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Serbian environmentalists reject plans for lithium mining
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Serbian environmentalists reject plans for lithium mining

Saturday’s protestors demanding that plans for lithium-mining in western Serbia be cancelled were back on the streets. They blocked key roads and attempted to block the first crossing of the border.

Traffic on the main north-south highway of the Balkan nation was stopped for more than an hours in Belgrade, the capital. There were also several roads throughout the country, including one near Serbia’s border to Bosnia.

There have been minor incidents with angry drivers trying push their way through the crowds. Witnesses said that one incident occurred in Sabac’s western town.

Environmental groups demand that the populist government of Serbia halt the possibility for lithium mining in western Serbia. Activists have promised to continue with blockades until their demands are met and Rio Tinto is “expelled from Serbia.”

Thousands participated in similar demonstrations weeks ago, forcing two laws to be repealed by the government that activists claimed were intended for speeding up the country’s mining plans.

Mirjana Podolsek, a Belgrade resident, said that this is an ecological disaster.

Janko Krizan believes that it is his duty to visit the site. He stated that Rio Tinto would not only pollute Serbia but also pollute the entire system, all of it. Rio Tinto has conducted explorations in western Serbia, but environmental groups want it to be stopped. They claim that lithium mining would destroy the environment, waterways, and farmland nearby. Serbia, a nation of 7million people, is now concerned about environmental issues. Serbia has been suffering from bad air quality, poor waste management, as well as other environmental problems accumulated over decades. Serbia must address these environmental issues if it wants to be a member of the 27-nation European Union.

(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.

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