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The Government Puts Cyanide Back Into the Romanian Parliament

The Government is again planning the destruction of Rosia Montana and advances a new law proposal to boost cyanide mining in Romania.

The Government is again planning the destruction of Rosia Montana and advances a new law proposal to boost cyanide mining in Romania. The law proposal registered under no 304/2013[1] wishes to modify the current mining law no.85/2003 in the sense that all mining activities by private companies are considered of public utility. The law proposal received positive notifications and amendments from various Commissions and can be anytime registered for a vote in the Senate’s plenary. The Chambers of Deputies is the decisional chamber. As such decision-makers are again attempting to foster interests of private companies by the old tactic of introducing amendments to existing laws, in spite of previous declarations that after the rejection of the special law for Rosia Montana, a whole new legal framework shall be created for mining.

The special law for Rosia Montana proposed in August this year by Dan Sova and backed by Victor has been vehemently criticized by hundred thousand citizens who took the streets in protest, as well as by numerous experts from Romania and abroad. Given the pressure from civil society, the special law was rejected by the Senate. Not waiting for the final vote on it in the Chambers of Deputies, the Government produced yet another plan to forcefully and ruthlessly approve cyanide-based mining projects in Romania. As such it recycled from slide valves various provisions from the special law on Rosia Montana or from various law proposals rejected in the past and turned all of them into amendments that make a new la proposal, more harmful that all previous ones.

The law proposal does not omit to stipulate private companies granted exploration or exploitation licenses enjoy the right to expropriate any land or household from their mining perimeter. The modifications brought to the mining law also stipulate that the list of mineral resources includes any kind of mineral, such as peat coal, construction rock, ornamental rocks, mineral waters, sediments and spring waters. The grave infringements on human rights, on the Constitution and on the principles of a state-of-law are apparently justified by the general provision that mining projects are of overriding public interest.

These amendments only demonstrate that the current political class only wishes to please the mining company by proposing approval solutions and subordinating the Parliament’s activity to the interests of the mining industry. These amendments that will be discussed in the next weeks show the Government’s desperation by pressing the Parliament to work also during the holidays, for the profits of foreign mining companies. Moreover, the strategy of avoiding governmental responsibility for approving the Rosia Montanta project is continued by a new policy of amendments. After tens of thousands of people demanded in the streets the initiators’ of this special law resignation, this initiative is signed by a single Secretary General of the Government.

“Authorities speak much, do little and forget quickly. It seems that the clear refusal by public opinion of the proposed special law for Rosia Montana did not get understood by politicians, it was obvious that Romanians do not want cyanide. There are some people in the government that even when breathing, the do so in the interest of this Canadian company. It simply does not cross their mind to respect the will of their own citizens to include Rosia Montana in UNESCO or to ban cyanide in mining as the European Parliament voted. They just crave for the approval of this extremely destructive project and around which many allegations of corruption are swarming”, said Eugen David, president of Alburnus Maior.

‘The new amendments create a legal precedent that oligarchic groups only dream about: declaring a deeply destructive economic activity as a project of overriding public utility. The Government puts its coalition’s profit above the public interest, allowing Romania to be among nations completely subordinated to economic pressure groups’, declared Stefania Simon, Alburnus Maior Legal Counselor.

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