Greek gov't suspends operation of Canadian-run gold mine in northern Greece

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-8-20 0:26:27

Greece's Leftist government announced on Wednesday the "temporary suspension" of the operation of the controversial Canadian-run gold mine of Skouries in northern Greece.

The one-billion-euro worth project has become a symbol of the debt laden country's ability to attract foreign investments to boost growth and exit the crisis in recent years.

Greek Productive Reconstruction Minister Panos Skourletis made the announcement after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras citing "violation of technical conditions".

"When there is a will, there is a way," Tsipras commented on the development, according to government sources.

Since the launch of the project three years ago the investment has divided the local community, parties and Greek citizens across the country.
On one hand, critics of the investment, among them the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party, claimed that the works of Hellenic Gold, a subsidiary company of the Canadian Eldorado Gold, harm the environment and the economic interests of Greek people.

But on the other hand, the 2,000 employees of Hellas Gold, businesses benefiting from the investment and other supporters of the project see the operations in the mine as the only "lifeline" for the local economy.

In March this year, a few weeks after winning the January 25 general elections, the same ministry had suspended two of the mine's licenses limiting operations in a move that triggered a series of rallies in favor and against the decision.

Posted in: Europe

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