Greek police used excessive violence and tear gas against anti-mining protesters: report
Greek police is facing accusations of applying excessive violence and tear gas to break up a demonstration against the arrest of five people charged with participating in last month's attack to a subsidiary of Canadian Eldorado Gold (TSX: ELD) (NYSE:EGO).
On Thursday, locals set up a roadblock at a village in the north of the country, close to Hellas Gold operations, a firm 95% owned by Vancouver-based Eldorado, burning tires to prevent the riot police from entering.
Police said tear gas was fired at the roadblock, but according to media reports, they also used tear gas against protesters and even fired a canister directly into the head of a 15 year-old high school student.
A photographer has also posted photos via Twitter, which show tooled up riot police wearing gas masks as well as empty tear gas cylinders found on site.
The project has fuelled furious protests by locals and environmental activists who say the mine will cause serious damage to an ancient forest and poison the water supply.
Opponents also argue that unlike many other countries, the Greek state doesn’t get any royalties from mine concessions, so stands to gain only taxes and jobs.
Permits granted in 2004 for Stratoni, one of the Halkidiki mines currently operating and which is near Skouries, expire in 2026 but can be renewed twice for 25 years each time, free of charge.
Currently Eldorado is involved in four gold projects, all of them located in northern Greece.
Three of the mining prospects are at the planning stage. The fourth and largest, in the Halkidiki peninsula, was carried out more than 10 years ago another Canadian firm, TVX.
(Image by Katerina Seitanidou, via Twitter)