Encroachers get chance to buy

Finance Ministry plans to offer illegal occupants of state plots opportunity to purchase them

Encroachers get chance to buy

The Finance Ministry has decided to utilize state properties that have not been incorporated in the Hellenic Public Properties Company (ETAD) portfolio and to settle the issue of plots that have been encroached upon by offering the chance to thousands of citizens to acquire the definitive ownership deeds for the properties they illegally occupy or use, for a certain price.

A senior ministry official says that the creation of the online file of properties and the completion of the National Cadaster will allow the agencies of the ministry to locate properties that belong to the state but are not recorded as such with ease, as well as having the issue of plots that have been encroached upon settled.

This will not be the first time illegal occupants of state plots are being invited to become their legal owners under strict conditions and by paying a sum of money. In the last 20 years several such plans have emerged, but none has proceeded successfully; all of them were withdrawn after reaching Parliament, due to the strong reaction generated.

Sources say the number of state properties that have been encroached upon comes to more than 70,000, while ministry estimates put potential revenues at almost 1 billion euros; which means that every encroacher (who fulfills the conditions a law would introduce) would have to pay an average of some €14,500.

This new regulation is also mentioned in the 2022 draft budget. One of the plans, which will have to be supplemented and improved, provides for encroachers on state plots to buy them off the state at a price that will be determined by the local taxable rates, known as objective values, and also by the years of encroachment and the type of property asset.

There will also be some social criteria that will determine the price the state will ask of encroachers: It will be lower for citizens with proven financial problems, for groups such as people with three or more children and the disabled, and for the multitude of cases where the plot trespassed upon has someone’s main residence built on it.

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