Under the pretext of a severe financial crisis Greece is reasserting its investor-friendly profile by opening up all goldmines across the country without regard to the threats that mining poses to the environment and to people's livelihoods. Foreign investors are particularly welcome: fast track processes; tax relief; exception from damages; easy money; no royalties; no problems.
But the true picture is not so rosy! Sham public consultations, questionable deals designed to advance specific corporate interests and the slow but steady destruction of the environment have been met with resistance. The struggle to oppose Eldorado Gold's plans to create an enormous open pit mine on Mount Kakavos and within the ancient forest of Skouries has succeeded in capturing people's imagination and inspiring waves of solidarity across the country.
While organizing their long campaign affected communities have learned a lot about Greek law; geology; environmental science; and the technologies of extraction. As they did so, they begun to ask questions about development, participation, human rights and the public interest. Their questions were answered by the riot police.