Left Entrepreneurialism and Elite Urban Redevelopment in the City of Crisis

Authors: Georgios Papakis*, Zayed University
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Greece, neoliberalism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper argues that the shifting allegiances of SYRIZA, the ruling political party of Greece, and its adoption of the dominant economistic approach of the proverbial TINA consolidate the post-political condition on issues of urban redevelopment in contemporary Athens. The end result is to facilitate the unfettered privatization of public goods and services and the further commodification of urban life. The paper will examine the privatization of Elliniko, the former international airport of Athens and one of the city’s largest remaining publicly owned open spaces, as part of a wider process of neoliberal urban transformation and depoliticized governance. While in opposition, SYRIZA had questioned the reflexive privatization of the airpport's land, and argued for the creation of a public, open green space which would ameliorate Athens’ intense environmental problems and unparalleled lack of public and green spaces. However, when in power, SYRIZA energetically facilitated the privatization process, delivering the 1,500 acres site to private hands at a fraction of its value.

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