The protesters are angry about a referendum law passed last month which will make it harder for people to protest against polluting projects, as well as a new expropriation law, which makes it easier for the state to acquire private land.
President Aleksandar Vucic on his Instagram profile published a picture from the village of Gornje Nedeljice where Rio Tinto have already started buying land for its future lithium project.
Vucic said once the environmental study on the project is complete, he would call a referendum to allow people to decide whether the project should go through.
“Everything we build today we are leaving to our children,” Vucic wrote on Instagram. (This story corrects figure in paragraph 8 to $2.4 billion instead of 2.4 million)
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic and Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Christina Fincher)
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