Miners in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, met with authorities from the municipality of Arnaia on Wednesday to discuss the Greek government’s decision to suspend Hellas Gold’s development of a gold mine in Skouries and Olympias.
Prior to and during the meeting, some miners had taken over the municipality building in a symbolic gesture of protest and were planning to evacuate it later in the day. According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the miners laid out their demands to the authorities who replied that these will be discussed in the region’s next council meeting.
Meanwhile, the miners that had enclosed themselves in the Skouries mine in protest of the government’s actions remain there.
Energy Minister Open to Dialogue
Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis told mining company Hellas Gold on Wednesday that the two sides can start a dialog if it immediately abides by its obligation to continue the operations that have not been explicitly halted by the Ministry.
In a letter sent to the company, Skourletis also urged the company to allow employees to return to their jobs. The Greek Minister explained that he distinguishes the revocation of the approval of Hellas Gold’s technical studies on the subprojects in Skouries and (partly) in Olympias from the overall project.