ATHENS (Reuters) – Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp said on Monday it would suspend investment at its Greek mines and development projects, blaming regulatory hurdles for halting one of the biggest investments in Greece since the country’s debt crisis.
Citing delays in permits from the Greek government, Eldorado said no additional investment would be made into the Olympias and Skouries projects and the Stratoni mine, which has been operational, in Greece. It will place all its projects on care and maintenance from Sept. 22.
The Skouries mine on the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, a landscape of pristine beaches and lush forests, has long been a flashpoint with the authorities and a test of Greece’s resolve to push ahead with foreign investments.
Differences have lasted for years over testing methods applied to comply with environmental regulations and the project has provoked violent protests by locals who fear it will destroy the environment and Halkidiki’s tourist riches.
In announcing its decision, Eldorado said the delays had hurt the company’s project schedules and budgets, ultimately hindering its ability to invest and do business in Greece.