Unionists arrested for closing roads in northern Greece over temporary closure of gold mine

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Greek police have arrested two union leaders after hundreds of miners blocked roads to protest the temporary closure of a controversial gold mine in northern Greece.

The men were charged with disrupting transportation Monday and released, while protesters later lifted the roadblocks in the Halkidiki peninsula — a major tourist destination.

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Some 2,000 workers at the Canadian-run mine face up to three months' suspension, after the government halted work at the mine claiming it violated technical standards.

The project has been fiercely criticized on environmental grounds, but is also a test of Greece's ability to attract foreign investment.

On Sunday, police arrested 78 anti-mining protesters — mostly non-Greeks — near the mine. Four were ordered deported, including two women who refused to tell police their identities or nationalities.