Greece: Chalkidiki transmits S.O.S.

Protest in Thessaloniki
Protest in Thessaloniki

As Greece still facing the economic crisis the exploitation of the mineral wealth, on the one hand, seems to be a suitable solution towards the economic development. Greek state has granted the mining rights area of 317,000 acres in northern Halkidiki, rich in gold, copper and other metals in the Canadian multinational Eldorado Gold.

On the other hand residents have a different opinion. They are against the construction of a gold mine in the region, arguing that thepolice investment will cause irreversible damage to the environment, while they support that the benefits accruing from the project will be less than the losses. Almost every day the residents trying to protest by halting the procedures in the mine but they have to deal with the intense presence of the police in the area, which lately looks like warzone.

Thousands of citizens accross the country support the local residents of Skouries by conducting several peaceful protests, like the one in the photo which took place in Thessaloniki. People light candels in order to protest against the mining project and send a message to the government. The protesters included lawmakers, party members, environmental organizations and leftist groups.

As we have seen in the past, a lot of promising mining projects have caused environmental damages at the end. One of them was the Talvivaara mining project in Finland (you can read more here), when in November 11 a significant water leak, 5,000-6,000 cubic meters per hour, with high concentrations of nickel and uranium has occurred leading to an one of the largest chemical disaster of the 21st century.

On the official page of Greenpeace.gr it is declared among others that:

“Panic and maybe obsession, does not allow to the government to see the people behind the numbers thereby ejecting the tension and escalating violence. In this way creates problems rather than solves, baptizing as investments gold mining, hydrocarbons, and the expansion of lignite in Greece.”

Moreover it is mentioned that:

“The Greenpeace is opposed to gold mining at Skouries, as in any type of ‘investment’ that mortgaging the future, does not contribute to a balanced development, or does not effectively contributing to an exit from the crisis and at last divisive rather than unite society.”

As I was doing my research on this subject I found a very interesting post analyzing several impacts of the mining project. Impacts such as the negative effects in tourism, agriculture, animal husbandry, bee growing, forestry, bio-agriculture and water streams for the use of farming. All of this is endangered by the destruction of the forest of Kokkavos. The dust from the mineral extraction will move like a storm in the whole region, destroying plant life and heavy metals entering the food chain from the mineral extraction of such immense proportions. The impact of tourism on the economy of Halkidiki is alleged to be in the region of 15-20% of GDP. This type of economic looting will bring about an immeasurable attack on tourism of the area, and will undermine the quality of life. The mountain area of Kakkavos supplies the whole region with water.
If you still wondering why it is important to spread the news around the world and save this little village in Chalkidiki I will not say anything more but I will let the picture below to speak for itself. 
Chalkidiki
Chalkidiki

One thought on “Greece: Chalkidiki transmits S.O.S.

  1. Pingback: Destructive Canadian gold mining in Greece | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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