Helping Romanians to prosper in their own country

Rosia Montana — There's gold in them thar hills!

Rosia Montana — There’s gold in them thar hills!

Our good EFD colleague Slavi Binev MEP from Bulgaria could perhaps have been embarrassed at sitting in the EFD group alongside UKIP MEPs, when we have been quite vocal with our concerns about immigration in January from Romania and Bulgaria.  But he has neatly turned the question around by calling on the government of his country to create prosperity and employment at home, and build a Bulgaria in which citizens no longer feel the need to go abroad to achieve a decent quality of life.

Rather the same idea was in my mind, at least tangentially, when I started to take an interest in a gold mining proposal in Romania, at a site called Rosia Montana.   I was primarily motivated by my frustration at hyperactive eco-warriors who seem determined to block any industrial development anywhere, whether gold mining in Romania or shale gas in Sussex.    And of course as a general principle I am pro-industry, pro-jobs, pro-growth and pro-prosperity – for Romanians as well as for the rest of us.  But if the effect of a new gold-mine at Rosia Montana is to provide opportunity and jobs for Romanians in Romania, that must have a positive impact in reducing problematic migration flows.

Romania’s government faces policy choices that could set it on a course to prosperity within the European Union (EU) or relegate it to the status of an impoverished Balkan backwater. In making the right choice, Romania’s politicians could generate jobs for Romanians back home rather than forcing their citizens to leave the country in search of work elsewhere in the EU. From January 2014, residents of Romania (and Bulgaria) – two of Europe’s poorest countries – will be entitled to travel to the UK where they will be able to claim the same benefits and National Health Service care as other EU citizens under a relaxation to EU freedom-to-work controls. As a result, job agencies in the UK say they are being bombarded with requests from many who want to know how they can make claims.

According to a report issued last month by the Democracy Institute , “Romania faces a choice between two policy paths: one that leads to a prosperous, market-driven tiger economy built on environmentally sustainable foundations; and the other that leads to a Romania with the status and circumstance of a Balkan backwater, a corrupt political establishment leading an economically impoverished populace.” I concur with this view, and indeed when looking at significant investment in country such as that brought by the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), it could even be a significant contributor to the EU economy as a whole and not just to Romania (I understand that 78% of the benefits of the project will stay in country).

RMGC is currently trying to revive mining in the town of Rosia Montana, which desperately needs investment and has a terribly high unemployment rate (I have read that it is as high as 80% in the Apuseni Mountain region where Rosia Montana is located). Many local residents seem to be in favour of the project as expressed in a local referendum in December 2012, where almost 80% of those who voted in Rosia Montana voted in favour of a resumption of mining and welcomed the prospect of employment and funding finding its way to their impoverished region. Certainly my own view is that, on balance, the merits of the project in terms of economic development and employment outweigh any risks, which are in any case very well contained.  The surveillance of the European Commission in line with the Mining Waste Directive should give Romanians considerable confidence as there are (as usual) very comprehensive EU regulations covering the safety aspects of gold mining, and I am led to believe that these regulations are effective. The challenges of gold extraction are there to be managed, not to be fled from in terror.

RMGC’s opponents are seeking to block and delay the project with scare stories.  They exaggerate and propagate any negative stories (and in some cases invent a few negative stories of their own). They abuse the so-called “Precautionary Principle”. Given the parlous state of Europe’s economies, we can no longer tolerate this very damaging approach.

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146 Responses to Helping Romanians to prosper in their own country

  1. Romanian says:

    a reactionary moron

    • Reactionary? I certainly react against destructive stupidity. But not, I think, a moron. I got my degree from Cambridge. Where did you get yours?

      • Maria says:

        Mr. Helmer, you are my hero! Beautiful answer!

      • Florin says:

        I would so, very much like to visit England and find a 3 square miles cyanide lake, instead of 4 gorgeous mountains filled with ancient dacic and roman culture. Ow the joy…
        Ogofau Gold Mine…well this might be a nice spot, wouldn’t you think?

      • alex says:

        Could you give me an example where mining has provided growth to a developing country in such a way that it assured prosperity to all its citizens? Romania is plagued by corruption at the highest authority levels, we need to solve this problem first, than maybe mining could be a viable option, otherwise it will be just money wasted…

        Than again, we’re also wasting money to keep politicians with no virtues in the European Parliament… People like you represent the ugly part of humanity, void of any form of respect for truth and for those who send you there to safeguard their interests, always ready to support any cause for a good amount of money.

        Could I also ask what is the source of your informations about Rosia Montana, it sounds like a brief from the RMGC PR.

      • Iulia says:

        He can’t give you such an example because there aren’t any. The prosperity is not a long term one, on the contrary. The costs to maintain the cyanide lake left behind will be much greater than the profit. The benefits are temporary because there’s only so much gold, while the costs are permanent because cyanide doesn’t go anywhere. It’s basic math.

      • Eugen says:

        You surely are not a moron, don’t worry. Some romanians never knew what education was and react like this everytime they can so their ego ascends a little bit more.

  2. Mike Stallard says:

    Glad to hear about the gold mine.
    Nigel Farrage hit a national nerve with his remarks some time ago about the Roma coming.
    The problem is this: once they arrive, they will settle here. That means that you cannot get rid of them. You cannot in 2013 adopt an Adolf Hitler Final Solution. You cannot send them back – they live here. You cannot live with them because they are criminal, they do not want to adopt our values. Their children will not go to school. They will not pay tax, dispose of their garbage or work. They will form angry, violent and criminal ghettos.
    You aren’t allowed to say this, although it is true.
    Meanwhile (another nerve) the rich Eurocrats who organised this behind closed doors and their minions, (our government, civil servants and elected politicians), sit pretty, well away from Sheffield, well away from the belt round our inner cities where nobody goes anyway nowadays.
    We have just eight weeks to sort this out.

    • bumper says:

      Well spoken Mike. This will I feel help the downfall of the cosy liblabcon. Don’t be too sure about mass deportations. I do believe we are in for big trouble very soon.

    • catalanbrian says:

      For someone who claims to want the truth you should learn that the Romanians are not necessarily Roma , but there again I guess that for people like you who don’t like Johnny Foreigner this is of little interest to you.

      • Mike Stallard says:

        Remind me – where did we meet? You seem to be very familiar with my preferences and therefore you do have the advantage.

