PNL President Crin Antonescu and Premier Victor Ponta had a heated exchange.
A new protest at Rosia Montana: 25 angry miners have blocked themselves underground, protesting against the possible rejection of the project. Gabriel Resources will ask for compensation of up to USD 4 billion if the Parliament rejects the project.
Rosia Montana continues to be a hot topic of debates, as Tuesday was the tenth day of protests. Furthermore, the project is stirring disputes within the USL too. Thus, PNL President Crin Antonescu stated on Tuesday evening on Realitatea TV that he “indirectly” understood that PSD’s position is that of support for the Rosia Montana project, pointing out that that would not be a problem but the Social-Democrats should make their position public. He said that a common position on the Rosia Montana issue was not discussed within USL, adding he had asked Prime Minister Victor Ponta to delay the Government’s discussing the project by a week, which he failed to do. “I did not discuss (with Ponta – editor’s note) about possible (paid) damages and things like that. I said it very clear: we had no talks within USL before the draft law was put on the Government’s agenda. I asked the Premier to delay discussing the draft by a week so that we might discuss within USL. It was not possible, it wasn’t delayed. Afterwards, I had a pretty taut discussion with the Premier, who said: Ok, each one will analyze the bill in Parliament from whichever viewpoint they want, each one votes as they want. You are aware of his declaration about his own vote”, Antonescu said at the PNL headquarters. Also yesterday, the PNL President stated that he understands that “if we do not vote for the project we will be paying 2 billion. The Prime Minister says we won’t vote for the project, and Mrs. Plumb, after pleading in favor of the project states she will vote against it. PSD has an unclear, I can’t call it two-faced, position.”
In his turn, Premier Victor Ponta stated yesterday that “the correct decision was to allow Parliament to have a debate on the Rosia Montana issue,” adding that he has respect “for the people that protest peacefully.” The Premier also stated on Tuesday that at government level all ministers were in favor of the Rosia Montana project but also that he talked with PNL President Crin Antonescu about all aspects concerning this subject, pointing out that he respects the Liberals’ “political decision.” Ponta added that in case the Rosia Montana project is rejected the negative consequence will be “the wiping of the Alba County off the economic map,” pointing out that he wants all PSD MPs to vote in full knowledge of the facts and not based on “political criteria.” Ponta also stated that there will not be a special session with PSD MPs for Rosia Montana, and the Social-Democrat MPs will vote in full knowledge of the facts after they see the project and hear those involved, Agerpres informs. “I am very preoccupied with the manner in which the message concerning this project is transmitted abroad and I want to present Romania as a country open to foreign investments. I don’t want us to be a country that sends away everybody for the simple reason that Romania lacks the financial resources with which to develop by ourselves,” the Premier added. The Premier mentioned the sum of EUR 2 bln as damages that the Gabriel Resources Company, the majority shareholder of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, could ask from Romania if the draft law approved by the government is rejected by Parliament.
At the same time, the Premier also announced the declassification of all documents concerning the Rosia Montana project from the last 14 years, documents that Minister Dan Sova will release today, and in what concerns the possible damages he pointed out that the estimate belongs to the Canadian company. “Just like the Premier said, tomorrow (today – editor’s note) I will compile a dossier that will include all documents concerning Rosia Montana since 1997, I will present it to the Premier and on Thursday we will also present the order of all these documents that concern the Rosia Montana project and the Romanian government,” Dan Sova stated for Digi24.
Yesterday Gabriel Resources announced that the company will ask for compensation of up to USD 4 billion if the Parliament rejects next week the gold mining project in Rosia Montana.
Likewise, Environment Minister Rovana Plumb stated on Tuesday after she took part in the debates within the Senate’s commission for administration, that Rosia Montana is currently “a veritable environment time bomb.” “There is a very high level of pollution coming from 18 dirt-heaps, from two quarries where gases permanently accumulate, from 14 kilometres of galleries in which there are very large concentrations of noxious substances. There is also a distance of 4 kilometres in the hydrographic basin in which acid waters have a concentration that is 100 times higher than the admitted limit. There is also an area of 235 hectares of vegetation destroyed as a result of the mining that took place until now and we have the obligation to find solutions in order for this pollution to stop,” Plumb pointed out. At the end, after the juridical commission voted against the Rosia Montana project, the administration commission did the same on the same day.
Last but not least, the Conservative MPs announced yesterday that they will not vote for the Rosia Montana project and they want the Rosia Montana mining project to be handled by a national, state-owned company.
Twenty-five miners blocked themselves underground at Rosia Montana, protesting against the fact that the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation project was rejected, while another 300 persons were protesting in the commune, asking for the start of the project. The locals want jobs and claim that this project would have offered them a stable income that would have helped them raise their children.
On the other hand, protests against the project continued too, over 200 protesters blocking Bucharest’s Elisabeta Boulevard again on Tuesday evening, on the tenth day of protests against the Rosia Montana mining project. Just like on Monday, around 8.45 PM over 200 protesters left from the University Square and occupied both lanes of the Regina Elisabeta Boulevard.