Greek govt feud with gold mining concessionaire on agenda of Friday's Eurogroup: EZ source

Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:13

By L. Kalamara

The very high profile row between the Greek state and a mining multinational with a gold and copper concession in northern Greece  has taken on international dimensions, with the matter up for discussion at Eurogroup meeting set for Friday in Tallinn, according to top Euro zone official on Wednesday.  

Canadian Minister for international trade Francois-Philippe Champagne, on his part, said the furor shouldn't affect the implementation of the EU-Canada trade agreement.

Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold on Monday threatened to pull out of Greece by the end of the month if licensing and regulatory obstacles placed by the Greek state and its bureaucracy, as it claims, aren't overcome. Two days later, two out of three pending license renewals were issued, a relevant minister said, at breakneck speed. A third license was readied for Thursday.

Champagne's statement, nevertheless, indirectly confirmed the seriousness of the issue, as Ottawa will feel pressure to defend a billion-euro foreign investment of a Canadian company while Greece's creditors are scrutinizing every move and statement emanating from the leftist-rightist coalition government in Athens.

While Wednesday's moves were judged as "positive", executives with Hellas Gold, Eldorado's subsidiary in Greece, maintained that practically all pending issues must be resolved this week by the relevant environment and energy ministry. The miner also wants the object of arbitration between itself and the Greek state to be publicized. According to reports, the method by which gold enrichment will be conducted at the Skouries complex is an object of disagreement.

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