Mayor accuses SYRIZA MPs of attempting to block the investment in Hellinikon

The mayor of Hellinikon and Argyroupoli, Yiannis Konstantatos, accused 18 SYRIZA MPs of attempting to block a massive investment project on the site of Athens’ old airport, by trying to have it declared as archaeological
site.

“Amid Greece’s economic destitution, some people are trying to create obstacle so that the largest investment in Europe is cancelled,” Konstantatos said.

“The former airport operated for 75 years without anyone raising an issue of antiquities. [The privatization agency] HRADF and the investor have already designated in the investment plan areas of archaeological interest.

“Trying to proclaim derelict buildings as ‘New Monuments’, the ‘discovery’ of woodland and now the efforts to demarcate the entire former airport as an archaeological site are lame excuses to cancel the investment,” he added.

The SYRIZA deputies submitted a question to the ministries of Culture, Environment and Finance calling for parts of the former airport to be declared archaeological areas.

Lamda Development along with Chinese conglomerate Fosun, Abu Dhabi-based real estate firm Al Maabar and other investors won the 99-year lease in 2014. The consortium will invest around 7 billion euros to transform the 1,530-acre area into a coastal complex of hotels, residences and shops.