Once declared, illegal homes may get hooked up

Owners of illegally built homes will be able to obtain electricity and water once they have declared the buildings to authorities and begun paying the relevant fine, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.

Homeowners will be able to obtain a document from the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), which will confirm that they have begun paying the installments for the fines imposed on their properties, the ministry said. With this paper, they will be able to begin the process of being hooked up to the power and water networks.

Environment Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou earlier this month approved an increase from 24 to 36 in the number of installments in which 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.