AROUND 15,000 people have marched in protest through Greece's second biggest city Thessaloniki against plans by Vancouver-based gold mining firm Eldorado Gold Corp to set up a gold mine in the region, according to press reports.
The activists say the gold mine will harm tourism and pose an environmental risk, releasing toxic substances, a claim denied by Eldorado, which is currently involved in four projects in Greece.
Last month Eldorado reported that approximately 50 masked protesters broke into the site of its Skouries project on the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece.
Last week around 3000 local people held a demonstration in favor of the project, which has so far seen 1200 people employed.
News agency Bloomberg reported last year that gold mining companies are finding it easier to get permission for exploration from the Greek authorities than they did before the Eurozone crisis started.
Greece, produced just under half a tonne of gold in 2011, less than 0.02% of the world total. Nonetheless, the country is set to overtake Finland as Europe's largest gold producer by 2016, Bloomberg reports. In 2011, Finland produced 6.8 tonnes of gold.
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