Steffi the Vampire Slayer
1st June, 2005
Paul Kingsnorth talks to Stephanie Roth, the former Ecologist campaigns editor who has
just been awarded the 'environmental movement's Nobel prize' for risking life and limb
to prevent the exploitation of the largest gold reserves in Europe
Rome hadn't witnessed anything like it for years. It was 106 AD, and the emperor Trajan, fresh from his latest conquests north of the Danube, was staging a vast celebration in Rome's Circus Maximus. Almost 350,000 people would witness 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 animals battling through 123 consecutive days of gladiatorial combat. To accompany the games, the emperor was erecting new buildings and public works across the city. Trajan had reason to celebrate. His recent conquests had extended the Roman empire to its greatest ever extent. The troublesome Dacians, who inhabited the land now known as Romania, had been crushed. And, if the rumours running around Rome were to be believed, the emperor was paying for the city's extravagant celebrations with gold he had taken from the dead Dacian king Decebalus; gold that had come from a wealthy mining region called Alburnus Maior, which now belonged to Rome.
Almost 2,000 years later, in the early 21st century, a Romanian entrepreneur named Frank Timis arrived in Alburnus Maior. Timis was a convicted heroin dealer with a string of failed businesses behind him, who had emigrated to Australia years before. Now he was back, at the head of a new multinational company he had...
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