NEWS

Plans ready since 1994

Grand plans for a metropolitan park in Goudi have been around since 1994. Sources say the prime minister himself was convinced of the need for the park but there has been no sign of its being started in the past 10 years. On the contrary, the park has flourished only on paper. Tracts of the 250 hectares that were to have been united to make «an area where health and recreational uses coexist peacefully with greenery,» as Costas Laliotis, then public works minister, declared in September 1994, have become the subject of demands by Panathinaikos soccer club, army units, new hospitals and now by Olympic installations, while the plan seems to have been changed many times. The soccer club submitted its official request in July 2001 in a letter to the prime minister, requesting 200 hectares to build a 35,000-seat stadium. Now Panathinaikos is talking about installations of no more than 97 hectares, which may have to do with the fact that, according to the town plan of Athens, only 96.5 hectares of the site in question may be built upon.