The inauguration of the Ellinikon mega project took place in a specially adapted area within the former airport, in the presence of all political leaders, church officials, opposition representatives, as well as local government officials, and NouPou was there.
- Author: Georgia Perimeni
Today, Monday, 17 October at 15:30, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the inauguration of the Ellinikon investment mega project undertaken by Lamda Development took place. The cost for the full development of the project is expected to reach 8 billion euros. The event was also attended by the managing director of Lamda Development, Odysseas Athanasiou, ministers, church officials, including Archbishop Ieronymos, the Council of Ministers, and the local government.
The mayors of the southern suburbs, Giannis Konstantatos, Andreas Kondylis and Giorgos Papanikolaou, were also there. As a matter of fact, Giorgos Papanikolaou (mayor of Glyfada), specifically stated to NouPou, regarding the significance of the day: “This day is actually another important step of a great effort aiming to our intended achievement, which is not restricted to the development of the airport, but includes as well the overall development of the Athens Riviera. In other words, the balanced development of all areas from Piraeus to Sounio in the coming years”.
For his part, the mayor of Alimos, Andreas Kondylis, spoke to NouPou and stated the following:
“The heart of Attica and the entire national economy now ‘beats’ in southern Athens. Today’s symbolic event for the inauguration of the major regeneration at the Metropolitan Pole of Ellinikon-Ag.Kosmas is a small milestone in a great long journey. Our cities are changing for the better and will continue to change in the coming years. The Greek Riviera is now becoming a reality, and we are very optimistic about the future, relying on the best prospects!”.
The event was also attended by several well-known domestic businessmen.
The event took place in a specially designed area within the former Ellinikon airport and included a consecration ceremony, speeches given by the political and State leadership, the project developers, and a presentation about the past, the present and the future of Ellinikon.
The presentation of the event was undertaken by the journalist Katerina Panagopoulou, who, among other things, mentioned that Ellinikon will eventually have nothing to do with the place we knew so far. She stated: “Something big, something new is being prepared”. Then, she showed to the audience an interesting documentary prepared by Lamda Development, about the history of Ellinikon and everything that has or is going to change at the former airport areas and the wider area. The video shows buildings-landmarks that will be created in Ellinikon, such as the Ellinikon Park, which is growing day by day, Marina Galleria, Riviera Galleria, residential developments, the Ellinikon Commercial Hub, the green route network and other works which will be included in the largest urban regeneration project in Europe.
Then, the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, stepped up to the podium and began his speech by saying that “Today a new era begins for the coastal front and for Attica as a whole, as the main part of the regeneration of Ellinikon – one of the largest, if not the largest, urban planning intervention in Europe and certainly an unprecedented project for our country. The schedules are being met, the changes around us are evident and today’s event will give a new impetus to the progress of this great project”.
He continued by pointing out that “The first relevant debate in the Parliament took place in 2007. After seven years and a lot of difficulties faced, the project was actively initiated in 2014 when New Democracy was the government again and Antonis Samaras was the Prime Minister. Then there were many delays and a million things were said about the matter, from preserving the carcass of the former airport to turning the whole area into a community vegetable garden. The next government, instead of solving outstanding issues, created new ones. The project did not begin until summer of 2019 and relevant works started in earnest in the summer of 2021.
The project has indeed began and will continue as expected until a unique recreational and green, cultural and tourism ecosystem is created, highlighting history, promoting sports and production dynamism, characterized by building innovation and collective harmony”, the Prime Minister added.
“We believed in this emblematic project and promoted it from the very first day we took office for the sake of this country. We found a tangle of problems which the competent Ministries as well as the executives of the Lamda Development company undertook to resolve. Now we are looking to the future, moving the vision of Mr. Latsis forward. I wish the best for the work to be done and that good results be achieved, and congratulations again for the great work that has been done so far”, the Prime Minister said concluding his speech.
In fact, in his speech, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed out that the specific project will create a significant wealth of 2.4 points, will create more than 70,000 new jobs and will give impetus to dozens of Greek industries, while it is estimated that in the specific region alone visitors will increase by 1 million.
Then, Dr. Spyros Latsis spoke remotely from Geneva, as he was unable to attend due to a minor illness that prevented him from traveling for three – four days. In his statement he emphasized that Ellinikon unites us. More specifically, he stated: “It has united a large percentage of fellow citizens, three governments and three local governments”.
“There are many people who helped make this project happen and I cannot mention them all. I would like to thank three governments: those of Antonis Samaras, Alexis Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Antonis Samaras established the legislative bases and carried out the tender. Alexis Tsipras negotiated on the contract requesting more green spaces and State and social interest spaces. Also, while being the Prime Minster, the Parliament passed the relevant ministerial decree. K. Mitsotakis undertook the difficult task of licensing and of the urban planning framework”, he pointed out.
Then, Dr. Spyros Latsis thanked several ministers, the heads of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund as well as his family for supporting him in trying to run such a project at his age.
Later, the CEO of Lamda Development, Odysseas Athanasiou, stepped up to the podium. “Especially during the coronavirus period, we had to carry out studies in cooperation with architectural offices, without being able to see our partners. This project fills us with passion because it is a great opportunity for our country to promote itself around the world and this satisfies us even more than any financial benefit. Everything starts with a vision and the vision, by definition, is not easy. So, we started to create a company that could realize this vision. I am proud to work with these people, and with each one individually”, Mr. Athanasiou mentioned, among other things, in his speech.
As Odysseas Athanasiou has mentioned before, “Ellinikon is a shared vision much bigger than square meters and everything else. It is a vision for our country to stand out in the international investment world as it deserves, and to become a leading example for other countries; a vision to have a Greek company that does us proud abroad. Mr. Athanasiou has pointed out that this vision, with the support of the main shareholder, does not only concern the highlighting of our capabilities at the level of project execution by implementing leading international architectural projects, but primarily the highlighting of our value system in the project implementation process that will be an exemplary success at an international level, and the possibility of mobilizing human resources who, given the appropriate incentives, return to Greece”.