(Photo source) The Romanian Senate rejected the bill on gold exploitation at Rosia Montana submitted by the government today, thus adopting the Special Commission's report (see yesterday's blogpost HERE). The Senate ruled on the rejection with 119 votes to 3, and six abstentions. A second and final vote is now awaited from the Chamber of Deputies on 27th November, or thereabouts.
PSD leader of the Senate, Ilie Sarbu, said during the preceding debate that the project and all those involved in approving it will be investigated by the Justice department. Not much peace of mind over the next couple of months, then, for those who acted illegally and made nice tidy profits on the side. I wonder if anyone will end up in the clink for their just desserts? See HERE for a list (by no means exhaustive) of potential porridge-tasters courtesy of the Romanian prison service...
Sarbu added that all documents pertaining to Rosia Montana need to be declassified for there is a Romanian tendancy, he said, to hide prostii... Nicely put. There must be loads of it.
The Rosia Montana Commission stated, according to the report, that the bill did not satisfy complex requirements needed for the business of mineral extraction in Romania, hence why they proposed the rejection.
"Given the deficiencies of the current law which does not take into account the specifically large mining project in question, the Commission recommends completing the legislative framework with measures to stimulate the implementation of projects of this magnitude. The Commission deems it necessary to establish conditions of fair partnership between majority shareholders and the company of the Romanian State, in compliance with community requirements and the principles of sustainable development in the regions of the project", said their report.
The Commission also drew attention to possible (possible?!) breaches of legislation during the development of project licensing for Rosia Montana and equally recommended the declassification of so far classified documents relating to it.
So, what does that mean? Are we done here? There has been much jubilance at the news - on FB at least. Personally, I believe this to be just a temporary breather and so cannot be as joyous. Although this is a step forward in the right direction, it is not a great victory in any other way than symbolic, showing that, with civil unity, se poate. However, perhaps today's result has been designed specifically to lull everyone into a false sense of security, encouraging the belief that the danger has passed. Any supposition that a victory has been achieved here, though, is dillusional. The Commission's conclusions mean there is still a long way to go. A MASSIVE win is required in order that real transformation can ever truly take place in Romania - and this isn't it.
Unconstitutional shenanigans full of irregularities and abuse of power have been rejected - great! But that is NOT a victory. It is NORMAL in a democratic country. It would be a HUGE error to think that because the bill has been thrown out (in its current state), the abominable threat against which hundreds of thousands have been opposed no longer exists. The report does NOT say that the RMGC project was bad for Romania, nor that it was unconstitutional. The conclusions relate to an expansion of the legislative framework for the mining of gold and silver, and that could very well disguise the interests of RMGC.
Please see HERE for what Eugen David had to say.
The Commission also endorses the point of view of Barbu, the Minister of the Uncultured, who believes that Rosia Montana has no unique features meriting a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list, contrary to studies by both Romanian and foreign experts. In short, the whole thing results in clear evidence that the Romanian government has not laid down its gauntlets. To be sure, pressure from RMGC will increase - and there will be a whole load of nervousness regarding potential press leaks telling of cosy relationships between the Gold Corporation and certain members of the 'elite'... Who can blame them?! They have an awful lot to lose!
We are in mid-November. Winter is just around the corner leading to a very plausible drop in protesters out there on the streets, which would only be to the government's advantage. The current politicians have truly learned nothing from the lessons of Rosia Montana. They are far too arrogant. The greed of the barons along with personal political interests still lord it over what is best for the Romanian people. Watch this space for the decentralisation law that Ponta's bunch of cronies want to see pass through Parliament without debate, which would permit a transferring of power to local authorities (all 'bought', of course). It would be the beginning of the end, and is a horror of a bill that MUST NEVER PASS. Many professionals and NGOs warn that it will seriously threaten cultural heritage (no kidding), but since when did that matter?
What has been gained by the rejection of the Rosia Montana project, then? Nothing, really. Just one abusive law to be followed by another, resulting in the same ends: the destruction of patrimony and the environment.
Unless we refuse to allow it.
When a general bill for mining has been put forward that outlaws misappropriation, bribery, corruption, illegal expulsion, lying, selling one's country down the river to foreign investors, hiding documents, infiltrating protests, purposely misinforming the public via media channels, poisoning the eco-system with cyanide and blowing up mountains and cultural heritage (with punishment clearly stipulated for those who dabble in any of the aforementioned), THEN we'll have won. THEN we'll have our victory.
Noi de-aicea nu plecam, nu plecam acasa
Pana nu vom castiga libertatea noastra...