Canadian Eldorado Gold’s Skouries mining project in Halkidiki, Greece has been advancing without the required by law construction permits for over a year, despite numerous objections filed with the authorities. A new scandalous bill is to be passed by the Summer Chamber of Parliament by the end of the week, which -if passed-, signifies the end of the strict environmental protection laws of forests which has existed by law to date in Greece.
A new scandalous bill has been introduced to the current Summer Chamber of Parliament by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change where public woodlands are made readily available for all sorts of use by private businesses. Forests are allotted for golf courses, motocross tracks, resorts, fuel tanks, land development and mining activities.
As in previous bills , there are special clauses in an amendment which alters existing law, scandalously “photographing” Eldorado Gold’s mining project in Halkidiki and facilitate environmental destruction as the Canadian company illegally continues the construction of the new Enrichment Plant in Skouries Halkidiki with absolutely no building permission.
For example, on July 9th 2013The Regional Environmental and Spacial Planning Directorate rejected the request for deviation from existing construction law filed by Eldorado Gold as according to the Greek construction Legislation “a border on a public road for the length of 25metres” was required. An amendment written into the newly proposed bill overcomes this legal obstacle in just two lines of text: “In case of permissible interventions of the present law, bordering on a public road is not required for the approval and permitting of any building facilities which are constructed according to existing provisions.”
Once again, it is proven that the present government acts in accordance with the profit interests of investors alone, legislating to suit their specific needs, and not in the name of public interest.
We denounce the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s actions to bring about new legislation which facilitate Eldorado Gold’s mining activities and do not respect the provisions of the Constitution and the ensuing Laws.
We urge the members of the Summer Chambers of the Greek Parliament not to vote for this unacceptable law that condemns the future of our area, our lives and the lives of the generations yet to come.
With the right given to us by Article 24 of the Constitution of Greece, in which it is stated that
‘’the protection of the natural and cultural environment constitute a duty of the state. The state is bound to adopt special preventive measures for the preservation of preventive measures for the preservation of the environment .Matters pertaining to the protection of the forests and forest expanses in general shall be regulated by law. Alteration of the use of state forests and state forest expanses is prohibited, except where agricultural development or other uses imposed for the public interest prevail for the benefit of the National Economy.
We declare that we, the people of Halkidiki, shall not allow the destruction of our homeland and go on resisting and struggling against anyone who is willing to do so.