Plans by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources to develop a gold mine in Rosia Montana, in Romania are being challenged by local campaign groups with the support of the Friends of the Earth Europe network.
A campaign has been running against the project for almost a decade, and although the environmental impact assessment process was suspended five years ago, the government has recently shown support for the project which is opposed by environmental groups.
According to the latest news the leader of the smaller coalition party Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) made an agreement with the company to give permission for the project to go ahead by the end of this year. This has raised serious concerns around corruption in the case.
The UDMR, the political party representing Hungarian minorities in the Romanian Parliament is leading the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and the Ministry for Environment who are involved in the Rosia Montana project. 67 groups from Hungary wrote an open letter to Hunor Kelemen, the president of UDMR urging them to withdraw support for the Rosia Montana project.
Friends of the Earth Hungary will continue to pressure the UDMR, calling on them to put their public image, and the environment before the interests and profits of Gabriel Resources.