(Greece) – After a long debate, the draft law involving the investment of the former Hellenikon Airport ended with the deal being officially approved. At one time, the Hellenikon Airport was Athens’ major international airport. After the Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport was built for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the Hellenikon Airport was completely abandoned.
For years, it remained unused and closed until it started to be used to house refugees that began coming to Greece in 2015. During talks associated with the third bailout talks, however, things began to change. The international creditors required that the abandoned Hellinikon Airport become privatized as one of the requirements to award Greece with the first round of payments from that third bailout.
The Global Investment Group eventually purchased the Hellinikon Airport as part of the Greek government’s privatization program and they talked of their plans to turn it into a luxury resort complex. The group actually bought the property from Greece’s privatization fund in 2014 for 915 million euro.
However, all of that needed to be officially approved. After much debate, lawmakers and other parties involved with the deal and the site’s future plans reached an agreement. Greek Culture Minister Aristidis Baltas has said that the Hellinikon Airport deal that was , “necessary compromise on the democratic road to socialism.” He also said that, “The fact that the sale enjoyed across-the-aisle support in the Greek parliament is very positive.” It is also expected that this project will add about 70,000 jobs to the Greek economy.
The CEO of Lambda has said, “Imagine Hyde Park, on a coastline, with sunshine 300 days a year and 21st century technology.” He went on to say that other investors are also interested in the project and that, “others will participate through financing and loans, others can contribute capital, or pitch for the construction of some of the architectural landmarks.” Lamda, which is a member of the Latsis Group, will manage the project as a whole.