privatisations in/for progress

‘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]


  1. Pingback: Athènes-Ellinikon, sur le tarmac les jardins « impRessions Urbaines

  2. lft

    The Ellinikon airport is probably the last chance of Athens to a public space of metropolitan scale and to the redefinition of the long lost relation of the city and its seafront. It has been the subject of international architectural workshops and competitions, while the municipal stakeholders have commissioned the National University of Athens a thorough study for future development. Definitely one of the hot issues of economic development and a great offer to political speculation!

  3. Pingback: Ελληνικο ιδιωτικοποιήσεις | ΑΣΤΙΚΕΣ ΟΑΣΕΙΣ

  4. Ron Jansen

    Hi. We have passed through Hellinikon a couple of dozen times with my parents. I love the building yes offcourse i was young then. Comfortable marble on the floor, dry grass on the front yard. Tostis from the cafe and my parents bought a souvenir.

    Now i am 48, and i love Eleftherios Venizelos airport. Ειναι σαν αεροπλανοφορειο. Το μετρο ειναι απιστεθτο, ειπεροχω. Και το λεοφορειο χ96 απεφθεια στο Πειρεα. Για σουβλακη πιτα αβου περιμενομε για το ζοστο καραβη.

  5. Ron Jansen

    Ναι και ξερο οτη ειταν ο κυριος Σααρινεν αρχιτεκτονας. Μπραβο. Σε αυτο το εποχυ, εφδομιντας, μας αφεινουνε να καπνεισουμε στημ αεροπλανο. Ειδα τον παπα μου να καπνειζει και να πεινει ουισκυ στο πτηση Αμστερδαμ-Αθηνα. Υπεροχο, δεν εινα:

  6. Pingback: The Abandoned Airliners of Athens' Closed Ellinikon International Airport - Urban Ghosts

Leave a Reply