x

Society

SYRIZA Minister Jams Hellenikon Development, Green Light Off

July 3, 2019

ATHENS – Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ last-second push before July 7 snap elections to get started the long-stalled $8 billion development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport hit another roadblock when his Culture Minister blocked it.

With poll-leading major opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to get the project going in a week if he takes power, Tsipras scrambled to do the same despite hard-core elements in his party who don’t want any foreign investors in Greece.

The Culture Ministry General Secretary in what’s expected to be soon gone government opposed the signing of a joint ministerial decision which could have accelerated the development, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.

Hellenikon, which would be turned into a high-end mixture of commercial developments, a marina, casino, park and residences, has been fiercely fought by SYRIZA dissidents and is a key component in the so-called Athens Riviera that would run from Piraeus and incorporates the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center between them.

The joint ministerial decision is required as the next step in the famously difficult Greek bureaucracy where projects can stall or die and where it’s not unheard of for officials to ask for bribes to speed the process.

The Culture Ministery’s General Secretary Maria Vlazaki, demanded more modifications to the project’s master plan than the current legislation foresees, the paper said, blocking Tsipras’ intent on getting it going even if these are his last days in power.

The ministry insisted that that all studies (for new buildings, facilities and even landscaping) at the site require its approval, regardless of whether they are in the vicinity of a modern-day architectural monument or an area of “archaeological interest”.

The Lamda Development-led consortium that leads an international group that includes investors from China and an Abu Dhabi company has ruled that out, arguing it’s not required by law and growing weary of government obstacles.

According to reports, Lamda representatives walked out meetings with government officials at least twice, the paper said as Tsipras pushed his own appointees to get the project going before the election to show he was pro-business.

RELATED

THESSALONIKI – A 27-year-old man accused of spiking a woman's drink at a New Year's celebration and raping a 27-year-old woman was acquitted by a council of judges who said she lied about the alleged assault.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

TNΗ’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

NEW YORK – The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

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.