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Romanian President Traian Basescu talks to the local people in Rosia Montana

September 2, 2011

Romanian President Traian Basescu talks to local people from Rosia Montana, about the mining project proposed by Canadian company “Rosia Montana Gold Corporation”.

Here is a short description of the main subjects that were raised:

1. Can a private citizen be expropriated for a private project of private interest?
The locals say no, saying this is a basic human right and that the Romanian Constitution protects their rights.
The president says: “if the government takes this decision, no, the Constitution is not preventing him” (go to Constitution talk here and here)

2. What is the Romanian participation in the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation project?
The president says it is 19.3%, plus 4% royalties.
The locals say the 19.3% is history, after a capital increase in 2010 that reduced the Romanian participation to 0.6%, plus 4% royalties (raised from 2% in the last two years). (go to participation talk here and here)

3. Will the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation create jobs?
The president says yes, around 4000 jobs, and then he lowers it to 2000 jobs.
The locals say the jobs are a fantasy and only a PR scheme to mislead public opinion. (go to jobs talk)

Among other issues discussed were “what happened with the gold from the Romanian treasury”, “Rosia Montana and the Carnic mountain on the UNESCO list of protected monuments”, “the illegal things done by the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation”.

Transcripts

This is the transcript of the videos recorded in Rosia Montana. (You can see the videos here: part I, part II, part III)

President Traian Basescu: Let’s see how we’ll sit. There, so that I can see you all, I’ll sit in the mayor’s chair. There you go.

President Traian Basescu: So… 1, 2, 3, to identify you.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Here we are, us here and there. We are five. And two NGOs, the representatives of two NGOs.

President Traian Basescu: So, what’s the problem? But spoken with calm, because I’m not angry.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, can I make a remark?

President Traian Basescu: Yes.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: We, being under siege here for 10 years already, we are, we are a little angry.

President Traian Basescu: Well, then get out if you’re angry. Right now, get out!

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Why?

President Traian Basescu: So, if you can’t talk in a civilized manner…

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I am talking in civilized manner, but I made a remark, beautiful, like that. I’m not afraid to get out, because I’m in my village.

President Traian Basescu: Mister, I am fed up with impolite and rude people, do you understand?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I know. I understand you.

President Traian Basescu: If I can talk to the people in a civilized manner, that’s good, if not, not.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, I understood. So, let’s begin.

President Traian Basescu: I am fed up. I see them everyday on TV.
Ok, I’m done with you, I don’t need you anymore.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, may I welcome you to Rosia Montana, after 11 years, while the community in Rosia Montana was exposed to all misinformation, all possible manipulation. I saw your statement. So I understood that today you studied the project of Rosia Montana.

President Traian Basescu: Mister, this is my fifth visit here.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Ok, your fifth visit. Mister President…

President Traian Basescu: Including during my campaign.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister President, let’s clear things up from a legal perspective. A project, in order to begin, especially a private one, such as the case of Rosia Montana, has to respect especially the individual rights of the citizen. I don’t know if you agree.

President Traian Basescu: It depends.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, no, according to the law.

President Traian Basescu: Mister, according to the law, remember that we couldn’t build a single km of highway until recently, because the owners did not want that. Then a land expropriation law was adopted, for projects of public interest, and the circus was over. Ok? So the states do not stumble upon someone’s will, someone’s ambition, they take into account the national interest.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: So in that case should I understand that you’ll proceed to the forced expropriation in Rosia Montana?

President Traian Basescu: No, mister, the president can’t expropriate.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: So you said states, so that they won’t stumble upon a stub, like we are, a small stub, and those who don’t obey the national interest, even though I don’t see where is the national interest in this project at Rosia Montana.

President Traian Basescu: Creating jobs doesn’t tell you anything?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, this is not of national interest. No. Well, this is my point of view.

President Traian Basescu: Go on, tell your point of view.
You must know that I have 30 minutes for both sides, 15 for you, 15 for the others.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, we’ll count the time.

President Traian Basescu: What’s your name?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Eugen David.

President Traian Basescu: David. Yes.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: And in this case, for 10 years you and the political class and the company told us “there has to be consensus within the community, there will be no expropriations”…

President Traian Basescu: No, I didn’t say that.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, ok, I will remind you then.

President Traian Basescu: Mister, I have one demand. You can lie when I’m not present, but do not lie to my face.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, I know your style. I really know your style.

