Thousands of Romanians protested on Saturday against plans by US energy group Chevron to explore for shale gas in a poor eastern region and a Canadian company's project to set up Europe's biggest open cast gold mine in a Carpathian town.
Plans by the leftist government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta to approve the tapping of natural resources in the European Union's second-poorest state have triggered nationwide protests since the start of September, throwing together local communities, environmentalists, civic rights groups and the clergy.
While the two projects are separate and in different stages of development, protesters have criticised a lack of transparency in approving both. They demand stronger safeguards to protect Romania's environment and national heritage.
On Thursday, Chevron suspended work on what was to be its first exploration well in the small town of Pungesti in Vaslui county, 340km northeast of the capital, Bucharest, after locals blocked access to the site.