State ex­perts to look for a for­est in Elliniko plot cor­ner to­day

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ILIAS BEL­LOS

A com­mit­tee of the At­tica De­cen- tral­ized Ad­min­is­tra­tion – a state body not re­lated to the At­tica Re­gional Author­ity – will to­day con­duct an in­spec­tion of part of the plot of the old Athens air­port at Elliniko to es­tab­lish whether a for­est ex­ists there.

This was the de­ci­sion reached yes­ter­day by ADA fol­low­ing an ap­peal against the Pi­raeus Forestry Author­ity’s de­ci­sion in May to qual­ify an area of 37,000 square me­ters in the south­west­ern cor­ner of the plot as forest­land, ham­per­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plot’s de­vel­op­ment.

“The en­tire process is rem­i­nis­cent of the The­ater of the Ab­surd,” one mar­ket pro­fes­sional com­mented yes­ter­day, with sev­eral oth­ers agree­ing upon hear­ing about the up­com­ing in­spec­tion that even if there were a for­est of 37,000 square me­ters, or even 100,000 sq.m., it should not con­sti­tute an ob­sta­cle to the re­al­iza­tion of an in­vest­ment whose con­tract con­tains the obli­ga­tion of the con­trac­tor to cre­ate a met­ro­pol­i­tan park cov­er­ing 2 mil­lion sq.m. (2 square kilo­me­ters), which would be the big­gest in Greece and among the largest in Europe.

All this as un­cer­tainty con­tin­ues aver whether the Cen­tral Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Coun­cil (KAS) will brand al­most half of the plot as an area of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal in­ter­est, threat­en­ing to put an end to plans for one of the big­gest civic de­vel­op­ments in the world.

On this lat­ter is­sue a spe­cific mem­o­ran­dum has al­ready been signed be­tween the in­vestor and the Cul­ture Min­istry that pro­vides for the ex­plo­ration, re- cov­ery and ex­hi­bi­tion of any an­tiq­ui­ties found there, with the in­vestor foot­ing the bill. The mem­o­ran­dum has been ap­proved by the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal coun­cil, yet it now seems KAS wants to take much more time given the new post­pone­ment of the is­sue’s dis­cus­sion yes­ter­day.

Even if there were a for­est of 37,000 square me­ters, it should not con­sti­tute an ob­sta­cle to the re­al­iza­tion of an in­vest­ment whose con­tract con­tains the obli­ga­tion for the cre­ation of a park cov­er­ing 2 mil­lion sq.m.

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