When nature and economics collide

This is more than a tale from Dracula’s homeland, Transylvania; it is a non-fictional report from the country’s heart, taking into account the geographical perspective and also the Romanians feelings towards this issue.  A Romanian story about people’s motivation and students involvement, this is the truth about Roșia Montana.

During the first weeks of September, Romania’s environmental issues took over the country. After catching everybody’s attention, the project entitled Roșia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), was declared closed. At least, from the Parliament’s point of view, which made that statement on the 10th of September, through the instrumentality of the Romanian Prime minister, Victor Ponta.

But surprisingly, after more than 20 days of protest, the whole story did not come to a happy end. After the official statement, people continued with their actions of protest. On the 17th of September the members of the Parliament approved the establishment of the Special Commission for the project of law. They stated that before the first of October a series of amendments from the senators and deputies will be formed and that until the 20th of October a report regarding the project of law will be made. On the unofficial side, the people kept protesting. On the 22nd of September, more than 20.000 people living in the capital city, Bucharest, marched shouting: “If you care, leave the comfort of your home and come out in the street ! “. In contradiction to the people’s reaction, 33 mine workers from Roșia Montana descended on the same day into the galleries, sustaining that they want the project to start. The people from Bucharest used their creativity in order to sustain their cause. “We only won a battle, not the war”, those were their words addressed to the Government and the Parliament. An the same time when people went out in the streets, the television channels did not broadcast the protest, but the mine workers from Roșia Montana. The whole thing, the people believe, it was just a distraction from the real problem. After the 10th of September, the protesters started to use different ways of showing their attitude towards the decision of the Parliament. Because the statement was considered by the people to be a red herring, they continued their acts of protest by using inventive strategies. A human chain consisted of 5000 people surrounded the Parliament building on the 21st day of protest. “Together we save Roșia Montana ! ” was one of the main messages. Also, a march of approximately bicyclists was hold at 6 P.M. during the same day. Meanwhile, the protests seemed to be present everywhere. In cities as Alba Iulia, Cluj Napoca, Suceava, Craiova, Buzau, Constanta, Timisoara, Sibiu, but also Paris, Toronto, Viena and Barcelona, people continued pointing out the effects of the RMGC project, sustaining their cause and waiting for the real happy end that everyone, so far, is still waiting to come.

Photo: Cristian Vasile


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