Elliniko plans to be unveiled

Environment Minister Tina Birbili is due to reveal on Monday the government’s plans for the site of Athens’s former airport at Elliniko, in the southeastern suburbs, nearly a decade after the airport closed down. According to sources, Birbili envisages an initiative to «greenify» the site with small parks and to link it to the coastline and the marina at Alimos. There are also plans to attract investors though it is unclear what their role would be in developing the site. According to one source, the ministry’s aim is to transform the area into «a large green space with facilities for sports, culture, leisure and tourism.» A series of plans heralded over the years for the site have all been shelved. Giorgos Souflias, the environment minister under the previous conservative government when the portfolio included public works, came under fire for proposing that a large chunk of the site be set aside for construction. Costas Simitis, prime minister under the previous PASOK government, had pledged to transform the site into «Europe’s biggest park.»