Prime land left to go to waste

The shambles that the site of the former international airport on the Elliniko coast has become and the fact that nothing has been done with this vast plot of land since 2001 when the airport was closed is proof of the Greek political system’s inability to tackle complex problems. When PASOK was in government back then and proposed using the land in a combination of commercial activity and public green space, New Democracy put forth a string of populist arguments against the project. Since then, the two parties have simply swapped roles and positions, with ND in favor of PASOK’s old approach and vice versa. The Elliniko expanse is way too big to become just a park, whatever local authorities, who completely ignore the cost and difficulty of its maintenance, may say. But the area has stood abandoned long enough. The government needs to decide on a realistic plan that will combine green spaces with commercial activity and generate some money for the state coffers. There are studies on such an approach from 2004 and there is no need to continue debating the issue as an excuse for doing nothing.