Oddly Enough

Serbian parliament stops in protest at TV tennis

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia’s parliament stopped work for two hours Thursday in protest at a decision by state television (RTS) to broadcast a tennis match instead of the latest episode of the legislative session.

Serbia’s tennis players have been very successful of late, and Thursday RTS aired the Australian Open semifinal between Andy Roddick and Roger Federer, even though Serbia’s defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic had exited in the previous round.

The decision prompted the heads of the main parties, used to having their daily deliberations broadcast live, to stop work for the third time since the start of the tournament until television coverage resumed.

Serbia’s parliament is notoriously slow-moving because of filibustering, and has fallen months behind schedule in adopting laws designed to speed up its European Union accession bid.

State television earns money from paid commercials during tennis matches, but not during parliamentary debates.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Adam Tanner and Nick Vinocur