President Traian Basescu: Please, Mister David.
You can’t lie to my face, I didn’t make such statements.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I said the political class. Yes, so I said the political class, they told us “the community has to agree on the project, there will be no expropriations, there is not a matter of national interest, 99% of the benefits go to the canadian company”, and here we are now, after they saw that for 10 years they couldn’t accomplish anything, here we are, where they try, with rare perfidy, to pass a forced expropriation law.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I tell you in all honesty that we’ll act legally and by all means so that this law won’t pass, because we don’t want to have somebody coming, stepping with boots over our private lives.

It is a private project, I don’t care about the national interest, how you’ll say it is, I really want to see how you declare of national interest a company that’s privately held over 90%.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: And my life in Rosia Montana is that I chose the alternative. I am able to go all the way for my life in Rosia Montana and the alternative of development.
I don’t want to depend on a company, like those workers that shout “we want jobs”.

I never asked anything from the Romanian state, I pay taxes every year, 10000 Lei (2500 EU), my farm is doing great, you want to destroy my business for a private company that has 10 years of exploitation and then leaves and leaves behind a disaster.

As a development opportunity nobody ever made a study to show tourism is not an option for Rosia Montana. As an alternative to this project. Even though, according to the company, the alternative, after the exploitation is finished, is exactly the tourism. Why not now? You come with blackmail, with jobs. This blackmail is cheap, mr. President. I’m telling you.

President Traian Basescu: For the people who don’t have a job it is important.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, this is how you manipulate people, this is how you turn people one against the other.

President Traian Basescu: I don’t think that… but it is a reality.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: It is a reality, yes. But the job problem won’t be solved at Rosia Montana with this company.

Eugen, I also want to say something.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, right away, I’ll take my 7 and a half minutes.

(end of part one of the video)

(start of part two of the video)

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Please, Mr. President is mature enough to…

Citizen: I know, but let the others talk too.

President Traian Basescu: I understand, you have a farm.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I want that Rosia Montana and my life in Rosia Montana not be disturbed by this company. Don’t try, because I won’t leave, and I am sending you a straight message, even though you will keep promoting this company.
You will take me out with the army. So, if you want to do like Ceausescu used to do, to take me out with the army, even though you will write “Eugen David’s property, expropriated according to law”, you will take me out of here with the army.

President Traian Basescu: I have a request.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Please.

President Traian Basescu: I have a request. Don’t be indecent.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I’m not, I was really decent. I’m telling you.

President Traian Basescu: No, you weren’t and you are about to make me… bigger bolshevism (communism) than seeing a folk that tells you… have you seen any gendarme, any military that came to take you out by my order? This is bolshevism, mister.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: I’m telling you… and I want to protect myself from… I know you don’t like my speech.

President Traian Basescu: Well no, because it is a bolshevik speech.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No no no, I want to protect myself from the bolshevism in the future.

President Traian Basescu: Democracy is being made with laws, not with the army, ok?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes. I am telling you, Mr. President, you will take me out from here with the army!

“The jobs that the company is talking about are a fantasy” (Mr. Cornea, citizen from Rosia Montana)

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, I want to tell you, I will be very brief, straight on the subject.
The jobs that the company is talking about are a fantasy. We are certain of that, Mr. President.

President Traian Basescu: But how will the exploitation be done?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: At the surface, Mr. President.

I worked for 30 years in the mining industry, I coordinated mining at Rosia Montana, I worked for 5 years at the Rosia Montana mine, so I know how the project is being done and that’s why I oppose to it.

Because the company is misinforming you and I see big lies being told on all TV programs. Please believe me.
This exploitation, if it’s done here in Rosia Montana, all the Western Mountains area becomes dust. Ashes and dust.

I want you to know one thing. In order to take 1,5 grams of gold from a tone of rock, the company will use 800 grams of cyanide. Please believe me, count how many people can be killed with 800 grams of cyanide.

The company will say they are neutralizing. It is rubbish talk, mr. president. The cyanide can’t be neutralized as the company says. The cyanide is much more difficult to neutralize and it takes a much longer time to neutralize.
They want to use between 172 – 240 thousand tones of sodium cyanide.

Please believe me, all Apuseni Mountains will be finished, and it’s the end of the story for tourism in Rasnovului Valley and Apuseni Mountains.

So, on a circle area with a radius of 100 km all life will be killed , all life.
So this is what you must see. You have to see the disadvantages as well.

