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Broken rivers: the impacts of European-financed small hydropower plants on pristine Balkan landscapes

The Balkans region is a European refuge of clean and wild rivers and lakes. But during the last fifteen years it has been under increased pressure from plans to build thousands of hydropower plants. 1 While most of the plans have not yet been realised, many of the plants built have been supported by European public money with banks such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and European Investment Bank taking the lead. Hundreds of millions of euros of public money have been poured into hydropower infrastructure in the region.