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European Journal

Spain: Dreams of a New Gold Rush

Decentralization was supposed to secure Spain's future, but that was before the economic crisis hit. Many of the country's regions are deeply in debt or even teetering on bankruptcy. Now the principality of Asturias wants to help itself by mining for gold.

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Asturias sits on one of the biggest untapped gold deposits in western Europe. Officials hope opening up new gold mines will create thousands of new jobs. But the plans have sparked protests. Many farmers fear that mining for gold could trigger the release of dangerous chemicals and endanger their crops.