Corfu could have its very own floating island, not unlike the famous Palm Islands in Dubai, according to plans currently being discussed.
The artificial islands would require an investment of over €270 million to become a reality. However, the proposal is controversial and has divided the residents of Corfu.
The main arguments in favor of the proposal are that it would generate tourism and jobs, whereas those against the idea have cited environmental concerns.
Corfu floating island proposal
According to the plans, the floating island off the coast of Corfu would include a mooring marina for mega yachts and luxury villas. The island itself would be connected to the beach and existing municipal road via a specially constructed 8-meter-long bridge.
If the proposal receives the go-ahead, the new marina would be located at Kaliviotis, Lefkimmi, at a distance of 280 meters from the coastline. Part of the sea area will have to be filled in for the artificial island to take shape.
The proposed marina is set to have 105 berths with a maximum length of 80 meters. A special berth for Aristotle Onassis’ yacht “Christina O”, which is roughly 100 meters long, would also be constructed.
Corfu’s floating island would also feature shops, services, parking areas, outdoor entertainment, events areas, temporary exhibition spaces, and residential buildings.
A 458-page study was produced laying out the exact details of the proposed island.
During an interview with ERT3, Kostas Lessis, the mayor of South Corfu, made it clear that the proposed project would have to be met with public approval before it could be allowed to commence.
“I’m concerned and I’m dealing with it in a mature and proper way. The Municipal Council will meet to inform the councilors and, if necessary, there will be a public meeting because the citizens also need to be aware of the investment which requires their agreement,” the mayor said.
The plan has been proposed to the Ministry of Tourism’s Committee of Tourist Ports. The project itself would be carried out by the Recovery Fund. Meanwhile, several companies have expressed their interest. A private firm would operate the marina for 30 years before it would be returned to the public sector.
Included in the project proposal, are plans to construct ports in other areas in South Corfu, including Petriti, Kaliviotis, and Alykes. Efforts to redevelop the entire Kaliviotis beach area have also been proposed.
The floating island is not without its detractors. Some Corfiots are concerned that the project will cause environmental problems, whereas others think that the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Lessis summed up some of the concerns when he questioned: “First of all, will there be an environmental burden with the construction of such a project that has economic objectives? And what will that be? Secondly, the traffic load, the infrastructure works, which have to be done to support such a project, who will bear them?”
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!