True transparency is more precious than gold

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True transparency is more precious than gold

Transparency International: a coalition against corruption?

Berlin,10. February 2014  –Today at 13:00 German and Romanian volunteers of the "Save Rosia Montana!" campaign will protest in front of the Berlin headquarters of ‘Transparency International. With this action, the activists want to draw attention toa controversial project of this NGO in Romania.

Since summer 2013 the Romanian government increased pressure to approve the notorious open cast mine at Rosia Montana. This is where Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining junior wants to develop Europe’s largest open cast gold and silver mine. For the past 15 years this project has sparked fierce opposition in Romania and beyond. Romaniansgenerally associate it with corruption at the highest political level. Many oppose the use of large quantities of toxic cyanide and the destruction of a unique cultural heritage dating from Roman times. The mine is also opposed due to the significant environmental destruction caused and due to the government’s and the mining company’s attempt toexpropriate the local population refusing to leave.

The open-pit mine proposal at Rosia Montana has given rise to the country’s largest opposition movement since the fall of Ceausescu. Since several years Romanian NGOs have been able to successfully halt the mine through large-scale protests and litigation activities.

In cooperation with the Romanian government Transparency International (TI) recently elaborated a mining bill, whose purpose is to approve this controversial mine. Although TI now admits to this in a transparent manner, none of the Romanian NGOs involved in the resistance against the Rosia Montana development were contacted or consulted about the draft law and TI’s involvement in the process. The Romanian government is currently promoting the bill and claims that due to the contribution of TI all previous problems have been resolved.

The action today aims to highlight that the bill elaborated with TI will serve to legitimise a far greater illegality while untrustworthy Romanian politicians who have been pushing for the mine for several years,will get away.

With today's action the activists and their banners reading slogans such as "No Selective transparency", "TI: Don’t sell your soul for gold!", "TI: Stay away from Rosia Montana!" want to urge Transparency International to disassociate themselves completely from this toxic mining bill.

"True transparency is too valuable to be sacrificed for gold! A death sentencepublished in a transparent mannerdoes not make it righteous. This however is precisely the goal of the draft law prepared by TI. It is like a death sentence for Rosia Montana! We are here today to set a clear sign that we will not accept this. TI should serve citizens and non-corrupt politicians," will comment Philipp Toebe, an activist of the "Save Rosia Montana!" campaign.

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For further information and high res. action photos,emailalburnusmaior@ngo.ro or contact Stephanie Danielle Roth at +49 (0) 15157472625.