NEWS

Mayor says resort built illegally

With government collusion, the operators of a luxury coastal resort in southern Attica have illegally built a large extension to an existing hotel complex while reserving for their clients’ private use a large tract of public beach, municipal authorities charged yesterday. Kalyvia Mayor Petros Filippou told a press conference that bulky new buildings and a total of 28 swimming pools are being constructed, without any building permit, on a 7,000-square-meter plot at the Lagonissi Grand Resort hotel, on a small peninsula some 40 kilometers south of Athens. Filippou said Greece’s Helios group, which operates the resort after buying a 40-year lease on the old Xenia hotel from the Development Ministry, was able to successfully fight off litigation armed with an Economy Ministry decision that changed the official local beach limits. Furthermore, he claimed, forestry officials allowed construction of hotel buildings on forestland, while, despite government pledges that the local beach would be given to municipal authorities, it was handed over to the resort.