Privatization fund, govt say commitment to Helleniko privatizaton unwavering

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 17:55

The head of Greece’s privatization agency (HRADF) on Wednesday said the previous evening’s decision by a culture ministry-affiliated council - designating roughly 30 hectares of the Helleniko land development project as retaining an “archaeological interest” - must be published as soon as possible so the investment can proceed.

Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) president Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou also brushed aside sharp criticism that proverbial modern Greek “red tape” and opposition by small but well-organized minorities are blocking the biggest-ever real estate redevelopment project in the country.

She pointed to the recent approval of a master plan and environmental impact study submitted by the Helleniko consortium to a another minitry-affiliated council (for modern monuments) and the overturning of a ruling by a forestry service civil servant designating 3.6 hectares of the 620-hectare site – where Athens old airport sits idle today - as land for reforestation.

A government spokesman also commented directly on the issue, given the extremely sensitive nature of the proposed multi-billion-euro investment and institutional creditors' demands that privatizations be implemented in the still bailout-dependent country.

Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Tuesday’s decision by members of the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), by a vote of 15 to one, in no way affects the building co-efficient for the site, but only entails heightened supervision during the construction phase.  

He also said the Greek government is committed to ensuring that whatever future licensing procedures are accelerated.

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