Land deed and use con­fu­sion costs the state 8 bil­lion a year

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - GIOR­GOS LIALIOS

Prob­lems re­lated to landown­er­ship sta­tus and us­age cost Greece a cool 8 bil­lion eu­ros per year, ac­cord­ing to a study con­ducted by the Na­tional Bank of Greece which calls for the ur­gent com­ple­tion of the land reg­istry and for­est maps as well as ex­ten­sive re­forms.

No­tably, the study also asks the state to be par­tic­u­larly cau­tious lest re­cent in­vest­ment in­cen­tives such as the fast-track process and the new frame­work for lux­ury tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion lead to en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion and the down­grad­ing of the coun­try’s tourism prod­uct.

The NBG study shows that nearly half of Greece’s sur­face area (65,000 square kilo­me­ters out of a to­tal of more than 130,000 sq.km.) is claimed by pri­vate own­ers. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to his­tor­i­cal sources, ti­tle deeds have only been is­sued is­sued for 40,000 sq.km. of that, most of which stemmed from the land dis­tri­bu­tion be­tween 1871 and 1938. The re­main­ing 25,000 sq.km. may have le­gal ti­tle deeds ac­cord­ing to the law re­gard­ing ad­verse pos­ses­sion, pro­vided they do not con­cern forest­land, which as a rule re­main pub­lic. How­ever, the state’s for­est claims amount to some 80,000 sq.km., or 60 per­cent of Greece’s sur­face area, as they are based on air pho­tos dat­ing to 1945.

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