BUCHAREST: Protesters took to the streets for the third straight day in Romania to protest against a plan to open Europe's largest open-cast goldmine in a Transylvanian village.
Canadian company Gabriel Resources hopes to extract 300 tons of gold using thousands of tons of cyanide in Rosia Montana, a picturesque village in the Carpathian mountains.
In Bucharest, about 1,000 protesters blocked traffic by doing a sit-in on one of the capital's main roads, Calea Victoriei.
Among them was Cristina Flutur who won the best actress prize in Cannes in 2012.
Shaking plastic bottles filled with coins, they chanted slogans against the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the gold mine.
"Corporations don't make legislation", read some banners referring to a draft law adopted by Ponta's government last week that will facilitate the opening of the controversial mine.
The draft law has to be approved by parliament before entering into force.
"Rosia Montana has become a symbol for everything that goes wrong in this country, especially with politicians not listening to the people and acting in secrecy", Matei Schwartz, a 26- year-old publicity consultant, told AFP.
In Cluj, around 1,000 people also marched to denounce the project.
Gabriel Resources, which owns 80 percent of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, acquired a mining licence in 1999 but has been waiting ever since for a crucial permit from the ministry of environment.
It promises jobs during the 16-year extraction period and economic benefits.
Opponents said the mine will be an ecologic time-bomb and threaten Roman mining galleries.