    • Nicoleta says:

      Romas are the so called gypsies, a very different ethnicity and identity apart from Romanians. Romanians are Romanians as much as British are British and Romas are Romas. Educate yourself before making erroneous assumptions.

      • Ciprian says:

        Yes they have Indian origins🙂 It should not be a problem to fit in🙂
        And if the exploration will start maybe more than 3000 new jobless people from closing the small businesses all around the exploration area will come to England to work because they are working now in tourism and certified eco agriculture.
        All the new jobs from this exploatation will last for 15…18 years after that we will come for sure in much bigger number!
        Thake care what are you wishing !!!🙂

      • A supporter of mining projects in Romania says:

        Why not giving a chance to mining investment projects in Romania? This was also my nonbiased question, as a progressive Romanian, first hearing about this discussion around the RMGC mining project. But after thouroughly informing myself I formed my own clear opinion about this very complex matter: Romania needs sustainable local projects for its prosperity and such projects already exist in Rosia Montana and had a excellent development during the last decade: biological agriculture, rural tourism and other forms of open society and democratic community-building; thanks to the RMGC, though against it. Unfortunately these very projects were constanly threatened and inhibited by the policy of the RMGC.
        Though I am a great adirer of the British culture, I must confess that both you website management and your article, post-colonial in its vey title and with a subliminal paternalistic-rassistic tone, as well as many afferent comments really dissapoint me. Personally I do not think that Romanians need your help to prosper in their own country – I think meanwhile this European people is quite able to decide and to speak for itself. It’s also sad to see that in the last 24 hours, while both of my very personal and honest comments are still censured or pending, 13 pro-RMGC replies written under different names but in a strikingly similar style were published on your website. I would kindly like to remind you that real democratic opinion making should be based on openness, equality, pluralism and mutual respect, while I have the feeling that this space is only opened (in all the meanings of the word!!) towards one side of the matter: gives room/ internet presence, credibility and justification only to RMGC admirers. As a Romanian and as a citizen of the European Union who believes in a democratic and open society I felt racially aggressed by the tone and the means of expression in some of the comments on this website and I respectfully ask you to take attitude in this regard. I also would like to remind you that I would be very greatfull to see this comment as also my previous comments finally published on your website, since they were meant as a sign of opennes to a pluralistic dialogue. Elsewise I will try to find other platforms to give voice to my comments to your article and to publish my replies to your thoughts, since I felt very much adressed by your lines. Kind regards, Adriana

    • Stale Lard says:

      What rubbish…. gypsies haven’t waited for 2014 to come to the UK – actually, gypsy people form Romania and Bulgaria (and other countries) are free to come and go as they please under the current circulation agreements. The only thing they are not allowed to do is… work :)). Which, as per your affirmations, they won’t bother with anyway. “We have just eight weeks to sort this out.”…no kidding !? This is uninformed alarmism at its best.

      EDITED BY MODERATOR

  3. noted says:

    Well said Mr. Helmer.
    For added gravitas perhaps Roger could punctuate his articles correctly.

  4. Catalin Hosu says:

    A very well argued piece. Jobs, economic growth, the revival of a moribund mining sector – and the highest environmental and safety standards. That’s what the Roşia Montană project will bring to Romania. What needs to be understood is that this week’s Special Commission’s rejection of the Draft Law was not a rejection of the Roşia Montană mining project. In fact, the Commission concluded that the wording of the Draft Law was inadequate. Instead, they recommended that a new legislative framework be put in place for the implementation of large scale mining projects across Romania.

    This has the potential to be great news for the people of Roşia Montană, the vast majority of whom, as we know, are in favour of the project. And for the Romanian economy which, as we know, stands to receive a direct contribution of $5.3bn USD from the project (at an assumed gold price of $1,200/oz). Please make up your own mind by visiting http://www.rosiamontananews.com

    • Mihai Papuc says:

      I’m glad that the PR Director of RMGC, Catalin Hosu, agrees with this article. But, wait! This article contains exactly the same information that his department tries to convey all they long, through all the press. I was used with reading exactly the same ideas with only few minor wording differences in the Romanian papers that advertise for RMGC, now I see that their PR department has found a sympathetic audience within British officials.

      • Corina Francu says:

        Everyone has the right to speak, right? Just like you did. Only, you did it just to denigrate the project. This project, like many others: fracking or constructions or any others are essential to Romania’s development. The fact that you and others can’t see this and only consider it “advertisement” from everyone who writes something positive about it is sad and pathetic.

    • Stale Lard says:

      Mr. Hosu should’ve grown tired by now with his stale arguments. I have always wandered how he is able to live with himself… I think it either takes a tremendous amount of self-hate to go on with what he’s doing… or this man has no soul.

    • Oana says:

      The only Romanians supporting this joke of a project are the greedy, bribed or misinformed ones. The rest of us just want jobs and industries that can stand the test of time. And your project doesn’t. But I invite you to try and change my mind, so please explain what this economic growth you keep talking about will look like in 16 years when there’s nothing left to mine for at Rosia Montana. Where will the people work then? They won’t even be able to work the land because NOTHING GROWS ON CYANIDE, sir.

      • nicu says:

        hmm nope, that’s not true. if it were true then more than 5000 people would protest against it. we are millions that want this project, you just can’t accept this fact. NOTHING GROWS ON POVERTY EITHER, sir. also: learn that cyanide is a chemical component that can be easily neutralized mam.

      • Alina Marcoci says:

        Not really. Normal people like progress too. Not only greedy, bribed ones. Just shut up if you are here only to make fun of important business you were told was “bad” you hypocritical hipster.

    • Florian says:

      Yes, the vast majority is in favour of the project. Yet, for 13-14 years we cannot seem to start it properly. What is it taking so long?

      • Alina says:

        Florian, I think that our politicians are too cowards and they don’t want to risk, to assume some responsabilities, but if we don’t take chances, they will soon be vanished and Romania will remain the poorest country in EU

  5. Romania Magna says:

    How much did Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) put into Nigel Garage’s and UKIP’s coffers for this PR job??? Just curious.

    • Andrew says:

      This is one of the reasons Romanians are seen as being as ignorants. They don’t know what to say so they either offend you or try to invalidate everything you say by assuming you are corrupt like they are.

  6. I can give you a precise reply. Zero. I do things in politics because I believe in them, not because I get paid for them.

