The Minister of Environment, Waters and Forestry, Gratiela Gavrilescu, on Friday stated in Suceava that she took notice of the suspicions signaled by the media and by the representatives of the civil society referring to Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer and that she will also notify the General Prosecutor’s Office, if the alleged illegalities are confirmed.
‘It is normal that we take notice every time when such suspicions are signaled to us. And we will continue to do that every time. We will always seek to find out if suspicions do confirm. We will check on the activity of the Austrian company, but also on the activity of companies that supply the wood. There can be no leniency for those who break the law. If we confirm illegalities were committed, I’m saying it clearly, we will notify, after we make the report, the Prosecutor’s Office, the first prosecutor and all the relevant state institutions,’ said Gavrilescu quoted by Agerpres.
Moreover, the Minister said that the Ministry has also recently initiated, through the Environmental Guard, an ample control mission on all the wood processing companies making PAL and MDF panels, as well as on those producing and using formaldehyde.
The name of the Holzindustrie Schweighofer Romania company was first mentioned in end-April by an NGO headquartered in Washington D.C. and London in a video suggesting that the managers of this company knowingly accept and even reward through a bonus system the wood that is being illegally cut from the forests.
The verification measures announced by the Ministry come in the context of protest actions having been announced for this Saturday in several localities in Romania and also abroad directed against the abusive cutting of forests.
According to the Minister, the protest rallies are basically meant to support the new Forestry Code to be adopted soon by Parliament, in which illegal cutting of forests is severely punished. The Minister of Environment showed solidarity with the protesters on Saturday, specifying that the illegal cutting of forests is ‘a national problem.’