Lamda Development and its partners in the consortium that has been selected to transform the plot of Athens’s former international airport at Elliniko, on the capital’s southern coast, are still waiting for a concrete answer as to whether the project can go ahead, as the meeting of the Culture Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council ended abruptly on Tuesday night.
A decision classifying part of the plot as an archaeological site requiring protection would cast a dark shadow over the government’s plans to make the most of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Athens, which starts today, along with contacts between the Greek and French business communities. Such a decision would also add to the existing problems investors face in Greece, including those concerning gold mines in Halkidiki and windpower units on Evia.
As a result, the council’s meeting was halted by government intervention in the early hours yesterday before further damage could be done. Minister Lydia Koniordou asked the head of the council to stop the meeting and call for a new one, whose date will be decided later. The meeting will likely resume once Macron has returned to France and after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s visit to Thessaloniki this weekend, when he is expected to invite more foreign investors to Greece.