NEWS

Ombudsman says Papazoe villa illegal

A former deputy minister’s holiday complex and swimming pool on the island of Santorini was built using an illegal permit that should be revoked, the state ombudsman insisted in a report yesterday. Nikiforos Diamandouros said Elissavet Papazoe’s villa in Oia, built on the tip of Santorini’s volcanic cliff with a prime view of the caldera, was constructed on geologically unstable ground where building is forbidden. Papazoe lost her post as deputy foreign minister in last week’s cabinet reshuffle. The alleged building law infringements occurred when she was deputy minister for the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry. The permit was illegally issued by the Santorini town planning department, the report said. Serious concerns for the public interest… dictate the revocation of this building permit. The villa prompted a legal battle between Papazoe and the Santorini regional governor. The ombudsman intervened after complaints by local officials. The new minister fears that these projects will run into many legal problems, especially due to nearby residents going to court to stop them, which could lead to unpredictable delays. She is also concerned about the viability of some of the construction projects as well as conflicting jurisdiction between ministries.