Elliniko airport project delayed on takeoff by further legal challenge

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The long-delayed E7bn redevelopment of the former Athens airport in Elliniko has hit a further snag following a third legal challenge by residents opposed to the project.

The move comes just a few months after the Council of State – Greece’s highest administrative court – approved a presidential decree allowing construction work to get underway at the site.

In February, the Council of State ruled that the planned investment – which will include a casino and hotels – is legal and constitutional and gave the green light to Lamda Development to begin work.

Meanwhile, it has also been reported that the relocation of various corporations still based at the Elliniko site is taking longer than expected and will not be completed by the end of June.

The government has still not set a specific timetable to complete the transfers, with some commentators suggesting that the process is unlikely to be completed before the end of the year.

The privatisation of the airport site is key to the completion of Greece’s bailout program and is one of the largest investments to be made in the country.

However, it has been met with opposition by residents, archaeological bodies and some opposition parties and has been further delayed by a number of bureaucratic obstacles.

In February it was reported that government sources suggest it is unlikely that licence tender for the casino portion of the development will be announced before September, adding that delays with court cases could mean it will not begin before the end of 2018 at the earliest.

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