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Greece to grant permits for Eldorado Golds Olympias project this week

Greece’s Energy Minister assured protesting Eldorado Gold workers on Wednesday that it would grant outstanding permits this week to enable the Canadian miner to fully operate one of its Greek projects.

Eldorado Gold threatened on Monday to suspend investment at three Greek projects, demanding permits and clarifications on an upcoming arbitration process. Dozens of Eldorado Gold workers rallied outside the energy ministry earlier in protest at potential job losses, Reuters reported.

Differences over the investment, one of the biggest in Greece in years, have dragged on for years, especially over compliance with environmental regulations, testing Greece’s resolve to encourage foreign investments.

The company said on Monday that no additional investment would be made into Olympias and Skouries projects and the Stratoni mine from Sept. 22, only days after the leftist-led government urged investors to show confidence in Greece as it emerges from crisis.

“Licensing for Olympias...will be concluded in the coming days, today and tomorrow,” Greek Energy Minister George Stathakis said in an effort to diffuse tension. “Three permits will be issued as we announced in August, allowing Olympias to be fully operational.”
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