Minister defends Helliniko development

Minister of State Haris Pamboukis on Sunday was quoted as reiterating that development of the eponymous Helliniko site in southern coastal Athens, a massive urban tract of land surrounded by upscale suburbs, can serve as the "stimulus" of growth for the entire greater Athens area.

Pamboukis, who heads up effort to exploit the property and has been in talks with Qatari investors, said he does not favour an international tender process, noting, for instance, that the Qatar sovereign fund will not participate in such a process, while a tender process will mean years of delay.

Asked how transparency will be safeguarded in such a likelihood, the minister cited the prospect of an open invitation, "with guarantees and an international contract that offers greater guarantees for the state's interests. He added that any agreement will then be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

Pamboukis' interview was published in the Sunday weekly "Vima".

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