By T. Igoumenidi
Members of the inner Cabinet on Wednesday approved of two joint ministerial decisions deemed as imperative for finally commencing the delay-plagued Helleniko privatization in coastal southeast Athens, one of the biggest property development projects in Europe.
The first decision finalizes building co-efficients and zoning for the tract of land on which an integrated resort casino (IRC) is planned - the most important component for commencing the project and guaranteeing the viability of the property development in its initial phases.
The second decision describes, in detail, the terms and characteristics of a 200-hectare park at the Helleniko site, where the old Athens airport once operated.
Another two such joint ministerial decisions are pending, with the Mitsotakis government anxious to resolve whatever bureaucratic hurdles ahead of a September 2019 deadline - bumped back on at least two occasions - for the submission of binding offers for the IRC.
While two binding offers are expected, one by Hard Rock International and the other by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Malaisia-based Genting may also submit a bid after all, after appearing to "cool" on the privatization over the recent period. Other reports this week point to an interest by Chinese multinational Melco, the company that has partnered with Hard Rock for an international tender for a new gaming license on Cyprus.