Roșia Montană is Romania

The Government of Romania has recently put forward a proposed bill to be voted in parliament which would allow the controversial Rosia Montana mining project to commence. We would like to express our serious concerns with the content of the bill as it contains clauses that seriously infringe civil liberties and obstruct the rule of law. The support for the bill in its current form by a political class embattled by corruption and weak public institutions would not only pollute the environment for decades to come but also generate further lack of trust in the state. We are firmly against any expropriation by a private entity and we see such a process as an abuse against the citizens of Rosia Montana. We believe that if this bill will pass in Parliament it will represent a dangerous precedent for Romania. We stand against the lax rules and the harsh time frame limitations that concern archeological digs and sites.

Romania’s prime-minister, Victor Ponta, alongside his fellow USL colleagues campaigned in 2012 on blocking the mining project in Rosia Montana. Less than a year has passed since the last parliamentary elections and the current USL majority is not only going against their electoral promises but is pushing forward a project that most citizens, members of civil society and those living in Rosia Montana are against. Thus far, no Romanian government has managed to explain in a credible manner which are the financial arrangements and the environmental standards during and after the mining project has concluded. We believe that as a sign of good faith the current government owes all sides involved a sincere and open dialog on this matter of national interest.

There is no democracy without democrats: on Sunday, the 1st of September, many of us will exercise our right to protest on the street of Romania and Europe against this bill which prioritizes the interest of a private corporation at the expense of this country’s citizens’ basic rights. It is crucial for Romania’s democracy to demonstrate maturity through the reaction of its citizens to these abuses. Our concerns with the current bill are not exclusive to Rosia Montana, the same abuses can take place anywhere else in the country. Rosia Montana is Romania!

August 31th, 2013

Nicolae Raţiu
Chairman Raţiu Family Charitable Foundation
Raţiu Centre for Democracy

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