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HomeYachtDid Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Hinder Europe's EV Battery Provide?

Did Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Hinder Europe’s EV Battery Provide?


Protests in the Serbian capital of Belgrade

Protests within the Serbian capital of Belgrade
Photograph: Oliver Bunic/AFP (Getty Pictures)

Skilled tennis has a robust industrial affiliation with the car business. Many well-known gamers signal profitable multi-year offers to advertise and seem in ads for luxurious automobile manufacturers. Most notably, Roger Federer has a long-running relationship with Mercedes-Benz. The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam event winner has been partnered with the German automaker since 2008.

As luxurious manufacturers globally transition to promoting increasingly electrical fashions, it could appear dangerous professionally to do one thing to impede electrical automobile manufacturing. Properly, one in all Federer’s long-time rivals and Peugeot ambassador Novak Djokovic inserted himself right into a battle over what would have been one of many largest lithium mines in Europe. I say “what would have been” as Serbia’s authorities revoked the exploration licenses crucial to identify the lithium deposits for the mine.

Rio Tinto, a British-Australian mining large, hoped to open the Jadar lithium mine in western Serbia. The corporate anticipated to extract 64,000 tons (58,000 metric tons) of lithium carbonate per yr from the location. Rio Tinto additionally invested InoBat, a Slovakian electrical battery producer, to capitalize on growing electrical automobile manufacturing throughout the continent. A number of different firms had additionally introduced tasks in Serbia to benefit from the proposed mine.

Nonetheless, the venture has sparked widespread protests for a wide range of causes. Environmental teams are aggrieved by the widespread destruction {that a} new mine would trigger to the area’s setting. Others are offended that Serbia’s populist authorities would permit a overseas firm to use Serbia’s assets. In December of final yr, Novak Djokovic posted on social media in assist of the protests.

Whereas Djokovic’s violation of Australia’s COVID-entry guidelines and eventual deportation stole worldwide headlines, there’s much more taking place beneath the floor. The Serbian authorities’s threats in the direction of the Australian authorities’s actions appeared to be a determined and unsuccessful ploy at garnering public assist earlier than an upcoming election.

Whereas Serbia’s authorities couldn’t strain Australia into permitting Djokovic to stay within the nation and compete within the Australian Open, the license revocation is a minimal comfort victory. Serbians proceed to protest and demand {that a} moratorium on lithium mining be put into place so the choice can’t merely be reversed after the election.

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