ATHENS, Greece — Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold said Tuesday it is suspending work at a site in Greece and laying off 600 workers following protests by local residents and a spat with the country’s leftwing government.
The Vancouver, Canada-based company said it was halting operations at a gold mine at Skouries, on the Halkidiki peninsula, one of four major Greek sites where the company is involved.
CEO Paul Wright said a further 500 jobs were also likely to be cut later in the year.
Wright accused the government of holding up permits and using the mining project as a “political toy” but insisted the company had no plans to pull out of Greece and hoped to restart work at Skouries at a later date.
“It’s not dissimilar to building a kitchen and putting in the floor and furniture but not being allowed to put in a wall and roof over it. It’s a bit silly,” Wright told a news conference in Athens.
Wright said his company had invested $700 million (645 million euros) and created 2,000 jobs, but added that it was willing to negotiate royalty payments for gold being extracted that were not included in the original agreements made with the Greek state.
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