Illegal Floors of Coco-Mat Hotel in Athens Sealed, Prior to Demolition

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Greece's Ministry of Tourism sealed the last two floors and the rooftop bar of the Coco-Mat hotel in central Athens last Friday.

This action was taken in accordance with a ruling by the Council of State, which was issued in 2019 and implemented at the end of March 2024 after the Court of Appeals rejected the owner company's suspension request.

The hotel had been declared illegal for surpassing the height limit of 24 meters and obstructing the view of the Acropolis, following complaints from residents of the Makriyianni/Koukaki area, who brought the issue to court.

This case highlights the bureaucratic inefficiencies in Greece and the slow pace of the judicial system in implementing crucial decisions.

The Ministry of Tourism had previously announced the suspension of operations at the Coco-Mat Hotel in July 2023, citing the owner's refusal to comply with the state's decision to remove the two upper floors that obstructed the view of the Acropolis. The building permit was partially revoked.

In spring 2020, the Central Archaeological Council (CAS) determined that the multi-storey hotel at the base of the Acropolis must demolish its two upper floors as they hindered the view of the monument.

The demolition of the illegal section of the building is being carried out by the Decentralized Administration of Attica. However, there is limited time to issue a tender for the execution of the demolition by May, as required by the Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, according to the daily newspaper Kathimerini.

The sealing of the floors was done in compliance with a decision by the Council of State issued in 2019. Implementation of this decision has been significantly delayed due to several factors. First, there is the technical complexity of removing a portion of a functional building without compromising its structural integrity. Additionally, there have been delays and slow responses from public services, as well as numerous legal actions taken by the owner company, Blue Cedar, in an attempt to prevent the decision.

The sealing will remain in effect until mid-April, when the Court of Appeals issues its decisions on the suspension applications that were heard in mid-March.

"We will soon sign a programmatic contract with the Technical Chamber of Greece (ΤΕΕ), which will serve as our technical advisor for the project," stated Grigoris Zarifopoulos, the head of the Decentralized Administration of Attica.

He further explained, "The Technical Chamber of Greece will assist our department with their specialized staff in drafting the tender documents for the study that will determine the method of demolition. The study will be made available by May. Once the study is completed, a second call for tenders will be issued for the actual demolition work."

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024