Archaeological council again delays discussion, decision over Helleniko land development

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 19:54

Yet another meeting of a culture ministry-affiliated council, which is tasked with approving a master plan and environmental impact study for the biggest real estate development plan in Greece to date, failed to issue a decision on Wednesday.

The powerful Central Archaeological Council (KAS) merely bumped the matter for next Tuesday, after a majority vote in favor of another delay. Members of the council were originally set to discuss the comprehensive development plan and the environmental impact study for the Helleniko project, a landmark privatization in the country that's billed as among the biggest, if not the biggest, property development in Europe.  

The council members must decide what, if any, portion of the Helleniko site should be designated as an area of "archaeological interest".

The vast coastal southeast Athens previously hosted Athens' old airport, a military airbase, other state services (a fire station, a police precinct etc) and several outdoor 2004 Olympics facilities. Abandoned terminals, tarmacs, hangars, assorted other buildings and arid lots today comprise the site, located in one of the choicest locations in the greater Athens area.

In a later and uncharacteristically stern reaction attributed to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office, sources were quoted as saying that "... the government will provide the necessary time and margins for institutions and public administration to operate according to the law, in all cases. However, this doesn't mean that it (government) will accept a deliberate obstruction that threatens its stated will and determination to conclude the Helliniko investment ..."