In the coming year, in Valea Jiului some EUR 3.5 billion could be invested, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu has announced. The money is to be invested based on projects. Following the closing down of several coal mines, Valea Jiului has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, stiri.tvr.ro reports.
Petrila mine was closed down in 2016, Paroseni and Uricani mines have ceased operations last year. On the other hand, Lonea and Lupeni coalmines will enter the closing down programmes in the next several months. The only mines to remain operational are Livezeni and Vulcan, as part of the Hunedoara Energy Complex.
“The purpose of this initiative is to set up a mechanism by which everyone able to give a hand, at European level, regional level, to do it so we find solutions for this region, in order to be able to count on other activities than mining,” Commissioner Corina Cretu said.
Romania will not be allowed to finance coal mining as of this year end, however the Valea Jiului trade union leaders have asked the European Commissioner to support the extension of the state subsidy until 2024.
The money for investments will be provided by the European Union and from the Government. The projects on upgrading road infrastructure and water network will have priority.