    • Mihai Papuc says:

      In Romania, the same ideas that you’re presenting here are emphasized by corrupt politicians. If you need just one example, take Adrian Severin – maybe he is better known as his corruption and lack of shame is present on the hallways of the European Parliament.

    • Ramona C says:

      Well, if you are not gettin’ payed to write this ( allow me to doubt it though…) maybe you should first take a glance at the technology the company you are supporting is using in extracting that gold. And maybe use the good old fashion Google insteed of mr. Hossu report :)). And do not worry, is not miners that come to UK to work

      • Andrew says:

        Oh just leave it there. Don’t forget that your mining knowledge is far worse than your writing. The technology is even far superior than what Romania ever used. Also, check some other EU states that use the same technology without any problem before showing your lack of culture.

    • Stale Lard says:

      Mr Helmer, would you be so kind to indicate your sources, when you affirm that unemployment reaches “80% in the Apuseni Mountain region where Rosia Montana is located” ? And then…even is the numbers were accurate, would they by any chance have anything to do with that area having been declared – through very shady maneuvers – a “monoindustrial area dedicated to mining”, forbidding thus any sort of alternative economical development ? In the towns surrounding Rosia Montana that are outside the pale of this “monoindustrial area”, unemployment exists, that’s true, but it’s far from reaching high levels, because people have the freedom to start whatever sort of business they see fit… Audientur et altera pars, Mr. Helmer, before you start writing on such a heated topic…

  7. neilfutureboy says:

    Economic Freedom + Cheap Energy = Fast Growth

    If we were to build a factory mass producing modular reactors (possibly small ones for political more than engineering reasons) and sell them off the shelf we would do well for ourselves by supplying cheap energy for all those that will accept it.

    The freedom part cannot be enforced but we can give a good example,

  8. Mike Stallard says:

    As a practising pedant and teacher/coach I can assure you the marking has been looked into. You passed.
    I reckon that it is a real sign of progress (quite apart from the outstanding local government results) when your UKIP blog attracts professional trolls!

  9. From Romania with love says:

    Dear britishmen,
    I seem to remember some 7-10 years ago, when we, romanians were saying that gipsies were a plague, you, britishmen, together with your beloved brothers, the french, were looking at us like crazy and making us inhumane and unequalitaristic s.o.b. Now, that you got a taste of it, you are begining to be scared. Why, you are no longer thinking thay are also human beings? Do I hear from a UK representative that humans cannot be put on the right track? Hmmm….
    Dear Mr Mike Sallards, excuse me for saying this, but you are one of the most stu.pid and igno.rant rasists I have ever seen. Have you seen Romania? Have you seen the romanians? The ones that your prince Charles has fallen in love with. From now on, as a romanian, please, do me a favor, and call them GIPSIES. They are romanians by birth, but they have nothing to do with our culture or our inteligence and they are currently called rroms only because western european countries considered it is “discriminating” to be called gipsies.
    So, first of all, before saying something about gipsies, thank you politicians for your situations, and before putting an equal sign between gipsies and Romania, I suggest you go, take a shaving blade and try to see how much of your vain you can cut longitudinally before you faint.
    Best regards from the sunny Romania
    (At least we know how the sun looks like)

    • neilfutureboy says:

      Must admit we deserve the first point.
      We have done far to much telling people how to run their lives (in Yugoslavia’s case bombing them to enforce it) and to little in allowing free choice. We have done it to Brits as much as foreigners.

  10. Maria says:

    Dear Mr. Helmer,
    I am also Romanian and I am writing this reply to ensure you that not all of us are either “hyperactive eco-warriors” (nice description, by the way), or willing to emigrate.
    I am a Romanian that is willing to stay and work here, grow my son in my homeland, so I totally agree with you: Romania needs industry, Romania needs economic growth, Romanians need jobs at home. Most of us don’t want to work abroad any more than you do. So, I totally support any industrial project that could mean development and employment. I support mining according to European safety standards and legislation and i’m sure that most Romanians do, even if theyare not as vocal as the protesters.
    So, thank you very much for your support and I hope the mining project will start and will be a signal for other investors as well!

    • Mihai Papuc says:

      I totally agree with Maria: Romania needs industry, Romania needs economic growth, Romanians need jobs at home.

      But the largest open pit in Europe, that would use 12 times more cyanide than the current total of all the mines in EU, operated by a junior mining company, with no mining experience whatsoever, and over-watched by the most corrupt administration in Europe, the Romanian administration, cannot provide that.

      On the contrary, it would create less than 1,000 jobs for 20 years maximum, but would lead to the destruction of more than 10.000 jobs in the industries from the neighboring areas.

      You can find some of this information in the materials of the local NGO that opposes to the destruction of their town and way of life: http://rosiamontana.org/en/media/news-and-press-releases

    • Ramona C says:

      Maria, I do hope the mining project will start also! God hope it will be in your backyard only🙂

    • Cosmin says:

      you are not (anymore) Romanian. Maybe you have never been! People of Romania are against this disaster and that is why these months here were the biggest protest manifestations since 1989 revolution

      • Luiza Maria says:

        Just because you are against it doesn’t mean everybody is. -Another Romanian who is not against this mining thing. [Ah and don’t lie, the protests are not that big. You are the same 3000 payed people to go out every Sunday. You don’t fool us.]

      • Dany says:

        and who decides who is and isn’t a nationality? a man who think that bringing jobs and security is an option? and even a bad one?thanks but no thanks. maybe you’re the foreigner.

    • Maria, You make an excellent point. I have little good to say about the EU, but I believe that EU mining regulations and inspections will ensure that any project at Rosia Montana is safe and clean.

      • baldovin says:

        There will be not project of cyanide mining in Rosia Montana. The natives will prefer to dye there defending it than to leave their birth places destroyed by this greedy corporation tracks. And we will defend them! Would you kill us all?

      • paul says:

        baldovin, what will they dye? their hair? their clothes? hahaha you made me laugh so hard. and no, 95% of people from Rosia Montana want the project. nobody is killing anybody. chill

      • Dany says:

        baldovin, please stop saying that. you’re not the one to decide.

    • Cami says:

      Except most of them are. i am a romanian and i will never tell anyone what to do with their lives and their birthplace. it’s their choice and if the project is legal and safe, let it start. but you have to admit that most of the eco warriors (you can even see them here, commenting and accusing) are very nasty and violent and imposing unfortunately.

