ATHENS – Adding to a long list of campaign promises ahead of July 7 snap elections he’s expected to win easily, major opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised to get going again a Canadian-led gold mine project blocked for 4 ½ years by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.
Mitsotakis was speaking from the northern prefecture of Halkidiki about the Skouries Mine that is under the control of Hellas Gold, working for the Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold.
The project is one of the biggest in Greece and has been beset by opposition from the government, environmentalists and residents in the region near Thessaloniki, afraid it would also hurt tourism.
Mitsotakis said the investment will be completed, but “without any short-cuts” in terms of environmental protection so as to assuage worries of rivals and critics, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.
“Your municipality was split and divided in the past by certain quarters, who deliberately aimed to divide you, turning an investment, with many positives and whatever negatives, into a political symbol,” Mitsotakis said.
Pro-reform, pro-business and pro-market, Mitsotakis said he would bring in foreign investors critical to helping speed a slow recovery from a more than 9-year-long economic crisis during which Greece survived with the aid of three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($368.34 billion) that ended on Aug. 20, 2018. He said he would also bring Greece back to the markets as well as speeding the sale of some state enterprises to investors.