What happened with the gold in the Romanian treasury

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: You said you need gold in the country’s treasury, right? Mr. President, I tell you one thing, in 1989 there were 296.5 tones of gold in the treasury. Now there are 103 tones left. Let’s ask all those who were in the government, let’s ask Mr. Mugur Isarescu (the bank’s governor, n.r.): “Where are 193,5 tones of gold?”

President Traian Basescu: Let’s talk about Rosia Montana.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: This is about Rosia Montana, Mr. President.

President Traian Basescu: I can tell you, the gold was sold. It was sold for pensions and salaries.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: You said you need 100 tones.
The percent the Romanian state receives here is 0.6%, Mr. President, not 19.3% as it was before, because the romanian state did not pay 115 million RON when there was a capital increase and the company added 500 million RON.
So then you, out of 300 tones of gold, with 0.6%, you take 1.8 tones. You don’t save Romania with that, you know. And I also tell you…

President Traian Basescu: You must know you have some very wrong data.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: I don’t know. I don’t know, you prove me wrong, mr. president.

President Traian Basescu: I disagree.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Please.

President Traian Basescu: Cupru Deva (the state company, n.r.) has a 19.3% stake.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: It used to have. Until 2010, when there was the capital increase.

President Traian Basescu: It used to have 35%, mister. Cupru Deva. And when the capital increase was made, it remained 19.3%. I have a request, I am talking to you based on documents, you sell whatever you have to sell, here around the village. 0,6%… 4% is only the royalties. The Romanian State won’t accept to do, this exploitation to be made with a 4% royalties.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: It used to be 2%, Mr. President, and then they raised it.

President Traian Basescu: Yes. So use correct data.

President Traian Basescu: And besides, you say you worked here. I saw the romanian state restarted the exploitation at Rosia (Poleti?). So?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Why? Because they were smart. They didn’t liquidate the mine as it was done at Rosia Montana. Here they liquidated the mine when it was closed in 2006. Why was the mine liquidated? And a couple of crooks earned some money. And they pocketed the money. Why didn’t they preserve the mine, mr. president? And now when the gold is close to 20,000 USD an ounce, you could have opened this mine. And you wouldn’t have to chase me out of Rosia Montana, because they would have worked at a smaller capacity.

President Traian Basescu: What I’m noticing… what’s your name?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. Cornea is my name.

President Traian Basescu: Mr. Cornea, I notice you work with wrong values and probably you also distribute those, 0,6% the Romanian state… And I tell you one more thing. Let’s say the mine won’t have 4000 jobs, in all, not only the exploitation, in all, construction, etc. Let’s say not 4000. Let’s say it will have 2000.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: It won’t, mr. president. I can give you as many arguments as you want.

President Traian Basescu: If you’ll give me just like those with 0,6%…

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, mr. president, I have arguments.

President Traian Basescu: So, I’m sorry, I’m telling you in all honesty, through the numbers you mentioned and you probably distribute around, you’ve discredited yourself, you are not of good will.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: I am sorry, Mr. President, you can check.

President Traian Basescu: How can you tell 0,6% when only the royalties according to the law is 4%.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: When were the royalties raised to 4%?

President Traian Basescu: Mister, I think last year, two years ago…

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: The project is here since ’95.

President Traian Basescu: Now you are talking to me. Now. How do you think a president can be lied with such serenity and acting like a I-know-all?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Why don’t they declassify the contract between Deva mines (the state, n.r.) and the company?

President Traian Basescu: I don’t know, is the contract classified?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes. Why don’t they declassify it?

President Traian Basescu: So I believe it is of public interest in such a way that it has to be declassified.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. Prime Minister Boc also promised it will be declassified.

President Traian Basescu: So I believe it has to be declassified. We have to talk to the canadian partner and declassify it. I don’t see a problem here.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: I represent a cultural foundation. You have to know that in Rosia Montana exists the richest archeological site form the pre-roman times and all the history of mining from the VII-th century B.C. till today.
We fight so that Rosia Montana becomes a UNESCO sit. It is our battle, because what we have here nobody has and we hope mr. Kelemen Hunor will sign this project that was filed at the Ministery of Culture, so that Rosia Montana will be considered to become a protected archeological site.

President Traian Basescu: I agree. How many tourists are here today to see the site?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, I can tell you that here at the mine, at the museum, there are over 150-200 people that come to see the museum that is here now.

President Traian Basescu: Ok, the museum that’s here now.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: I can tell you that I worked at the information centre, there were daily over 1500 people passing and they were coming to see what’s here.

