“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.
In the end, trade deals are not about Europeans agreeing with Americans, Canadians or any other country for mutual benefit, they are far more about how big business usurps public interest for profit. Globalisation is under attack right across the world and trade deals have been their facilitator that in reality has turned the world into a one-sided playground for the rich and powerful leaving everyone else in their destructive wake.
The actions of Gabriel Resources in Romania, supported by these toxic so-called trade deals is further proof of their rabid intentions. It results in yet more anger amongst the citizens of the Western world that ends up with populists and extreme political groups getting a foot-hold to fight off the actions of aggressive corporations who will stop at nothing for profit taking because their own government’s have failed to do so.