Police officers raided two houses in the village of Ierissos in Halkidiki, northern Greece, in the early hours of Wednesday and arrested a 33-year-old and a 44-year-old in connection to their alleged involvement in an arson attack on the Skouries mine which is situated nearby. According to witnesses, the officers broke down the doors of the suspects’ residences.
News of the arrests propelled a large group of local residents to subsequently gather on the village’s central square, before heading to the local police station where they raided the premises causing considerable damage.
The residents then gathered outside the Polygyros court where the two suspects were expected to face an investigative magistrate later in the day.
The Skouries mine was developed by Hellas Gold which is 95 percent-owned by Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold. The company claims that the Skouries mine would lead to the creation of some 5,000 jobs, whether directly or indirectly, and to raising about 1.6 billion euros in tax revenues for the state over the next two decades.
The project has met with strong opposition from residents in the area and various of environmental organizations.