Serbia’s PM: Law on Expropriation to be changed „in line with Vucic’s order“

NEWS 07.12.2021 18:26
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ana brnabić
Source: N1

Ana Brnabic, Serbia's Prime Minister, said on Tuesday the controversial Law on Expropriation and Civil Initiative would be changed "by Thursday in line with (President Aleksandar) Vucic's order."

She added the Finance Ministry was working on those changes.

According to her, it was important to talk to the National Convention on the EU and „all others who have objections to the Law“ passed by the Parliament but not signed by Vucic.

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The Law, together with the amended Law on Referendum which Vucic had signed, triggered mass environmentalists, NGOs and ordinary people’s protests across the country over the last two Saturdays. They said the regulations were tailored to fit Rio Tinto’s planned lithium mine in western Serbia.

Vucic denied any link to Rio Tinto and promised the changes or even the return of the old form of the Law during his visit to the western village of Gornje Nedeljice on Saturday and a meeting with villagers who accepted to talk to him.

The others blocked roads as a part of the protest against the Law, refusing to meet the President.

„We hope that people would feel more secure, but also see again that the Law has nothing to do with Rio Tinto or any other project. It enables an efficient realisation of the big public capital investments, primarily in road and railway infrastructure,“ Brnabic said.

The new Law on Referendum removed the mandatory 50 percent plus one turnout for it to be valid.

Still, the opponents warned about a new provision saying that it was needed to collect 30,000 signatures to submit a civil initiative. Their verification with a notary would cost over ten thousand euros (1.2 million dinars), and even then, the Parliament was not obliged to decide on it.

The organisers said the provision eliminated people’s sovereignty and would continue with rallies until article 7 of the Law on Referendum was erased, and the whole Law was withdrawn because it also stipulated that a referendum could be called again after a year.

That, according to them, allows a regime to organise a referendum as long as it doesn’t get a wanted result.

 

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