Mining interests trump local democracy in Greece


From New Internationalist Magazine

The birthplace of Aristotle is under threat from large-scale Canadian mining, but a wave of social unrest threatens to derail the government’s economic agenda, writes Jen Wilton.
Lazaros Toskas holds a photo of a demonstration in Thessaloniki in March 2013, where thousands gathered to protest against the Skouries mine. © Jen Wilton

‘In the land that gave birth to democracy, democracy has been abolished,’ asserts Lazoras Toskas, a leader in the campaign against mining on the Halkidiki Peninsula in north-east Greece. He is speaking in reference to several large mining projects near his hometown that have been given a green light by the government, despite fierce local opposition.

Toskas is a lifelong resident of Megali Panagia, a small village neighbouring Aristotle’s place of birth. It is located just three kilometres from the Skouries exploration site where Canadian-based Eldorado Gold plans to develop an open-pit gold and copper…

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