Ministry suspends new building licenses near Acropolis amid controversy


The Environment Ministry on Tuesday said that it is suspending all building licenses in the area around the Acropolis.

The decision comes in response to the construction of a 10-story building that has become the subject of a growing public protest campaign launched by residents of Athens's downtown Makriyianni neighborhood, who say it obstructs their view of the Parthenon.

There is also concern about a second tall building that is going up in the area thanks to new legislation allowing more height in exchange for “green” architecture.

Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis on Tuesday ordered an immediate investigation into the legality of the 10-story building that has already gone up on Falirou Street and is intended to become a hotel.

Earlier in the day, the Athens Municipality had called for changes to the zoning regulations allowing such construction to take place.