Opening Up a Can of Gold Worms

When we last left the neverending saga of Rosia Montana back in July, it seemed like things had finally come to a peaceful end. The area was going through the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and, well, the Romanian government was going to have to cough up around 4.4 billion dollars for…

4.4 Billion Dollars

Due to all of the protests against the PSD’s attempts to legalize corruption earlier this year, it escaped most people’s attention that Grindeanu’s Culture Ministry finally filed the paperwork to make Rosia Montana a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alas, it’ll take until July 2018 for it to be certified and approved by the United Nations,…

Soros v. Romania

Word count: 1868 Oh lord, where to begin? Today, as I was working one of my three jobs (it’s complicated), I came across this story from Craig Turp of Bucharest Life and I simply had to respond. But first, a lot of necessary disclaimers! Disclaimer Time I have nothing but admiration for Bucharest Life. They…

Do-It-Yourself Romania: Exploring Mines at Roșia Montană

Roșia Montană is a highly controversial, inactive gold mine in Transylvania’s Apuseni Mountains that’s been written about extensively over the years.  Sam has expounded quite a bit on the topic already, so rather than beat a dead horse, I’ll refer you to a few of his articles.  What little I can add to the palimpsest of Roșia…

Do-It-Yourself Romania: Geamăna’s Sunken Church

When it comes to Romania, trips to the countryside are do-it-yourself ventures.  How much fun you have depends on how willing you are to forego convenience in exchange for some shockingly wild experiences.  For example, there’s Geamăna: once a sleepy little mountain town, it now resides deep beneath a slurry of toxic mine drainage thanks to communist-era vicissitudes.  Today, only the church…

The Saga of Rosia Montana

Word Count: 3843 Let’s start off with the good news. The Romanian Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, Forests, and Water, officially added the Rosia Montana area to the list of sites to be considered by the United Nations as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Should this go all the…

Rosia Montana Stymied Yet Again

It’s perfectly fine to use cyanide to mine gold in Romania, just as long as you don’t do it anywhere near Rosia Montana: “Rosia Montana village has been designated a place of historic site of national interest which has a radius of two kilometres [just over a mile],” said Adrian Balteanu, the Romanian culture ministry’s…

Too Little Too Late

I already had a coughing fit and figured out who is against the big Rosia Montana project. But who exactly is for it? I can’t reveal any of their names but there’s definitely a lot of money behind it. They are now literally buying entire chunks of three of Romania’s 24-hour news channels. They’re also…

Twitter Storm

Achoo! Bless you, in my language when someone coughs we say Otpor!

The Complete and True Story of Rosia Montana

I didn’t need any television reports to tell me last night that the protests against mining in Rosia Montana were going strong – I could hear the drums and whistles well past 11 pm from my apartment here in Cluj-Napoca. A review of the media today tells me that similar large-scale protests occurred in Bucharest…

The Book of Revelation 9:10

I’ve been busy as hell lately, celebrating birthdays, taking more homeless people to the doctor, nursing a cat with a broken leg (she’s okay now, thank goodness) and doing a ton of writing for my new book but I’ve still had time to keep an eye on the news and it’s been a doozy here…

While Romanians Talk, Greenpeace Actually Does Something

As usual, during the day I had the sound off but was keeping my ever vigilant eye attuned to the the various TV news channels when I espied this: Greenpeace activists stormed Romania’s environment ministry on Tuesday, chaining themselves to radiators in the minister’s office in an attempt to stop approval for Europe’s biggest open-cast…