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Posted Mon Feb 9 2009: from Agence France-Presse:
Pollution preferable to unemployment for Romanian town
COPSA MICA, Romania (AFP)-- For the residents of Copsa Mica, a tiny town in central Romania, the closure of its local smelting plant is a worse catastrophe than having a reputation as the most polluted place in Europe. "I know the plant was a threat to our health, but at least people had a job," said Diana Roman, a 22-year-old woman who sells potatoes and carrots on the market square of Copsa Mica, which has a population of 5,500 and is situated 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of Bucharest. Roman's husband is one of the 820 workers being laid off -- out of a total workforce of 1,050 -- at the Sometra smelting plant, Copsa Mica's biggest employer... [Copsa Mica's mayor, Tudor] Mihalache acknowledged the heavy pollution caused by Sometra, making the air "unbreathable", despite investments to curb the emissions of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals such as lead, zinc and cadmium.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants, heavy metals]

Your Quips:
Raoul says: "What would you choose?"
Joe says: "Pollution or unemployment - sounds like the same choice that Hoosiers have faced for decades."

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'Doc Michael says:
Maybe it's time to rename this town CORPSE Mica.

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