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Greece Gold Mine Protest In Halkidiki Peninsula Sees Firebombs, Tear Gas

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THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Hundreds of protesters have battled riot police for hours over plans for a gold mine in northern Greece's Halkidiki peninsula.

Police say protesters threw firebombs at them, setting ablaze a forested area on the site. The fire has been put out.

Protesters claim a tear gas grenade thrown by police injured Radical Left Coalition member of parliament Vangelis Diamantopoulos.

This is not the first clash over the gold mine, which has pitted inhabitants of the area against one another.

Owners of tourist lodging are fiercely opposed due to environmental reasons while prospective miners claim the project will create thousands of jobs at an economically difficult time.

Opponents, abetted by leftist activists, succeeded a decade ago in canceling a multimillion-dollar gold mining project in a nearby area.

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Country Focus: The Mineral, Metal and Fuel Resources of Greece