Visita á mina de Skouries (Halkidiki)

A message of solidarity to communities fighting the Skouries Mine (Halkidiki)

A pasada semana, persoas da nosa Rede visitaron Megali Panagia, unha localidade de Halkidiki na Macedonia grega, moi próxima á mina de Skouries. Halkidiki, o terceiro destino turístico de Grecia, vese agora ameazado con este proxecto de 317 quilómetros cadrados de concesións mineiras que inclúen explotacións subterráneas, e a nova mina a ceo aberto en Skouries, que planea crear segundo á empresa un cráter de 700 metros de diámetro, mais que probablemente será moito máis grande.

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Esta mina contou desde o primeiro momento coa oposición da poboación poboación local, das organizacións ambientais e cos informes negativos de organizacións científicas independentes. Porén, esta oposición foi brutalmente reprimida e os informes científicos ignorados. Mentres tanto, producíronse diversos procesos tramposos e escuros de transmisión de dereitos mineiros, exencións ilegais de impostos, construcións de estradas privadas a cargo do estado, etc.

Neste momento, a empresa empezou xa a súa actividade en distintos puntos da zona, con utilización de explosivos e escavacións, construción de balsas e instalación da maquinaria que precisan para levar a cabo o seu proxecto. Está prevista a liberación de enormes cantidades de po cargado con produtos tóxicos (metais pesados, arsénico e cianuro) que, proxectados para o aire a 700 metros de altitude, inevitablemente van caer cara atrás en terras agrícolas e en aldeas veciñas. Coa construción dunha enorme balsa de lodos vaise poñer en perigo a maior reserva de auga da zona contida no Kakkavos, e en definitiva o futuro sustentable da rexión.

Os compañeiros e compañeiras de Megali Panagia acompañáronnos a ver a desfeita. Imposible non conmoverse ao ver o fermosísimo bosque virxe de faias e carballos con esas enormes feridas.

Imposible non sentir dor ao “meternos nos zapatos” desas persoas que levan xa 10 anos loitando e agora ven como unha empresa de fóra planea aniquilar o seu futuro destruíndo toda a zona cunha actividade tan perniciosa.

Impresionounos ver a cantidade de madeira talada e amontoada nas beiras dos camiños. Esa madeira, propiedade indiscutible da poboación da zona, pasou directamente a mans da empresa, que vai aumentar os seus ingresos ca súa venta.

Visitamos tamén o local onde se reúne o colectivo de oposición á mina, e participamos nun programa da súa radio, intercambiando impresións acerca de como se levou a cabo a loita nun lugar e no outro.

As persoas que se opoñen á mina en Megali Panagia informáronnos de que é agora precisamente, cando goberna Siryza, partido que abandeirou a loita contra a mina de Halkidiki, cando a súa loita está a verse máis comprometida e o proxecto mineiro está a avanzar máis a correr. Consideraron un grande erro delegar a loita nas organizacións políticas, e consideran que o importante é manter a loita continuada e directa do pobo.

Desde ContraMINAcción queremos expresar con toda a nosa forza a nosa solidariedade coa loita do pobo grego contra o extractivismo, e moi en particular cos compañeiros e compañeiras de Megali Panagia e coa súa dor polo que alí está sucedendo.

Máis imaxes aquí

Words and photos from YLNM members ContraMINAccion. 

Over the Christmas holidays members of the Plataforma pola defensa de Corcoesto e Bergantiños travelled to Megali Panagia, a town from Halkidiki in Greek Macedonia, very close to the Skouries mine.

Halkidiki, the third most popular tourist destination in Greece, is now threatened by a project involving 317 sq km of mining concessions, underground workings and a new opencast mine in Skouries. According to the company, creating the Skouries mine alone involves digging a crater 700 meters in diameter, although it will probably be much larger.

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Local communities and environmental organisations have opposed this mining project from the outset, backed up by negative reports by independent scientific organizations. However, this opposition has been brutally repressed and scientific reports ignored. Meanwhile, many murky transactions over mining rights, illegal tax breaks, private road construction borne by the State, and so on, have taken place.

Today, the company has already begun its activities in various parts of the area, with use of explosives and excavations, raft building and installation of the necessary equipment to carry out their project. The mine’s construction phase will project huge amounts of dust, loaded with toxic substances (heavy metals, arsenic and cyanide) up to 700 meters into the air. This toxic dust will inevitably fall back down onto agricultural land and into surrounding villages. By building a huge raft of mud will also endanger the largest reservoir of water that serves the area in Kakkavos, and ultimately the sustainable future of the region.

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Our colleagues from Megali Panagia escorted us to see the destruction. It was impossible not to be moved when seeing the most beautiful virgin forest of beech and oak with those enormous wounds. Impossible not to feel pain when we “step into the shoes” of those people who have already spent 10 years fighting and nowsee how a foreign company will annihilate their future, destroying the whole area with such a pernicious activity.
P1110919We were amazed to see the amount of wood felled and heaped on roadsides. That wood, undisputedly owned by local people, went straight to the company, which will increase its own revenues by selling it on.

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We also visited the place where the group opposed to the mine meets and participated in one of their radio programs, exchanging views on how the fight against mining has been carried out in their place and ours.

People who oppose the mine in Megali Panagia informed us that it is precisely now, when the Siryza Party that led the fight against Halkidiki’s mine governs, that the mining project is moving ahead faster and their struggle must become more committed. They regard delegating the struggle against mining to in political organizations as a big mistake and believe that what matters is to keep the direct and continuous struggle of the people going.

From the Plataforma pola defensa de Corcoesto e Bergantiños, now stronger than ever, we want to show our solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people against extractivism, and particularly with our colleagues from Megali Panagia and with their sorrow at what is happening there.

Corcoesto, January 4th, 2016

More images here. 

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