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Gold mines in Halkidiki still split the residents

16 July 2013 / 21:07:55  GRReporter
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The residents of the village of Megali Panagia have filed a complaint of assault against the employees of the gold mines in Halkidiki. According to the activists who oppose the development of the deposits, the employees of the company "Hellenic Gold" had gathered on Monday evening to protest against the suspension of the operation of the mines.

The protest had grown into a fight between the supporters and opponents of the project. The union of the activists against the development of the deposits reports that the miners had vandalized a car in the centre of the village first. The spirits rapidly ran high and the two opposing groups started quarrelling first and fighting later. According to the information of AMPE agency, the miners had rushed into the house of one of the activists and caused damage to it.

Angelos Deliovas, president of the federation of the employees of "Hellenic Gold" who had attended the protest states that there was a fight between the two groups but no one had rushed into the houses of local residents.

The activists who call the miners’ union "storm troops" think otherwise and blame the mining company for incitement.

"Obviously, the company uses its employees and incites them to such acts instead of trying to prevent them as part of its social responsibility," the activists state in an open address. "It seems that the separation of the public opinion is in the interest of the company and it is striving for it."

"The local community requires "Hellenic Gold" to officially condemn the conduct of its employees and to prevent their involvement in similar activities, and to ensure that such an incident will not happen again in the future."

The split between the residents of the villages around the gold mine had deepened earlier this year. In the middle of February this year, about 50 people attacked the facility of the company in Halkidiki and set fire to the equipment and support structures in the area. The opponents of the project believe that the mining will cause permanent damage to the region and will pollute the water sources of the villages in it.

"Hellenic Gold", which is a subsidiary of the Canadian "Eldorado Gold", claims that all scientific studies of the region had been carried out prior to its authorization and that it has been proven that its activities will not cause damage. To the contrary, they will protect the environment and create two thousand jobs.

In spring, GRReporter contacted one of the environmental organizations that are against the mining to present its arguments against the investment.

"The investors cannot prove in their scientific reports that the development of the mine would be compatible with the maintenance of the established natural balance and with the agricultural activities in the area. The agricultural school in Thessaloniki has conducted a study which proves the assertion that gold mining will not allow the parallel development of agriculture, stock-breeding and beekeeping," said Spiros Psaroudas, head of Callisto organization for environmental protection and research.

Tags: SocietyHalkidikiGoldGreeceHellenic Gold
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