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Top Greek court backs key bailout-linked development project

Top Greek court backs key bailout-linked development project

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's supreme court has approved a large private urban development project on the prime seaside site of the old Athens airport, which is a key element of the country's bailout program.

The decision made public Thursday says that the development is in accordance with Greece's constitution and laws, but stressed that it must strictly adhere to environmental and building regulations.

The court also said planned construction of several skyscrapers on the site — bypassing existing limitations on high buildings — can go ahead for reasons of public interest.

The plot was sold under Greece's creditor-mandated privatization program to a consortium led by Greek Lamda Development, which is planning an 8-billion-euro ($9.4-billion) investment including a park, housing, shopping areas and hotels.

Critics have opposed the project citing environmental and heritage concerns.