“Mining should continue in Apuseni! Without economic development, the heritage will disappear”
The mayors of 45 localities from Apuseni Mountains, from Alba and Hunedoara Counties, as well as the NGOs representing most of the locals in Rosia Montana demand the restart of mining at Rosia Montana and oppose the inclusion of the locality on the UNESCO tentative list. This initiative would block the area’s economic development opportunities and would chase away the investments which are so needed to rescue the cultural heritage of the region.
The officials and the pro-mining NGOs stated their position in open letters to the Joint Standing Commission of the Parliament for the relation with UNESCO, following the latter’s visit to Rosia Montana on Tuesday, August 20th, together with Culture Minister Daniel-Constantin Barbu.
”The central authorities’ initiative to visit Rosia Montana is most welcome and absolutely necessary: we believe that our representatives in the Parliament and members of the Government must know the reality of our community on the ground. Tens of mayors from the area came to Rosia Montana to meet then and to tell them that the inhabitants of the whole region, through their elected representatives, place their hopes in the restart of mining and oppose the introduction of Rosia Montana on the UNESCO tentative list”, declared Eugen Furdui, mayor of Roşia Montană.
Associations Pro Rosia, Pro Dreptatea and the Association of Students in Rosia Montana, as well as the representatives of the numerous Roma community in Rosia Montana have expressed their support for mining at the meeting with the UNESCO Commission and the Minister of Culture. The pro-mining organizations regret that, despite being invited by the Commission, the opposing NGOs refused to participate to the meeting, thus refusing any dialogue that is not organized by their own rules. “The fact the opponents of mining did not participate to this meeting while they mime dialogue only when it goes on their own territory and by their own rules shows that they do not really care for the future of Rosia Montana, but for their own image gain, in a media war,” said Dr. Andrei Jurca, Chairman of Pro Rosia Montana Association. Stefan Oprisa, Vicepresident of Pro Dreptatea NGO, added: “Let’s not forget that, among those few people who claim themselves against mining, most of them have miners in their families or have been miners themselves. Hyprocrisy will not save Rosia Montana.”
The Rosia Montana community thanks the Minister of Culture and the members of the UNESCO Parliamentary Commission for the fact that, during their recent visit to Rosia Montana, the officials met the representatives of the locals and listened to their opinion. On this occasion, the pro-mining NGOs expressed their support for the continuation of mining in the area, as the only traditional, long-standing occupation, and the only one able to contribute to the economic development and to the patrimony salvation. The pro-mining NGOs underlined that the main asset of a locality is its people – and if people in Rosia Montana leave because of lack of jobs, then Rosia Montana will become a dead and deserted place.
According to the UNESCO Convention, the nomination of a locality for the tentative list should be done in collaboration with the local inhabitants and should benefit from their unanimous support, which is a prerequisite that is not fulfilled in the case of Rosia Montana. The local people consider that such a nomination would chase away the investors and would block economic development, leading to the loss of thousands of jobs which are so much needed in the county.