The “inauguration” of Athens’ first official mosque appears to have been a pre-election stunt by the previous government as, Kathimerini has learned, the Religious Affairs Ministry has not yet assumed ownership of the building and the site will likely not operate before the year end.
Although the construction of the building, in the capital’s Votanikos district, has been completed, the handover is not yet complete. Meanwhile sanitation, security and administrative services have yet to be arranged.
Sources have indicated that, in an optimistic scenario, the mosque will start operating at the end of the year.
During the June 7 inauguration of the facility, the previous Education and Religious Affairs Minister Costas Gavroglou had said efforts were being made to ensure that the mosque would start operating by September.
However, Kathimerini understands that he had been aware of significant pending issues.
These include a lack of administrative staff, who are expected to take at least three months to transfer from other parts of the civil service. Also, the building does not yet have offices to accommodate these staff.
A competition for sanitation services for the mosque also has yet to be announced.