TAIPED: Elliniko project to go ahead

6 March 2017
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A 7.9-billion-euro plan to turn a derelict former Athens airport into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts, included in Greece’s latest international bailout, will go ahead despite recent delays, a senior privatization agency official said on Saturday.

Under the deal signed in 2014 and revised last year, investors led by Lamda Development will pay 900 million euros for a 99-year lease to turn the Elliniko site, a wasteland of decaying terminals and rusting airplanes, into a seaside town of hotels and residences.

That project is expected to cost 7 billion euros.

Lamda, which will be backed by China’s Fosun and Arab funds, had hoped excavations at the site would begin in the first half of the year.

But the investment has been delayed due to licensing hurdles.

“A project where [privatization agency] TAIPED has been involved since 2012 has faced problems and delays. But we believe that we are at the final stage so that it can be set in motion,” the agency’s executive director Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou told an economic forum in Delphi.

She said that all parties involved have been working together to sort out the remaining issues.

“We are not dreamers but there is a glimmer of optimism at TAIPED because we meet interested investors every day and we see our projects moving ahead,” she said.

[Reuters]

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