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Serbia, Demostat research on Rio Tinto – the political significance of environmental issues

Information about the Rio Tinto project creates confusion that will certainly be reflected in a possible referendum… This is the conclusion from the presentation of the results of Demostat’s research – “Serbia, Rio Tinto and Ecology”.

“Hello, good afternoon, should Rio Tinto be given permission to open a lithium mine in Serbia?”

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Yes – 59 percent of citizens said in the Demostat survey. But – under certain conditions.

“If some institutions and some people confirm the existence of appropriate standards for a safe environment, even more than half said that they would do it if the profession and science said that opening a mine was safe”, says Srećko Mihailović, a leading researcher at Demostat.

And even then, or when the president or some environmental activist would say that, 29 percent of citizens think that Rio Tinto mining should not be given a permit.

“And these are the important findings that indicate that in a possible referendum, citizens would vote ‘yes’, if the authorities they trust confirm that the opening of the mine and the production of the desired products is safe for the environment”, says Mihailović.

Environmental issues in Serbia are finally gaining political significance, points out Darko Nadić, a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences. This, among other things, has been witnessed in recent years by numerous protests, such as the last one in Loznica, against Rio Tinto. Nadić, however, points out that environmental movements do not have special results in Serbia.

“Composed from the hill, from the bottom, and above all ad hoc, from problem to problem, and if they cannot solve a problem, the environmental movement mostly disappears and mostly has a political connotation”, says Nadić.

Therefore, as one of the key issues for the relationship between ecology and politics in Serbia at this time, the program director of Demostat, Zoran Panović, considers…

“How to extract environmental topics from our only division in Serbia, and that is” for “and” against “Vučić”.

Source: N1 info

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