Fifteen years after cremations were legalized in Greece, the country’s first such facility has opened in Ritsona, in Viotia, central Greece, and has already carried out 15 cremations.
Licensed in the summer of 2018 and inaugurated on September 30, the private venture is 70 percent owned by Crem Services SA. The nongovernmental Greek Cremation Society (GCS) holds a 30 percent stake.
Speaking to the press at the facility on Thursday, GCS president Antonis Alakiotis hailed its operation as a “historic event.”
“Changing funerary customs is one of the hardest and slowest shifts that any society can make,” he said, adding, “Our country… is unfortunately the last in the European Union to acquire a crematorium.”
Cremations are not arranged directly with the facility but through funeral homes. “The cost at our end comes to 600 euros, but with that of the funeral home, I estimate it at between 1,500 and 2,500 euros,” Alakiotis said.