The government of cash-strapped Greece has unblocked €28.9 million (roughly $37.2 million) to build a world-class race track that will be capable of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix. It will be built in a town west of Athens called Chalandritsa.
The announcement came under heavy fire in a country that has recently implemented severe austerity measures. Greece's Ministry of Development issued a rebuttal and explained that the track is the first of several similar projects that are expected to create a total of 800 jobs. Furthermore, it will stimulate the local economy by generating tourism, which has taken a heavy hit since Greece's financial woes were made public.
Greek sources indicate that the construction of the track is slated to start next year and expected to take 36 months. The project will cost a total of €94.6 million (about $122 million) and will be overseen by Racing Patras, a private investment company based in a neighboring town.
To make sure that nothing is left to chance, the Greek government and Racing Patras have calculated that the track will be profitable even if it does not manage to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix. It is also being designed to host karting and motorcycle events as well as track days for local car clubs.