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Society

Greek Municipalities Not Complying with Land Registry Declarations

ATHENS – Long-stalled efforts to get land registered in Greece, where theft of parcels and buildings is not uncommon over cloudy titles, has run into another obstacle: about half the cities and towns aren’t meeting requirements to declare properties.

That’s because in many cases they do not have the necessary ownership deeds, according to the association of companies that undertake cadastral projects (SEGEK) said Kathimerini.

In the past in rural areas, properties could be designated by trees and rocks and informal agreements but for years successive governments have been trying to have a registry of who owns what and what the boundaries are, failing so far.

Three years after a requirement for a registry was set up, it’s lagging, seen in a letter from the cadastral companies to Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

His ministry recently had taken over the responsibility for the registry.

“The biggest problem are the municipalities that are looking for and cannot find ownership titles for schools, municipal buildings, squares etc,” said SEGEK President Sotiris Liaros, not just rural or remote lands but government entities.

“I estimate that 50% of the municipalities in the cadastral areas have not yet declared their municipal property. Many contractors have tried to help the technical services of the municipalities, only to find out that there are no documents,” he added.

He also said, the paper reported, that there are problems with real estate services, which in some areas are not participating in the cadastre effort, the problems confirmed by the Hellenic Land Registry, which said it’s a small percentage though.

According to company executives, the Hellenic Land Registry has sent letters to the state and to the municipalities that had not declared properties before the summer but that it’s usual for some municipalities to declare municipal service buildings through usufruct, as property titles cannot be traced yet.

There are also cases where some municipalities discovered that properties that they considered municipal had been granted to them through use and not by ownership and many properties of the local real estate services are claimed by citizens, the paper said.

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