Environment Minister George Papaconstantinou on Wednesday said that he is open to discussing changes in a draft bill that will allow owners to obtain legal status for the numerous buildings throughout Greece that lack planning permission, particularly as regards the criteria that will be used and the size of the fines that will have to be paid. The draft bill will be tabled in Parliament on Thursday and will be passed into law by Aug. 28.
Papaconstantinou underlined that the ministry is trying to find the “golden mean” on this thorny issue, stressing that it is a difficult task that balances between managing reality and introducing a just settlement.
He promised that the issue will be settled in a way that will satisfy the society’s sense of justice, address the objections raised by the Council of State -- Greece's supreme administrative court -- and ensure that the state will collect revenues.
Papaconstantinou made it clear that all illegal buildings situated in forests, seashores, riverbeds or archaeological sites will be excluded from the settlement. He also underlined that terms included in the draft bill concerning the sale of real estate are designed to prevent a new generation of illegally constructed buildings.