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Left-wing activists, deputies and environmentalists protested in Athens against the gold mines

12 March 2013 / 23:03:47  GRReporter
3048 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

"If you want gold open the bank safes", "War on the companies’ war" and "This is not Canada, not El Dorado. This is our place and we command here" were the slogans of about 3,000 people, who protested against the operation of the gold mines in the village of Skouries in Halkidiki.

Representatives and members of various left-wing organizations and political parties as well as of the anarchist movement gathered to protest in support of the residents of the region, who oppose the mining of gold.

"The government raided a week ago the village of Ierissos with police detachments. They exercised violence and did not hesitate to use tear gas even at the school. But they are wrong that society will allow the completion of the plans for the mining of gold. There are at least three studies by international organizations stating that this activity will aggravate the environmental conditions and pollute the air and water in the region," Apostolis Kaltsis from the committee for solidarity with Skouries in Attica told GRReporter.

According to him and other participants, "if the investment is successful, it will mean that the government will be able to do whatever it wants to the detriment of the environment and local communities."

The participants were loudly chanting their slogans during the procession, which went to Syntagma Square. The police presence was discreet although the authorities were ready to intervene in case of possible collisions.

At least five members of SYRIZA joined the protesters in front of the parliament. The opposition party supports the resistance of the Skouries’ residents, who oppose the operation of gold mines.

The leader of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras had said a little earlier, "Greece is not a banana republic and its citizens have the right to live and keep their areas unpolluted." He made his statement from Alexandroupouli, where he expressed his support to the people who are against the mining of gold in the region.

The protest ended peacefully in front of the Athens University, where it had begun.

Last Saturday, a massive procession against the investments in the operation of the gold mines in the region of Halkidiki, Kilkis and the region of Thrace was held in Thessaloniki.

It involved left-wing activists, deputies and party members who are against this type of investments, environmental organizations, anarchists and members of the left wing that is not presented in parliament.

GRReporter’s reader Hristo Iliev sent a video and photos of the protest in Thessaloniki, which had also ended peacefully.

The participants in the protests firmly state, that they will completely prevent the investments from being made.

Tags: PoliticsSocietyProtestGolden minesHalkidikiSYRIZA
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