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What Is Greece Planning To Do With Its Gold After The Elections?

Source: The Independent

In Greece, all members of the press seem to be focusing on the fact prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called for new elections. That in itself is quite a ballsy move as it could either indicate Tsipras expects to get an even stronger mandate from the Greek people which – for that to happen – would have to forgive him for not even remotely listening to their vote in the July referendum.

Another possibility obviously is the fact Tsipras has had enough of it and wants to give the reigns to someone else. That’s less likely but definitely still possible considering he hasn’t really had a lot of fun during his six month tenure.

But there was another event a few weeks ago which truly caused us to raise our eyebrows. The Greek government has revoked the permits at its largest mine development project in the country as it has forbidden a Canadian company, Eldorado Gold, to continue to build its large Skouries mine as well as some processing facilities which would improve the efficiency at its other operations.

Source: mining.com

This leaves Eldorado with a very bitter taste. The company has deployed almost a billion dollar in the region to advance the Skouries project towards production and now, in the final stages of developing the project, the government is pulling the plug for what seems to be a weird reason. Greece doesn’t agree with the fact Eldorado completed the metallurgical test work in a Finnish facility, and exactly because the test work wasn’t done inside Greece, the government declared the original development contract null and void.

Source: Eldorado Gold

Let’s take a step back and look at the situation from a larger perspective instead of a company-government quarrel-perspective. The gold mining company is the largest foreign investor in Greece, and after pledging to invest $1B in the development of Greek mines, why would the Greek government try to piss them off over what seems to be a futility?

Additionally, Eldorado Gold employed in excess of 2,000 people directly and very likely created an additional 3-4,000 indirect jobs. Why would a country plagues by a sky-high unemployment rate suddenly care more about trying to get rid of a gold mining company by trying to find a nonsense-excuse instead of keeping 7,000 people at work and looking forward to a (corporate) tax inflow once the mine would be up and running?

Is it because the metal that would be mined is gold? Does the Greek government want to keep the gold in the ground until the time it needs it? It sure looks like it because it makes no sense at all to scare the country’s largest foreign investor away. Greece has a plan, but we might have to wait until after the snap elections to discover what it is.

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