Public meeting in Thessaloniki, Saturday 1 November: Mining in Skouries: Does Eldorado Gold really generate income for Greece?
On Saturday 1 November, SOMO and Hellenic Mining Watch will organize a public meeting to present the preliminary findings of SOMO’s report, titled Eldorado Gold: The role of Dutch mailbox companies in tax avoidance and human rights violations in Greece. Canadian company Eldorado Gold has plans for mining projects in Northern Greece that are of pharaonic proportions. But who benefits and who loses from mining in Greece? SOMO’s research shows that Eldorado Gold’s profits are most Iikely shifted out of Greece to Barbados.
Since 2011, local communities around the Skouries mine have been actively protesting against the contamination of the soil and ground water with toxic heavy metals and the deforestation caused by open-pit mining. While mining will provide some jobs, many more jobs will be lost in the tourism, farming, fishing, beekeeping sectors that communities rely on - all of which depend on a clean environment. Communities have not been consulted before the project approval was granted and have systematically been denied information about the company's operations. Eldorado seems to be a classic example of how the private sector gains, whilst the public loses out from the current tax and investment framework.
This triggered an investigation by Amsterdam-based research centre SOMO on possible tax avoidance by Eldorado Gold, a common issue in other parts of the world as well. In Zambia for example, campaigners have exposed that only two of eight foreign mining companies have reported any profits for years. What does this mean for the legitimacy of the presence of mining companies in the area? Thereby, the report also looks at the human rights impact of Eldorado Gold in Greece. Both direct civil rights violations, such as repression by the police, and potential environmental impacts are taken into account.
Speakers will present and debate with the audience different elements of the report. After a presentation of the key preliminary findings, Jamie Kneen from MiningWatch Canada will give a presentation on Canadian mining companies and human rights, and Patrick Kryticous Nshindano from ActionAid Zambia will give a presentation on the impacts of extractive industry and their lack of financial contribution to the countries of the South. During the afternoon, workshops on public loss of the extractive industry, how to fight mega mining projects and how to use research to fight corporate misconduct will be hosted.
Date: 1 November 2014
Time: 10am - 3pm
Place: City Hall, Vasileos Georgiou & Tritis Septemvriou str., Thessaloniki.
Languages: Greek/English (translation will be available)
Εvent supported by SOSTE TO NERO.