New snags to Elliniko pro­ject

Cit­i­zens lodge le­gal ap­peal, 18 SYRIZA MPs ex­press ob­jec­tion, cit­ing con­cerns re­lated to ar­ti­facts

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The al­ready de­layed devel­op­ment of the site of the cap­i­tals’ for­mer in­ter­na­tional air­port at Elliniko faces new set­backs fol­low­ing a fresh le­gal ap­peal against the pro­ject and a joint ob­jec­tion raised by 18 MPs of left­ist SYRIZA re­lated to the pos­si­ble pres­ence of an­cient ar­ti­facts in the area.

In their ap­peal to the Coun­cil of State, the coun­try’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court, a group of res­i­dents and ac­tivists in­clud­ing for­mer SYRIZA MP Nadia Vala­vani have in­di­cated that “very sig­nif­i­cant build­ings in the area of the for­mer Elliniko air­port” be listed for pro­tec­tion as his­toric mon­u­ments.

Mean­while 18 deputies of SYRIZA have sub­mit­ted a ques­tion to the Cul­ture, En­vi­ron­ment and Fi­nance min­istries, calling for parts of Elliniko to be de­clared ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ar­eas and cit­ing the pro­tec­tion of the pub­lic in­ter­est. “Des­ig­nat­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ar­eas within the premises does not negate the pos­si­bil­ity of con­struc­tion by the in­vestor but puts [the is­sue] un­der the con­trol of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ser­vice,” the MPs wrote in the joint state­ment that was sub­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

The fact that most of the 18 MPs who signed the six-page state­ment be­long to the so-called Group of 53 fac­tion of SYRIZA, which is led by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Euclid Tsakalo­tos, fu­elled po­lit­i­cal de­bate yes­ter­day.

Com­ment­ing yes­ter­day, prom­i­nent PASOK MP Odysseas Con­stantinopou­los claimed that the 18 law­mak­ers “are aim­ing to cre­ate ob­sta­cles to the in­vest­ment for the devel­op­ment of the for­mer air­port at Elliniko,” not­ing that this would lead to the loss of 75,000 jobs.

In a re­lated devel­op­ment, it emerged yes­ter­day that Lamda Devel­op­ment, which leads the con­sor­tium that agreed to de­velop Elliniko, is to sign a me­moran­dum of co­op­er­a­tion with the Cul­ture Min­istry that would al­low Greek ar­chae­o­log­i­cal au­thor­i­ties to mon­i­tor all work on the site.

The left­ist-led gov­ern­ment last sum­mer re­vised the terms for the long-term lease of the site at Elliniko in line with cred­i­tors’ de­mands de­spite op­po­si­tion from within SYRIZA to the 915-mil­lion-euro pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­ject.

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