Archive for June, 2009

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Rosia Montana: The Corporation Never Quits

June 20, 2009

The background story: Canadian company Gold Corporation wants to build a cyanide-based gold exploitation in a village in Apuseni Mountains, Western Romania. The cyanide pool would replace the whole village, cemetery included. Villagers are relocated a few km away. The gold reserves remaining are exploited in about 10 years, after which the corporation will go away with the profits, leaving just the environmental damage and the destruction of a community behind. Romanian politicians say yes, this is a great idea, it is a foreign investment, it will create jobs, generate income through taxes, etc. Half of the villagers accept jobs from the corporation and sell their houses to Gold. But the other half resists. They want to live in the same place where their parents and grandparents lived, where their families are buried, where they can breathe fresh air. So they put up a fight. In ten years, “Save Rosia Montana” gathered considerable support from Romanians, from regular people, to NGOs and politicians. They started court actions and they achieved success: a law to prohibit cyanide-exploitation has been discussed by the parliament and agreed upon, courts have rejected urbanism plans proposed by Gold, and the Ministry of Culture has rejected the destruction of the village on account of its great archeological richness (Roman ruins).

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Greece is becoming a garbage bin for migrants and it does so with European consent. It is high time to react.

June 5, 2009

By Apostolis Fotiadis

High Commissioner António Guterres has asked some days ago the European Commission to consider convening a meeting between Italy, Malta, Libya, UNHCR and other relevant partners to work on a joint strategy for a better  response to irregular migration across the Mediterranean, following Italy’s recent  ‘push-backs’ to Libya.

But while Italy is being internationally chastised for the refoulement of refugees that effectively annuls the country’s responsibilities arising from international treaties, most notably the Geneva convention, neighboring Greece is building up a state sponsored persecution of irregular migration which has so far got away provocatively unnoticed.

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