A committee of the Attica Decentralized Administration – a state body not related to the Attica Regional Authority – will on Thursday conduct an inspection of part of the plot of the old Athens airport at Elliniko to establish whether a forest exists there.
This was the decision reached on Wednesday by ADA following an appeal against the Piraeus Forestry Authority’s decision in May to qualify an area of 37,000 square meters in the southwestern corner of the plot as forestland, hampering the implementation of the plot’s development.
“The entire process is reminiscent of the Theater of the Absurd,” one market professional commented on Wednesday, with several others agreeing upon hearing about the upcoming inspection that even if there were a forest of 37,000 square meters, or even 100,000 sq.m., it should not constitute an obstacle to the realization of an investment whose contract contains the obligation of the contractor to create a metropolitan park covering 2 million sq.m. (2 square kilometers), which would be the biggest in Greece and among the largest in Europe.
All this as uncertainty continues aver whether the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) will brand almost half of the plot as an area of archaeological interest, threatening to put an end to plans for one of the biggest civic developments in the world.
On this latter issue a specific memorandum has already been signed between the investor and the Culture Ministry that provides for the exploration, recovery and exhibition of any antiquities found there, with the investor footing the bill. The memorandum has been approved by the archaeological council, yet it now seems KAS wants to take much more time given the new postponement of the issue’s discussion on Wednesay.