“The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, has no authority to decide on the Jadar project and the opening of the lithium mine near Loznica, planned by the Rio Tinto Company,” says the coordinator at the Coalition for Sustainable Mining Serbia (KORS), Zvezdan Kalmar.
“The President of Serbia cannot decide on the Jadar project because he does not have this kind of authority according to the Constitution, but the Government of Serbia, the Parliament and the people can decide on this,” Kalmar said.
He said that the representatives of the association ‘Let’s protect Jadar and Radjevina’, whose members mostly live in the villages around Loznica, did not want to talk to Vučić in Gornje Nedeljice on 4 December about the problems connected with the opening of the lithium and boron mine because they are explicitly opposed to it due to possible environmental damage, not only to that area, but to the entire country.
Kalmar said that the members of the ‘Ne damo Jadar’ association were instead present at the meeting with Vučić, despite having said they would not go, and they only demand that the landfill be removed from their area and “moved to another location”. “The members of the ‘Ne damo Jadar’ association mainly sold their land to Rio Tinto because they were unaware of the dangers of the mine opening, and over the past 17 years. they have allowed 540 wells to be drilled in the Jadar location,” Kalmar pointed out.
He added that the members of that association are mostly voters of the Serbian Progressive Party, which have even considered sending their children to study at the Faculty of Mining in the hope that they will get a job once the mine opens. According to Kalmar, the environment will be in danger wherever the mine is opened.
Kalmar said it is not true that the expropriation bill, as the government claims, “has nothing to do with the Jadar project and the Rio Tinto mine”. “Both the old and the new expropriation law state that expropriation can be carried out because of mining projects and the new proposal is that the decision to expropriate is made after an urgent procedure,” he added.
Vučić’s promises to the locals from the villages around Loznica that the government will build new roads, power lines, sports halls and barricades to prevent flooding of the Jadar River here, are just part of the election campaign, Kalmar says.
This post is also available in: Italiano