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02 Nov 10

Serbia: Fears Over Future of Fruska Gora Park

Fruska Gora, one of Serbia's national parks, may turn into a hazardous waste depot, a Vojvodina environmentalist has warned.

Bojana Barlovac

"I have information that nuclear waste from Europe has already started coming to Serbia and is for now probably been kept in some of the closed mines in the country," Nikola Aleksic from the Ecological Movement in Novi Sad told Balkan Insight, explaining that it would then later be transferred to Fruska Gora.

"The government has come up with the idea to amend the Law on Environmental Protection in order to change the purpose of the mountain and earn money from it," he added.

Several other local environmental organisations, which agreed to speak only off the record, backed up Aleksic's claims.

The Serbian Ministry of Environment insists that the changes which have been made to the draft Law on Enivronmental Protection are not related to Fruska Gora.

The Serbian government in September adopted changes to the proposed law and forwarded the legislation to the parliament, where MPs are expected to vote on it in the coming weeks.

The amendments relate to the protection status of national parks – instead of one level of protection that covers all parks, a range of protection levels has been introduced. The provision which was changed in the draft law may introduce hazardous waste storage through the back door, Aleksic warns.

Fruska Gora in Vojvodina was hollowed out in WWII for the military to build hangers and tunnels, which is where Aleksic suggests the waste would be stored.

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