Romanians set protest against mine
BUCHAREST - Reuters
Demonstrators wave flags that read ‘Save Rosia Montana’ in Bucharest. REUTERS photoHundreds of Romanians protested on Jan. 28 against a plan to set up Europe’s biggest open-cast gold mine in a small Carpathian town, joining a wave of anti-government rallies.
For the past two weeks, thousands of citizens have gathered in cities across Romania to demand the resignation of President Traian Basescu and his close ally, Prime Minister Emil Boc, as anger over austerity measures and falling living conditions have spread. The protesters have also criticized Basescu and the centrist coalition government for backing the gold mine project in the western town of Rosia Montana. However, most town residents support it, and also held a rally on Saturday.
The project, which aims to use cyanide to mine 314 tons of gold and 1,500 tons of silver, has drawn fierce opposition from civic rights groups and environmentalists, who say it would destroy ancient Roman gold mines and villages. It is led by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, majority-owned by Canada’s Gabriel Resources Ltd with the Romanian government holding 19 percent.
Waving Romanian flags and banners saying “United for Rosia Montana”, about 300 protesters gathered outside parliament in Bucharest. They called on the government to deny Gold Corporation an environmental permit it needs to open the mine.