Greece’s Unlawful Building Owners Get New Democracy Break

November 22, 2019

ATHENS – Owners of illegal buildings in Greece, or those adding additions unlawfully won’t have to raze them or face fines, with the New Democracy government giving them more than four years – until Dec. 31, 2015 to enter a settlement plan, at a higher cost.

Governments in Greece have been reluctant to go after owners of unlawful buildings who represent a sizeable voting bloc, even though illegal structures in the seaside village of Mati were blamed for blocking access to the sea during a July 23, 2018 fire that killed 103.

Unlawful structures were also said to be a major reason for deaths in flooding in the town of Mandra west of Athens and for blocking rainwater and causing erosion and even taking over state land.

The Environment Minister, without explaining why, extended the June 30, 2020 deadline go give the unlawful property owners more time to comply with a scheme legalizing their illegal act if they pay for it.

The legalization fee will increase by 20 percent as of July 1, 2020 and will rise by 5 percent every year after that. The deadline will only be extended by six months in cases of blatant legal violations such as structures that do not have a building license, said Kathimerini.

It is the sixth time in 10 years that a government is introducing measures enabling owners to protect their illegal properties from demolition although former Premier and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras vowed to tear down more than 1100 after the fire.

Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, who had criticized plans to legalize unlawful buildings is now going ahead with legalizing unlawful buildings.

The regulations also stipulate that properties that go on the market after July 1 must carry a digital ID, which will allow public entities to electronically monitor property ownership and will also be required for them to legalize an illegal building.


ATHENS - The number of Albanians with residency permits in Greece has dropped dramatically with some 131,268 heading to wealthier countries between 2021 and 2022, although 291,686 have stayed.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


After Amazon, Google’s First Cloud Region Coming to Greece

ATHENS - Despite having a costly Internet that’s the slowest in the European Union, Greece is continuing to attract high-tech giants, with Alphabet’s Google planning to create its first cloud region in the country.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.