NEWS

Third appeal submitted against Elliniko investment

IOANNA MANDROU

TAGS: Justice, Privatizations

Following an appeal lodged by a group of residents and two environmental groups against the investment at the former Athens airport in Elliniko, a third one was submitted on Wednesday at the Council of State by a separate group of residents, in a fresh challenge to the long-delayed project.

A couple of months after the Council of State deemed that the investment is legal and in line with Greece's Constitution, a group of 507 residents and conservationists launched a new legal suit against it, challenging the building terms included in the project.

They were followed by two minor conservationist groups who challenged the forestry permits granted for the investment.

In this fresh legal challenge, the 32 residents of neighboring municipalities claim the presidential decree approved by the top court is unconstitutional, that it violates the Florence Convention for the protection of the landscape, and that it is contrary to other international conventions.

They also assert that Elliniko is essentially being privatized and that the investment should have been presented for a vote in a referendum, as an issue of national importance.

In February, the top court deemed the planned investment at the site legal and constitutional in a 111-page judgement, thus giving the green light for the project to proceed.

All three cases are expected to be heard by the judges soon.

The investment was one of a set of so-called prior actions pledged by Greece to international creditors as part of the third review of its third bailout and is expected to create thousands of new jobs in Attica once Lamda Development, the Greek-Arab-Chinese consortium that has undertaken the project, is allowed to proceed with construction. 

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