President Traian Basescu: And the abandoned exploitation, what do you do with it?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, I know the Romanian state allocated some money for the rebuilding of mining.

President Traian Basescu: When?

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: Well, there were 1.000 billions, when Mr. Tariceanu was Prime Minister, and you were also President. And the decantation lake you started the reconstruction of the decantation lake in Gura Rosie, it’s ecologisation, so there are some money approved.

President Traian Basescu: Yes.

Mr.C., citizen from Rosia Montana: There, nothing is being done here at Rosia Montana because here everything stopped, because the company is here. The same thing with jobs and with development strategies here in Rosia Montana. All strategies were stopped because there’s the company, so that the company will be the only one who provides jobs and offers chances.
They have no idea what mining is. I’m telling you the following thing. After the company will reach it’s goal, the company will tell people “thank you for your time” and others will come.

President Traian Basescu: It’s not out of the question.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mr. President, my name is Stefan Bodnar, from Rosia Montana, I am a landowner in Rosia Montana. I want to tell you…

President Traian Basescu: What’s your propriety?

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: I have 10 ha (100 000 sq meters = 24 710 acres) of land. Plus the house. So the people that are outside and shout they want mining don’t have land. There are probably around 10 who have land, but the rest no. And that’s why I want to tell you: the people who don’t own land shout that they want mining. And secondly…

President Traian Basescu: Are they from another land?

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes. The people in Rosia but who sold, from other villages, Campina, Abrud, Campeni, from Timisoara, from everywhere. There are also people who had land here and they sold. But not all.

RMGC employeeSo all the people have proprieties in the area, but not in the village.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: But not all.

RMGC employee In the Rosia Montana area we have 16 villages, they are all equal.

President Traian Basescu:Ok, ok.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: We have here 7 churches that enter the project perimeter and 8 graveyards. Those will have to be destroyed. Do you realize there are tens of dead people that have to be excavated or covered with tailings? And 7 churches. How can this happen? That’s impossible. That’s what I say.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: And third, I told you, I am a landowner, I won’t leave here unless somebody shoots me. That must be clear.

President Traian Basescu: But nobody will shoot you.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: There’s no other way. Otherwise the project won’t be done, you be sure of that. I’m telling you. A private company, with 80% or how much does it have, less or more, to take me out, a private citizen who has a propriety, I don’t think such thing is possible.
The Constitution doesn’t allow such thing. If you want to change the law, through your government, to force us, if you shoot us, yes.
Ceausescu wanted to do that and he didn’t do it, in ’87. 7 churches and 8 graveyards that should be excavated and destroyed.

President Traian Basescu: But you should know that there is a law of expropriation.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: But not for a private company. Mr. President, a private company to expropriate me or another? Where did that ever happen? I haven’t seen, I haven’t heard of such a thing.

President Traian Basescu: But not the capital of the company gives the right of expropriation, but the interest.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: If it were a highway, yes. Or… But only because the Romanian Government has 0,6% in dividends, or 6%? That’s zero.
So we won’t leave.

RMGC employee I want to make a correction, mr. president. 3 churches will be affected and a prayer house.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: There is no such thing, all the churches would be harmed. Don’t talk nonsense.

RMGC employee The rest that are here will be protected.

President Traian Basescu: I know the project, and how many graveyards.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, but they say one thing and do another. Mr. President, I’m telling you.

President Traian Basescu: This won’t happen.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: I’m telling you the reality.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Nobody grants this, Mr. President.

President Traian Basescu: If it will be made, if the government will approve, I for one guarantee you that it will be done as it is written. But if the government will approve it, I am not the government, do you understand?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, no, it’s a matter of responsibility, because we speak so well of the project…

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana:Let him talk too.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: My name is Florin Jurca, I was born here in Rosia Montana, I have 3 proprieties, I have some question marks since this company arrived here. First of all I want to tell you that Rosia Montana has been decapitated since this company came here, because they brought discord amongst the people, there are around 800 families that left.

President Traian Basescu: This is the main problem. The discord that I see here.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: It doesn’t matter, it will be populated again. The people will come.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: People don’t get along anymore, you saw, there are two sides, I believe Romania is also split in two as well, because of this project.

President Traian Basescu: Don’t mistake the people on TV for Romania.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, but this subject is so talked about.

