Most of state land occupied

Fifty-three percent of the State’s registered land holdings are illegally occupied by individuals and corporations, it emerged yesterday from a meeting between Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and his deputy, Apostolos Fotiadis. Having lost hope to retrieve its holdings, the State is looking for ways to make private encroachers pay at least a fraction of the land’s growth. Ways to achieved that were discussed yesterday. The state’s registered landholdings amount to 350,000 hectares. The State owns much more than that, but we will have to wait for the land registry to be completed in about a decade and a half. Officials of the state property agency KED estimated that, when this process is completed, the amount of illegally occupied State land will be closer to 65 percent. Of the 350,000 hectares, about 180,000 are currently illegally occupied. The government believes it can reach a deal for 150,000 of these hectares, which will pass into private ownership as soon as the individuals or corporations pay the fee. In cases of more recent encroachments, the illegal occupiers will be evicted. A bill regulating the issue is expected to be drafted by the end of next month. «It would show that local investors and society are more in support of the government,» said DWS’s Ganske.

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