Payment period for illegal homes extended to 36 months

Environment Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou has approved an increase from 24 to 36 in the number of instalments that owners of illegal homes can pay the penalty to protect their properties from further fines or demolition.

Some 225,000 people have so far declared their homes, bringing in 283 million euros mostly from application fees rather than penalty payments, which have not begun yet for many applicants.

However, there was concern that given the poor state of the economy, it would be difficult for many homeowners to pay their penalties within two years.

Papaconstantinou has also given the go-ahead for AEK soccer club to build a stadium in Nea Philadelphia, northern Athens, where it had a ground until 2003.