Canada's Eldorado Gold Corp has threatened to suspend investment at its Greek mines and development projects, blaming delays in getting permits for jeopardising one of the biggest investments in Greece since the country's debt crisis. Sonia Legg reports
It's a valuable - perhaps vital - source of investment. But Eldorado Gold Corp has issued a warning to the Greek government. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELDORADO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GEORGE BURNS, SAYING: "I am disheartened to state that no additional investments will be made into Greece after September 22nd. We cannot continue to put capital at risk without these permits." Eldorado's mines and Greece's lush landscapes aren't obvious neighbours. Skouries on the Halkidiki peninsula has long been a flashpoint with the authorities. Locals fear it will destroy the environment and damage Greece's vital tourist trade. The uncertainty brought protests from workers and weighed on the Canadian miner's share price. It's fallen 48 percent in the past year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELDORADO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GEORGE BURNS, SAYING: "I would again call on the Syriza-ANEL government to think of our employees, Greek citizens, and their families, and what the government's decision of not issuing permits means for them." Eldorado's timing is interesting. Last week the French President was calling for more foreign investment in Greece during a high profile visit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELDORADO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GEORGE BURNS, SAYING: "Let me be clear that Eldorado's investment is viewed in the international marketplace as a litmus test for foreign investment in Greece. In addition to the nearly two billion U.S. dollars we paid to acquire the assets in 2012, Eldorado has since invested over one billion U.S. dollars in developing the Skouries and Olympias assets." Eldorado says it could double that figure with government support. Without it - it could pull out.