Greek Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis reaffirmed this week that the highly anticipated Hellinikon project will move ahead as planned despite the recent delays concerning the casino venture that is a prerequisite for any construction work to begin.
Determined to get the project under way, Georgiades confirmed that 70 percent of the funding for Hellinikon has been secured and that “we are already at 5 billion euros. The project needs eight years to be completed. Which means that when you have almost 70 percent of the funds on the table, the project is already finished,” he told Alpha radio.
With regards to the delayed process for the award of a 30-year license to operate an integrated resort and casino on the Hellinikon mega complex, Georgiadis said the relevant committee is expected to announce a decision in 10 days’ time. Media reports however note that even if all goes as planned, the casino licensing procedure will not be finalized before summer.
At the same time, insiders are ringing alarm bells noting that any further delay may throw the whole project off track yet again
Lamda Development, the consortium behind the 8-billion-euro plus project, has been faced with dozens of issues including delays caused by tedious red tape, confusion, and political wrangling. The current government has pledged that it will ensure the project, aiming to develop Athens’ former airport complex into a multi-purpose hub complete with metropolitan park, shops, offices, sports and conference facilities, luxury hotels, theme parks, museums, malls, cultural venues, health centers, educational and research facilities and marina, enter implementation phase as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the government is set to table next month an amendment to legislation paving the way for the demolition of hundreds of buildings –former airport facilities – on the Hellinikon property.