Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
Greek government sources were quick to assure property developer Lamda Development on Friday that it will respect its contractual obligations with the company for the vast investment in Hellinikon, and invited the investor to cooperate “in good faith” to complete the project.
“The Greek state and the government assure that all its contractual obligations for the investment in Hellinikon will be respected,” government sources said, adding that “the self-evident requirement is for the investor to keep his own commitments”
The same sources said the investor is aware that the two sides are currently in the approval phase for the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the environmental impact study.
“In this phase, the different state agencies are expressing opinions that will be taken into account as a whole in the presidential decree that will be be issued, in accordance with Law 4062/2012,” the sources said.
“During this process, the cooperation of both parties is needed to specify the individual parameters and find a legal position, which will also receive the approval of the Council of State. We therefore invite the investor to cooperate in good faith, which has proven to be the only method to solve all problems,” they added.
Alleges contract breach
in Hellinikon project
“The company remains, from the beginning, committed to the conventional texts it has signed with the Greek State. The company has no other choice but to demand the same from the other parties, as this is the only safe way for the successful completion of all the sects and the start of the project,” Lamda Development said in a statement released on Friday.
In the announcement, referring to developments in the Hellinikon project, the company said: “Continuous overturning of the agreed and ratified by the Parliament framework or the continuous rise of new barriers creates a climate of endless and incomplete negotiation, violates the necessary climate of trust and raises multiple and legitimate questions about several issues. ”
As per the recent Decisions of the Ministry of Culture regarding the delimitation of the archaeological area and the enforcement of sixteen conditions for the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) to be approved, Lamda Development S.A. (the Company) announced the following:
“Concerning the archaeological area:
All the archaeological findings located within the site had been previously communicated to the nine prospective investors that participated in the International Public Tender that took place in 2011. Subject findings resulted from the works that were conducted up to this point, both during the Airport construction and also during the deployment of the Olympic Games facilities, the Metro and Tram construction.
The result of the above mentioned works was the delimitation of the archeological area solely in the area of Agios Kosmas. The Company took all the above into serious consideration and included the listed archaeological findings in the development plan, aiming to protect and promote them, as required for an investment of this magnitude. Simultaneously, the Contract, as was ratified by the Greek Parliament in September 2016, includes specific arrangements in case of new archaeological findings, while at the same time the laws pertaining to archaeological monuments still prevail.
However, besides the fact that there are no new findings, the Ministry of Culture declared a new archaeological area.
Consequently, even if the first Contract (November 2014) and the Amendment Contract (July 2016) have been signed and ratified by the Greek Parliament in September 2016, the Company faces an unexpected change in the contractual agreed terms, which adversely affects the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
This change essentially affects an integral part of the development, it escalates materially and in a non-predicable way the perils from bureaucracy, while it creates further significant obstacles and does not promote further investments.
The uncertainty from the above described situation is further worsened given that the Ministerial Decision practically cancels the already signed “Memorandum of Understanding” that had been previously approved by eleven Ministers participated in the Government Cabinet of Financial Policy.
With respect to the enforcement of sixteen conditions on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP):
The Contract, ratified by the Greek Parliament explicitly mandates as a prerequisite for the transfer completion of the shares of Hellinikon SA, the approval of the Integrated Development Plan “ in the exact form as was submitted” by the Company during the Public Tender process. The Ministerial Decision imposes sixteen (16) new conditions. Thus, further overthrows, gaps and ambiguities are being raised and set the ground for future arbitrary interpretations of the law (irrespective of their origin).
It is obvious that the investment cannot be materialized as long as continuous setbacks and new obstacles lead to amendments in the Development Plan in various ways that are not provisioned in the Contract.
More specifically, the Ministerial Decision includes terms and conditions pertaining to buildings’ height constraints. While the legislation based on which the Development was designed, allowed for the construction of a significant number of tall buildings, with no height constraints, the Ministerial Decision demands the review of the buildings’ height and thus alters the commitment of the laws to the Investors. It is important to mention that the tall buildings of the envisaged development constitute one of its landmark elements, aiming to render Athens into a major modern tourist destination.
As expected, all the above-mentioned reversals and inconsistencies and the constant creation of new obstacles, overturn the necessary trust between the parties. Simultaneously, they raise concerns regarding the possibility of the materialization of the development, the necessity of which is officially declared by the State and it is undoubtedly regarded crucial from all parties.
In conclusion, the Company remains committed to the signed contractual documentation with the Greek State. The Company has no other option but to require the necessary commitment from the other parties since this constitutes the only safe roadmap for the satisfaction of all the prerequisites and the Project launch. The continuous overturn of the already agreed and ratified by the Greek Parliament framework, and the new obstacles raised, set the basis for a continuous and never-ending negotiation, violates the necessary trust between the parties and further raises arguments for a series of matters.”