Greek protesters arrested in clash over Eldorado suspension of 2,000 workers

Greek protesters arrested in clash over Eldorado suspension of 2,000 workers

Protesters march to Skouries mine, March 2013. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

Greek police arrested Sunday 78 protesters, mostly foreigners, involved in clashes outside Eldorado Gold’s (TSX:ELD) (NYSE:EGO) Skouries gold and copper mine, following the firm’s decision to furlough about 2,000 employees after its license was suspended last week.

According to Greek Reporter, about 1,000 demonstrators marched toward the mine, operated by subsidiary Hellenic Gold in the northern region of Halkidiki. The paper added that the crow began attacking police officers by throwing rocks, bolts and firebombs.

More demonstrations were expected late Monday, as mine workers announced a rally that would block streets and intersections in the Ierissos and Gomatio areas, near Eldorado Gold’s mines.

Greek authorities decided to temporarily suspended work at the Vancouver-based firm’s Skouries mine last week, on the grounds of technical standards violation. However, Eldorado said the required tests were indeed conducted, but at a facility in Finland, not on-site, as the country’s authorities demand. It also threatened legal action against the Greek government.

The mine has been a bone of contention ever since Hellenic Gold was granted approval to mine in the northern peninsula, back in 2011.

Some claim the operation, owned 95% by Eldorado, may hurt tourism and the environment, while others believe it is good news for Greece, as it will generate new jobs and bring hundreds of millions into the struggling economy.