Elliniko bill is finally voted
After ten years, a bill endorsing the concession of a large plot of the former Athens airport at Elliniko to a real estate consortium has been approved by the Greek Parliement on Wednesday. The area in question is the 70-kilometer coastal stretch from Faliro near Piraeus all the way to Sounio, which is expected to be developed within the next decade into a destination in its own right.
The debate preceding the vote exposed divisions within the leftist-led coalition over the privatization project.
The bill, described as “a compromise” by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, passed into law with the support of all parties in Parliament except neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and the Communists.
Culture Minister Aristides Baltas used much stronger language, describing the concession of the plot at Elliniko as “a defeat” on SYRIZA’s “democratic road to socialism” and indicated that the coalition will shift stance on the project again. “We want a different type of investment in Elliniko,” he said.
The vice president of conservative New Democracy, Adonis Georgiadis, said his party supported the legislation “so the country can go forward,” noting that the government had originally railed against such business-friendly initiatives.
The majority of the Parliament think of the plot as a very important deed, not only for Athens but for the whole country as well that will contribute to the economy’s growth and to the creation of thousands of working positions.
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