Vancouver, Canada-based Eldorado Gold Corp has experienced opposition to its plans to mine on the Halkidiki peninsula of Greece. The area is a tourist hot-spot and vital to the Greek economy. Frequent protests have been held in the area and Wednesday there is news of an attack on a police station, in the village of Ierissos.
Campaigners have been active in the area for some time. In February there was an arson attack at a gold mine. Wednesday members of a special forces unit arrested two people suspected of involvement in the blaze. This apparently led to Wednesday's attack on the police station.
The attack in February involved 50 intruders who raided the mining complex at Skouries. Locals and Greeks in Athens and further afield have protested against the mining venture since 2011. They are furious that the Greek government allowed the Canadian mining company the contract. Hellenic Gold, a subsidiary of Canadian company Eldorado Gold, was granted permission to mine in the area.
Those initially arrested for involvement in the arson attack were later released. Now it seems the authorities want to arrest those suspected of blame.
Halkidiki has a long history of gold mining which has often caused disputes. The mining boss said the work would "generate approximately 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in Greece".
According a BBC report "No-one doubts any longer that northern Greece is a source of mineral wealth, with a total wealth in metals exceeding 20bn euros (£17bn)," Deputy Energy and Environment Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou said in a recent parliamentary debate on mining operations in Halkidiki. "We can no longer accept this being left unexploited or barely exploited."
Critics and environmentalists take a different approach claiming "the mining operation will destroy forests in the area, contaminate groundwater and pollute the air with chemical substances like lead, mercury and arsenic".
A high price to pay for jobs or a necessary evil to help the Greek economy?
Either way, who will get rich out of this mining venture? Probably not the people of Greece. As for the people of Halkidiki they could lose money if tourism wanes.