Works, set to begin in October and completed in 2020, will include a VIP tourism unit budgeted at 120 million euros with dozens of luxury villas, a spa, fitness center and restaurants, as well as a 61.4-million-euro Next Generation Access (NGA) fiber optic network.
Located in the Ionian Sea near Lefkada, the islet was formerly owned by Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and later purchased by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for his daughter. Rybolovlev is awaiting the last licence before works begin.
“The Ionian Islands Region is always in favor of large investments on its islands provided these projects are carried out on equal terms with local enterprise,” Spyros Galiatsatos, vice governor of Tourism & Promotion for the Ionian Islands Region, told the Athens News Agency, adding that regional authorities gave the green light once “the investors agreed to abide by the environmental terms and follow all legal procedures”.
“Rybolovlev’s investment will bring capital, it will employ locals as jobs will be created, while the neighboring island of Lefkada will host new businesses that will cater to Skorpios’ wealthy visitors,” Galiatsatos concluded.
The island belongs to the Natura network, which foresees the construction of less than 5 percent of the islet’s land area. Rybolovlev has reassured that all environmental regulations will be adhered to and facilities will be constructed with respect to the natural surroundings.
Skorpios island is where Onassis wed former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1968. Together with the nearby islet of Sparti, they were sold to 24-year-old Ekaterina Rybolovleva for the unconfirmed amount of 150 million dollars in 2013. Onassis, his son Alexander and daughter Christina are buried on Skorpios. The island has been listed by The Telegraph among the world’s Top 10 millionaires’ paradise islands.