  11. Marius says:

    Sure, economic grouth…..let’s cut down all the forests, and build polluting factories in their place, let’s blow up our mountains and replace them with open-pit mines, let’s capture every freshwater river to divert it into industry and expell it as toxic waste at the other end, all for the sake of growth. But I guess that’s what you Cambridge people call “progress”….and still you have the nerve to say you are against distructive stupidity. My friend, you represent it! Oh, and those few tens of thousands of “hyperactive eco-warriors” protesting in the streets all over the world kind of represent the will of the biggest part of the population. The is a saying in my country…”If a person tells you that you are blind-drunk he might be mistaken, but when another one tell you the same thing, maybe its time to o to sleep”. PS Nobody wants to stop exployting the gold in Rosia, we just want it to be done cleanly, and without having to forcefully remove people from their homes. Most people in the area still rely on the environment to make a living

    • George says:

      You are overstating and exaggerating everything. Not only that this project will make that place more eco than it’s ever been (by planting before and after exploitation and cleaning the rivers) but it can give a lot of economic growth now, when we, the whole country, really need it.

      • valentin says:

        And 10-12 years later, after RMGC will go, leaving behind a poisoned huge lake set to threaten a city which is just few miles away .. with nothing else left there after making 4 mountains to become flat land – rocks only .. what will do people from there? Can any of you, dudes, favoring this stupidity RMGC plan, can you think for the future? For what will be happening with your/their grandchildren? Oh, man, before say something – stop and think again, twice.

      • Florin says:

        The rivers are already clean, and the trees are already planted, how can you make it better?

    • Dany says:

      nobody is cutting forests. (ok, maybe romanians, who then sell them for cheap prices to the foreigners, but that’s not the case in Rosia Montana). and not only that, but at least this company is planting new trees on 1000 ha. that’s a lot and it’s more than anyone has ever done for Rosia Montana.

  12. Dear Mr Roger,

    you are mentioning high unemployment rate in your article and you link it to Romanians opossing a project that is supposed to create more jobs. Then warn your fellow citizens that Romanians are already queueing up for UK’s benefits.
    May I remind you that UK and Romania have the same unemployment rate and among the lowest in the EU? (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/3/34/Unemployment_rates%2C_seasonally_adjusted%2C_September_2013.png)

    May I also mention – and I am a bit ironic here – that in case RMGC will succeed in blowing up 4 mountain tops and using 10 times more cyanide than at present in the whole EU, thus creating one of the largest cyanide waste lake in the EU, the ‘danger’ or having Romanians seek better life conditions elsewhere (say UK) is higher?

    Appreciate if you can have a quick read of this repport, put together by 3 renowned British experts in Roman mining, who state at least 4 key reasons why Rosia Montana should be listed as a Unesco World Heritage.
    http://www.b365.ro/media/other/201310/rosia-montana-md_82227600.pdf

    As you can see, there is more to this project than how RMGC (and now you…) discribes it.

    • Morgan says:

      oh here he comes with the propaganda. those mountains not only that are already blown up, but the fact that our patrimony is slowly collapsing under the pressure of time and weather and lack of care. so please, don’t even try and compare our rate of unemployment with theirs. you know nothing, really. just pure propaganda against mining.

      • valentin says:

        Morgan, do we speak about the same area? Because I just look there and see just one small pit on only one mountain, and that is abandoned.

        They (RMGC) have a model of how area looks now and how will look like after .. A desert and a poisoned lake that can be seen from the Moon.

        Why don’t you go live in the city of Abrud? You’ll be pleased … having a multibilions of tons of poisoned water just few miles away … I dare you!

      • Marius says:

        Unemployment rate – really, what do you mean, did you try to check the link I provided and your internet connection just gave up on you?

    • Alinn says:

      You know that there are other british experts that stated the contrary, right?

    • Dany says:

      ok, and here comes the hyper eco warriors. please, just please for once, let people write and think what they want to not what you are making them believe. your reports are useless since many others disbanded them.

  13. a guy with a stone says:

    It’s not about “hyperactive eco-warriors”, mister Helmer, it’s about Romanian peasants and farmers defending their land. It’s about the national and international cultural heritage in Rosia Montana. It’s about the destruction of nature. It’s about life, plain and simple. Rosia Montana is, for us, what is Stonehenge for you, let’s say. What do you think, mister Helmer, what would you do if a mining company would say “let’s erase Stonehenge cause we found gold under it”?…
    We can put comments and talk for days, but in the end the truth is simple: most of us are AGAINST the gold mine in Rosia Montana and we will NEVER accept Rosia Montana’s destruction.

  14. AndreeaP says:

    Dear Mr. Helmer,

    Please be aware about all the issues surrounding the RMGC mining project and please mind that if this corrupted project starts many Romanians will be forced to emigrate to other states which care about human rights and democracy, as is the case of the UK and other western countries. The reason many Romanians do not agree with the mining project is precisely because they plan to live in a clean and supportive Romania and if their right to proper living conditions is not respected they will be forced to move.

    The RMGC project is the biggest corruption and fraud case in the last 23 years, these are the main parts about it:
    – The project proposes 900 jobs during 16 years but will destroy another 20’000 jobs forever. Moreover, the Romanian Government has granted RMGC tax deductions, so Romanians’ benefits are very small, to the order of 10$ per person per year.
    – The project says it wants to clean historical pollution (the company estimates the cleaning cost to $40 millions) but it plans to pollute enormously more, in much larger areas. 4 mountains will be exploded and the biggest cyanide lake in Europe will be constructed. The quantities of cyanide used in the mine will be 13 times bigger than what all countries in Europe use put together.
    – No international insurance company has accepted to cover the risks and the potential costs this project brings, which are of the order of billions of dollars.
    – The mining area is densely populated, there is a town at only 2km distance from the cyanide lake’s dam. The whole town and other villages will be left will no potable water because of pollution and because of the huge quantities of fresh water needed to extract the gold and silver.
    – The cultural heart of Romania will be destroyed; British scientists have estimated that 2000-years old mining galleries are a unique site in the whole world and their enormous cultural value should be preserved in full.
    – Apparently, the Romanian Government doesn’t care if it looses $16bn per year from tax evasion, and another $25bn during 6 years from not absorbing European funds… But it is determined to receive at any cost about $300 millions per year from this abject mining project.
    – RMGC was proven to have committed several cases of manipulation of vital information about the project, e.g. they have deleted from geological maps soil fissures that exist in the area where the cyanide lake should be created.
    – RMGC’s publicity was banned to be shown on Romanian television because it was considered misleading and not honest by the audio-visual national council.
    – RMGC was involved in business with companies that deal with money laundering.
    – RMGC has obliged local administration, through illegal sponsorship contracts that have blackmailing clauses, to provide it with necessary permits to start its activity.
    – MiningWatch Canada evaluates RMGC’s Environmental Impact Assessment as being not realistic, not scientific but only a public relations document. They also warn that RMGC is preparing itself for future claims of pollution by not assessing correctly the historical pollution existent at Rosia Montana. In this way they will be able to cover their future pollution by saying that it was already there.

