Parliamentary question - E-001065/2011Parliamentary question

Gold mining in Halkidiki and destruction of the environment and sustainable development in the region

Question for written answer E-001065/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

The gold mining investment project in the Halkidiki area has caused intense concern among, and promoted a sharp response from, local inhabitants and bodies. These concerns have been further increased by the way in which public consultations were conducted. They complain that the public consultations have been a farce: for instance, the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), the statutory technical advisor to the State, complains that it received the Environmental Impact Study only one day before the consultations were due to begin. Local inhabitants and bodies complain that these projects will lead to significant water losses and that the environment and natural beauty of Halkidiki will suffer. The project will produce ore dust containing sulphur, posing a threat to one of the Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, while the production of large quantities of solid residues from the processing of rocks and the large volume of toxic liquid metal by-products will cause great environmental pollution in the region.

Given that Halkidiki is an area of great natural beauty, tourism is the prime source of revenue for local inhabitants, and the public consultation procedure has been a farce, as local residents and bodies have complained, it is important that the project in question meet the requirements set down in Directive 2006/21/EC.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

OJ C 286 E, 30/09/2011