BUSINESS

Government blamed for Elliniko delays

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Privatizations, Politics

The state has had all the studies and documents required for the issue of the ministerial decision required for the Elliniko development project to proceed since mid-February, Odysseas Athanasiou, chief executive at Lamda Development, said on Tuesday at the listed company’s general meeting.

Athanasiou underscored that Lamda, which leads the consortium that is set to undertake the project at the old Athens airport, has fulfilled all its obligations for the licensing of the 8-billion-euro investment, and bears no responsibility for the long delays, unlike what the narrative of government officials has suggested in recent weeks.

“On February 15 we tabled all the studies for the casino, so that the tender could proceed. On February 5 we had submitted the plan for the metropolitan park, and on February 18 the studies for the environment permit of the project were also handed over,” Athanasiou explained.

After over four months the three joint ministerial decisions required are still missing, preventing the completion of the licensing process and the transfer of the Elliniko SA vehicle to the Lamda-led consortium.

Sources say that there is some activity regarding the ministerial decision concerning the metropolitan park, but due to the upcoming election on July 7 it is unlikely to be signed now. After all, as Athanasiou stressed, great caution is required over how the process for the drafting and signing of the ministerial decision is implemented so that they can be protected from any objections and court action.

In that context the relevant documents will have to be forwarded first by the state agencies to Lamda for the submission of any remarks. “Once we have received the draft decisions, we will only need a couple of weeks to send them back to the ministries for signing,” the Lamda CEO noted. Ha stressed that if a mistake is made at that stage, the entire timetable of the project’s first stages will be under threat as it will be vulnerable to objections.

At the same time the bid deadline for the casino tender is also being constantly postponed due to the absence of the necessary ministerial decision.

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