Stop the corporate attack on Europe
Following international protest, the Romanian government has
decided not to proceed with a destructive gold mine that would destroy four
mountains, forcibly displace two entire villages and create a toxic cyanide
lake in the Roșia Montană region.
But now, the mining company behind the mine, Gabriel Resources, is suing Romania for billions of dollars through
a secret corporate court established in a treaty with the UK. It is the same
kind of corporate court that would be included in the EU-US “trade” deal, TTIP.
Please stand with the people of Roșia Montană against this attack on democracy, and
tell David Cameron to review and stop the case.
This photo shows Geamana in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains. This town wasn't as lucky as Roșia Montană. The submerged church tower is part an abandoned village in what is now a toxic tailings pond from a nearby copper mine.
Photo: Glyn Thomas Photography
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Our piece in The Independent Corporate vampires have tried to suck $4 billion out of Romania, and with TTIP the UK could be next, explains more about what's at stake.
Our letter to David Cameron
Along with several other organisations, we sent a letter to prime minister David Cameron. The letter we're asking you to send is very similar. The full text is below:
David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
12 August 2015
Dear Prime Minister
Request for intervention to prevent a Canadian company using British
investment treaty to sue Romania
We are deeply concerned that a Canadian mining company
called Gabriel Resources has filed a claim against the government of Romania at
the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). We
believe the company has accused Romania of unfair treatment with regard to its
inability to approve Europe's largest open pit cyanide mine. The project has
been faced since its beginning in early 2000 with massive opposition on social,
environmental, economic and cultural grounds. These include cyanide tailing
waste, the blasting away of four mountains, and relocation of thousands of
locals of Rosia Montana, along with numerous organisations united in the Save
Rosia Montana campaign, challenged the legality of key permits, having them
permanently annulled by national courts. In 2013 Gabriel Resources attempted to
pressure Romania's government to approve the mine by passing a law through
parliament to declare their mine of overriding national interest. This
triggered national and international protests which remain to date the biggest
social mobilisation in Romania since the fall of communism in 1989.
Many Romanian institutions including the Romanian Geological
Institute and Romanian Academy have spoken against the project and its methods.
Furthermore, Investigative journalism indicates
a number of alleged illegalities associated with this corporation's actions in
winning the contract for this project. The company has been under investigation
in Romania in connection with tax evasion and money laundering.
Two parts of the same corporation have brought this
arbitration case, one called Gabriel Resources (Jersey), whose involvement
enables the company to utilise the UK-Romania Bilateral Investment Treaty.
In recent campaigns focussing on the Transatlantic Trade
& Investment Partnership, we have been given regular assurances by your government
that you only support the utilisation of investor State Disputes Settlement
(ISDS) mechanisms in ‘legitimate’ cases. it is our understanding that your government
agrees with the European Commission’s desire to stop:
“so– called “shell” or
“mailbox” companies, owned or controlled by nationals or companies not intended
to be protected by the agreement and having no real business activities in the
country concerned, to make use of an investment agreement to launch claims
before an ISDS tribunal.” (source)
We are concerned that Gabriel Resources (Jersey) does not
represent a significant or genuine business interest in the UK, and therefore
that any claim launched by that entity should be discounted.
We therefore call on you to
(a) investigate this situation, and if you find
evidence that Gabriel Resources (Jersey ) has no real business activities,
(b) present evidence to ICSID that, in your
opinion, they should not be covered by the provisions of the UK-Romania
We look forward to hearing from you further about this
Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now
John Christensen, Tax Justice Network
Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt Campaign
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and
Bert Schouwenburg, GMB
Ruth Bergan, Trade Justice Movement
Liz May, Traidcraft Exchange
John Hilary, War on Want
Blanche Jones, 38 Degrees
Emma Hughes, Platform
Richard Solly, London Mining Network
Chris Baugh, The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
Anca Giurgiu, Environmental and Social Change – London
Ciprian Diaconita, Rosia Montana UK Support Group
Sujata Dey, the Council of Canadians
Jamie Kneen, Mining Watch Canada
Meera Karunananthan, Blue Planet Project
Eugen David, Alburnus Maior Association on behalf of the
Save Rosia Montana Campaign
Pencea, Mining Watch Romania Network
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