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China Theme Park in Athens

Chinese investors intend to create a theme park in Athens featuring cultural elements from their country, according to a report in the financial daily Kathimerini.

It says the company that was hired to represent the investors has submitted a proposal to the Greek National Tourism Organization. The project has been named “Philoxenia: Town in Attica, Greece” and the project’s estimated budget reaches some 250 million euros.

The consultancy firm is apparently examining various candidate areas in the outer Attica region as the plot of land required must cover at least 350,000 square meters (the theme park installations need a minimum of 150,000 square meters).

According to Kathimerini, the project includes an exhibition center, cultural exchange buildings, a venue for theater and opera, commercial streets, restaurants and a park with a lake.

Among the locations proposed is a 1,200-square-meter plot in Varibobi, northwest of Athens, which belongs to the National Bank of Greece. There is a problem here, however, as the acreage is classed by government as a forest-protected area.

The initial funding by the Chinese is said to cover 30 percent of the construction costs of the project, but they also intend to lease or buy 50 percent of the buildings. The consultancy firm suggests interest already expressed by Greek and foreign investors will eventually cover 100 percent of the funding.

The plan is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in Athens. It is under the auspices of the local government of Fujian, an industrial region in southern China with a population of 36 million.

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