Press TV, Athens
These miners are protesting against the leftist government's decision to halt mining activity in northern Greece, carried out by Canada's Eldorado Gold and its Greek subsidiary Hellas Gold.
According to a report titled Fool's Gold, compiled by the international Center for Research on Multinational Corporations, Eldorado Gold is involved in a tax evasion scheme using Dutch mailbox companies to minimize the tax load.
This report informed the Greek government's recent decision to stop the completion of Eldorado Gold's factory in the country’s north.
The evening protest by anti-mining initiatives reveals the other side of the story. They say that since the factory began to operate in 2012, regional pollution has become alarming: arsenic is now measured at 49.000 times above safety levels, manganese 2.660 and lead 170 times above the normal minimum.
Besides the 3000 tones of dust emerging in the natural environment every hour of mining, none of the earnings end up in the state coffers, which is why SYRIZA ministers say they are looking into voiding the current contracts between the Greek state and Eldorado Gold.
Greece's new leftist government revoked the license required to finalize the construction of Eldorado Gold's main processing unit in northern Greece. Despite this legal restriction and fierce opposition by environmentalists, mining activity in the area continues unabated.