veterans’ groups say that the total exceeds 700,000.