Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rosia Montana - Romania

Like a lot of people I'd read about the controversy over the plan to start open-cast gold mining in Rosia Montana in Romania. I'd read about the environmental disasters waiting to happen, the suffering of the people and so on. It looks like the classic case of big bad western multi-national looking to exploit the poor in another country.

Reading Kirk Leech's piece on spiked-online paints another picture. In this case the western multi-nationals are NGOs, and the people they're exploiting are those desperate residents who are hoping for the new mine to deliver work, income and investment. Instead of which the environmentalists are promising tourism (of an eco-friendly sort, no doubt), back breaking work in the fields and none of the 'bad' quality of life things we take for granted in the west.

Whether you think Leech is being as one-sided as the NGOs is open to question - but there's no doubt that the story he tells is not one that you'll be reading in the Guardian, the Ecologist or IndyMedia.

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