For almost 2 weeks, the antifracking campaigners have taken over the center of Bucharest and are trying to raise awareness on the dangers of fracking.
The work is based entirely on volonteers that are registering themselves in google lists, the prints have been made with donations from citizens like us. The whole work is done by citizens for citizens, as the front banner on the tent says. We also have a document to be signed by the citizens, asking the Minister for Environment and the one for Water (now due to the government crisis in Romania one single person) to resign for their criminal behaviour on interpreting the law in favour of fracking, when the laws on Water and Environment actually ban fracking by their provisions.
The people are supporting this initiative and are very willing to sign whatever paper that would lead to stopping fracking.
Raw’s Series: Local Mafia: OVIDIU TENDER & PROSPECTIUNI SA
Another unlawful action headed by Prospectiuni SA. Used to deal with the poor villagers in Africa, Tender is using the same methods in Romania: enter in full force without proper permissions on people’s properties, bring a bunch of thugs dressed in private security uniforms to frighten the locals, control by force the villages, the roads, the local authorities, pay everybody dirt-cheap or, most likely, not at all and pay very little taxes to the government. This is the harsh, unspoken reality in Romania that is spreading like wildfire from village to village.
Corporate mobsters like Ovidiu Tender, one of the mafia barons of Timisoara, are not only allowed and encouraged but also promoted as distinguished business entrepreneurs by the Romanian government. The daily trampling over people’s rights coupled with a continuous political crises will soon turn Romania’s fragile democracy into a veritable totalitarian state with strong mobster tendencies. The constant assault on the rights of the citizens began long time ago but now there is a soul-crushing acceleration and determination orchestrated by a profoundly corrupted government. Blind and deaf to what’s going on in the country, Bucharest’s political elite is trying to distract with squalid pseudo-events from the political arena.
The Romanian farmers all over the country are invaded by Ovidiu Tender’s hoodlums and have their constitutional rights ignored and trampled on again, and again, and again for many months since last year. The villagers live in constant fear, the elderly are clubbed down on the streets where they’ve used to take a stroll and be respectfully greeted, the kids suffer panic attacks instead of playing joyfully, the mothers and fathers are chocking in tears and anger.
While the recent splitting-orgy in the government’s ruling coalition [link #1 at comments] has the media preoccupied, while the government reps chant falsely the tune of democracy at the European Council, all this time the farmers from Buzau, Neamt, Sibiu, Mures, Arad, Timis, Prahova, Gorj, Mures, Dobrogea, Iasi, Maramures counties are pushed, shoved, bashed, choked, insulted and terrorized by Ovidiu Tender’s company and fined and sued by the Romanian Government.
Do they expect the same farmers to vote for them (again) at the upcoming elections? How will they convince the same people they’ve robbed of their dignity to give them the right to represent them? The same people pegged as ignorant farmers by the elite in Bucharest? How?
Nitwits or swindlers? Even though there are good indications of a nice percentage of nitwits in the Romanian government [link #2 at comments] the swindlers and their goons prevail. They’ve screwed up repeatedly, but they’ve always won an election and have been blessed by the EU and the EC each and every time in the name of democracy. But it’s different this time. They’ve pushed the limit and people have had enough. I just see the Romanian farmers ask just like Michael Moore once did: “Dude, where’s my country?”
Here is the article (translated & original) that ignited Raw’s response:
Geological survey in a Buzau County village. Residents protest against trespassing
February 25, 2014 18:31 (updated February 25, 2014, 7:33 p.m.)
Scandal in the village Cârligu Mare, Buzau County, where villagers are outraged about the illegal methods employed by a prospecting company to identify gas deposits on their properties.
People are angry with Prospectiuni SA Company who trespass on villagers’ private properties without consent. The farmers’ gardens are full of electrical cables and marking dynamite stakes, while employees of a security company hired by Prospectiuni SA walk the streets of the village weaving their bludgeons and threatening the locals.
Some villagers cut the cables and demanded clarification from the authorities. The authorities washed their hands of any responsibility stating that it’s the duty of the prospecting company to properly inform the locals.
However, the same Authorities confirmed the right of Prospectiuni SA to conduct exploration work in the area since they’ve won auction for that territory. Prospectiuni SA presented all the legal paperwork to the local authorities and the Mayor’s office of Cârligu Mare gave them a verbal permission to conduct work in the area as well as access to public roads.
A press release from ROMGAZ reiterates that local villagers must be informed by the hired prospecting company, in this case, Prospectiuni SA:
“(…) the objective of the work is not related to shale gas, aiming to be only the location of the ground surface areas corresponding to conventional hydrocarbon accumulations for possible new exploitation endeavours (…). According to the contract, the provider [Prospectiuni SA] will comply with the environmental protection laws and regulations and will gain access to work areas with the lawful consent of the owners.”
The village of Cârligu Mare is part of a larger area where ROMGAZ, one the national gas producers, has a concession agreement.
Fracking hell in Romania. Activists keep discovering cases of polluted water, of frackidents with casualties which were covered up by the media, of people turning ill, of cracked buildings.
While all eyes were on Chevron, a much worse company in terms of PR, Petrom, who couldn’t care less, it’s in fact the biggest oil company in Romania, taken over by the Austrian company OMV, is fracking around like crazy. There are also other unknown, smaller companies who are just fooling around like crazy.
