Nine policemen injured in anti-government protests in Montenegro

PODGORICA Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:55am EST

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PODGORICA Feb 15 (Reuters) - Nine policemen were injured in Montenegro's capital Podgorica on Saturday when rocks were thrown from a crowd of several hundred people demanding the resignation of the government, a police spokeswoman said.

"We want to live, we want to work!" protesters angry about high unemployment and the slow pace of economic reform chanted in front of the government headquarters before being dispersed with teargas. "We want them to resign!"

The demonstrators had no political backing but were responding to a call on a Facebook profile entitled "Revolution in Montenegro - everyone on the streets". The profile disappeared during the course of the day.

Montenegro is the second former Yugoslav republic to see street clashes in the past 10 days over a lack of jobs.

On Feb. 7, protesters across Bosnia set fire to government buildings and fought with riot police in the worst civil unrest there since the 1992-95 war.

Unemployment in Montenegro, a candidate for European Union membership with a population of 680,000 people, is close to 15 percent, according to official figures. Nearly one third of young people between the ages of 23 and 30 are out of work.

A recent Eurobarometer survey indicated that around 40 percent of Montenegrins see unemployment as the biggest concern.

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