26 May 2013 15:00
In the birthplace of the ancient philosopher Aristotle, a popular movement fight against the aperture of a new gold mine in the Skouries forest, owned by El Dorado Gold, a canadian company. In Halkidiki region, in the north of Greece, El Dorado is planning to build a combination of open-pit and underground gold mines, linked to its existing Stratoni lead-zinc mine.
In December 2003, the Cassandra Mine assets of TVX Hellas S.A. in the Halkidiki peninsula were transferred by law to the Greek State for 11 million euros. They were sold the same day to Hellas Gold S.A. for the same price, without any economic assessment of the assets or an open competition.
According to Greek mining regulations, the company has full possession of the minerals contained in the concessions granted and there are no royalties payable to the State – providing little economic security to the region or the State. Due to current political instability in Greece and the accompanying state-wide austerity measures, Greek authorities have displayed little tolerance for displays of opposition from citizens in the region.
At the end of October 2013, the movement was accused to be "a criminal organization" after tapping journalists and activists.
Photos and Text by Michele Lapini