The Council of State has finally ruled that a draft Presidential Decree on the Ellinikon development project is both legal and constitutional.

The 111-page decision opens the way, after countless bureaucratic obstacles, for the biggest investment since the crisis began, which will change the face of the Attica coastline.

A plenary session of the high court, with chief justice Nikolaos Sakellariou presiding and judge Dimitrios Vasiliadis as rapporteur, essentially approved the “Plan for Comprehensive Development of the Metropolitan Axis of Ellinko-Agios Kosmas, Attica Prefecture”.

In its decision, the court stressed that the contractors must “religiously abide by environmental, city planning, architectural and legislative provisions and regulations”.

As regards the planned high-rise towers, the court allowed, for “reasons of public interest” a divergence from the bans on such structures in the city planning codes and regulations.

The public interest involved, the court opined, is “the creation of a metropolitan pole, for multiple uses of nationwide significance, and with an international point of reference, the construction and preservation of a green and recreational metropolitan park in Attica, and the establishment of a metropolitan pole of development, with numerous more specific objectives, including confronting the acute economic crisis, developing the national economy, reducing unemployment, combating poverty, bolstering social cohesion, reducing the public debt, as well as showcasing Athens as a cultural metropolis, as a pole for tourism with international radiance, and as an important centre of economic development and entrepreneurship”.

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