Serious incidents occurred in front of the Aristoteles City Hall in Chalkidiki by local residents who oppose the investment for the exploitation of gold deposits in Ierissos. The clashes reached a peak at dawn, when police used tear gas and local residents threw Molotov cocktails.
The Mayor of Aristoteles Christos Pahtas said that the municipality government is determined to continue with the implementation of the investment, despite the reactions of residents.
According to police, while the meeting of the municipal council was taking place in the City Hall, clashes with local residents had started because they oppose the gold mining investment. At about 3 o'clock in the morning the clashes were stopped.
Initially, around 30 people had gathered in the courtyard of the City Hall and tried to stop the meeting. Tensions escalated, however, in the later evening hours, when collisions were caused by the use of tear gas by the police and Molotov cocktails and stones by the locals.
About 30 people were blocked and three policemen were injured during the clashes in front of the City Hall. Serious material damage was caused to the building and the surrounding area. At dawn, everything had calmed down and there were no arrests.
Christos Pahtas said, once again, that this is a project which is implemented in accordance with all rules protecting the environment.
"Our goal is to exploit the mineral resources of our region and to be able to stand on our own two feet again. Unfortunately, I fear that these reactions have a different starting point, rather than concern for the environment", said the Mayor of Aristoteles.
He also made a promise that the municipality in cooperation with the company - investor "Greek Gold" and the Directorate for Water Resources Management will continuously update the online database, which contains data and measurements of the environmental situation in the region.