Continuing to push the sale of state assets he swore to stop, Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ coalition government is going ahead with plans to turn the former US military base near Gournes in Iraklio, Crete into a mix of hotels and holiday homes.
While smaller in scale than the planned $8 billion development of the older Hellenikon International Airport on Athens’ coast into a high-end area of homes, businesses, a casino and yacht marina, with some green space thrown in, the Crete project is similar.
The state’s privatization fund TAIPED is taking plans into the final stage, said Kathimerini, and a special zoning plan has been submitted to the government for approval, which is expected imminently despite opposition from hard-core elements in SYRIZA who don’t wany any foreign businesses in Greece while Tsipras is wooing investors.
Investors from the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Croatia are already interested, the paper said, eager to pump hundreds of millions of euros into further developing the plot, about 350,000 square meters ( square feet) of the nearly 738,000 square meters the US base occupied until it was shut down in 1993.
The rest of the plot has already been occupied by state and private entities. Investors will be able to build up to two luxury hotels and some 80 holiday houses – similar to the plans for Hellenikon.