Greek miners fearing job losses scuffled with police during a protest outside the environment ministry, after a Canadian mining company warned it could suspend operations in Greece. Laura Frykberg reports.
The threat of job losses, Is difficult at the best of times. But in economically deprived Greece, that fear pushed these miners over the edge. They're employed by Canadian company Eldorado Gold. It's threatened to suspend operations in the country. Blaming delays from the government in granting permits. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) CASSANDRA MINES WORKERS' UNION PRESIDENT, CHRISTOS ZAFIROULAS, SAYING: "We are waiting on the decision by the company. We have not received full justice yet, we hope to get it in the coming days, otherwise we'll intensify our fight with everything we have." Athens for its part, has assured the workers, that it will approve operations. And prevent jeopardizing one of the biggest investments in Greece since its debt crisis. Eldorado has invested 2 billion to acquire assets there, and a billion to develop them. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, GEORGE STATHAKIS, SAYING: "Licensing will be concluded in the coming days, today and tomorrow. Therefore, three permits will be issued, Olympias to be fully operational." The government doesn't have long though. Eldorado's given it till September 22, warning it cannot risk its capital any more. While its shares rose following the government's reassurances, they've fallen 48 percent in the past year.