Syriza lawmakers continue to block the biggest development project at former Athens airport at Ellinikon, which would open 10,000 jobs immediately and 40,000 in the long run while 7 billion euros would be invested. This is further proof that all talk about “economic recovery” and “growth” coming from the prime minister and government officials is nothing more than blatant lies.
The concession of the former Athens airport at Ellinikon is the biggest privatization deal debt-ridden Greece has made so far. According to Lamda Development, the consortium that has bought the land, the project will transform the area to something that Greece hasn’t seen before (watch video below).
Yet, the Syriza leftists who equate private enterprise with the devil want none of that. Abusing their power as members of parliament, they do everything they can to block the project. Their initial argument since they were in opposition was that the Ellinikon airport land should become a “metropolitan park for all people.” In fact there is an activist group called “committee for the struggle for Ellinikon metropolitan park” supported by Syriza lawmakers and members. In Greece everything that has the word “struggle” in it seems to be legitimized.
First of all, there are no funds available so that the Greek State can develop the 6,200 acres of land into a metropolitan park. Typical Greek bureaucracy has left the area to turn into a wasteland, where part of it is currently used as a makeshift migrant camp that makes the word “squalor” sound like a euphemism. Most likely the migrants will stay there indefinitely despite deputy migration minister’s pledge more than a year ago that they will be removed by May 2016. Any bets that if the time comes for the development project to start there will be protests and violent riots against the removal of migrants? As for the rest of Ellinikon, it will remain a wasteland until the Lamda Development bulldozers move in. God and activists willing.
For the time being, the leftist activists are doing everything in their power to stop the project and create delays for the land that is agreed to pass to the hands of Lamda Development in June. The nebulous “committee” complained to the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, against a Ministry of Culture decision to not brand certain parts of the former airport area as “monuments.” Their new argument is that the “monuments” need to be preserved. All that with the support of Syriza MPs, who have the magic ability to vote for the privatization of the Ellinikon land with the right hand and then sign a petition against the privatization with the left hand.
Now, if the Council of State rules in favor of the “committee” then the concession procedures will have to start all over again. After all the Syriza cabinet are masters of delay and procrastination as one can see with the bailout program review, the implementation of reforms or the overall delay of all the wonderful things they promised to Greek people.