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Gold-digging with investor-state lawsuits

Over the past 16 years, residents of the town of Roşia Montană in Romania have fought against a proposed multi-billion dollar mining project, which would have destroyed their home and the surrounding environment. In a remarkable show of people power, they succeeded in stopping the mine. But the project’s majority owner, Canadian company Gabriel Resources, is now using a legal backdoor and suing Romania in an international investment tribunal, potentially demanding billions in taxpayer money as compensation.

Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources is using an investor-state lawsuit to push through its illegal toxic gold and silver mine in the historical Romanian village of Roşia Montană. The project has faced strong community resistance and is on hold after Romanian courts found that Gabriel had illegally obtained several permits required to operate the mine. Other permits have never been issued as the company failed to submit all necessary data.

But the project’s majority owner, Canadian company Gabriel Resources, is now using a parallel legal system for foreign investors in order to demand Romanians pay two per cent of the entire value of their economy in compensation for lost profits. What’s more, the mining company’s legal bills are being financially backed by a Wall Street hedge fund in return for a claim of the spoils. To avoid facing these costs the Romanian Government may be forced to open the mine after all. Gabriel could also just walk away with a vast amount of public money in compensation - and the lawsuit itself could become the company’s true goldmine.

Gabriel's claim foreshadows the massive claims which could hit the EU and its member states if trade deals such as the EU-Canada CETA get concluded and come into force.

Read the full report Gold-digging with investor-state lawsuits.

Read the full report in Romanian and German.

 

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Comments

Submitted by M. Aurora Antón... (not verified) on

No més privilegis a les multinacionals cal protegir els ciutadans

Submitted by Gianni Ragazzi (not verified) on

In the U.S. (and not only over there) they say: In GOLD we trust.
We have (partially) eliminated the concept of "race supremacy" (see "gas chambers"), let's eliminate the supremacy of profit

Submitted by Malcolm WILLIAMS (not verified) on

This is criminal. There is no other word for it.

Submitted by Axel L. (not verified) on

blow-away the destructive structures of capitalism !

Submitted by K.J. Bichmann (not verified) on

Why not make the area a "natural protected area" by law and forbid any kind of mining?

Submitted by Francisco Odrio... (not verified) on

No multinacionales corruccion

Submitted by maria merino (not verified) on

Why don 't you ask European peoples what do we want?

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Stop ISDS campaign 2019

This year provides a rare opportunity to end some of the most outrageous rights enjoyed by big business: the investor-state dispute settlement system or ISDS. Under ISDS corporations and the rich have sued governments for billions of euros – for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to banning dirty oil drilling. Campaigners and social movements are uniting in 2019 to put an end to this parallel justice system for big business.

Whenever a government passes a law which could potentially affect profits, the ISDS system enables companies to hit back with lawsuits for damages - often worth billions of euros. Under the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system, corporations have already sued countries for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to placing a moratorium on fracking.

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Climate change and biodiversity losses loom large on the list of global environmental concerns. Both UN processes for adressing these issues – the UNFCCC for climate change and the UN CBD for biodiversity – are closely followed by corporate lobbyists. Now the UN Biodiversity Convention finally features conflict of interest rules – a step still not matched by the UNFCCC.

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