February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

“The Green Schisto”: a joint project of the EOC, which "will transform Western Attica"

With a little delay, due to the change in cooperation agreements with TAIPED, but with the full consent of the parties, the mega-project is being actively promoted Greek Orthodox Church in the Schistos-Skaramanga area.

According to information, this “barrier” is expected to be overcome in the very near future, so that in February the final signatures will be put on the protocol on cooperation between the Foundation and the Central Church Financial Service (ECIO). The issue of investment in Schistos and the resulting obstacles have also been the focus of recent “secret meeting” Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Archbishop Jerome at the residence of Prime Minister Megaro Maximos.

The expectations of the parties are high as it is expected that the completion of the project will transform the wider area and give new life to Western Attica as a whole. Having the characteristic name “Green Slate” (The Green Schisto) and an ally in the person of the TAIPED privatization agency, which, as a technical consultant, takes full responsibility for the proper use of investments regarding the use of a 3200-acre site in the Schistos-Skaramagma area.

The development includes the construction of a modern logistics center, residential and office areas, as well as the creation of an ecological park (85% of the territory will be covered with greenery). According to the presentation of the project made by EKYO at the Municipal Council of Keratsini-Drapetsonas, the investment concerns the creation of a logistics center in the underground level of the site. The plan includes afforestation of vacant parts of the territory, compaction and strengthening of greenery, and the creation of an ecological park with an area of ​​700 thousand square meters. to which the public will have free access, but at the expense of the investor for maintenance, cleaning and storage.

The project will be funded from its own resources Greek Church and is expected to be launched in about four years from today. EKYO clarifies that this is not a privatization, since the church does not intend to transfer ownership of the land to a third party, but only the right to lease the plot for a period of 99 years.

Athanasios Christopoulos, Managing Director of Schisto SA, the company founded by the EOC to promote the project, told the media that once the protocol of cooperation with TAIPED is completed, various studies will begin to finalize the operating model in order to then obtain all necessary approvals from the competent authorities.

The choice of TAIPED, as noted by Mr. Christopoulos, was not accidental, as it is believed that he will help, thanks to his vast experience in the development of many complex projects. According to him, it is assumed that in about a year from today there will be a clear idea of ​​the final form of the redevelopment of the object, as well as the final cost.

Strong interest from investors
The interest shown, as noted by Mr. Christopoulos, from foreign and Greek investors, is enormous. “We’re ready to get a serious picture of what investors are offering.” The specific area has no claims, he notes, adding that “it has some leases that are expiring and some we are renewing, with small users, mostly transport.” The territory occupies a key position, as it borders in the southeast with Piraeus, the country’s largest port, and in the north with the Scaramanga region, where the state military shipyards used to be, he emphasizes.

social impact
As for the social impact, Mr. Christopoulos assured that thousands of jobs will be created during the implementation of the project. At least 10,000 are expected, and the quality of life of the residents of the district and neighboring municipalities will also improve. The number of jobs sounds impressive, but it’s not clear if it’s documented and how. Archbishop Jerome himself promised “more greenery, more better jobs, a healthy environment, sustainable development.”

Presentation last September
It is recalled that an important multi-level cooperation between the state and the church began in the area of ​​Schistos-Skaramaga, where an agreement was signed between the Greek Orthodox Church and TAIPED on the use of property belonging to the Church Central Financial Service (ECIO).

The Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Mr. Jerome, in his speech stated among other things: “With the EKYO-TAIPED agreement, a new chapter begins in the relationship between church and state, with ambitious goals, but also with tangible results in the daily life of a citizen.. This project will strengthen our country, benefit our people, strengthen the local society and our national economy, leave a green footprint for the next generations… Our vision is to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Schistos region, neighboring and nearby municipalities of Attica. More greenery, more and better jobs, a healthy environment, sustainable development.”

This is the first project in modern history where the Greek Orthodox Church has acted as a participant in a major investment project for the construction of real estate. Today, the EOC is the largest owner of real estate in Greece.

Mr. Mitsotakis, among other things, stated that with this agreement “we are taking this important first step to realize your vision, which we have had the opportunity to discuss many times. This vision lies in the ability of the Church to finally use the remaining real estate for the benefit of the entire Greek people.”

“And the possibility of developing a modern, environmentally friendly logistics center, transport and container management and other things seems like a self-evident necessity, given the great importance and dynamics that are developing in the port of Piraeus. I also do not want to talk too much about the very great importance that we, as a government, attach to the dynamics of the development of western Attica, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed. “In addition to the development initiative that will be launched in this area, at the same time there will be an opportunity to plant many new trees and give local communities a large park in the area, which is currently not a place to visit.”

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