President Traian Basescu: Yes, it is.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: I have two proprieties in the industrial area. I will never sell them, I am determined to stay here at any cost, I’m not going to the company to ask them for work, I have a family here, I want to live here.
I don’t know why would I be all the time with a sword above my head, that tomorrow this project might be approved, that… so I don’t understand, because they should end once and for all with this business that was fishy from the beginning, I am one of the people who met the very first employees of the company and it didn’t seem clear to me.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: The honesty of the company should have been checked, I think you realize that in 15 years, since they are here, they breached the law.

Because that’s why they didn’t start the project, you must not blame the politicians, because this company breached very obviously the laws of Romania, starting with the local council, you know that here there were many licenses approved by counselors that were in a conflict of interests, and that was also demonstrated in the court of law, and even because of that.
It is also about the Carnic mountain, which is the biggest dispute regarding this project.

You know that it is still a historical monument, it has not been lost by us yet, the company needs that mountain, there are the ancient roman galleries there, I don’t know how they will be able to exploit it.

President Traian Basescu: I have seen from the presentation that the galleries and everything that means history is protected.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Why did they buy from the protected area and moved everything then?

President Traian Basescu: I don’t know.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: I’m telling you, Mr. President, the area is protected only on paper, in the project. In reality, they will shoot 75 tones of explosives at a time, I kindly ask you to believe me that this wouldn’t leave anything standing. Please believe me. At a production capacity of 13 mil. tones.

President Traian Basescu: You know why I don’t believe you? Because such exploitation exist in many other countries.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes, mister President, but not over a place inhabited by people and over the village’s core, mister president, it is at a distance.

President Traian Basescu: No, I’ve seen in the middle of the city, in New Zeeland.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Ok, I have arguments, mister president, all that is here is a schweitzer, everything is perforated, and the explosion always blasts where the place is weaker, and that can’t be coordinated.

President Traian Basescu: Let’s make it clear, I have seen it in the middle of the city, in New Zeeland. In the middle of the city, gold exploitation with cyanide.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: With cyanide?

President Traian Basescu: Yes. And with explosions.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Everybody is giving this example with New Zeeland. As a positive one.

President Traian Basescu: No, you know why, not as a positive example, but for telling you “don’t lie to us”.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Exactly, in order not to lie to us, you haven’t been to Turkey, you haven’t been in all the places. There is a list, made by ONU and UNESCO, a list with the biggest ecological disasters in the last 10 years, all over the world. You only pick the examples that are favorable to you. Not only you, the press, the company, they keep talking of New Zeeland.
Let them go to Turkey, let them go to Belgium, let them go to Canada.

President Traian Basescu: But do you know how it was, in Turkey? It was just like in Baia Mare with the decantation lake, when it broke. I believe the technological level is different now.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Everybody says that, mister President, everybody says that.
Listen to me, all do. Do you know the accident in Baia Mare?

President Traian Basescu: It broke a…

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: It doesn’t matter, it was an accident. Do you know what was the company’s slogan? “We are not like them”. And all the time someone says “We are not like them”. And they’re others, all the time.

President Traian Basescu: People, here is the thing.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: And one more thing, talking about royalties, with those 2%, 4% and with ’96. One thing is the royalty, and a different one the participation.
The participation is 0,6%. The royalty is something else, that is stable.

President Traian Basescu: The Romanian participation is 19.3%

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No, no, you lost through the capital increase in 2010.

President Traian Basescu: No, then it was lowered to 35%.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister President, there were two times, Mister President. Two times, once it was from 35% to 19% and the second time it was in 2010, when they were even protested against by a deputy, and they wanted to solve the company, but they didn’t succeed. In 2010 they came with 250 million USD, in 2010, look at the capital increase and see the Romanian participation is 0,6%.

President Traian Basescu: I need to see that.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Talking about the participation. So the royalties and the participation are two different things.

citizen from Rosia Montana: Look, here I am asking you something. If it will be 35% and not 19%, do you agree with the investment?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: No. No, no. We are talking about the numbers, that they tell the press, in order not to mislead the public opinion, but I don’t agree.
Mister, that’s all I want to tell you: I will never accept that a private company in Romania should have different facilities than a small private from Romania, that being me. We are equal in front of law, in front of facilities, and so on.
I see companies, they give a special law for Petrom, they give a special law for Rosia Montana, they give a special law with facilities for the companies, we give, we give, and for me, a Romanian peasant… I don’t receive my subventions in time, mister president. I did not receive them in time, I received them… haaa.
You don’t seem to care. Take care, I have a theory about the macroeconomics. The small producers, they are safer and they sustain big economies. The big ones fail and bring disasters on the whole horizontal afterwards.

