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Mitsotakis: Ellinikon project one of the biggest urban interventions in Europe

Featured Mitsotakis: Ellinikon project one of the biggest urban interventions in Europe

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday referred to “one of the biggest urban interventions in Europe” and an unprecedented project for the east Mediterranean country, in his address during the official inauguration of the Helleniko property development in coastal southeast Athens.

The project, awarded to ATHEX-listed property developer Lamda Development via an international tender more than seven years ago, covers 620 hectares of the most prime real estate in Greece, the center-piece of what's being promoted and marketed as the “Athenian Riviera”. Lamda calls its property development “The Ellinikon” and has valued the investment at near or more seven billion euros.

“We (government) said it and we did it. We believed in this project and promoted it from the first day we assumed the reins of government, overcoming the problems we faced,” Mitsotakis said, in highlighting his center-right ND party’s commitment to jump-starting the landmark privatization and removing all remaining hurdles.

Since 2007 the project has been plagued by proverbial Greek state “red-tape” bureaucratic "foot-dragging", numerous legal challenges by adjacent municipalities and private citizens, political opposition and the decade-long economic crisis that bruised the country after 2010.
Mitsotakis repeated that the government forecasts that the entire Helleniko privatization and real estate development will add 2.4 percent to Greece’s GDP and create more than 70,000 jobs.

Beyond the construction of up to six high-rise towers, a new marina, entertainment plaza, shopping malls and a new upscale single-home and condominium residential area, the Helleniko site will host - its developers promise - green space exceeding New York City’s Central Park in size.

In his comments from Geneva, by video link, Lamda Development major shareholder Spiros Latsis referred to a project that unites all Greeks, three successive governments and three surrounding municipalities.

In addressing the criticism aired over the past decade and a half against the privatization, he reminded that “…over time, the general economic conditions in our country, due to the global crisis of 2008, led to a reversal of the (state vs. private sector initiative) design: From a state project with ‘isles’ of private initiative, to a private project with isles of state property.”