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Despite Protests from Locals, Construction of Mosque in Votanikos District of Athens Will Continue

AthensWork on the construction of a mosque in Athens‘ Votanikos district was given the all-clear to continue on Thursday, based on a ruling issued by the fourth section of the Council of State (CoS), Greece’s supreme administrative court.
The 850-square-metre mosque, with a capacity for 300 men and 50 women, was originally scheduled to be built in a 17,000 square meter site in a converted former Navy auto garage in the Votanikos area in central Athens. It was designed to cover the religious needs of Muslims in the Greek capital.
Construction had been blocked by a case filed by 111 residents of the Elaionas district identifying themselves as “Orthodox Christian Greek Citizens,” who had asked that the tender for the construction project be cancelled as unconstitutional and illegal.
The court ruling rejected their objections to the mosque’s construction as unfounded, noting that no environmental impact study was required for the building of temples and places of worship, while the construction did not result in any deterioration of the local environment and was not incompatible with town planning rules. Furthermore, the CoS noted, the building’s adherence to the building code was something that could be checked at a later stage, when a construction permit was issued.
This is the second unsuccessful bid by the same group of residents to cancel the mosque’s construction, following a petition to the CoS in 2013 to revoke its funding that was thrown out by the CoS plenum in 2014.
Source: ANA-MPA

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