Head of SRI, George Maior, was also questioned yesterday: There have been attempts to hijack the protests by “eco-anarchist extremist organizations”.
Ministers Dan Sova and Robert Cazanciuc were questioned yesterday by the Rosia Montana Commission. At the hearing, Minister Dan Sova said that RMGC could file a lawsuit through an arbitration court against the Romanian state and, thus, oblige the state to issue permission to initiate the exploitation process. “It is not mandatory – it is the first time I make this piece of information public – it is not mandatory for RMGC to ask the Romanian state for compensation. Something else might happen; in my capacity as lawyer, I can tell you the investor who is refused the issuing of environmental permits or other permits could address an arbitration court such as the Arbitration Court in Vienna or in Washington in order to request that the Romanian state be obliged to issue the necessary permit to start exploitation work”, Sova stated before the Commission for Rosia Montana. He pointed out it is not far-fetched to believe the RMGC could win such a lawsuit. Sova explained that rejecting the bill draft will not determine RMGC to give up on a mining exploitation it is licensed to perform and emphasized RMGC could be granted the necessary environmental permit in court, through the Arbitration Court. The exploitation license owned by RMGC, subject to a five-year extension in 2019, does not include provisions that could benefit the Romanian state, the minister added.
In turn, Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc stated at the hearing that the Ministry under his leadership has confirmed that the bill draft is legally valid, meaning the bill does not violate any laws. He also pointed out that, in confirming the bill draft, the Ministry of Justice has issued not two, but one single notice of confirmation. “The information that was made public was a work document agreed upon by the Ministry during a consultation procedure between institutions. The Ministry of Justice issued a quite consistent response. Following this process of consulting, a draft was formulated and sent in the confirmation circuit, in which the Ministry of Justice has the last word”, Cazanciuc said. He emphasized that the Ministry of Justice is neither the Constitutional Court nor a court of law. “The Ministry of Justice cannot block the drafting or adoption of a legislative act. It was decided by the government to adopt the draft and send it to the Parliament”, Cazanciuc added. The solution of elaborating a legislative act such as a bill of law for one particular case is not new, the Minister continued, as it was used before, in the privatization of Banca Comerciala, Ford, Petrom and Electrica. “The Ministry did exactly what it was supposed to by putting the possibility of a legislative act up for debate. Consequently, the government made a decision based on the need for economic investments and a Parliamentary debate aimed at clarifying all aspects of the project”, Cazanciuc stated further.
Yesterday’s Rosia Montana Commission hearing included other public figures, apart from the two ministers. The head of SRI (the Romanian Intelligence Service) was also called in for questioning. He stated there had been attempts by “eco-anarchist extremist organizations” to hijack the protests and use them to their own benefit. According to Maior, SRI has kept an eye on actions designed to influence the decision-making process regarding Rosia Montana. Over 500 reports have been drafted from January 1999 to September 2013, during which time they were sent to over 120 persons occupying positions related to this area, the head of SRI pointed out.
Thousands of people protested in the largest towns in Romania and in London
Protests related to the mining project at Rosia Montana took place Sunday in many areas of the country and abroad. Thus, over 2,000 persons marched in the capital from Piata Universitatii to Unirii area. Over 1,200 persons protested Sunday evening in central Cluj-Napoca and several protesters flung tomatoes into a large photo portraying Minister of Culture Daniel Barby, which they had glued on a wooden frame.
Hundreds of persons marched in Alba Iulia, Campeni and Iasi to show their disapproval of the Rosia Montana mining project. Several hundred Romanians also protested Sunday in Trafalgar Square against the law adopted by the Romanian government, which allows Canadian company Gabriel Resources to open the largest ever goldmine in Rosia Montana, according to The Independent.
President Basescu says he will hold press conferences on Rosia Montana project
President Basescu on Sunday told a televised show that he will hold a series of press conferences to discuss the controversial Rosia Montana gold mining project, arguing that the people need to be correctly informed about the matter, toward which he has to be neutral.
He also said former Prime Minister Emil Boc delayed the project, although the two had frequently discussed the matter, and Boc even seemed relieved to leave office without having to say a definite yes to the project.