A delegation from northern Greece will be visiting Canada from May 26th to 31st, 2013, to alert Canadians to the current situation with Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold’s proposed Skouries and Perama Hill mining projects. The Greek delegation includes the Mayor of Alexandroupoli, Vaggelis Lampakis; Tolis Papageorgiou of Halkidiki; and Maria Kadoglou of Hellenic Mining Watch.
“Mining in the area has always been small-scale and underground, but even this small-scale activity has left the area with a legacy of pollution,” notes Maria Kadoglou. “We are now talking about a huge expansion of mining, incompatible with the scale of the Halkidiki peninsula which is not a desert but a densely populated area with a rich natural environment and cultural history - and the third most popular tourist destination in the country.”
The delegation will be speaking as representatives of the affected communities in Thrace and Halkidiki where there is overwhelming opposition to the mining projects. They will discuss the dangerous and violent climate currently surrounding the projects, and the corruption of the democratic process in the very birthplace of Aristotle.
Kadoglou comments, “The Greek government and Eldorado seem to believe that a project that is unwanted by the majority of the population can be imposed through violence, repression and penalization of protest.”
The delegation will also speak to Canada's increasingly negative international reputation, including the Canadian government's involvement through the Canadian embassy in Greece, funding from Export Development Canada and investments by public pension plans. It is indicative of how Canada is attempting to cover for destructive and conflictive mining projects using "corporate social responsibility" initiatives.
Kadoglou adds, “We want the Canadian government to stop promoting these disastrous mining projects that are opposed by the local communities in Halkidiki and Thrace. Greek citizens should be able to decide what kind of future they want.”
For media enquiries (English-speaking) please contact Jamie Kneen, MiningWatch Canada, at jamie(at)miningwatch.ca; office (613) 569-3439; cell (613) 761-2273.
Mayor Lampakis, Mr. Papageorgiou, and Ms. Kadoglou will be making stops in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto during their time in Canada:
- May 26: Montreal public event: 7 pm - Alternatives Hall (3720 Park Ave., #300)
- May 27: Montreal media availability - 11am to 2pm
- May 28: Ottawa public event - 7 pm, 121 Lamoureux Hall, University of Ottawa (145 Jean-Jacques Lussier Private)
- May 30: Press conference - 9:30am, Press Gallery, 131-S, Centre Block, House of Commons
- May 30: Toronto media availability - 3-5pm
- May 30: Toronto public event - 7pm - Room 252, Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Toronto (5 King’s College Road - Main intersection: College + St. George)
- May 31: Vancouver media availability - 9am to 11am
Maria Kadoglou will be available to media in each city during the delegates' tour. Please arrange interviews with the three delegates through Jamie Kneen (contacts above).
The tour is co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians, the Greek Canadian Committee for Ethical Mining, and the Pan-Thracian Society of Ontario.
For more information - please see our articles "Gold and Democracy Don’t Mix – Eldorado Gold Faces Determined Opposition in Greece" and Background on Eldorado Gold’s Proposed Mines in Northern Greece.