About 400 Slavonski Brod residents protested on Sunday against air pollution which this month exceeded limits allowed on the annual level, criticising institutions for nor dealing with the problem caused by the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, the town in Bosnia and Herzegovina across the Sava river.

The protest was organised by an informal citizens' initiative called "We want clean air in Slavonski Brod," which said one could no longer remain passive about the air pollution issue because, after eight years, nothing had been done to reduce the pollution.

"Slavonski Brod recently had the most polluted air of all the cities in the world," group member Sandra Buljan said. "All governments and institutions have only made promises, without concrete measures to the benefit of citizens. For us, this is the first step towards our goal," she said, announcing that another protest would be held soon.

"Without even one serious step regarding the refinery, we can hardly expect the situation to change. The residents of Slavonski Brod expect the government, the ministries and others to become more involved and begin negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now is the chance, Bosnia and Herzegovina is in pre-accession negotiations for EU entry. This isn't blackmail. This is a fight for health, a fight for life," said mayor Mirko Duspara.

Air quality analyses in Slavonski Brod so far have shown that the main polluter is the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod.

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