    Having all these said, could you please provide an argument why Romanian’s should accept such a huge fraud and corruption case, why people in Rosia Montana should accept to be removed from their homes, have their villages and cemeteries destroyed, allow their water sources to get contaminated, have their health and their children’s health put at risk? Would you live in such conditions ? What should people in Rosia Montana do after the mining project is over, when there will be no mountains left to mine, no potable water, no breathable air, no way of raising animals, no way to live?

    Kind regards,
    Andreea P.
    PhD in Economics, Switzerland

    • Mihnea Ruca says:

      Dear Andreea P, just because you have a PhD in econ it doesn’t mean you know what you’re saying. You didn’t even check and post your sources, let alone come with facts. And I mean real facts, not what you THINK you know or your subjective opinion.
      Kind regards, a romanian who didn’t leave the country then decided to lecture others.

      • AndreeaP says:

        Indeed, because knowing how to evaluate a project, learning about externalities and taxes, social costs and aggregated welfare, common problems of ethics in finance, expected benefits versus certain loses mean nothing in understanding this project and I should just shut up because I not allowed to have an opinion.

        PS. I hope you know that attacking a person you don’t know is not a valid argument.

    • Cosminache says:

      Mmm NO! Breathable air? The air is more polluted because of cars and our heating system (most of romanians still use wood to heat their homes) then a mine who will for sure not pollute the air and water and land. It looks like you don’t even know that they installed water purging stations there.

    • Cernea says:

      I’ll tell you what they’ll do after the mining work: they will have a prosper village and place that they can actually exploit, not like now, when the village is polluted and ugly.

    • Julia says:

      How is this project corrupted? If it were, don’t you think that it would’ve started by now? How can you people be so narrow minded?

  15. Cosmin says:

    Mr. Helmer! We have jobs here. We are not poor just because don’t have your toys, cars and machines. We have a very productive soil and clean healthy water. We have been shepherds for thousands of years. This open pit mine would actually destroy those jobs. Do not support this crime of destroying our traditional way of life!
    Those who say that support this devastating project are actually employed by this criminal corporation. The people do not want this open pit.

    • adi j says:

      we have jobs? where? please tell me because i’m unemployed for 3 years and i’d work anything. unfortunately i’m either too old or overqualified. it has come to this. i can’t work, i have no money and a have a faimily to sustain. i’d manage even garbage if somebody would take me. tell me, where are those jobs you are talking about. the people you are talking about are certaintly not me!!

    • Dragosh says:

      We actually don’t have jobs here. Unemplyment rate is more than 80%. that is a lot and is bad.

    • Andu says:

      this criminal corporation? wow that’s a new one. the people aren’t represented by you from what i know and surely you are not an exepert in mining right?

  16. baldovin says:

    Romania is against this monstrosity. Only those who are paid by this devilish corporation support this disaster. We do not have institution controlling each other anymore due to this company who bribed everybody in politics and media. This is not just about destroying landscapes; this is about destroying the rule of low in Romania. The democracy itself is in danger

    • Wrong, Baldovin. Based on what I have read, I believe the project is worth supporting (are you opposed to gold mining everywhere?). And I’m not paid by “this devilish corporation”.

      • baldovin says:

        I was referring only to Romanians that support this disaster, not you personally. If you read the previous statement and make connection with it, as any logical discourse does, you realize that my affirmation was not pointed to others than Romanians. My own comment was meant to reply the false idea that general public opinion in Romania would support it.
        As for not being payed by “this devilish corporation” , I kind of believe you . Although , since you are a politician , you are corrupt person by default. All the politicians (not only the Romanians politicians ) steal the common people political power pretending to be representative. So I would never believe 100 % that you are not payed by them.

        I am opposed to everything that destroys the flourishing living nature. I am against everything that kills creatures and general life for some heartless greedy caprices.

      • Theo says:

        Don’t worry, he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about since he obviously can’t speak for all of us. His democracy stopped along the way and he forgot how to use it🙂

      • Larissa says:

        Yes, it deserves support and also, Romanians are not against this project. Maybe some are against it, but certaintly not too many comparing the majority.

    • Theo says:

      Not really actually. A survey that I’ve seen over the years, especially lately, in the past few months, revealed that at least 60-70% of our population is for the mining project.

      • valentin says:

        Say what? This survey is live now:

        Sondaj
        Ce ar trebui să facă autorităţile cu proiectul Roşia Montană?

        Să-l aprobe, pentru că este benefic pentru ţară (aprove it, is good)
        28,88% <<<<
        Să-l aprobe, pentru că altfel ţara va plăti despăgubiri (aprove it or else ..)
        0,87%
        Să-l respingă definitiv şi cu orice preţ (reject with no matter what)
        44,1% <<<<
        Să-l renegocieze cu Gabriel Resources (re-negociate)
        14,51%
        Să-l supună unui referendum naţional (nationwide referendum)
        14,08%
        Total voturi: 15487

        This survey is promoted by RMGC … they still hope … and keep spending money.

      • Florin says:

        You are not from our population. You are just a curva. That-s how we call people whom you can buy.

      • Horia Murgea says:

        Please Florin, refrain yourself and stop using insults in romanian just because others don’t know their meaning. Mister Helmer, please learn that the user Florin called another user here a “whore” just because he doesn’t agree with his affirmations. Um, and yes, this is the way most of romanians react when they find some opposition and contradictory opinions. Truly disgusting!

