October 3, 2011
A Qatari sovereign wealth fund has taken a 10 per cent stake in a Greek gold-mining firm, in a move that confirms that European politicians are increasingly keen to accept assistance from emerging economies in order to ease the eurozone’s debt crisis.
The deal by Qatar Holdings to buy a 9.9 per cent equity stake in European Goldfields from the Greek construction firm, Ellaktor, was approved on Saturday by the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, and the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
… Sky News quoted one person described as close to the European Goldfields transaction saying that, although the deal has been presented as the Qataris assisting Greece at a moment of economic need, “this isn’t an act of charity”. After a five-year wait, European Goldfields was given approval by the Greek environment ministry to dig three mines in the north-east of the country in July. That licence is set to turn the firm into Europe’s largest gold producer.