Gov’t to draw up bound­aries for Elliniko

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece will soon de­fine the bound­aries of a site where in­vestors plan to spend 7.9 bil­lion eu­ros to build one of Europe’s big­gest coastal re­sorts, the Cul­ture Min­istry said, in a sign the de­layed project may even­tu­ally go ahead. A con­sor­tium of Abu Dhabi and Chi­nese in­vestors, led by Greece’s Lamda, signed a deal in 2014 for the 99-year lease of a sprawl­ing area at the for­mer Athens air­port in Elliniko and the de­vel­op­ment of a coastal town. Greek law­mak­ers cleared the investment last sum­mer and in­vestors hoped ex­ca­va­tion works could start in the first half of this year. But the investment, a key part of Greece’s pri­va­ti­za­tion drive un­der its lat­est international bailout, has been fraught with de­lays as the au­thor­i­ties dragged their feet in de­mar­cat­ing the area and pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary li­cens­ing. A group of 18 law­mak­ers from rul­ing left­ist SYRIZA last month asked the Cul­ture Min­istry to put the plan un­der the su­per­vi­sion of its ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ser­vices to avert pos­si­ble lit­i­ga­tion and com­pen­sa­tion de­mands from the con­sor­tium should an­tiq­ui­ties be found at the site. In a let­ter of re­ply pub­lished on the Par­lia­ment’s web­site late on Wednesday, the min­istry said it was at the fi­nal stage of de­ter­min­ing the bound­aries of the site. But it added all planned works would be closely mon­i­tored by Greek ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­perts be­fore any per­mit was given and said con­struc­tion work would stop for as long as needed for the au­thor­i­ties to eval­u­ate, move or showcase any an­tiq­ui­ties that may be found.(

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