Varying shades of illegality

As demolition teams were prevented at the last moment, and for the second day running, from knocking down illegally built villas on the coast of Attica yesterday, the government announced that as of today owners of certain illegal homes may apply to be connected with the state electricity and water networks. Attempts by Attica prefecture workers to demolish parts of two coastal villas that allegedly infringed on the coastline at Anavyssos, southern Attica, were frustrated after lawyers representing the owners presented a prosecutor with documents asserting that the buildings had been legally built. This was backed by documents of the Economy Ministry’s real estate department, which had intervened on Monday to stop another demolition attempt in Anavyssos. Yesterday, government spokesman Christos Protopappas appeared to side with the Attica prefecture. «It is truly sad that (Monday’s) decision could not be carried out,» he said. «But we will not let matters stand thus. As we believe that the law was broken, we will ask (prefectural authorities) to look into this case.» At a meeting late yesterday between Economy Ministry and prefectural officials it was decided, according to sources, for demolition to go ahead for buildings listed for destruction – with the exception of the first Anavyssos villa. The matter will be investigated by the Public Administration Inspectorate. Meanwhile, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou yesterday announced owners of illegal buildings that serve as primary residences and are not built within specially protected areas can start applying as of today to their local authorities for a connection to public utilities networks. She also announced measures to force local and prefectural authorities to carry out demolition decisions.

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