Romania: the old coal pits | European Journal | DW | 25.03.2013
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European Journal

Romania: the old coal pits

The idyllic Jiu Valley in southwestern Romania is a region of utter social poverty. As mine pits close here, livelihoods are dying and unemployment is growing. There's little or no help from the state.

During the Ceausescu era tens of the thousand of mineworkers were employed in the Jiu mines. Most of them were unskilled men from other parts of the country. But the turn of the millennium saw the first pit closures and unhappy miners marched on the government buildings in Bucharest. Today these men have given up protesting and are left living in dilapidated residential silos, digging with their bare hands for coal to heat their homes for their families.