    • Gabrielle says:

      Maybe you. Just tell it like it is: you are and you want to believe that the whole country is. Well, it is not.

  17. ciprianbaciu says:

    Mr. Roger Helmer, to blow up 4 mountains and leave a lake of cyanide it’s not a sign of prosperity. We don’t need this kind of “prosperity” for Romania. Do it in U.K.

    • Eri says:

      Who leaves a lake of cyanide? That thing it’ll be neutralized from what I’ve read. And those mountains were already in a mining project, it’s not like they are blowing some mountains that are not already exploited.

      • Florin says:

        they were exploited by the romans, and i bet they didn’t had any cyanide, and the ulterior exploatation, were through mining in a classical mine, wich kees the mountains integrity.. not to take the whole mountain apart and bleech it through cyanide, leaving behind a giant pit. by the way i’d ;love to see that in England. Wouldn’t you, since you are such a big fan of it?

    • Gabrielle says:

      And how do you know what do we need?

  18. Dodgy Helmet says:

    Mr. Roger Helmer, to blow up 4 mountains and leave a lake of cyanide it’s not a sign of prosperity. We don’t need this kind of “prosperity” for Romania. Do it in U.K.

    And by the way, before writing this kind of article, it would be interesting if you’d be more informed regarding it – I presume at Cambridge they’ve thought you how to read: ”I understand that 78% of the benefits of the project will stay in country”. Well, you understood wrong: not 78%, but 6% is going to be left in the country, and a lake containing 10 times more cynade than all the Europe’s mines together, that would cost 1,8 Billing dollars to take care or. , which will destroy thousands of now existing jobs.

    Therefore, mister Roger Helmer, please be ashamed of your miss informing article and do some reading in the future before you share your opinions with the world, you’re supposed to know what you’re talking about.

    • Eri says:

      “ciprianbaciu says:
      November 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Mr. Roger Helmer, to blow up 4 mountains and leave a lake of cyanide it’s not a sign of prosperity. We don’t need this kind of “prosperity” for Romania. Do it in U.K.”
      You literally went and wrote the same thing under another username. That’s really lame dude.

      • Dodgy Helmet says:

        Eri, it’s the truth, I’m a different person, and Yes, I’ve copy/pasted the message because it’s the truth!

        I think that Mr. Roger Helmer should either be informed about what he’s writing, or just shut up, because his story is pure fantasy: Romania in not making any money out of it, the all the gold goes to a corporation.. would you do that in the UK?? Guess not, so why would you have the guts to advise someone you don’t care about regarding it?

        What is lame is that Mr. Roger Helmer doesn’t reply to the well informed posts. And you know why? Because he wrote about something without even making a small effort to investigate first.

        UK signed a treaty and YOU are going to respect it, just like anyone else. I will never live in the UK, don’t worry about it. Just stop being racist bringing stereotypes as arguments, that is lame..

    • Gabrielle says:

      Ughm, and what is? Staying at home, unemployed?

    • Irineo says:

      Dear mister Roger Helmer,

      You do reply to simple comments, but you don’t give a response to the more informed posts.. why so coward?

      Regards,
      A citizen that thinks that people like you should mind his own village’s business, don’t get into stuff too big for you.

  19. valentin says:

    Dear Sir,
    One: Thank you that you have shared – as opening of this article – a picture of Rosia Montana. You say there, bellow the pic that there is gold in that mountains. Yes, it is. We call that gold history, people, traditions, nature. You may seem to be able to see only the $$, we, romanians, we can see much more. Come here, in Romania, let me show you things you never knew about world … Some, part of only, you can fond it here, in this BRITISH MADE video. It will be the best 47 minutes investment You have done ever, Sir. link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUtaLeQqB40

    2: Good You have said somewhere above you have graduated Cambridge. Congratulations, yet tell me please, this makes You superior race? However, didn’t they tell you there that “pro-industry, pro-jobs, pro-growth and pro-prosperity” is not about crying out loud MINING is the Romanian chance of development, except Your true interest is to find one more country with cheap resources .. It is no development for a country to do mining without the proper industrial infrastructure already operational – factories, industry. Any average economist and any average informed person know that. In fact this “pro-mining, pro-jobs etc.” is pure … natural fertilizer produced by bulls. In the area of Rosia Montana there are thousand of people who’ll loose everything they have – houses, land, jobs, health, everything – if the RMGC’s project will come true. There are factories in the area, there are farms with animals, there are many board and lodging facilities for tourists. Unless you agree to be interested into a tourism area to visit a 65,000,000 square feet cyanide lake …

    III: Please, be so nice and tell me, Sir, how can one become specialist in a foreign country? Have you been in Romania ever? Not official, not being “protected” by government or parliament .. just be here and see things without an official translator to give you answers and decide your dayly routine. Or, maybe I have to put it in another way: Do You really judge things clearly while you are more concerned by reducing the number of emigrants? Now really, Sir, how about opening a shipyard midway between Montrose and Arbroath? And while doing that and being in Scotland, why not making a water channel connecting this shipyard-to-be with Loch Ness …
    Stupid idea You say? Trust me, is less stupid than the Rosia Montana project.

    And as a conclusion, I support what “From Romania with love” said above.

  20. adam says:

    Mr. Roger Helmer,
    I have some questions for you:
    -Did you visit Transylvania…..did you visit Romania?
    -Did you talk with people from Apuseni Mountains (Rosia Montana is located in this mountains) about thier jobs and their problems?

  21. I’m a great supporter of history and culture and heritage. But I also support jobs and economic growth. We have to make them compatible.

    • valentin says:

      And can be done. Without cyanide, without a no-name offshore company stealing our resources. Come here and find out yourself the truth. Speak with people opposing the project, they all know how, just area officials and politicians are corrupted already and play against a real development there … Ops, You already stated you are on RMGC’s side, which makes me and others tagging You with the “owned by RMGC” label.

    • Mischa says:

      This answer pleases me. Why? Because it’s saying it just how it is: we can’t pamper only for culture. Yes, culture and history are feeding our minds, brains, but jobs are feeding our stomachs, which is important too.

    • Dodgy Helmet says:

      Actually I’d define your attitude as ‘populist’, You tell them people what they want to hear, but with no real arguments. My Romanian father used to tell me something you’ll find really useful: ‘If you don’t know what you’re talking about, better keep it quiet’.

