In Germany, since 1999, more than three million rental housing units have been traded in the context of
large‐scale transactions. Sales to “financial investors” played a dominant role among these transactions. In
this article, I propose elements for a narrative that may help to understand the reasons for these
WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE HALT OF THE PRIVATISATION PROCESS OF THE FORMER ATHENS AIRPORT AND THE SARONIKOS SEAFRONT!
METROPOLITAN PARK IN ELLINIKO NOW!
On Feb 27, 2014 the submission of offers to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) for the ‘valorisation’ of the former Elliniko airport and the seafront of Agios Kosmas was completed. This is of public land of 6.204 acres, the very last remaining large, free and unbuilt space in the entire Athens—and now it is planned to be privatised for 99 years in order to be exploited.
From the official announcement it appears that after all potential investors dropped out of the competition, the only ‘competing’ company remaining is Lamda Development, which is owned by the Latsis conglomerate.
According to Law 4062/2012, the so-called ‘investor’ is allowed to build constructions of 1.7 million sq. meters, even by the sea and by the archaeological site of Agios Kosmas, which is partly underwater.
According to the information that was ‘leaked’ to mass media, Lamda Development intends to construct, in Elliniko airport and Agios Kosmas beach, shopping malls, a casino, hotels, luxurious accommodations and a ‘park’ which will not be public but an attachment to the entire investment.
In order to achieve social consensus for the promoted ‘development’ model, which ignores the destruction of the natural and cultural environment, Lamda Development promises ‘the immediate creation of tens of thousands of work positions’ mocking the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people in our country. Obviously the aim should be not some temporary or less temporary work placements but work positions that respect the workers with decent salaries.
Moreover, according to the ‘leaked’ information, the price for this public land is not going to be higher than 0,5 billion euro and it is going to be paid in many installments over 15 years in total. It is clear that we are dealing with a sell-off, fundamentally all this land is handed over to Lamda for free. Especially given that the Greek state is obliged to cover the construction cost of necessary infrastructures for the new ‘investment’ and the further cost for the relocation of the various public services/buildings that are operating now within the old airport. The total cost for these activities is well above 0,5 billion euros.
All of us signing this text state that it is not possible for us to agree with the plans for the sell-off and the further build-up of the site of the former Elliniko Airport and the Saronikos seafront. Even more so, when whatever financial gain might come out of this privatisation will be entirely unimportant and will end up in the vortex of the “debt” of the country.
It is not possible for us to agree with private investors at any price, we do not concede to hand over to anyone our right to free access to the Saronikos beaches, we do not accept the wiping out of the last unbuilt large site in Greater Athens.
Elliniko must remain a space that is free, public, and of common use and to be utilised for the creation of a Metropolitan Park of high green density, for meeting the real social needs for entertainment, sports and culture, for the environmental upgrading and for the dealing with environmental and climate change in Greater Athens. Already last January, a call-out was made in Geneva for a European-wide campaign to save Elliniko, the seafront of Saronikos, of Hymettus mount and for their transformation intoa European pole of “culture”.
The beaches, the seafronts, the archaeological sites comprise public goods. Elliniko comprises a public good. Elliniko is not to be haggled, it is not to be handed over to anyone, it will not be parceled out, it is not for sale.
PUBLIC INTEREST IS NOT PROMOTED BY THE SELL-OUT OF ELLINIKO!
“Struggle Committee for the Metropolitan Park in Elliniko”