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March 27, 2023

Special commission visits Rosia Montana

Thirteen of the nineteen MPs from the joint Special Commission for Rosia Montana visited the area yesterday morning. They were greeted by protesters at the entrance into the Catalina-Monulesti gallery.

The 13 MPs from the joint Special Commission for Rosia Montana, led by Senator Darius Valcov, visited the pilot acid water treatment station yesterday, as well as the protected areas Tau Gauri and Carpeni and several quarries. Following the schedule, the Commission members were shown the decantation pond and the plant, and were then taken to several protected areas. At the quarry in Tau Gauri, they requested information on the number of visitors, after having been informed on the discoveries made and the way in which they had been put forward. In addition, the MPs met with representatives of “Viitorul Mineritului” Labor Union and local pro-mining NGOs. Upon entering the Catalina-Monulesti gallery, approximately 300 Rosia Montana inhabitants and miners in favor of mining greeted the Special Commission members with protests. They chanted: “We want mining”, “We’re tired of waiting”, “Romania, forget not, mining is your shot”, “We want to work, not beg”, while displaying banners bearing messages such as “Mining is our daily bread”.
As a matter of fact, the police officers present at Rosia Montana had to intervene yesterday afternoon in order to evacuate from the crowd two young German men who tried to reach the area of Catalina-Monulesti for getting information about the project in Rosia Montana, being roughed up by the protesters in the area.
Also, MP Remus Cernea (photo), who tried to join the discussion of the lawmakers with the miners in Rosia Montana, was pushed and booed by people protesting in the village, being required the intervention of policemen for his removal from the crowd.
When they return to Bucharest today, the Commission members will have several discussions and consultations scheduled in the Parliament with representatives of NGOs, associations who work in the field and the organizers responsible for the protests in Piata Universitatii. PNL Chairman Crin Antonescu stated Tuesday for RTV, in relation to the protesters in Piata Universitatii, that he would not go to Piata Universitatii to talk to anti-Rosia Montana protesters, because such a dialogue can also be had “institutionally”.
PDL, UDMR reactions
Former Premier Emil Boc considers that the visit paid to Rosia Montana by the 13 members of the special parliamentary commission was “a dime-a-dozen show” because they expressed their opinion in favour of the project, adding that Premier Ponta was in Finland “only to hear that Santa Claus is using cyanide.” He added that the MPs’ visit to Rosia Montana is “a masquerade” that will serve to further anger those that are against the project.
In his turn, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor considers that the visit paid by the members of the special parliamentary commission is not attaining its goal, being “a media show that will offer notoriety but will not solve the problem,” stating that the draft law has several “huge” problems.
Culture Minister to vote alongside PNL
Culture Minister Daniel Barbu stated for Digi24 that in Parliament he will vote on the draft law that concerns the Rosia Montana mining project like his party will. The Culture Minister explained that all PNL colleagues have agreed that the Rosia Montana draft should not be voted, the decision placing him in an embarrassing position: “I didn’t find destroyed monuments. The entire protected area of the Rosia Montana urban center will be restored. (…) In Parliament I will vote alongside my party, it’s an embarrassing situation, I’m not comfortable with it,” the minister stated. Daniel Barbu said that the main argument that determined him to offer the permit is the existence of 900 meters of Roman mine galleries. “Similar discoveries were made in the 1920s in southern Spain. I’m very concerned that if the state does not take the decision to become an investor and does not offer billions of Euros the Rosia Montana mine galleries will be flooded.”
Intense foreign lobby made for or against the gold mining project, SIE head says
The Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Director Teodor Melescanu said on Tuesday he had informed the Commission for the control of the Service activity that there had been intense lobbying for or against a gold mining project at Rosia Montana made by “foreign governments, entities and news media”.
“I informed (the Commission members) about the activities we conducted in line with the law on the Rosia Montana issue, underscoring that according to Law no. 51/1991, the Foreign Intelligence Service’s competence relating the security is strictly related to collecting the information from the outside with respect to the problems Romania might face. They put a range of questions on concrete issues. We showed what we had done, while very clearly underscoring that we act to collect data on a topic or another either on direct request or if set in the national intelligence programme. I told the Commission members that we submitted several dozen reports during 2002-2013 on the issue of Gold Corporation, of the Rosia Montana mining, either as distinct information or as part of reports relating the mineral resources of Romania,” the Service chief said, according to Agerpres.

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