      Good bless.

      • deb says:

        I’d give you the same advice since you don’t know either. Otherwise you would’ve come with some logical and real arguments before calling somebody a populist. Cheers

  22. Costinas Maria says:

    Rosia Montana Gold Corporation is using this article to manipulate people. This project is a big bad joke. It doesn’t respect human rights. In this article I haven’t read anything about the use of cyanids in the hugest open pit gold mining in Europe. The environment will be irreversibly distroyed and the jobs are insufficient. What is the use of couple of jobs if I lose my right to drink good water? If the rivers may be polutted? If the air will contain many substances that will lead to diseases? If they will dissapear four mountains? If they leave behind a huge lake of steril that could anytime swallow the villages near and even a town…we had a tragedy like that at Certej in 1979? 13.000 tonnes of cyanids every year? People being expropriated because they refuze to let themselves be bought by the company? I say NO to this CRIMINAL project, NO to this ECOLOGICAL bomb that will afect all the country and may get even in EUROPE, in case of an accident. We accept the projects that bring developpment to our country, not the ones who are trying to distroy it!!! We are not for sale!!! RMGC, out of our country!!!

    • bog.dan says:

      paranoia much? not everything good written or said about something is payed. maybe our president or premier love to get money to say things, but i doubt it that everyone in this world is now geting payed to do this. you just loooooooove to say these things so they don’t seem true anymore. well, let me tell you a thing: just because you think you’re right, it doesn’t make it right. ps: if it’s an ecological bomb, then why is the company planting thousands of tress? because they want us to die and steal our gold? get over youself lady.

  23. catalanbrian says:

    It seems as if they have got you on the back foot, Roger. That is what happens when you step outside your own area of knowledge and make assumptions based on your own prejudices.

  24. neil craig says:

    On many other occasions we have seen “environmentalists” claiming credentials they do not have. I strongly doubt if the majority of “Rumanians” or those claiming to speak from them here have ever been there.

    • valentin says:

      I bet you’ve never been into a desert, yet you are ready to die saying there is lot of sand and not enough water. C’mmon, tell me you doubt is so just because you never reach to see with your own eyes … Well ? How about tropical forests, are there monkeys in those trees? Sure, you will say, but you have never been there. I can give you tons of those exampes, no need to know you.
      Do you see now how much you make full of yourself with that comment?

      Oh, by the way: we did not say you are “Breetish”, please pay attention, we are Romanians. ‘Coz you see, there is a proverb saying “Respect others if you want to be respected”.

      • neil craig says:

        That appears to be an admission.
        PS I have never claimed to be a Taureg, which would be the correct comparison.

    • Ramona C says:

      Dear Neil Craig,

      Look, as a matter of fact I am one of the people who went to Rosia Montana and saw what is happening there. And let me tell you how the things are there: very simple!People were impoverished to the extend where they are obliged to accept this project as their unique source of work. Guess by who? By the company itself, who payed politicians not to allow anyone else in that area. If you are curious in any way I can send you pictures🙂

      • Gabrielle says:

        That is untrue. Nobody forced them to do anything. And I’m saying this because I have relatives who live there. They had even a gust house which they had to foreclose since nobody was ever coming there. No tourists (because there’s nothing to do or where to go to other than in the nature). People are simply not coming. They do not care. So yes, a mining company can revive the region with jobs and reconditioning/restoring museums, patrimony and old buildings.

      • neil craig says:

        Pictures I can find online. I am curious about you or any of the “Roumanians” here proving their identity.

      • valentin says:

        Proving identity? You mean to prove me or others are from Rosia Montana or neighborhood? And this how will help?

        Basically logic: IF ONLY romanians living in Rosia Montana or nearby have the right to have an opinion about the problem, that mean also YOU and/or mister Roger Helmer have no right to talk about. But You both did it already. This gives everybody the right to an opinion.

        There for .. what is the problem with proving identity?

        PS: I am sure Ramona C said about pictures You can not find online, yet those are posted somewhere on the net ..

      • neil craig says:

        ” IF ONLY romanians living in Rosia Montana or nearby have the right to have an opinion about the problem, that mean also”

        I’ll take that as another admission. For why your complaint is invalid I refer you to my reply to the first admission.

      • valentin says:

        According to the name you use here, you seems to be from UK. IF that is the reality, then it seems You try hard to prove You know better what is good and what is not for a country and a nation you do not know.

        Those above were not admissions, were examples showing how shallow is your pleading.

        This your style is characteristic for politicians and/or people paid to support something.

        I rest my case.

        PS: (joking) I do not know what a “Taureg,” is. Google refused also to cooperate with me … I was thinking you may want to say TUAREG .. I hope not: “The name Tuareg is an Arabic term meaning “abandoned by God””😛 (no more joking)

      • Marian says:

        Ramona, what about the pension built by Eugen David, the ecologists’ leader? Anyone, if has the money, can develop any business in the area, except for 25% of the village’s surface , where Rmgc plans the project. So, people are suffering because the romanian state alone couldn’t afford to sustain the mines

    • Gabrielle says:

      It’s “Romanians”. And yes, most of those who speak for others haven’t even been there, in Rosia Montana. And it’s a pity, it’s a beautiful place slowly dying from poverty and shortage of jobs.

  25. Adela Popa says:

    I was expecting more from British politicians; very disappointed.

  26. Nicole says:

    How has this become a debate over killing and stuff like that? Who kills who? Jesus people, get a grip on reality and stop inventing lies and denigrations.

  27. Mircea says:

    Some people were so disgusted by the way our romanian politicians have acted over the years that they can’t seem to know the difference between good and bad anymore. Their lack of trust and discernment is seen here as comments like: they are trying to poison us, they want our gold and we get nothing etc etc. It’s kind of sad if you think about it. I don’t agree though with the fact that the project is not ok or legal. I think it is, but people are so afraid of being screwed once again that they ignore everything not “ecological” nowadays.

  28. Gabrielle says:

    I really think that those who are really against the mining company have their right to express their feelings. But ladies and gentlemen, please stop lying and deceiving other readers. Some of the things you are stating here are just lies, some of them profusely and terribly exaggerated. You need to learn that if you want to fight against one thing, lying isn’t an option. You’re just making a fool out of yourselves.

