The government on Saturday expressed its volition to attract a strategic international investor to exploit the site of the former Athens airport and surrounding land at the Helliniko site, while promising to create a "Central Park-like" green space in the otherwise congested Greek capital.

Speaking just days after his latest trip to Qatar, Minister of State Haris Pamboukis said the government's proposal for the roughly 550-hectare tract of land will be ready by the fall.

The minister, who is responsible for large-scale and "strategic" investments, said the interest by the Qatari side, noting that "Qatar has shown a significant interest; if the Helliniko project proceeds then others will follow".

He also said the project will provide a major economic, social and environmental boost for the greater Athens area, while he said oil-rich and service-sector savvy Qatar has both the economic size and international experience to implement complex development projects at the highest level.

Pamboukis' interview was carried in the Saturday edition of the Athens daily "Ta Nea".