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Romania’s PM Ponta urged on Monday MPs to reject the Rosia Montana mining project, citing insufficient political support, amid protests across the country.
Ponta said “it makes no sense to lose time” and asked the Parliament to kill it, warning that Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), the miner set up to handle the gold project in Rosia Montana, may start a lawsuit.
“They (e.n. RMGC) will certainly demand compensations, I don’t know how much. Given that there is a parliamentary majority against it, the project will be rejected,” said Ponta, quoted by news portal hotnews.ro. “It’s an entire procedure, of 10 years, which should have been concluded earlier.”
Gabriel Resources, the Canada-based miner which controls RMGC, said the government enforced emergency procedures to halt any debate of the project in Parliament.
“Gabriel is urgently seeking confirmation of the actual statements made and clarification of the impact on the proposed permitting of the Project. If the draft legislation is rejected then the Company will assess all possible actions open to it, including the formal notification of its intentions to commence litigation for multiple breaches of international investment treaties,” said the company in a statement.
Ponta’s message came hours after Crin Antonescu – president of the National Liberal Party his partner in the center-left ruling coalition USL – said the bill has to be rejected.
Opposition leader Vasile Blaga asked the PM this weekend to drop the bill.
The PM pointed to divergent views in his own party, the left wing PSD, on approving the gold and silver mining project.
“As the PM I have to find other solutions for foreign investments and jobs,” said the PM.
Alburnius Maior, an NGO opposing the Rosia Montana project, said that street protests will continue. They are calling for a cyanide ban in the mining sector and for the resignation of the government officials that promoted the mining bill. In addition, they are asking the government to reject the project and include Rosia Montana in the UNESCO site list.
Peaceful protests have been held for more than one week across Romania following the government’s decision to pass the mining bill in Rosia Montana. People took to the streets on Saturday in all major cities including Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Alba Iulia, Sfantu Gheorghe, Suceava and Iasi, according to Mediafax newswire.
Around 7,000 people marched last night in Central Bucharest against the Rosia Montana project. The Universitatii Square was their central gathering point. More than 6,000 were out on the streets of Cluj-Napoca.
People used social media sites to organize protests and get their message through, in the face of what they say is weak support from mainstream media, mainly private TV stations and state broadcaster TVR. Business Review Romania
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