Mokra Gora: National Park or Nickel Ore?

Mokra Gora is a National Serbian Natural Park, established at the end of 2005. The park has an area of ​​about 10.8 thousand hectares at the disposal of the park near the border of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ethno-village Drvengrad, which means the Wooden City, was built here, which has become one of the most popular tourist destinations. The ski center located in the park adds even more attractiveness. Over the past years, the Serbian government has been trying to start mining nickel ore in the park. The last victim of these attempts was Emir Kusturica, who has been heading a private enterprise for its management since the founding of the park — Lotika LLC..

Emir Kusturica is a renowned filmmaker who has been awarded, among other things, two Palms of Gold in Cannes. The films “Black cat, white cat”, “Life is like a miracle”, “Time of the Gypsies” brought him world fame. In addition, Kusturica is a member of the rock group The No Smoking Orchestra. Largely thanks to his merits, the national park gained its fame, and it was he who resisted attempts to turn a tourist site into an industrial zone. For ten years, according to the director, there have been many false accusations, various intrigues and outright slander. Recently, government auditors named Emir Kusturica as a suspect in the misuse of public funds. Serbian media, added Kusturica, unleashed a real persecution against him on this basis..

Kusturica himself is perplexed, since there is no evidence of misappropriation of funds. There are only violations of bureaucratic procedures. The director will explain that he is blamed for a single purchase of building materials for a total of about 8 thousand euros, while the procurement schedule requires that this be done throughout the year with 15 small checks. Or, for example, if the inventory of property was carried out without the participation of the inventory commission, and this is exactly what the guidelines require.

Following these accusations, and most importantly after years of fruitless struggle to preserve the park, filmmaker Emir Kusturica resigned from government posts following these financial audits in protest of government policies. Apparently, the Serbian government puts economic interests above the ecological situation in the region. And even world-famous personalities are unable to resist this.

Read also: