AUDIO: Greek mine opponent interviewed on As It Happens

Brent Patterson
9 years ago
The website for CBC Radio's As It Happens program states, "Throughout the European financial crisis, we've got used to seeing images of protests in Athens, Greece, against government austerity measures. But over the weekend, more than ten thousand people packed the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece's second biggest city, to protest something else: Canadian mining. The demonstrators were part of a growing movement to oppose a planned gold mine in the Halkidiki region in northern Greece -- a project that belongs Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold. Maria Kadoglou is a resident of Halkidiki and has been campaigning against the mine. She was at the protest on the weekend, and today, we reached her at home." To hear this interview, go to Part Three of the March 11 broadcast here. Bloomberg has reported, "Eldorado is developing European Goldfields’ Skouries and Olympias mines (in Halkidiki in Central Macedonia) and the Perama Hill project (in Eastern Macedonia) that it already owned. Gold mining is gathering momentum after Greece began what it called a ‘fast-track’ approvals programme. In 2011, Greece implemented the Fast Track programme to spur investment in projects of national importance, including gold mines. The environment ministry has accelerated the issue of permits." In the interview, Maria made the point that there was no public consultation about the open-pit mine because the state and the company knew that the people oppose it - and that in part explains why the protests have been so large. She also noted that the legality of the environmental permit that was granted to Eldorado is now being challenged in the Greek Supreme Court. And she stated that the company only has a permit to do preparatory work for the mine and that numerous other permits will be required to begin the digging and operation of the mine. This evening, Eldorado Gold chief executive officer Paul N. Wright was interviewed as the lead story on As It Happens. His tone was dismissive and disrespectful of the thousands who have speaking out against his mining projects in defence of their land, forests and water. For more, please read: NEWS: 15,000 march on Canadian consulate in Greece in opposition to gold mines NEWS: Police fire tear gas, raid Greek town opposed to Canadian mine VIDEO: Canadian ambassador defends destructive mine in northern Greece NEWS: Vancouver-based mining company threatens Greece’s water, trees under austerity measures