“The model of wasteful consumption, environmental destruction and collusion between economic interests and politics led the country to bankruptcy,” said Chrysogelos. “Strengthening this model in the name of crisis is not the solution.”
Gold mining in the northern Chalkidiki peninsula of Greece, will have catastrophic effects on the local environment and tourism economy, according to Green spokespeople, including Green MEP Nikos Chrysogelos speaking at a press conference in the European Parliament on January 24.
Chalkidiki is a popular vacation spot for many Greeks and is well-known for its natural beauty. The mine development plans include razing 420 acres of forests that have stood for hundreds of years.
Ten years ago, Greece’s highest court ruled that the amount of environmental damage that mining in the Chalkidiki area would cause was not worth the economic gain.
“This whole area is a forest which holds the largest water reserves in Chalkidiki,” said activist Apostolos Papageorgiou at the press conference. “The forest and aquifers will be irreparably damaged by the activities that the mining company has already commenced in the area, all these who have caused environmental damage so far, have been indemnified by law by the former Deputy Minister of Finance, while the new company that recently took over the mines has been relieved of all liability in advance even for future damages.”
Speaking alongside Papageorgiou were George Zoumpas and Athanasios Krommidas – together, three activists fighting to stop further progress on the mine, which covers roughly 317 square kilometres. (more…)