Rio Tinto’s Jadar Project, which entails the opening of a lithium mine, will not be cancelled, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said, despite “some opposition leaders demand it.”
„That project stands and won’t move. They (the former government) brought it to Serbia. We did all the people asked for, and that’s it,“ Vučić told reporters in Novi Pazar.
His statement caused an immediate reaction by the environmentalists, who said they would not stop protesting against the project.
In the meantime, the European Western Balkans (EWB) website investigated whether a pending EU resolution on batteries could affect lithium mining in western Serbia.
The project caused big protests for two weekends in a row across the country, forcing Vučić to initiate the withdrawal of the Law on Expropriation and the amendments to the Law on Referendum.
The environmentalists saw both laws as tailored to fit the Anglo-Australian company to open a lithium mine which the protesters say would irreversibly damage nature and people’s health.
Vučić’s statement on Monday confirmed the activists’ and opposition concerns that meeting the protesters’ demands was a small concession ahead of the April 2022 presidential, early general and Belgrade elections.
Immediately after Vučić’s statement, the environmentalists said they would not give up protests over the lithium mine.
(Radio Free Europe, 27.12.2012)
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