Senior Serbian cleric speaks out against lithium mine

Vladika Fotije(1)

A senior Serbian Orthodox Church elder has spoken out against the opening a lithium mine in western Serbia.

Zvornik-Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzegovina) Bishop Fotije said in a sermon that the environment is in danger. “They will allegedly find some ore to be exploited but not in their lands, here in ours because it pollutes and leaves a dead sea behind. Red rivers as they call it, there is no fertility left behind it, no life and we have to defend from that brothers and sisters,” the bishop said in the sermon which was published on social networks.

“Who will defend our village, my stream, the brook that I grew up with, the fields I grew up in if not we the people living in those places,” je said and added that big companies are coming in from the whole world to buy everything. He warned that the technology they bring will pollute water and destroy flora and fauna. “That is why we Serbs should always be aware and know what to do,” the bishop added.

The only other official comments about the protests that have been taking place for the past two Saturdays across Serbia came from the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Porfirije who called the public to refrain from conflicts. People across Serbia have been blocking roads the past two Saturdays protesting the adoption of the laws on referendums and expropriation which critics claim are being introduced to accommodate the Rio Tinto company and its plans to open a lithium mine in western Serbia near the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina.