‘Europas neue DDR’ (the new GDR in Europe) was the name that German Stern magazine used to refer in 2011 to the wave of privatisations and asset sales going on in Greece, comparing it to post-1989 panorama. Among the ones that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) is managing, we can find land development, real estate operations, infrastructure and corporations: lotteries, Postbank, Thessaloniki water company, Hellenic Motorways, Public Gas, Hellenic Telecommunications OTE, Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports…
As part of these desperate economic initiatives to raise 50 billion euros by 2015, the Ellinikon Airport site in the periphery of Athens, shut and abandoned in 2001, is currently undergoing a brutal top-down process of redevelopment. Eero Saarinen accomplished the terminal building in 1969. It still survives in a mixture of agonizing temporary use for commercial fairs and utter emptiness with wild flora reclaiming the landing tracks. The recent plans for a highend new city larger in size than Monaco, with marina, helipads and golf course, is regarded once again as the only alternative for ‘sustainability’. Rumours speculate that investment may come from Qatar or Chinese stakeholders. Is a new Las Vegas potentially being born?
I only doubt that circulation of capital within the same hands manages to exit the enclosed circuit of corruption, be it publicly or privately owned.
[all images> Ellinikon ghost airport by Saarinen 1969_Athens_Photos by deconcrete2012]