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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New cadastre plan unveiled

  • [01] New cadastre plan unveiled

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias on Wednesday extolled the next phase of the land registry programme beginning next Tuesday as "truly ambitious" and said it was expected to record some 6.7 million property rights in less than four years, so that the Land Registry would cover roughly two thirds of the population when the programme was completed. Souflias was speaking during a seminar on the land registry programme.

    He also denied that the three and a half months allowed for the public to submit their statements of ownership were insufficient, asserting that it was sufficient time for all members of the public to be informed and submit their statements.

    "From that point onward, we will monitor the process closely so that if problem arise they can be dealt with. The requirement is that people don't all wait until the last minute. A demand to extend the final date for submission at this time would only serve procrastination at this time," he added.

    The minister particularly appealed to lawyers, notaries, engineers and other professionals involved in the process of drafting a National Land Registry to assist the project as much as they could.

    "Especially for the process of accepting the statements submitted by three million citizens we are obliged to set up a truly efficient and reliable mechanism that serves and facilitates citizens, not one that inconveniences them," he stressed.

    Listing the measures taken to assist the process, he said that a publicity campaign had been launched to inform the public, the forms had been simplified and the number of accompanying documents reduced. There were 76 Land Registry bureaus set up around the country where the forms could be submitted, in addition to four special Citizens Service Centres in the cities of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, and there was also the option of submitting the form through a special application over the Internet at the Ktimatologio S.A. website.

    The next vital step in the process of setting up a reliable land registry and forest registry would be to clarify which set of aerial photographs should be used, he added.

    "It is my position that it is tremendous hypocrisy to draw up these fundamental tools for the protection of the environment and the development of the country using the aerial photographs of 1945. It is unenforceable and illogical. In Greece, from the end of the Civil War and until the mid 1960s, thousands of hectares of forest and land classed as forest changed use and became cultivated land. It was then a matter of survival. What should we then do today, with the aerial photographs of 1945? Do we once again class these lands as forest and remove them from thousands of farming families? We will really remove them? Is there really someone that will do this? Of course not. We will just continue to pretend," the minister said.

    This also applied to residential settlements created in land that was once forest, many of which were within Attica and other large areas of the country, he added. It would be impossible to reclaim these lands as forest and to continue to insist on the use of the 1945 aerial photographs would simply mean that the country would continue to not have a land registry and forest registry, allowing people to continue flouting the laws, the minister underlined.

    According to Souflias, it was imperative that the political parties reached some compromise solution on this issue, even though no agreement was reached within the framework of a constitutional revision, and proposed using aerial photographs from the 1960s.

    Caption: Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias speaks on Wednesday, June 11, 2008, during a one-day seminar at the ministry focusing on the lastest phase to inaugurate a long-delayed national land registry in the country. ANA-MPA / PANTELIS SAITAS

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