Democracy for Rosia Montana now!

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Democracy for Rosia Montana now!

Roșia Montană deserves a transparent and democratic vote

13. September 2013 - The Alburnus Maior NGO condemns the ad infinitum postponement of the Senate's vote of the special law and the decision-makers lack of responsibility in assuming responsibility for the Rosia Montana mine proposal. The postponement was announced yesterday by Mr. Crin Antonescu on behalf of Romania's USL coalition government.

The Save Rosia Montana movement insists that instead of a postponement, the special law entitled 'Afferent measures for the exploitation of the Rosia Montana gold/silver perimeter and for the stimulation and facilitation of mining activities in Romania' (1) should as previously planned, be submitted to plenary and be rejected by the country's deputies as it violates the constitution and other vital legislation. As a result of this postponement, protests will continue all over Romania and abroad on 15th September 2013 (2).

The announcement of the postponement was made yesterday on September 12th by Crin Antonescu the co-president of Romania's current USL coalition government (3) and a presidential candidate for the country's next elections. The withdrawal of the special bill's urgent procedure points to a blatant denial of the demands formulated and supported by the tens of thousands of protestors that have been taking the streets since 1st September. Mr. Crin Antonescu's decision to instead initiate a mixed parliamentary commission consisting of parliamentarians from Romania's upper and lower House does, according to the country's relevant laws, not have a deadline for deliberations and so threatens an ad inifinitum postponement of a plenary vote over the special bill. It is evident that Romania's decision makers who are currently preparing for upcoming elections so want to evade any responsibility via the mixed parliamentary commission.

Regardless of the way and means used by decision makers to evade any responsibility, it is worth highlighting why in light of the public opinion that firmly supports the protests to Save Rosia Montana, no one wants to assume responsibility over the proposed bill. It is a dangerous precedent for Romania as it would concede its sovereignty to a foreign company registered in a tax haven where it enjoys immunity. This has been confirmed by Crin Antonescu when he commented yesterday that Romania's “prime minister very much wants this mine project, but he doesn't want to assume responsibility. This is why he is sending the special bill to a mixed commission for a secret vote". (4)

The special law whose scope is to declare the Rosia Montana mine as one of national interest includes provisions that violate the country's constitution. It also violates the principle of the separation of powers, human rights and it violates the judicature's sovereignty. If the special bill is approved, the Rosia Montana project owner, will be able to directly expropriate owners of any construction or land and is freed from having to obtain any of the still outstanding permits.

“Via the ping-pong declarations made between Antonescu and Ponta I can clearly see what they are really getting at. Claims that Canada will obtain compensation payments in billion dollar amounts over any loss of investments is something that only fear-mongers such as irresponsible politicians and Mr Henry, the CEO of the mining company want us to believe in. They want to appease frustrated shareholders while scaring those who are faced with the mine's true cost. For only 634 jobs, I for one, would not try to impose a mine with such a devastating impact for Romania. Instead I would listen to the tens of thousands of protestors who are holding banners saying that they are fed-up with all the lies and the propaganda that insults their intelligence,” comments Eugen David, the president of Alburnus Maior.

“Officially we are a democracy. This means that instead of mixed commission meetings behind closed doors we want a transparent vote and the rejection of the special bill in plenary. Our demands, on which we will continue to insist, remain as important and relevant as ever.This coming sunday we will again take the streets to demand our elected representatives to assume their mandate and responsibilities with which we entrusted them,” declared Călin Caproș, Alburnus Maior's vice-president.

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