Bid to remove island eyesores

In a long overdue bid to free traditional Aegean settlements from oversized modern buildings at odds with traditional island architecture, the government yesterday unveiled proposals to cajole islanders into scaling down or even demolishing prominent architectural eyesores. But Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis told a press conference that the measure, if approved by Parliament, would only apply to real estate owners who volunteered to have their buildings radically reshaped. «We are effectively opening the way for the ‘withdrawal’ of buildings that are incompatible with the human scale and the sense of measure that for centuries has governed the architecture of the Aegean Islands,» he said. Incentives will include compensation of up to the full sum paid in cases of expropriation of land and buildings by the State and ministry or European Union funding for landlords, who will retain ownership of the buildings. The measure will apply to seafront buildings or structures in listed traditional settlements or beauty spots.

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