Greece: Locals continue to protest over environmental & social impacts of Eldorado Gold's mine in Halkidiki, raise concerns about arbitrary arrests & excessive force by police
Author: Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 22 October 2013
[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Eldorado Gold and Hellas Gold to respond. Joint response provided.] Hellas Gold is a Greek mining company 95% owned by Canadian company Eldorado Gold...Local communities and civil society have raised concerns about the impact of the companies' operations in Northern Greece on ground water, noting that the mines will require vast deforestation and that the proposed Skouries mine is above the region’s main aquifer. Moreover, locals argue that the operations would have negative impacts on traditional economic including beekeeping, farming, fishery, forestry and tourism, affecting local peoples’ livelihoods. Protesters from local communities have alleged mistreatment by local police and private security including false arrests, violence, and excessive force on various occasions. Amnesty International has called on the Greek government to investigate police conduct in response to protests against the mines. Recently, local civil society has raised alarm that the government is using an “anti-mafia law” to arrest and detain protesters on supposedly arbitrary grounds, thus criminalising civil resistance to the mines.