Greece revokes Eldorado Gold Corp’s authorization for Skouries mining project – by Peter Koven (National Post – March 3, 2015)

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Greece’s leftist government has taken steps to block Eldorado Gold Corp.’s key mine in the region, prompting a furious response from the Canadian miner and its employees while leaving the project’s future in question.

Investors have been watching Eldorado with concern ever since the far-left Syriza government was elected in late January. Just a few days after the election, Greece’s new energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said the government is ”absolutely against” to the Skouries mine, which is currently under construction. “We will examine our next moves on it,” he warned at the time.

So it was no surprise on Monday when Eldorado announced the government revoked a permit required for the Skouries processing plant. What was surprising was Eldorado’s angry public response, which was uncharacteristic of the company.

“The recent decision of the Ministry of Energy — if not reversed in a timely manner — may force Eldorado to reconsider its investment plans for Greece,” chief executive Paul Wright said in a statement. Eldorado also said the move has “no legal basis.”

The government’s decision prompted an even angrier response from union workers at the project. They sent a letter to new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claiming Mr. Lafazanis broke a promise to visit the site before taking action against it. They said he bowed to people of “questionable morals and honesty” with this decision.

“We will become your worst nightmare until we are vindicated in our struggle,” the workers warned the prime minister. “If your government disapproves of us, let it send in the riot police.”

Eldorado was told the government may reverse its decision once it completes an internal review process.

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