Halkidiki mining dispute turns violent

The head of a controversial, Canadian gold-mining enterprise in northern Greece has sued a group of local people, opposed to the project on environmental grounds, for allegedly assaulting him earlier this week, TVX Hellas said in a statement yesterday. The company, which belongs to Toronto-based TVX Gold Inc, said its chief executive officer, John Raisbeck, was set upon on Monday afternoon as he drove through the village of Stratoniki in the Halkidiki peninsula, on his way to Thessaloniki. The mining project has stirred up a bitter – and occasionally violent – dispute in Stratoniki, many of whose residents say base metal tunneling under the village has caused cracks in several village buildings and adversely affected the water table. On the other hand, hundreds of locals employed by TVX Hellas argue that closure of the mine would deal a fatal blow to the local economy. TVX Hellas said Raisbeck was forced to stop by about 15 villagers who marched him to the village square, swore at him, manhandled and threatened him. When he got back to his car, he found some of the windows had been broken. Raisbeck sued his unknown assailants for assault, threat of bodily harm and destruction of property. TVX Hellas also operates gold mines in the area, which have also caused strong outcries on environmental grounds. Last month, the company was granted government permission to extend its mining activities under Stratoniki. Yesterday, 11 residents of Stratoniki and the local council appealed to the Council of State against that permit.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.