Hydroelectric power station on the River Jiu halted for the time being

Encouraging news for the Romanian River Jiu: the building permit has been declared null and void by the courts. As a result the Jiu may continue to flow freely, for the time being at least.

May continue to flow freely: Jiu River © Calin Dejeu

The legal drama around the Jiu, one of the last untamed wild rivers of the Carpathians, is entering a new phase - and there are now grounds for optimism. Already in October the Romanian Court of Appeal had rejected the case brought by the state energy supplier Hidroelectrica against a halt in the construction of the planned hydroelectric power station. Since the Romanian authorities are on the side of the energy company, this did not however prevent Hidroelectrica from pushing on with the construction work despite massive protests centring on the environmentalist Calin Dejeu.

A further judgment of the Court of Appeal has now declared the building permit invalid. Thanks to this decision, Hidroelectrica is now compelled to stop work on the station.  This represents a massive success for Calin and his fellow campaigners. However, whether this is a long term victory, or merely a temporary one, remains to be seen. There are well-founded fears that the powerful energy supplier will apply for a new environmental permit, which will allow the continuation of the construction work.

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