We will come back with more accurate translations of videos.
Romania has turned into a fracking hell during the last months, behind our backs…
SOS, we need international support!!!
You can scroll through the videos, even if you don’t understand, they speak for themselves in most of the cases.
All the rigs in the following films were filmed during one single day of “Rig hunting trip” (with Civic Intervention Group from Brasov)
The prefect of Vaslui (Liberal party), Radu Renga, rejected the referendum request for dismissal of the mayor of Pungesti. The prefect, abusive, trampling on the sovereignty that is expressed by Referendum, exercise his own authority in violation of Article 1 of the Constitution precisely. All takes place with the support of the Liberal Crin Antonescu, his Party leader and under the orders received from PM Ponta and former IA Minister Stroe.
The people from Pungesti have the right to decide by referendum the dismissal of the mayor and we must help them. The referendum must take place! The referendum is not negotiable!
3 dead people at a rig explosion last November, totally covered up by the authorities and the press. No internet entry for this one, just in the printed edition of a local newspaper that we have to look for.
Horrific things happen in Romania.
On Sunday 16th February, it was another antifracking protest day. In the village of Macea, Arad County, Westernmost Romania, close to the Hungarian Border, around 1000 locals gathered to protest against the fracking projects there.
It is the second protest in the area since end of February 2014, when the Hungarian Company, Panfora Oil has announced it will start searching for oil and gas in the area around the town Curtici, famous for its agricultural hinterland. Even though the company is taking the denial strategy, like most do right now in Romania, people know so well they are not looking for conventional gas, but for unconventional and won’t let themselves fooled by the declarations of the authorities and of the companies.
”We will protest, we will gather signatures together with the citizens in all the villages and we will hand them in to the Government because many laws were changed and we hope the law (on oil and gas) will be modified too)”, so the mayor of Macea municipality.
Like the protest in the nearby town of Curtici two weeks ago, also this time in the rally took part ALL the mayors of the 12 towns and municipalities in the affected perimeter. The people are decided not to give up farming and say they will let no one approach their lands.
After the protests in Eastern Romania during the past 2 years, a new fortress of resistance, probably also better organised than the one in eastern Romania, is surfacing. The frackers will definitely have difficulties fracking eastermost and westernmost Romania, at least.
Even though constant riots keep happening, one just yesterday, similar to Pungesti.
We will keep you posted on this too.
As we have previously informed you, the people of Pungesti have collected more than 1000 signatures to make the mayor resign (out of a population of 3000 people). After a harsh process of checking the signatures, with the citizens from the list being asked to drop by the police (which is in the main village of the municipality of Pungesti, consisting of 9 villages, spread across more kilometers, thus making this very difficult and time-consuming), the County Government (The Prefectura) decided yesterday that the action of the citizens of Pungesti has no legal ground. The Pungesti inhabitants have maintained that the mayor did not represent their interests and will because he did not inform them about fracking and shale gas and also because he has leased his land to Chevron for the exploitation of shale gas (a very murky business, with a file still not opened by the Departement for Fighting Corruption, despite the collection of all the incriminating evidences). He was also accused of unsuitable attitude towards the citizens of Pungesti (he mocked the citizens of Pungesti and defied them, even beating a 12 years old boy on the Christmas day). The County Government, a institution run by one of the biggest Chevron lobby-ist, who has told in a press conference that “the villagers should drink vodka, if their water gets contaminated” and was always very aggressively silencing whatever voices speaking out against Chevron’s project, decided to refuse to recognise any type of civil rights to the people of Pungesti. The Prefecture has stated that it cannot be proved that the mayor did not pursue the interests of the citizens, as he was the one who initiated a project to ban fracking earlier in 2013, which was later on withdrew by the local council of Pungesti, as was attacked by same institution. The Prefect institution has challenged all the other decisions of local councils, around 20 of them, in the last months. Most of them were declared illegal by means of rulings of the court in Vaslui – it is the case of 10 municipalities of Vaslui. The explanation was that the State, therefore the Government decides regarding the natural resources, not the local community. Yet since december 2013, 4 communities in a row have gotten a different decision in court, stating that shale gas, since it is not listed among the resources owned by the state, (the central Government) in the Oil Law, governing the shale gas contracts, belong to the local communities, who therefore have the right to decide whether they will exploit them or not. The County Council has appealed these decisions in court and we are now expecting the decisions. We are well aware of the huge pressure on the judges in these cases, as a final decision favouring the local communities would imply, more or less, opening the door for basically all the communities in Romania to ask for a ban in their communities, given the fierce opposition of the Romanians towards fracking and unconventional fuel development.
With this undemocratic decision, the Prefecture is taking away the right of the citizens of Pungesti to hold a referendum and decide whether the mayor is still representing their interests or not. This situation is totally undemocratic and it goes against all civil rights of the Pungesti inhabitants. It is a very dangerous case that paves the way for the central government, represented by the Prefecture, to decide against the will of the citiznes who decide that mayors no longer represent their interests.
We are calling all the European institutions to take action of this totally undemocratic decision of the County Government of the county of Vaslui.