Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corporation (ELD) has quashed rumours that it intends to pull out of Greece, by announcing that it intends to invest up to €1 billion in gold mining in northern Greece.
Even as Greece attempts to attract foreign investment, Eldorado Gold’s Skouries project, in the Halkidiki peninsula, has proven to be extremely controversial. Environmentalists oppose the project which will provide jobs in the local area, while leftists oppose foreign investment. As Digital Journal reported the project has caused divisions amongst the local community which is heavily reliant on tourism revenues. In spite of the continual protests against the Skouries project, Ekathimerini reported Eldorado’s vice president, Eduardo Moura, announced in a press conference that there are no plans to abandon gold mining in Greece and a further investment of up to €1 billion will be made over the next five years. However, as the New York Times reported “while making the deal with Eldorado, the government failed to make sure that Greece received a percentage of the earnings, a common practice in mining contracts.” According to Anti-Gold Greece, which opposes the development of the mine on environmental grounds, toxins from the project are polluting the water supply. They report: “Certified laboratory analyzes show very high concentrations of arsenic and heavy metals. Especially-toxic and carcinogenic arsenic measured up-and 49,000 times more than the permissible values for drinking water.”