‘Decisive’ meeting on soccer field

In what was described as a «decisive» meeting in Athens yesterday, senior government, municipal and town-planning officials agreed that a former army camp scheduled to become a public park should host a new stadium for Greece’s richest soccer club. «Today’s meeting was decisive,» Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said, adding that it had been agreed that «the best feasible solution for the new Panathinaikos stadium is [a plot in] the Goudi area.» He said the current soccer field – which has stood for eight decades on central Alexandras Avenue, in a densely built-up part of town – would «be given to Athenians as a park.» Venizelos, who has promised to table a law on the matter this month, claimed that the new stadium would not detract from the planned park. The club has been lobbying for years to relocate to Goudi, drawing indignant protests from local residents who would prefer a park. A few weeks ago, Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Lianis had pledged to let Panathinaikos extend its current home ground, which holds 15,000.

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