Compensation race begins

Compensation race begins

The government is called upon to provide massive compensation to the victims of the recent wildfires in Attica, Evia and the Peloponnese.

The top priority now is to have the online platform ready next Wednesday for victims to apply for compensation in order to receive a down payment.

The down-payment process is automated; the difficulty will come in assessing the total compensation to be granted.

The speed at which the relevant commissions work will determine how fast the damaged 1,300 homes, businesses and municipal infrastructure will be rebuilt. Unfortunately, past experience shows that the awarding of total compensation can take over two years.

Government officials claims they will make every effort to complete the process by the first half of 2022, which would be a vast improvement. That, however, is yet to be tested. Officials say that the Finance and Infrastructure ministries will centralize the process, stripping regional governments of some of their powers because they believe their bureaucracies are not flexible enough.

The fire victims themselves must make sure their case is quickly considered by getting the assessor engineers to complete their estimates fast.

The new platform will open on August 18. The victims themselves will report the extent of the damage and get a down payment of €20,000 for a total loss, €12,000 for losses big enough to render a home uninhabitable, and €5,000 for smaller-scale damage.

A separate online platform will open for businesses and farmers. Down payments for those categories will equal 20% of total damage.

Rebuilding aid will total €1,000 per square meter, with an upper limit of €150,000. It will consist of a state subsidy (80%) and an interest-free loan (20%). 

Owners of homes totally destroyed or rendered uninhabitable won’t have to pay the property tax (ENFIA) for the fiscal years 2021-23. Other properties in stricken areas will pay full tax. The exemptions are the residents of the Istiaia-Aidipsos and Mantoudi-Limni-Agia Anna municipalities, both on the island of Evia, who will be exempted from paying tax whether their property was damaged or not.

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