After almost a decade of waiting and stagnation, the current municipal authority of Athens, proceeds with the presentation of the programme and the three contracts that have been drafted between the Municipality of Athens, Panathinaikos, Panathinaikos FC and AEP Eleonas for the largest spatial, urban, developmental and social intervention in the city: the Double Redevelopment of Botanikos and Alexandra Avenue.
It took 14 months of systematic work, detailed studies and extensive negotiations with all parties involved in order to formulate a comprehensive and dynamic plan that will provide Panathinaikos with its new football “home” and Athenians with two valuable and large open green spaces.
The Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, during a press conference at the Municipal Hall of Athens, presented in detail the Double Redevelopment Programme and the three contracts between the Municipality of Athens, Panathinaikos, Panathinaikos FC and AEP Eleonas, while also releasing the timetable for this development project, which lays the foundations for a new era for the city: A project-milestone that will expand and upgrade the capital city and at the same time will offer Panathinaikos and its fans a state-of-the-art stadium with a capacity of up to 40,000 seats, of international FIFA/UEFA 4-star standards.
“It will take teamwork, with the ball kept low”
“Today I feel great pride that a municipality not only dares, but plans, schedules and implements a development programme of this size and quality. Undoubtedly, this is the actual “coming of age” of the Local Government, which demonstrates in practice that it can – in line with the standards of large European municipalities – respond to the needs and requirements of the 21st century”, Mr. Bakoyannis said, speaking to reporters: “In no way is this a time for celebrations. “There is no time for any celebration. It will take a lot of work. I don’t want to say that “everything will be fine” from Panathinaikos, the club, PAE Elaionas, the Municipality and all Athenians. But I am very, very optimistic about the result. When we work together, when we come out of our comfortzones and overcome our egos, we all win. I am confident that we will succeed”.
“I hope to achieve consensus”
Bakoyannis explained that this is “a very complicated and difficult case” for which, from the previous day, he informed the major factions of the City Council in detail, in order to have, as he said, the full picture and be ready for the meeting next Wednesday. “We are called upon as a body to make a historic decision. I am consciously and systematically working for the broadest possible consensus, and I hope we can achieve it. Projects of the catalytic importance of the Double Redevelopment, which by definition transcend the horizon of a single term, ought to be beyond and above factions, and ideologies. Parties and colours. And if the Double Redevelopment is to have colour, let it be the green of the environment and Panathinaikos. Besides, Athens has paid dearly for the Cormorants and I hope the lesson has been learned,” he said.
Before starting the presentation of the Double Redevelopment, the Mayor of Athens thanked the President of the Panathinaikos Amateur Athletic Club Mr. Malakate, as well as the President of P.A.O. Alafouzos for the excellent cooperation with them, stressing that the “unity of the Panathinaikos family is not only capable, but a necessary condition for the success of the project”, while he thanked the representatives of PAE Eleonas, the Ministers Mr Georgiadis, Mr Skylakakis and Mr Gerapetritis “for their valuable support and assistance”, as well as the Prime Minister himself “for his determination”. He did not fail to thank his close associates, the General Secretary of the Municipality, Alexandros Tsiatsamis, the Deputy Mayor, Vassilis Axiotis, the legal adviser, Natassa Simou, the technical adviser, Vassilis Fakitsas, who worked during all the negotiations, but also the services of the Municipality, which as a whole, he said, “exceeded themselves”.
The detailed program as well as the three contracts for the Double Redevelopment in Botanikos and Alexandra Avenue can be read here: