x

Economy

Still Years in the Making, Bulldozers Start Work at Hellenikon

ATHENS — Stalled for years by bureaucracy, political snafus and environmentalist resistance, work on the 8-billion euro ($8.65 billion) development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport site on Athens' coast began when bulldozers started demolishing buildings July 1.

That came six weeks after a demolition order was issued for almost 450 structures on the 400-hectare (988-acre) site that is overrun with weeks, dilapidated buildings and rusting airplanes left when it closed in 2001.

It was further stymied during the 4 ½-year reign of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which was ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promising a start.

That was further delayed and then set back again when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and Greece earlier this year, stopping construction and other works during a long lockdown aimed at preventing the virus’ spread.

The project is being done by the Greek company Lamda Development, which bought out its partners, China’s Fosun and Abu Dhabi’s Eagle Hills and has been anxious to get work going on the site.

A formal inauguration of the works, mostly to demolish structures that once operated as part of the old Athens airport, will be held July 3, set to be attended by Mitsotakis who is wooing foreign investors too.

There are 958 areas inside the plot of the former airport which include buildings, facilities, supporting infrastructure and other types of construction, with the Development Ministry saying 13 listed buildings in the park, including the former East Terminal building designed between 1960 and 1969 by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, won’t be torn down.

The site was supposed to become Europe's biggest urban park before Greece's economic crisis that began in 2010 led to a switch for mixed-used, mostly commercial space and also including the casino as well as a marina and some limited green space too for people.

RELATED

The continuation of the pandemic continues to raise hurdles in forecasting the short-term trend of the country's Gross Domestic Product, but based on available data the Greek GDP is expected to rise by 5,2% in the first half of 2022 (7% in the first quarter and 3.

Top Stories

Society

ATHENS — A severe weather front has hit Greece, with below-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands.

Events

BROOMALL, PA – The community of St Luke in Broomall held the annual cutting of the Vasilopita event on January 23.

Society

ATHENS – Women in Greece – those who survive – are coming out to report domestic violence that has become endemic in the county, with 5,705 cases in the first 10 months of 2021, when there was a rash of femicide.

Video

Biden Caught on Hot Mic Swearing at Fox News Reporter

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden responded to a question about inflation by calling a Fox News reporter a vulgarity.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.