NEWS

Urban plans set to grow

Reductions on fines for illegally constructed homes could be as high as 80 percent for certain low-income and other vulnerable groups, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said yesterday, while warning that fines could be increased for owners of more upmarket houses built without a permit. At a press conference yesterday, Papandreou said that local government officials should speed up extensions to town plans and that the ministry’s new provisions were not designed to legalize homes constructed without permits en masse but to give legitimacy to those which are within the limits of the new extended town plans. «Extensions are always needed,» said Papandreou, adding that by next year town plans would cover 24 percent of the country’s territory, compared to just 10 percent today. The minister also said that engineers would be held partially responsible for illegal constructions as well as the local municipalities, which would be required to pay 30 percent of the fine imposed.