  29. cristi says:

    Mr. Roger, please don’t try to play anymore this game of lies and manipulation as RMGC does since 2003 in Romania. It’s ending now, and RMGC must leave!
    Our Apuseni Mountains will develop better without open cast mines and distructive project like this! We are all against them and our future will be without mining!
    Clear??

    • Alina says:

      I am not against the most modern mine in Europe and open cast mines are located everywhere in Romania, mostly in Apuseni and Hunedoara county. Our Apuseni Mountains needs urgent investments and locals are willing to get back in mining, to have a decent life. Why to refuse their will?

    • Olaru Maria says:

      And I wonder…. how will the Apuseni develop better under destitution and poverty. RMGC doesn;t have to leave. Lazy people might though. Also, don’t forget that without mining many other villages, besides Rosia Montana, wouldn’t even exist. Is that clear enough?

    • Bogdan Marika says:

      This is for sure not distructive. have you even read their business plan and what and how will Rosia Montana be and look after the mining is done? That is a great plan!

  30. Marian says:

    The protestants against RMGC are mostly teeangers who don’t know how difficult is to survive in Apuseni without jobs and with a medium income of only 6 ron per day. And they are not well informed about the project, because mining can be practise along tourism and in an environment protected. Romania needs investments, not locked minds!

  31. Alina says:

    Of, if every romanian politician would think like you, mister Helmer, Romania would be more richer and life here would be more happier. I’m so sorry for the locals in Apuseni mountains who are living in poor conditions but they have a great experience in mining industry. I will always be pro mining, which has a rich history in the region, a tradition of about 2000 years and can provide over 3000 jobs

  32. Vasile says:

    Dear Mr. Roger, cut the crap and write about your own country

  33. bogdan says:

    if you ask me, i don’t understand why the opponents are fighting so that the unemploynment rate to remain high, that the area to remain polluted if greening is included in the mining project or that the heritage to remain unrestored. Only possible answer that i can come up with is that they are paid to be against this investment!

    • Ramona C says:

      Nobody is fighting for the unemployment rate to remain high. We are all fighting for the government to allow that area to develop harmoniously, not leaving it a monoindustrial area forever. Other than that, people trying to make business there are stopped and rejected ….But I guess you already know that, since you are fighting to extract there, right :)?

  34. Miron says:

    It’s very well known in Romania that the royalties are 6%, which is the biggest revenue from royalties in the EU.

  35. Giani Apostol says:

    Well, Mr. Roger Helmer, your article is based only on readings, on paper documentation. Please come in Romania and see the entire bunch of facts!

    First of all, in 1997, when RMGC gained the exploiting license, they taken the license of the state-owned company Minvest by buying some shares. But the Romanian legislation put some limits: buying shares is not transferring the exploitation rights, and any shares transfer which leads to the change of the main owner MUST be covered by an environmental balance, which must establish the environmental remediation expenses. The off-shore company Gabriel Resources would never apply for a mining license, they taken it abusively by bribe. i asked the former REPA Sibiu to see the environmental balance documentation, to read the environmental efforts. Such documentation was never done. What are we speaking about? THE LAW was broken, the citizens’ elementary rights are still broken, and all of these criminals are still free.

  36. Bogdan Marika says:

    This corporation’s business plan is great. i recommend you read it before you criticise it my fellow countrymen.

  37. Lili says:

    It’s incredible how many are saying that they’re against this project, but are yet to come with valid arguments.

  38. deb says:

    i’m fascinated about how some romanians can’t handle the truth and resorted to using insults and even threats. Not cool people, not cool. Leave us support the project if we want to. It’s not only your country and opinion that matters.

    • Ramona C says:

      Sorry, Deb, but since the project is in our country…it’s actually ONLY our opinion that matters. I doubt that you will be paying for the cyanide leaks from your taxes…..

  39. Corina August says:

    I say let’s do it, with one condition.Will build that cyanide damn in the UK, preferably near your home town and have you manage any leaks or spills, since you are so eager to start this project. Deal? Deal! After that you can go have some beer and whiskey made with hops and barley grown in the vicinity and irrigated with cyanide waters!

  40. Mike Stallard says:

    Do you know what?
    I reckon that quite a lot of the comments (I must admit I didn’t read all of them) rather go to prove that even the most civilised Romanians are better off in their own part of Europe.
    I want to stress that before I read the comments, I was under (the evidently false) impression that Romanians and Roma were different.
    I am going – despite the evidence above – to cling to that impression.

    • neil craig says:

      They are only the same when they are neither – merely Brussels spinners pretending to be Romanian/Roma/Nuclear physicists as required/

    • AndreeaP says:

      Can you please elaborate? What do you mean by “I was under (the evidently false) impression that Romanians and Roma were different.” ? Do I understand it correctly that the above comments make you think that even the most civilised Romanians are not civilised enough for you and indicate that Romanians and Roma are all the same?

  41. Mike Stallard says:

    Am I naive or what! Thank you for pointing out the obvious!

  42. AndreeaP says:

    What I find incredible is that there are people, especially non-Romanians, that wholeheartedly encourage extreme acts of corruption and fraud, as long as they do not take place in their country. And I find it quite hypocritical that the same people are criticising Romania as being a corrupted country. I am Romanian and I can assure you that the vast part of Romanians have had enough of corrupted politicians and private interests that block the development of the country and mentally and morally brutalise the population. I think you have no idea about the desperation that starts to grind Romanians’ days and nights, about not seeing any solution to just get rid of all the scoundrels that rule us with no principals and no strategy for the future, of the corruption that blocks any hope. People in Romania know what they want, so please let us now decide for ourselves which path we want to take. For the moment there are only enormous question marks about RMGC’s infamous mining project and Romanians are not convinced that it is rational and in the interest of our country to give the birth-site of the Romanian people, which is 2000 years old (together with its gold, mountains, villages, churches, cemeteries), on the hands of a mining company that has always acted in bad faith.

    • catalanbrian says:

      Well said AndreeaP. However the problem that you have here is that the general UKIP supporter does not care about foreign lands or people except when it comes to exploiting the lands or refusing the people entry to the UK.

  43. zgarcila says:

    It is very hard to prosper in Romania without workig or having access or knowing people that are in charge and run the national budget.
    Almost all employee that work for the state, try to steal or do something ilegal to gain some money or some advantages becuase they have relations and of course that means for them that they need to get money from the state withiut working.

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