12. November 2013 - The joint Parliamentary Commission for Rosia Montana yesterday rejected the draft bill submitted by the Government for the approval of the Rosia Montana project. 17 members voted for the rejection and 2 abstained. After a two months mandate, the Commission, contested by the hundred thousand protesters who took the streets all over the world, made full proof of its political function: to delay the vote in the plenary and to create a setting of negotiation between Romanian political leaders. Far from being a well grounded, technical and scientific report containing all constitutional flaws inherent to the Government’s draft bill – such as the envisaged expropriation of citizens from Rosia Montana – the result is a comprisal of transcripts and calls for future negotiations.
Not surprisingly, the commission chose to ignore substantial problems posed by the mining project at Rosia Montana such as the infringements of the private property regime or on the authority of court rulings. The report extensively lists some mere organizational flaws occurred in the past, otherwise signaled at that time by civil society, but makes no reference to grave violations of the country’s Constitution inherent to the Government’s draft bill. As such the disutility of this commission, denounced from the very beginning by the Save Rosia Montana campaign, has been reconfirmed by the commission’s report. It fails to treat arguments raised by legal experts and expressed by thousands of people who protested in the streets ever since the draft bill was registered.
At the end of its mandate, the Commission in charge of highlighting the benefits the Romanian state would gain from the mining project proved incapable of bringing pertinent arguments that would justify the destruction of archeological patrimony or the expropriation of citizens in favor of a private mining company. It took two months, many deals and negotiations carried even on the Parliament’s halls until the Commission and especially the ruling coalition (Social-Liberal Union) to accept the most evident reality: the largest public protests in the post-communist Romania will not vanish and can’t be manipulated to become violent. 11 weeks of perseverant street protests made proof of a powerful, creative and intelligent civil society that is immovable in its decision to oppose a political class liable to corruption acts and completely detached from the citizens’ real concerns and interests.
'This moment is extraordinary but also emblematic for our society, when civic vigilance forced feudalistic interests of the political class to realign and to face their inability to approve an illegal and destructive mining project. The prime-minister Ponta insists in promoting this catastrophic project for Romania, now talking about a new law that would create a general framework for mining activities in Romania. Such validation of the use of cyanide now endangers other communities such as Certej or Baia Mare. A new legal framework for cyanide mining in Romania is a new strategy to foster the interests of mining companies and to overcome the present legal barriers posed by norms in the field of private property protection, environmental protection or the regime of archeological heritage’, declared Eugen David.
The recent report is also evidence for the blatant failure of a draft bill that tried to “go around” all current laws in favor of a mining company. Pressured by civil society, politicians withdrew their noisy support for this despicable and blazing tactic to favor a mining company to the detriment of public interests.
“We can already anticipate that the lobbying made by the Prime-minister for the mining industry will turn to new tactics, no less harmful for the entire region of the Apuseni Mountains. Our protests continue and we will insist to ask the resignation of all those who initiated the draft bill. Recent declarations from the political leaders show clear intentions to find new means to deceive the public opinion. Their new ideas are even more graceless and dangerous, but I rest assured that people who took the streets over the last months will throw down any of their plans, because they are much more intelligent and skilful than any of the cyanide addicts in the Government”, declared Eugen David.
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