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NEWS: Police fire tear gas, raid Greek town opposed to Canadian mine

Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold Inc. is developing the Skouries and Olympias mines (in Halkidiki in Central Macedonia) and the Perama Hill mine (in Eastern Macedonia).

The Associated Press reports, “Residents of a northern Greek village who object to the construction of a gold mine have clashed with riot police, with some complaining that police fired tear gas into a school. Police have been conducting frequent searches in the village of Ierissos, looking for evidence in connection with a February night time raid on the mining company’s facilities in which intruders torched machinery.” This is in reference to a mid-February incident in which about 40 people set fire to machinery and offices owned by Eldorado in northern Greece.

Today’s AP report continues, “Residents on Thursday set up a roadblock at the village’s entrance, burning tires to prevent the riot police from entering Ierissos. Police said tear gas was fired at the roadblock. A local former mayor, Michalis Vlachopoulos, said gas was also fired inside the village, including in the yard of a high school, and that students were suffering breathing problems. Police denied the allegation.” We are told that the police even entered classrooms and searched students.

AP has previously reported, “There has long been vehement opposition to the prospect of a gold mine and processing plant being built at Skouries in the Halkidiki peninsula, with residents objecting to what they say will be the destruction of pristine forest in the area, leading to the loss of tourism, fishing and farming.” Bloomberg adds, “Gold mining is gathering momentum after Greece began what it called a ‘fast-track’ approvals programme (as an austerity measure).”

A major demonstration is being planned against the mines in Thessaloniki this weekend.

For more, please read:
VIDEO: Canadian ambassador defends destructive mine in northern Greece
Greek Mayor chastises Canadian Ambassador over Canadian mining company
NEWS: Anti-mine protesters march on Canadian consulate in Thessaloniki, Greece
VIDEO: Women protest Canadian mining company’s forest cutting in Greece