Stop Eldorado Gold's mining disaster in Northern Greece immediately!



The Vancouver, Canada based "low-cost" gold mining companyEldorado Gold and its Greek subsidiary Hellas Gold are on the brink of turning one of the last remaining areas of intact old-growth forest in Northeastern Greece into a polluted industrial wasteland through their mining activities.

Greece's Syriza government had promised to stop the mining project, which includes the construction of a massive open pit gold mine in the heart of the Skouries forest, 3km upstream from the village of Megali Panagia in the Skouries-Kasteli-Kakkavos mountains. These mountains are the source of clean water for the entire region. Instead of stopping the project, the government has approved construction permits which allow the continued deforestation and eventual desertification of the area to advance.
If this mining project is allowed to proceed and should blasting begin, the Skouries open pit mine will produce up to 945 tons of dust per hour during the first three years, and up to 2,162 tonnes per hour during the next seven years, with a substantial risk of releasing heavy metals into the air. The existing economies based on tourism and agriculture are under serious threat of being destroyed by this ongoing environmental disaster.  
Already in 2013, dangerous levels of arsenic were detected in the drinking water supply of the village of Neochori. In December 2015, 40 sheep died after drinking water from a contaminated stream flowing from the Madem Lakkos mine above the village of Stratoni. The results of an environmental inspection of the Skouries mine have just revealed dangerous quantities of asbestos in the air at site due to naturally occuring deposits of tremolite, which were played down in the initial environmental impact statement. 
Archeological ruins of ancient mining villages have been unearthed in the middle of the Skouries open pit mine - if the mine is to become operational, these important archeological remains will have to be either moved or destroyed. 
In 27 years when the company is gone, it is the taxpayers who will be stuck with a ticking time bomb of ecological catastrophe, should one of the tailings dams happen to break. The area is known for its seismic activity and there is a high risk that an earthquake could cause one of these dams to collapse, releasing a flood of toxic waste that will quickly reach the Mediterrean.
The only revenue the Greek state receives from this gigantic environmental mess is from the income taxes paid by the workers. As reported in 2015 by the Dutch NGO SOMO, Eldorado Gold uses a complex financing structure utilising Dutch mail box companies to avoid to pay taxes in Greece.
The people opposing this mining project in Greece face thousands of criminal charges for their protest activities.
The people of Halkidiki need support from the international community to put pressure on Syriza to stop the project and tell Eldorado Gold that their short-term profits are not worth the irreversible destruction they are causing to the future of the region and its ecosystem.

We Demand
To Paul Wright, CEO of Eldorado Gold:
- The immediate stop of all mining activities by Eldorado Gold / Hellas Gold in all of Greece
- A thorough and immediate assessment of existing environmental contamination caused by mining activity in Halkidiki and the creation and implementation of a remediation plan for contaminated areas.
- The development of a transition plan for workers currently employed by Hellas Gold - from mining work to reforestation and remediation activities.

To the Greek government: 
Alexis Tsipiras, Prime Minister of Greece
Panagiotis Skourletis, Ministry of Environment and Energy
 - The immediate dismissal of all criminal charges against anti-mining activists.
- The constitutional de-characterisation of the region as a "mining area".
- The protection of all archeological sites uncovered through Eldorado Gold's mining activity.
- Monetary and structural investment into the sustainable economic activities which already exist in the region, including organic agriculture, apiculture, and sustainable forestry and tourism.

To the Council of the European Union:
Jean-Claude Juncker, Presidency of the Council of the European Union
- A full and immediate investigation into the legality of Eldorado Gold's tax avoidance strategies via the use of mailbox companies in the Netherlands.
- Monetary and structural investment into the sustainable economic activities which already exist in the region, including organic agriculture, apiculture, and sustainable forestry and tourism.
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https://www.change.org/p/paul-wright-ceo-of-eldorado-gold-stop-eldorado-gold-s-mining-disaster-in-northern-greece-immediately?source_location=petitions_share_skip