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UPDATE: Canadian mining company said to be involved in attack in northern Greece

News is starting to emerge now about an attack on anti-mining/ water justice activists in the municipality of Megali Panagia on the Chalkidiki peninsula in northern Greece.

A media release issued by Initiative 136 notes, “Several hundred men on the payroll of ‘Greek Gold S.A.’, a subsidiary of Canadian company ‘European Goldfields’, attacked a group of local activists that are defending the virgin forests of Chalkidiki against the construction of a mine that will poison the land and water and destroy the future of the local community. One of the defenders is right now in the hospital struggling for his life.”

European Goldfields is a Whitehorse, Yukon-based mining company. In late-2011 it appears to have been acquired by Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold Corp. for about $2.5 billion.

The Canadian mining company is the concession-holder for the Olympias and Skouries gold mines (located in the Chalkidiki region of northern Greece) which are expected to enter full production by 2015.

A mining industry blog has noted, “Although the acquisition was held up for more than five years because of delays associated with Greece wanting to prevent foreign ownership, the recent debt struggles of the company helped to influence a change in policy. Permits to work were finally granted in July 2010, as a move was made by Greek leaders away from tourism development to a foundation of foreign-funded mining, the Times reported.”

“The Associated Press reported that there are significant resources within Greece that foreign companies have wanted to research. …The New York Times reported that other companies have stepped up their interest in Greek mining, and this country could emerge as a new regional powerhouse.”

The Initiative 136 media release can be read at http://www.fame2012.org/en/2012/03/24/greek-anti-mining-activists/.