A parliamentary committee, appointed on September 17, is to conduct a study of the controversial plan for an open-pit gold mine in Roşia Montană. Following meetings with representatives of different government ministries, the Roşia Montană Gold Corporation, NGOs and miners, the committee will submit its conclusions on October 20.

In the meantime, points out Dilema Veche, demonstrations against the project are set to continue. “Why has an environmental issue suddenly become so critically important in a country that is faced with much more pressing problems?” wonders the weekly, which is the first Romanian newspaper to publish a feature on the topic.

“People realised a lot faster than the backers of the project expected that the dangers are real and that the benefits are tiny when compared to the risks,” remarks Dilema Veche, which, however, notes that “for the community in Roşia Montană, the argument that the project amounts to an alternative to welfare, which is insufficient,” is also a pertinent one.