POLITICS

Battle for Rosia Montana project starts from scratch

The Government’s draft law on Rosia Montana gold mining project was rejected late on Monday by the Parliament’s special committee. RMGC representatives are waiting for the adoption of the legislative framework in order for the project to kick off in 2014.

The Parliament’s special committee on Rosia Montana rejected the Government’s draft law on the Rosia Montana gold mining project by 17 votes “for” and two abstentions. The committee’s vote was not a surprise, as the PNL leader Crin Antonescu had announced after USL’s meeting early on Morning that the draft law was to be rejected.
Darius Valcov (PSD), the chairman of the Parliament’s special committee on Rosia Montana, said that the problems raised in the report are widely presented and the ministries should come up with answers to these issues. “I believe we should be proud of this report. We are certainly not disappointed (…) The debate was necessary. I thank the Government for having put this sensitive topic up for public debate, I don’t know if anybody else would have had the courage,” Mediafax quoted Valcov as saying. He also said that the Parliament alongside the Government should draw up as soon as possible a new draft law covering a framework as broad as possible as regards these exploitations. Valcov pointed out that the Report will be at the Government’s and Justice Ministry’s disposal, “we hope these bodies will examine it thoroughly and send it to the Prosecution’s Office”: “If they discover some aspects that need to be carefully examined, they are free to do as they please. The report is a notification in itself, we make no separate notifications.” “The Commission draws attention to possible violations of the law in force during the implementation of the Rosia Montana gold mining project. As a result, the Commission plant to submit this report to the competent authorities in order to insure the full legality of the Rosia Montana project and the investigation of alleged illegal activities, if it’s the case,” according to the conclusions of the report.
In his turn, UDMR Deputy Attila Korodi said, while explaining UDMR’s negative vote, that right from the beginning, the Union has been against the Government’s draft law and the activity of the Rosia Montana commission. He admitted that the hearings conducted by the commission were relevant, also saying that it is the responsibility of all the institutions of the Romanian state to analyze all the information revealed during hearings, in reports or verbatim records and provide a satisfying solution.
On the other hand, the representatives of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) said the Commission’s report is professional and comprehensive. They also praised its conclusion, calling for the rapid adoption of the general legislative framework in order for the project to kick off in the first part of 2014. “We appreciate the Commission’s conclusion recommending the adoption of measures boosting the implementation of such large-scale mining projects,” RMGC said yesterday in a press release. RMGC hopes the new legislative framework shall allow the development of Romania’s mining industry and the increase of the number of investors.
Also yesterday, RMGC announced they would sue the former director general of Romania’s Geological Institute (IGR) for “his false and slanderous remarks” made during the hearing conducted by Parliament’s special committee on Rosia Montana. “The company firmly rejects the slanderous allegations that harmed the right to reputation and the right to one’s own image, regarding the falsification of the maps of the Corna Valley basin. These allegations are totally baseless and slanderous. The civic compensation demanded are absolutely symbolic, RON 100,” the company’s release says. The Commission’s report formulated after the vote against the Government’s draft law says the statements of Stefan Marincera, heard in his official capacity as IGR director general at that time, are “utterly serious and they must be investigated by competent judicial bodies.”

Kelemen in possession of Rosia Montana report, Basescu says
President Traian Basescu told B1TV late on Monday that he found out about a “famous” report on Rosia Montana that came into the possession of former culture minister Kelemen Hunor (UDMR). Kelemen Hunor left the Government without presenting this document to the Cabinet, and this is not fair, according to the President. Basescu made this remark in the context of criticism leveled at Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
In a press conference delivered on September 23 in Bucharest, the representatives of Pro Patrimonio accused the Ministry of Culture of blocking the inclusion of the Rosia Montana area on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and they also denounced the authorities’ refusal to make public the archaeological report on the Carnic Mountains conducted by British professors. On Sept. 24, Kelemen Hunor said the report on historical vestige drawn up three years ago is in his possession, and not at the ministry. The Rosia Montana area hosts the largest complex of underground gold mines from the Roman period, and it is eligible fort inclusion on the World Heritage List, reveals the report drawn up in 2010 by archaeology professors at the Oxford and Leicester universities.

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