The multifaceted bill introduced to the Parliament by Environment Ministry to be voted on Thursday next by urgent procedure, included provisions for expediting administrative issues concerning the construction of a Muslim mosque in Athens.

The explanatory memorandum to the bill stresses out that Athens is now the only European capital without a mosque to meet the religious needs of Muslims residing in Greece, which undermines the international image and credibility of Greece. Moreover, the rise of fundamentalist views and actions, makes the implementation of the project more urgent than ever.

The mosque which is designed to cover an area of 850 square metres and have a capacity of 300 men and 50 women is scheduled to be built – by restoration of an existing building – over an area of 17 acres in the old garage of the Navy at the Naval Fortress of Votanikos.