President Traian Basescu: You know how it is? I don’t agree with you from a simple reason, because just a couple of small and medium companies, a percent that is written with only one digit, are independent, the rest of 90% depend on the big companies.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: And then? And then? Isn’t the system bad? When you make a too big company, they have where to eat from. Make all companies small, and they’ll all be independent.

President Traian Basescu: Look, I’ll give you a name, so that you’ll understand: Dacia Pitesti (car company).

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Yes.

President Traian Basescu: It has 18.000 employees and there are 280.000 people working on the horizontal, small and medium companies that are all suppliers for Dacia, so with those big ones it is difficult to say that we eliminate them and… What do we live from?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: That’s my opinion. Just a simple observer, I won’t claim to know the big economy.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister Basescu, I want to ask you, I spoke very little, what does the approval of this project depend on, so that we’ll know.

President Traian Basescu: On the government.

F.J., citizen from Rosia Montana: Not on the law? The Constitution?

President Traian Basescu: Well, if the government takes this decision, no, the Constitution is not preventing him. If the government takes the decision that this should be done, it will create the legal context to be done.

citizen from Rosia Montana: And then why do you become a vector of image for the foreign company, instead of representing the interests of the simple people?

President Traian Basescu: I become the one that I must be. I promote the development of the Romanian economy. I did the same for Daewoo Mangalia, boatyard.

citizen from Rosia Montana: You didn’t come to protect my drugstore, when I was left with no people in the area and I lost my business. You didn’t come for me. For the big ones you come.

President Traian Basescu: Well, there are big investments that we are interested in.

citizen from Rosia Montana: I see, but then stop fooling us.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Stop telling us this is a democracy, mister president. I beg you in all honesty, come out on TV and say: “yo guys, actually there’s no democracy, it is the power of the big one versus the power of the small one.” Straight on. And then I’ll obey, but go public on that, and stop mocking us, you come and tell us “you have constitutional rights, you have legal rights” and in fact…

President Traian Basescu: Misters, if you didn’t have constitutional rights you wouldn’t have been today in front of me.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Oh, no… don’t take it this way.

President Traian Basescu: How do you want me to take it.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Even with Ceausescu there were people who could talk.

President Traian Basescu: If you didn’t have Constitutional rights you wouldn’t have been asked about anything.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Even with Ceausescu there were people who got to talk.

President Traian Basescu: A few.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Even with Ceausescu, even him they confronted. With great difficulty I managed, after 10 years, to talk to you.

citizen from Rosia Montana: Will the state take the blame for the destruction of the local community? This is what I want to know.

President Traian Basescu: Well, the state will assume anything if it will take the decision to approve of the exploitation.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister Basescu, what will you do with us? If we don’t leave, what can you do? We are determined. We won’t leave. What will you do with us? because we are determined.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: The state will assume responsibility as a “physical person”, as Mr. Vanghelie says?

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Who do I confront, who is reliable.

President Traian Basescu: The state (laughing).

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Until then you have a laugh with us and then you feed us to the state’s hand. So please.

President Traian Basescu: So I am happy to know your point of view and your arguments.

S.B., citizen from Rosia Montana: So there are over 250 families that are owning land in Rosia. And be sure we won’t leave here.

citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister Basescu, this project has to be scrutinized, it must not be done at all costs, you have to see the other side of the medal.

President Traian Basescu: Well, I’ve seen one side now and in a little time I’ll see the other side.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Mister Basescu, with all due respect, you can’t find out the truth in 15 minutes.

President Traian Basescu: If you believe that I came here 15 minutes to find out the truth… I came down here because I wanted to see what’s up there (at the mines, n.r.) again. I was here for the fifth time. But I said, well, it’s not proper to go up at the exploitation and not to come down at the city hall. So this is why we met, otherwise, the technical side I could see over there. I came downstairs out of decency.

E.D., citizen from Rosia Montana: Oh, so you didn’t come out of respect for us or because… Decency means a different thing, obligated, sort of.

(The President stands and starts leaving the room. Indistinct voices.)

You must know we won’t leave here. For 15 years. If they shoot us, yes.
I am sorry they didn’t also show people who don’t want mining.
If you approve.
President Traian Basescu: I can’t approve it.
If you give order.
Mister Basescu, I’m waiting for you to come with the army!
I’ve spoken to Mr. Boc, he told me he doesn’t agree. Never. Mister Prime Minister.

Mister Basescu, I’m waiting for you to come with the army!

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