Index - Abroad - Belgrade sums up, the campaign begins with a brutal battle

Index – Abroad – Belgrade sums up, the campaign begins with a brutal battle

The Serbian government will discuss amendments to the expropriation law on Thursday. Among other things, the proposal sparked a wave of long-unseen protests that continued for hours on Saturday. Traffic immobilization Almost all over the country.

Although Finance Minister Siniša Mali claims that the law has nothing to do with Rio Tinto, which intends to open a lithium mine in western Serbia, and, like President Aleksandar Vucic, this is not entirely true.

Time is running out: After the government, the Serbian House of Representatives must pass the law the next day and the president must sign it immediately for it to come into force on December 10, the last day of a previously agreed deadline.

The outcome of the vote in the House of Representatives – In the absence of parliamentary opposition – There is no doubt.

The risks are not small. Rio Tinto is one of the largest mining giants in the world $2.4 billion It plans to invest in the opening of a lithium mine in Jadar near Belgrade, which will create three thousand jobs. What are the time zones for discovery? The company discovered Serbian stocks in 2004, and after many investigations, it will launch extraction – If he has access to the necessary land.

This will serve as the basis for amending the Expropriation Act, which will allow the state to expropriate privately owned property under an urgent procedure with a shorter deadline – if the expropriation serves a project of public interest. The owners will, of course, receive compensation, but in some cases it will be reduced.

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The government serves the interests of the foreign investor

Protesters argued that the amendment would favor Rio Tinto for access to the remaining plots of land that it had not yet been able to purchase from local residents.

An amendment to the expropriation laws and a referendum that had already passed at the end of November – the latter no longer required a 50 percent turnout for the referendum to be in effect – served as an excuse to express dissatisfaction on two consecutive weekends: November 27 and December 4. However, the protests also laid the groundwork for the parliamentary elections in April.

Roads in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and even the capital’s highway were blocked, but the protest culminated in relentless street fighting in Šabac.

There were admirers of Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party who threatened to protest the amendments with a hammer.

The seconded police officers also did not hand over the women.

Novak Đokovi’s Instagram post, who sided with environmentalists, received a lot of publicity after the December 4 protest:

The key to health is clean air, water and food. Without them, everything related to health is a waste of words

The world’s first Serbian tennis player wrote, which also reminded us that nature is so our motherthat enriches the lives of all of us.

Rio Tinto will not be licensed to operate until an Environmental Impact Assessment is completed. The Serbian government promised that local residents would decide the fate of the mine in a referendum.

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(Cover photo: Demonstration in Belgrade on December 4, 2021. Photo: Oliver Bunic/AFP)

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