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Greek court approves former $9.6 billion Athens airport development plan

Staff Writer |
Greece's supreme administrative court, the Council of State, opened the way to the development of the former Hellinikon airport in Athens, approving the submitted investment plan as fully compliant with the Greek constitution and legislation.

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In their ruling, the judges said that the development of Hellinikon serves the public interest in improving the economy, providing employment opportunities, and promoting Athens as a cultural metropolis.

The 8 billion euros ($9.6 billion) project will be realized by a consortium which won an international tender.

The approval fulfils one of the outstanding prior actions for Greece's third fiscal review by its creditors, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

Greek officials and experts consider the plan to create a metropolitan park and develop real estate on the seaside site of the former airport as a key plan to help restore growth in the ailing economy.

The former airport closed before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

According to a survey by the Athens-based Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research, the redevelopment of derelict buildings and their surroundings into a park and residential area would create 70,000 jobs and boost Greek GDP by some 1.5 percent over the next two decades.

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