Halkidiki gold mine protesters lift roadblocks

Road transport in the broader region of Mount Athos, Halkidiki, was largely restored on Monday after residents of Ierissos lifted roadblocks they had set up last week to protest the detention of two fellow villagers in connection with an arson attack in February on the offices of a gold-mining company.

Despite lifting the blockades, the residents pledged to continue their opposition to the venture by Hellas Gold in nearby Skouries which they claim will damage the environment and impoverish locals.

Two local men who have denied any part in a brutal arson attack on Hellas Gold’s premises in February, where assailants tied up security guards and doused them with petrol, were remanded in custody on Monday.

The men, aged 33 and 44, submitted depositions on Sunday in which they denied any part in the raid.

The 33-year-old said that a woolen hat found near the scene with his DNA had been lost on another day when he was cutting wood in the forest. The 44-year-old was linked to the attack via a shotgun found in his house. He said he used the gun to hunt in Skouries forest.