NEWS

Land register invites private bids

As had been suggested a month ago, Greece has invited private companies to bid for contracts to help it complete a much-delayed land registry that is seen as crucial to augmenting the country?s efforts to generate revenues from investors.

Ktimatologio, the public company responsible for compiling the cadastre, launched yesterday tenders for 21 surveys of 268 areas around the country. The contracts for these projects will be worth 111 million euros and it is thought that a number of foreign firms are interested in getting involved.

This will be the third phase of land registering and will lead to some 2.6 million titles, covering 470,000 hectares, being recorded. This will include land and properties in several areas of Attica, such as Kalamos, Oropos and Megara. A number of Thessaloniki neighborhoods will also be included in the scheme.

Greece hopes to complete the registration of all its land by 2020. So far, 13.8 million titles have been recorded on the cadastre.

With the help of European Union funding, Greece first launched the project to record the use and ownership of land in 1995, but it ran into repeated delays and government indifference.

Both the previous New Democracy government and the current PASOK administration have tried to kick-start the project, with only limited success. The cadastre could play a significant part in the government?s privatization scheme when it comes to selling or leasing public land, whose ownership might be in dispute.

Speaking last month, Environment Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said that working with the private sector was the only way that Greece could complete the project by 2020.

?We have to look at cooperating with the private sector,? he said. ?If we continue at the current pace, the registry will not be completed on time. We are in discussions about how we might attract investment from other countries so that the project can speed up.?