ATHENS – Missed deadlines to take bids for a casino license that will be a key part of a long-stalled $8 billion development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport means it will up to the next government after July 7 snap elections to decide a winner.
The next deadline – they kept being pushed back by the Radical Left SYRIZA where hard-core elements were trying to prevent the development from going ahead, some 12 years later – is June 28.
A week before the election, and with Parliament dissolved during the campaign period, that means there’s virtually no chance there will be any decision will be made, said Kathimerini. While Tsipras said he wanted to push the plan, he didn’t.
Major opposition and poll-leading New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would get Hellenikon approved within a week if he takes power and will accelerate privatizations and lure foreign businesses scared off by a 29 percent corporate tax rate.
The bidders still face the infamous Greek bureaucracy, a labyrinth where permits go to die or take years for review, as well as joint ministerial decisions that determine municipal registration details for the property, and also leasing terms problems.
Sources that weren’t named told the paper that only decision that could be made by June 28 concerns the local municipal planning okay, with the report adding that SYRIZA officials are dragging their feet to stall the development further.
The permit concession tender effectively began last summer. Mohegan Gaming Entertainment (MGE), Hard Rock Cafe and Genting have continued to show interest despite delays.